27 June 2021

Brisbane City Council Budget

After listening to 9 hours of “budget information” sessions over a few days, we’re not sure we’re much better informed than we were before. What we know about investment in bikeways (yes, mostly shared paths) in Council’s 2021-2022 Budget:

$58.4 million for the Green Bridges program, which will see construction start on the CBD to Kangaroo Point, and Breakfast Creek green bridges. The underpass at Kangaroo Point is included in this program – but the timing of that is not clear.

$1.23 million for the Indooroopilly Riverwalk – for finalisation of reinstatement work (whatever that means exactly).

$9 million Active Travel Infrastructure Fund (which includes $5 million of funding from the federal and state governments). This covers 9 suburban bikeway projects, and $815,000 of Opex for “Enhancing bikeways”. We can’t quite make this add up, but it seems to be approximately made up of:

  • $70,000 Eastern corridor (we’re not clear what that refers to)
  • $125,000 North Brisbane Bikeway: Price St to Kedron Brook
  • $370,000 Kedron Brook Road – Noble St and Silvester St at Wilston
  • $1,350,000 Moreton Bay Cycleway (Viola Place connection)
  • $600,000 Norman Creek Bikeway (Hanlon Park) – which we understand is 50% funded by the Queensland Government
  • $280,000 Western Freeway Cycleway to Indooroopilly Riverwalk bikeway planning
  • $132,000 Joachim St shared path (connection to Veloway at Holland Park West)
  • $60,000 North Brisbane Bikeway: Nevin St to Robinson Rd
  • $450,000 Telegraph Rd to Hidden World Playground at Roghan Rd
  • $3,970,000 Minnippi Bikeway (Cannon Hill) – part or fully funded by Australian Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure grant
  • $1,200,000 Wakerley Bikeway (delivered with Chelsea and Rickertts intersection, with funding from the Australian Government)

Viola Place connection

The most exciting piece of information from Monday’s Council budget information session: Cr Murphy revealed that the Moreton Bay Cycleway connection from Schneider Road to Viola Place at Brisbane Airport has been allocated $1.35 million to proceed this year. Although money for this bikeway has been allocated in successive budgets since 2014, we are optimistic this time it will finally be constructed!

The Viola Place bikeway will provide a safe cycle connection from the Gateway Bridge Bikeway to the Brisbane Airport and on to the Kedron Brook Bikeway and Jim Soorley / Gateway North Bikeways.

Well done to Airport BUG who have worn themselves to the bone campaigning for this connection

Minnippi Bikeway

Why would EaST BUG be advocating for a path NOT to comply with the Austroads guidelines on best practice for building bikeways??

Well, in the case of the proposed “Minnippi Bikeway extension” behind the shopping centres at Cannon Hill, it’s because building a path with curves and sightlines optimal for a “high-speed” cycleway would require removal of around 100 trees (including mature trees known to be koala habitat) and have major impacts on the sensitive bushland that has been lovingly regenerated by Cannon Hill Bushcare volunteers.

This bikeway would be a great local link, and it’s something we’ve previously advocated for on the assumption it would follow the route of the existing access track. We appreciate the work of Council officers who have conducted detailed engineering investigations, and who we met with on site earlier this week to discuss the challenges—including the poor sight-lines at the Aldi corner, and the requirement for an easement over privately-owned land at the corner behind Bunnings.

We feel that a lower speed path supported by suitable engineering treatments is desirable here to preserve the ecology. We’ve also recommended concentrating first on the more straight forward sections of the path: connecting from Wynnum Rd into the shopping centre at the northern end of the Aldi carpark.

We hope the goodwill of all parties involved can lead to a good outcome which provides a quality recreational and utility cycling and walking path, while also preserving and enhancing our valuable urban bushland and precious wildlife.

Granard Road shared path

In state government news, here we are playing with scissors…

Thanks to Mark Bailey MP and Leeanne Enoch MP for inviting us along to open the Granard Road Cycleway. This provides a really useful connection between Oxley and Rocklea/Salisbury via the Ipswich Motorway Cycleway and this new link.

Look at that treatment of a constrained, blind corner. Does that remind you of anything on the Minnippi Bikeway??

A rubbish solution?

In Wooloowin, the line markings on Dickson St have been altered to make room for wheelie bins between the roadway and the North Brisbane Bikeway. This has meant that the kerbside parking space on the inbound side has been narrowed, and the few sections of on-road bike lane on that side have been removed. We don’t see that as a big loss; anyone who prefers to ride on the road inbound can still do so, and needs to stay in the lane well clear of opening car doors – as they did before. Meanwhile, riding on the North Brisbane Bikeway feels more comfortable with an additional 65cm buffer from oncoming traffic.

We asked our Facebook followers what they though. Most agreed – this solution is far from rubbish.

Suburban focus: Wakerley

From the eastern suburbs, EaST BUG report that a little connection has been filled in between Matthews Way and Isaacs Way in Wakerley. For years, this was just a little stub, and the signs pointing that way seemed ridiculous. The bikeway still doesn’t quite reach New Cleveland Rd, but it’s getting closer!

It would be great to also get the next missing piece to the north, from the end of the bikeway in connection from Taylor Place to Uhlman St.

Nearby, when the Wakerley District Sport Park was built on Manly Rd, we asked if the bikeway connection between Manly Rd and Dundee Cres could also include a link to nearby Demby Cres. We were a little disappointed when it was left out. It’s good to see a footpath connection has since been built at least. (Surely it would have been cheaper and less disruptive to include it originally though!)

Other News

Overseas, the Welsh Government has suspended all future road building plans as part of their commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“We need a shift away from spending money on projects that encourage more people to drive, and spend more money on maintaining our roads and investing in real alternatives that give people a meaningful choice.”

Welsh Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters

That is what leadership looks like!

Finally, our friend Ben—who you may remember as the cargo bike dad on our Big Push posters—is about to embark on a big ride even more challenging than removing kerbside car parking for a bike lane in the CBD! Ben is riding in the Simpson Desert Bike Challenge. Leaving the cargo bike at home, Ben is taking the fat bike which is more suited to the desert. Ben is also raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor on this ride. Good luck Ben, we know you will do well!