- Green Bridges
- Goodwill Bridge
- Climate Crisis
- Indooroopilly Riverwalk
- Everton Park Link Road
- Victoria Point
- UN Road Safety Week
- Brisbane Bicycle Film Night and Cargo Bike Expo
On Tuesday, Brisbane City Council announced the outcomes from four months of community consultation on alignments for new green bridges from Toowong to West End and West End to St Lucia. They received over 4,000 pieces of feedback – including responses to the online surveys and submissions from 30 stakeholder groups.
There was strong support for the options chosen:
- 83% of people who responded regarding the Toowong to West End bridge supported “option A” from 600 Coronation Drive to Orleigh Park near Forbes St.
- 64% of those who gave feedback about the proposed bridge from West End to St Lucia supported “option A” from Orleigh Park near Morry St to Guyatt Park.
Later that morning, Belinda joined Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Cr Ryan Murphy at West End to speak to the media about the decision. We think these new active transport bridges will be great for Brisbane; they will effectively bring destinations closer together, giving more people the option to hop on a bike or e-scooter to quickly get where they need to go. Who would want to sit in a car and be part of traffic congestion when you can enjoy a ride in the sunshine with great views of the river!
Of course, controversy sells a story, so the focus of much of the media coverage of the green bridges announcement was on the minority of people against the new active transport connections from St Lucia to West End and West End to Toowong. But the bigger story is that most people support Council’s plans for these bridges, and that our city leaders no longer talk about cycling as some kind of fringe “lifestyle and leisure opportunity”.
Green bridges were Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner’s top priority when he first stepped into the role, and we know that Public and Active Transport Chair Cr Ryan Murphy understands the importance of connections. In the last 12 months, Brisbane residents have demonstrated just how keen they are to hop on a bike or e-scooter to get around the city and suburbs—provided they don’t have to mix with motor vehicle traffic on the roads.
We acknowledge that Council has work to do to come up with good designs for the new bridges that will minimise impact on river traffic, and which will enhance rather than detract from public space at the landing locations.
We look forward to seeing the concept designs and preliminary business case (due in the second half of 2021), and working with Brisbane City Council to help secure support from the Queensland and Australian governments to progress these city-changing projects.
We also learned a little more about the CBD to Kangaroo Point green bridge in this week’s Public and Active Transport Committee meeting:
- Council are currently working on plans for the connections at Kangaroo Point – particularly between the Scott St landing and Deakin St (which will require a crossing of Main St, and an underpass beneath the Bradfield Highway). Details should be available in late May / June.
- The contract to build the bridge is expected to be awarded to one of the two leading suppliers in mid 2021.
- Bridge construction is due to commence in late 2021.
Speaking of green bridges, the scaffolding blocking half the Goodwill Bridge was finally cleared away this week!!
It was put in place in April 2020 to enable maintenance work on the Captain Cook Bridge above, and was supposed to only be there until September. After 13 months, it’s nice to be able to use the full width of the bridge again.
There’s been much hand-wringing about traffic congestion recently, so we’ll say it again: transport systems in which the overwhelming majority of people commute to work by private motor vehicle are inherently fragile. Brisbane’s road network chokes up every morning, and the slightest “unusual” event like a crash or infrastructure failure can extend that blockage for hours. It doesn’t help that the main public transport alternative—buses—sit hemmed in amongst all the single-occupant vehicles.
On Monday this week, it was a mess in the eastern suburbs – with traffic banked back for kilometres along Wynnum Road, Stanley St, and Old Cleveland Road. Unfortunately, this side of town has no connected off-road cycling infrastructure, but those who do brave the main roads or thread their way along back streets and footpaths know that cycling trip times are quite consistent even when the roads are clogged up with cars.
We need to make the space to enable more people to travel by the most efficient means ever invented, and stop trying to “bust congestion” to encourage people to keep driving. It’s time to chose solutions that are proven to work instead of clinging to proven failures!
