24 Jan 2021

North Brisbane Bikeway Stage 4 is complete!

Although there are still a few details to be completed, stage 4 of the North Brisbane Bikeway is basically open. It’s fantastic! (Next step: all the way to Eagle Junction…)

Check out this ride-through, thanks to Brisbane North BUG:

This will be a huge boost for people who were thinking about maybe riding to work, but not keen on sharing the road with cars. Now they have a low stress route from the CBD to Price St, Wooloowin.

On Saturday, we ran into one of those people: Elise has always liked the idea of cycling to work, but the reality of having to ride on busy roads just wasn’t appealing. Watching progress on the latest stage of the North Brisbane Bikeway prompted her to buy a new bike recently, and now that stage 4 of the bikeway is open, Elise can cycle almost all the way from her home in the northern suburbs to her workplace in South Brisbane without having to mix with traffic on the road. Today she was out doing a reconnaissance of the route ahead of Monday’s commute, with her father, Terry from Brisbane North BUG.

Cycleways are appreciated by those of us who ride already, but the greatest value is in giving thousands more people like Elise the confidence to take the healthy transport option.

Victoria Bridge goes green

Transport history was made in Brisbane on Sunday, with Victoria Bridge being turned over completely to public and active transport at 8pm.

This has been planned for 4 years, as part of the Brisbane Metro project. Indeed each of the three major parties promoted “greening” Victoria Bridge in their transport strategies ahead of the 2016 Brisbane City Council election. Experts have recommended removing private motor vehicles from Victoria Bridge for over a decade, and now it’s finally happening! It will cater for far more people when it is used exclusively by buses (including the new electric Metro vehicles) and people walking, cycling, scooting, and whatever form of personal mobility comes next.

Council has already spent millions widening a number of intersections in South Brisbane in preparation, and Brisbane ratepayers will subsidise a toll rebate on the Go Between Bridge for people in South Brisbane and West End to encourage them to keep driving. But we’re confident many people will realise that when walking, cycling, and public transport is safe and convenient, there is little need to drive from inner suburbs into the CBD.

We understand that access to the main carriageway of Victoria Bridge will remain open for cycling for a few days, but it will then need to be closed when construction of the new dedicated cycleway begins. Until that is completed at the end of March, the only cycle access across the bridge will be via the shared path on the upstream side. Yes, it is very awkward to reach Elizabeth St or Adelaide St from there, so practice your patience… When this is completed and connected, it will be awesome!

CBD CityLink Cycleway

There was plenty of fresh paint on Elizabeth St this week. It’s starting to look a lot like a cycleway!!

The first sections of #FreshKermit and bumper barriers also appeared on Edward St, between Mary and Margaret Streets. This section of the CityLink Cycleway on Edward St (from Elizabeth St to the Botanical Gardens) is due for completion in mid February. How exciting!!

This comes as the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects this week called for all levels of government to prioritise “green infrastructure” to deliver physical and mental health benefits as well as proper care for the environment. They suggest that planning should start with questioning what priorities were placed on public spaces, and recommend that shading for streets, cycleways and public parks should become a higher priority. Sounds like good advice!

Granard Road, Rocklea

In the southern suburbs, there was also some long-awaited news from Rocklea. We were advised by Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) that work is about to start on constructing a shared path from the Ipswich Motorway exit ramp at Granard Road to Balham Road, Rocklea.

The new path will provide a link from the newly completed path delivered by the Rocklea to Darra – Stage 1 project (Ipswich Road service road to Granard Road) and the intersection of Balham Road and Granard Road, near Bunnings.

We highlighted during consultation and construction of the Ipswich Motorway bikeway that there was no way to connect heading east, and we’re pleased to see TMR has listened and is delivering. It will be a huge improvement in connectivity to be able to reach Balham Road from the Ipswich Motorway cycle path.

Sandgate Rd, Nundah

Back on the north side, some further good news: cycling access will be reinstated and improved along Sandgate Rd though the tunnel at Nundah.

It has been a long time coming, but TMR advised North BUG this week that the works will include:

  • provision of bicycle lanes through the Nundah Tunnel by linemarking a buffer strip between the re-configured traffic lanes and new bicycle lane
  • Surface treatment and bicycle pavement marking on the intersection approaches
  • Removal of bicycle prohibition signage on the tunnel approaches.

Works will commence from late January 2021 and are expected to be completed by late February 2021, construction and weather conditions permitting.

There was nothing safe about forcing people on bikes through the hectic intersections and door-zone bike lanes through Nundah Village!

Eastern Transitway, Carina

Sadly this is not a protected cycleway along Old Cleveland Rd at Carina. But it shows how easily one could be implemented!

This barrier is to protect construction work on the Eastern Transitway between Narracott St and Creek Rd. The good news is that the widening here will allow for a 3.0m wide path on both sides of Old Cleveland Rd, plus new bus lanes – which are legal to cycle in.

Also, it appears the project will include a footpath from the north-eastern side of the Old Cleveland Rd / Creek Rd intersection up to Modred St. That was an issue we raised when it was not included in the last set of plans.

Lytton Rd, Morningside

If you haven’t already, please sign the petition asking Brisbane City Council to upgrade Lytton Rd through Morningside to make it suitable as a principal cycle route. It is also a designated primary freight access route and is a key connection in and out of the Bulimba peninsula as well as providing access for local traffic to destinations such as to Balmoral State High School, Cannon Hill Anglican College, and the recreation and sporting facilities at Colmslie Reserve. Observe interactions here for a few minutes, or try to cross the road, and you find yourself holding your breath…

Melbourne shows how it’s done

Check out these pictures of Heidelberg Rd, Clifton Hill – about 5km north-east of Melbourne. One of the three general lanes (in each direction) has been converted to a protected bike lane.

“I never thought I’d commute down Heidelberg Road…and enjoy it. Here’s to a better normal in 2021.”

Craig Richards, Bicycle Network

Well done VicRoads. Can you send the manual to Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) and Brisbane City Council?