25 April 2021

Brisbane Bike Bites short film competition

There are just a few days left to get your entry in for the Brisbane Bike Bites short film competition! 5 minutes (or less) of bikes + Brisbane.

Finalists will be shown on the big screen at the Schonell Theatre, UQ as part of the Brisbane Bike Film Night. You might also take home some of the $500 prize money thanks to Epic Cycles.

For more info on how to enter, click here.

Old Cleveland Road

We received a response from Minister Mark Bailey MP to our petition about the poor provision for cycling in the $5 million Old Cleveland Road and Gateway on-ramp “upgrade” project:

“For those bike riders wanting to continue westbound along Old Cleveland Road in the existing shoulder, TMR is installing bike lane line marking at the conflict point for the Old Cleveland Road off-ramp. These works include appropriate pavement marking and road signage to warn motorists of the bike lane.”

Minister Mark Bailey MP – petition response

As you can see from this video last weekend, the green strip has been painted. But even with the speed reduced to 40kph, it doesn’t feel entirely comfortable to have traffic skimming across in front and behind you. And this was (deliberately) at a quiet time, with almost no heavy vehicle traffic. When the work is finished, the speed limit will revert to 80kph.

“These facilities being delivered are considered fit for purpose in line with the Cycling Infrastructure Policy, which states ‘fit for purpose cycling facilities are cycling facilities designed to attract more people to ride while achieving a value for money outcome’.”

Exactly who is likely to be encourage to ride between the major centres of Capalaba and Carindale on infrastructure like this??

Centenary tour

West BUG advise that paint markings now formalise who should give way on the Centenary Cycleway at Figtree Pocket. TMR have installed new path markings to formalise who gives priority as the Fig Tree Pocket Road paths intersect with the main bikeway.

The positive story is how many people are now using this cycleway and its connections thanks to improvements like the Moggill Road overpass and great destinations like Rocks Riverside Park!

In this video, Chris takes you for a closer look at the Sumners Road Interchange (Len Waters Overpass) improvements for active transport, and the part grassroots advocacy played in making it happen:

Saturday proved a perfect morning for a tour of the Centenary suburbs by bike to celebrate the opening of the Centenary Bikeway tunnel at Sumners Road.

The ride was entirely on off road, separated bikeways and shared paths, which makes riding for all ages and abilities not just possible, but enjoyable.

On the way, we discovered the start of a new path connecting Monier Road to the cycleway underneath Seventeen Mile Rocks. This is great news for those (regular) times when the underpass is under water!

At The Gabba

While the Gabba Stadium was in the news this week as a key Olympic venue, should Brisbane be successful in the bid to be the 2032 host, John from Brisbane South BUG was celebrating a little win across the road. Back in August 2019 they published images showing the amount of illegal parking on the footpath on Stanley Street in Woolloongabba. Local councillor, Cr Jonathan Sri promised that a number of parking spaces would be removed and a small garden installed. Finally, that work happened! Hopefully this will result in less illegal parking on the footpath.

The problem with this strip is that Stanley Street is one way and when blocked, outbound cycle traffic can not use the road infrastructure. And not just cycle traffic; the footpath becomes unusable for people with mobility issues operating mobility scooters or wheel chairs. (Really, it shouldn’t be this hard to get basic infrastructure in working order!)

But just when one problem was addressed, another appeared nearby. The Stanley St footpath has been used to store game day bollards for a while now, but recently an electronic message board has been added which has caused a nasty pinch point. A complaint on Monday resulted in the bollards being removed, but the electronic board was moved to a location that is equally as stupid as the one before. It really shouldn’t be up to community members to have to keep begging for the footpaths to be kept clear; an obstruction on the road would be dealt with immediately!

Smart Urban Futures National Conference

This week, Belinda represented us at the Smart Urban Futures National Conference, hosted (online) by Victoria Walks and the Municipal Association of Victoria. There were some interesting speakers, and great break-out discussions. Most of the other attendees seem to be from various local councils (mostly Victorian), but there are also a few community groups such as ourselves and Queensland Walks.

We’ll post more about the conference next week, but one highlight was hearing how Mildura Rural City Council are introducing 40kph speed limits as the default on urban streets, and some of the quick and low-cost traffic calming measures they are installing to support the slower speeds. Interestingly, the council had wanted to move to 30kph—which is international best practice—but could not get approval from state authorities.

“Road safety is often a hard sell to some in the community; believing that a crash will not happen to them. In fact on numbers alone, the likelihood of a Victorian being killed on our roads is 0.00003%. But on the other hand, amenity of the street we live on is highly desirable to people.”

The lesson from their focus groups: people aren’t scared of speed limits like our governments believe they are.

Six years ago when Space for Cycling Brisbane started talking about 30kph speed limits for neighbourhood streets in Brisbane, people claimed we were being extreme. Now it’s good to hear how much support there is within local governments from Torquay to Toowoomba. People who have thought about how to create better places and stronger communities understand the benefits of slower streets and a focus on planning for people rather than cars.

Tackling the Climate Crisis

The UK government’s independent advisory group, the Climate Change Committee, recommends a reduction in miles travelled by car and more travel on transit and a massive increase in walking and cycling. They highlight the huge potential of e-bikes to displace journeys by car.

Almost one quarter of all car journeys are short enough to walk in minutes. “Hopping into cars for such incredibly short distances causes congestion, increases road danger and, by not walking or cycling instead, habitual car use leads to poorer health.”

The benefits of shifting away from car-dependency are massive!

Bike lanes are good for business!

A review of 23 studies from the US and Canada concludes (yet again) that bike lanes are good for business.

“Creating or improving active travel facilities generally has positive or non-significant economic impacts on retail and food service businesses abutting or within a short distance of the facilities.”