Young people are concerned about their future in world with accelerating global warming. Many older people are wondering how we failed to act on decades of warnings, and what we can do now to leave a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.
The Australian taxpayer will pay up to $2.3 billion to prop up the country’s two remaining oil refineries – including Lytton here in Brisbane. What if, instead, that money was invested in non-polluting transport technologies, that also made our cities safer, happier, healthier and more liveable?
The Indooroopilly Riverwalk will be complete 6 months early, and the launch party has been brought forward to 10am Sunday 6th June at Witton Barracks Park! Come along and enjoy the fun, and ride the excellent new riverwalk, to be officially opened by Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Councillor James Mackay.
Everton Park Link Road
The new Everton Park Link Road at Everton Park has separated one-way cycle lanes on each side, as well as good footpaths, crossing points, and connections to the Kedron Brook Bikeway. There are still some pavement markings to be completed, but it’s looking good.
In general, building new roads in an effort to “bust congestion” is a fool’s errand, but if you must build new roads, then at least provide good facilities for active transport like this.
See our review of the plans from 2019.
Another example from outside the Brisbane City Council area we usually cover, but illustrating how active transport infrastructure can and should be built into all road “upgrade” projects (remember, if it’s not an upgrade for walking and cycling, it’s not an upgrade!): The Department of Transport and Main Roads have released a preliminary design for an upgrade of Cleveland-Redland Bay Road at Victoria Point, from Magnolia Parade (Victoria Point Shopping Centre) to Anita Street. The plans include new footpaths, a 2-way separated cycle track along the northern side—past Victoria Point State High School—and on-road bike lanes for the roadies.
To view the details, check out the TMR site. If you live, work, or travel through the area, you can have your say online before 13 June, or attend one of the community Information sessions coming up at Victoria Point Shopping Centre, outside of Coles.
UN Road Safety Week
This week was United Nations Road Safety Week, and this year the focus has been on highlighting the benefits of low-speed urban streets as the heart of any community. The Week calls on policy-makers to act for low-speed streets in cities worldwide, limiting speeds to 30 km/h where people live, work and play. Low-speed streets make for cities that are not only safe, but also healthy, green and liveable.
We challenge our city leaders: will you help ensure a safe, inclusive, healthy, green, and liveable Brisbane?
It’s great that other groups in Australia are now promoting the benefits of 30kph neighbourhood streets. Governments around the world are creating more liveable cities by slowing traffic. The benefits include low crime levels, more physically active citizens, greater social connectedness, increased spending in local businesses and less pollution.
But so far in Brisbane we are still missing a strong political champion of lower speeds in residential streets. Our Lord Mayor and Councillors are supposed to act in the best interests of the citizens of Brisbane; this should be high on their agenda.
Brisbane Bicycle Film Night
Don’t forget, next weekend (Saturday 29 May) is the Brisbane Bicycle Film Night. We’ve had a few hiccups with the venue since the Schonell Theatre was suddenly closed due to asbestos last week. But we’re happy to have secure a new venue nearby at the UQ Centre.
The feature film will be the Australian Premier of Together We Cycle, which investigates the critical events that led to the revival of the Dutch cycling culture.
“When I grew up, I still remember that bicycles were really not supposed to be on the streets; there were cars everywhere.”
Yet today, cycling is an obvious choice for most citizens in The Netherlands. How did that happen, while other countries took a different path?? Don’t miss this inspirational film, and the chance to socialise with Brisbane’s bike-loving community.
Arrive early at the University of Queensland to attend the Brisbane Cargo Bike Expo from 5 – 6pm. The expo will feature regular Brisbane families who will chat about their cargo bikes, as well as exhibitors like Blind Freddy Electric Bikes who do an amazing job of customising bikes and trikes for people like Merle who can’t ride a standard bicycle.
Entry to the expo is free, but if you want a ticket to the Brisbane Bicycle Film Night (from 6pm) get yours now from Eventbrite.