26 Dec 2021

Christmas reflections

Merry Christmas! We’re looking forward to a year of unwrapping great projects that create comfortable space for cycling wherever you live, work, and relax in Brisbane.

Three years ago we wrote a Christmas song with our top priorities for each day of Christmas. This year we’re reflecting on how far we’ve come, and how much work is still to do to create safe and comfortable space for cycling in Brisbane.

Cycling as socialism??

As highlighted in this excellent article from Momentum Magazine, “Bicycles are a sure way to create awesome green jobs and help main street businesses thrive. Not to mention, more people cycling is likely to lead to a healthier and happier local population.”

Sadly, Brisbane still hasn’t progressed beyond “the suggestion of giving up street parking spaces for bicycles [being] enough to generate a deafening roar of bike-riding pinko rhetoric”.

Speaking of “bike-riding pinko rhetoric”, have a listen to Brisbane’s Lord Mayor in this video, in which Comrade Coxy takes a look at how to create safer, more liveable neighbourhoods with one simple, non-radical idea which is revolutionising cities and suburbs around the world:

Mowbray Park Vision

This week, Brisbane City Council released the final concept plan for an upgrade of Mowbray Park in East Brisbane. Our thoughts:

1) We like that the riverside area with shady trees in the corner closest to the ferry terminal will be returned to parkland. This always seemed to be wasted on cars.

2) Using the open space in the south-west corner (which was bowling greens years ago) for car-parking instead is a good option if the space *must* have car parking.

3) We acknowledge the lack of indoor community venues in Brisbane’s inner east, but don’t think the old East Brisbane Bowls Club club house has any particular architectural merit. We will certainly not be sad to see the end of the creepy undercroft and the driveway which opens abruptly onto the bikeway.

4) We don’t think the plan adequately addresses the cycling desire-line through the park from the north-west corner – where the riverwalk will hopefully soon connect (it’s already a decade overdue) – to the Lytton Road cycleway heading east.

5) We’re disappointed not to see our suggestion adopted to create a priority crossing for the bikeway over Park Ave – which is a minor side street crossing a major arterial bikeway.

6) As previously highlighted, the situation for pedestrians (and cyclists) wanting to cross Lytton Rd to reach Mowbray Park is appalling – it can take more than 5 minutes to wait the multiple sets of traffic lights necessary to cross the road. It’s little wonder people take their chances crossing between the intersections, and we fear it is only a matter of time before that ends badly. It’s time to stop trying to “fix” peak-hour congestion, and ensure people can safely access local facilities like parks, shops, and public transport!

SE Freeway Bikeway

In Tarragindi: interestingly the upgraded SE Freeway Bikeway re-joins Sunshine Ave a little west of the previous entrance – approximately opposite Gerard St. We can only assume that is due to the trees in the vicinity, as it adds a small amount of additional elevation to the trip.

Early this week we commented that we hoped the concrete would be set and the lights and landscaping completed in time for the Christmas break.

We were happy to discover on Boxing Day that although there’s still work to do to finish the landscaping, the path is now open and in use. Thanks to the team for getting it to this stage before the summer holiday break.

Active Travel for Annerley

Last Sunday, John from South BUG met with a number of Annerley residents taking the initiative to investigate ways in which protected cycling infrastructure could be implemented on busy Annerley Road. It was great seeing members of the community taking this proactive step with hopes to develop a proposal to put forward to Council.

Their goal is to have the protected cycle lanes on Annerley Road and Gladstone Rd extend towards Annerley Junction. This would also connect UQ and the new high school to the PA Hospital and further to the Annerley shopping district. This initial suggestion in the local community group was met with a lot of support, with many people people riding bicycles or using personal mobility devices.

On the day the group looked at where under-utilised space could be adjusted to create bike lanes, while some suggestions included realigning the Cornwall Street entry to the current signalised exit. This would improve safety for those wanting to continue up Annerley Road just after the rail bridge and result in just one crossing/intersection.

They have formed a group to discuss and share their thoughts called Active Travel for Annerley. We look forward to seeing what ideas these local residents can come up with.

Casual bike parking at RBWH

Covid-19 cases are currently increasing quite quickly in Queensland but that also means increasing numbers of people want to get tested. Not everyone has a car, and on Tuesday a CBD BUG member reports riding to the RBWH to get a PCR test (happily negative) so as to avoid having to catch a bus. When they arrived, they were unable to locate any casual racks near the main entrance so locked their bike to a railing.

During the 2020 state election Grace Grace MP promised to have to casual bike racks installed at the RBWH main entrance. 2021 has been a year of ups and downs but it was hoped that the bike racks would have been installed before now.

Being able to ride to a testing point is a way for people to access testing while minimizing their exposure to others but they need somewhere to secure their bike!

Western Suburbs Highlights

As we reach the end of another strange year (let’s not use the word unprecedented ever again…), West BUG have reflected on what’s happened in active transport in the west. It has been a year marked with high quality infrastructure being opened on that side of town:

On April 14, the Sumners Road Interchange Project opened, including the Centenary Cycleway tunnel finally bypassing the old detour to Dandenong Road. Chris had spent many years advocating for this solution, so it was fitting he got to cut the ribbon.

On June 6, the Indooroopilly Riverwalk opened. West BUG joined over 50 people to ride to the event, and while we had some access issues to actually use the riverwalk to get to the event at the other end, it was a magic day and is a fantastic bit of kit. Now we wait for the connection to the Centenary Bikeway to be completed.

On June 25, the Granard Road Shared Path was opened, completing the Ipswich Motorway Bikeway from Bunnings Oxley to Bunnings Rocklea. OK, it wasn’t intended just to be a Bunnings link, but it’s useful for getting your bearings. The Ipswich Motorway bikeway also included an upgraded underpass at Oxley Creek, a bidirectional cycleway from Oxley Creek to Granard Road, and kilometres of new shared paths. Now we wait for the next stage of the Ipswich Motorway upgrade between Darra and Oxley to connect the Ipswich Motorway and Centenary Cycleways.

This year we also saw Brisbane City Council settle on the locations for the St Lucia to West End and Toowong to West End Green Bridges, and the opening of the CityLink Cycleway in the CBD.

Sadly, on September 27 we recognised 10 years since Richard Pollett’s death on Moggill Road. We have been working with TMR on a study to explore solutions to make Moggill Road safe for cycling, and we hope to have some results from that exercise early in 2022.

Thanks for all your support throughout 2021. We have so much more to achieve in 2022 and beyond, so if your New Year’s Resolution is to get involved and give back to the community, and this is your passion, hit us up!

Have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year, and may your rides be filled with festive joy.