The big news this week was the release of final plans for the Woolloongabba Bikeway. While a little disappointed that our recommendations addressing the preliminary plans were not included, overall we are excited that this significant project will finally get underway, making it possible to ride from the CBD and South Bank to the Gabba Stadium on a protected bikeway, and adding long overdue safety improvements to Annerley Rd, which has tragically been Brisbane’s deadliest road for the past decade.
This comes in the same week Stanley St through East Brisbane was reported as Brisbane’s most congested road, so it was good to see a positive editorial in The Courier Mail, highlighting the value of protected cycleways as vital assets for a modern city.
On another significant project, representatives from Brisbane North BUG and Airport BUG met with staff from the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Brisbane City Council for an update on the delivery of Stages 2 and 3 of the long-awaited North Brisbane Bikeway.
On Friday, Jane and Stella joined the students from West End State School on the National Ride to School Day ride from Orleigh Park to their school in Jane St; describing the event with the kids aged 4-12 as “an overload of cuteness on two wheels”.
In other news, it rained quite a lot this week, which of course made the surface on the Goodwill Bridge treacherous. It made the news again with quotes from CBD BUG’s Donald Campbell.
In the CBD, there was an announcement of a $1.4 billion project to revitalise Eagle St Pier. Part of the proposal includes closing Eagle Street to traffic, which may present an opportunity for protected cycle lanes. Also, we hope the revamp of the riverfront might include an extension of the successful River Walk approach used at New Farm and proposed at the corner of Edward and Alice Street connecting the existing boardwalk to the Botanic Gardens.
In Council’s meeting this week, City Planning Chairman Cr Julian Simmonds made some disappointing remarks when discussing the Kangaroo Point Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan, claiming that any plan to give road space to people on bikes was a plot to force people out of their cars.
In the east, we reported on a disappointing outcome for cyclists in Council’s plans for an “upgrade” to the intersection of Meadowlands and Belmont Roads in Belmont. This is an important node in the cycle network in the area, but the design clearly hasn’t been done from the perspective of someone travelling by bicycle, and EaST BUG have raised the issue with Cr Adrian Schrinner (Chandler Ward) and Cr Ryan Murphy (Doboy Ward)
In better news from West BUG, Chris reported back from a very productive meeting with Cr Kate Richards who had clearly done her homework on issues for cycling in her ward of Pullenvale.
On this week’s Tuesday night Slow Roll, we noticed a bollard egg on at the entrance to Kurilpa Point Park (behind GOMA). By the weekend it had hatched, with a beautiful new bollard standing tall to protect against another drunken rider taking a scenic drive along the boardwalk.
Around Australia and the World
People around the world are waking up to the case for investment in protected cycle lanes – even if you don’t ride a bike yourself. This great info-graphic from Dr Elliot Fishman makes the point quite eloquently based on the emissions and public space requirements of different transport modes.
However, as noted in mainstream Australian media this week, walking and cycling are short-changed in our cities, and Brisbane rates behind even the low standards set by the larger capitals of Sydney and Melbourne.
We were rather envious to read the commitment from the Chairman of Auckland Transport to overcoming that city’s car-dependent culture by re-allocating street space to accommodate efficient modes of transport, changing street environments to slow traffic, and prioritising the safety of more vulnerable people (including older people, children, and all those walking and riding bikes) .
We also posted an interesting interview from the lead author of the research underpinning the documentary “Why We Cycle” (which had its Australian Premier at our Brisbane Bicycle Film Festival last week), discussing the importance of travel as a social experience – made possible when travelling by bicycle – and its contribution to the fabric of society.