30 August 2020

Road Safety Week

This week was Queensland Road Safety Week, and our thoughts are with those who have lost a loved one or suffered trauma on the roads. The StreetSmarts campaign  encouraged people to “sign up” for road safety, putting the emphasis on individual behaviours. But we think it’s also important to highlight the role the road system – and the road managers – play in ensuring safety on the roads. Read more about it our latest blog post.

State Election Campaign

AndrewAmandaCooperOn the weekend, Andrew from Brisbane North BUG went for a ride with Amanda Cooper, LNP candidate for the Aspley Electorate. Amanda has previously served as the Councillor for Bracken Ridge Ward, and as Chair of Council’s Infrastructure Committee. On the ride today they talked about the benefits of getting shorter trips out of cars and back to active transport. They discussed the LNPs plan for the Gympie and Beams Rd overpass and how the current road configuration cuts Carseldine in half. On the ride Andrew stressed the importance of having a bicycle network that is connected – something apparent when riding along the Little Cabbage Tree Bikeway near the Aspley Shopping Centre: it’s close but not connected!

BerkmanMichael Berkman, Greens MP for Maiwar, is a regular cyclist, including riding to work at Parliament House when he can. This week he joined Chris for a ride around the Maiwar electorate this week.

They started at Archer Street, Toowong near the old ABC site, which is back on the market and which we agree would make an ideal landing spot for a bike and pedestrian bridge from West End. It could also provide the perfect opportunity to reroute the Bicentennial Bikeway away from a number of driveways and the tricky Archer Street crossing.

Sylvan Rd is a weak link between two of Brisbane’s best bikeways, and it was a pleasure to get off it and on to a proper dedicated cycleway along the Western Freeway – including the bridge over Moggill Rd which was built with “left-overs” from the Legacy Way road project.

With all the talk about widening the Jindalee Bridge this election, Chris pointed out that the Fig Tree Pocket Road interchange causes most of the outbound congestion in the afternoon, and that the inadequate path across the bridge could be fixed as part of an interchange upgrade.

Michael agrees that the only way to bust congestion is through mode shift – get more people to leave the car at home and use active and public transport. To achieve that, we need more than the 1% of funding for cycling compared to the road budget, and more public transport infrastructure, like bus ways.

BerkmanRideChris and Michael also took a moment to discuss the Ambrose Treacy College master plan and how that fits (or doesn’t) with a future stage of the Indooroopilly Bikeway connecting the Centenary Cycleway to the under-construction Riverwalk. Chris noted that the college plans referred to current levels of school travel, which had limited cycling and walking, and that the plans were built around that mode share continuing, with no active travel infrastructure added (indeed the traffic impact assessment doesn’t even mention the Riverwalk), but a big drop and go zone where the next stage of the Indooroopilly Bikeway would be most suitable to run on Witton Road. Build for cars, you get cars. From there, it was time for a spin on Radnor Street, which isn’t for the faint of heart but this time next year (give or take a few months) will be a dream with Council’s Riverwalk project, before finishing at Michael’s electorate office in Indooroopilly.

CharisMullenLast week, Chris headed out to dusty Springfield (pun intended) to meet Charis Mullen MP, State Member for Jordan. Springfield is an excellent example of a greenfield development with ever improving quality of infrastructure for cycling. The latest sections around the new sports complex and Spring Mountain are a standout, with separated cycleways and priority crossings.

CaroleParkConnectionWhile most of Jordan is outside Brisbane City, the extension of the Centenary Cycleway into Springfield is something that riders in Brisbane West BUG are keen to see come to fruition. Charis has been working with TMR over her first term in parliament looking at the entire cycling corridor from the Ipswich Motorway at Darra to Springfield Central.
That’s a big, and expensive undertaking, so Chris highlighted that the section between Julie Road at the end of the Centenary Cycleway, across the Logan Motorway to the shared path at Addison Road is the highest priority. That would enable cyclists to bypass busy, industrial Boundary Road and Cobalt Street, reducing 3km off a trip and enable better connectivity between the Forest Lake and Springfield communities.

Advocacy Win at Dutton Park!

This week we celebrated a win for advocacy: New plans have been lodged for the intersection of Gladstone Rd, TJ Doyle Memorial Drive, and the new road created as part of construction of the Inner City South State Secondary College at Dutton Park. The plans now have protected cycle tracks (protected one-way cycleways) on each side of Gladstone Rd through the intersection and past the school on the northern side. Riders doing the River Loop will be able to cycle up TJ Doyle Memorial Drive and turn left into Gladstone Rd without having to stop at the lights at the top. The slip lanes – which we know are bad news for pedestrians – are gone.

DuttonPark1

This looks like a really good result (although we’re still a little wary about the signal timings). We want to thank everyone behind the scenes in TMR and Council who have worked together on this, and to every one of you who signed our petition and made submissions to get this on the agenda. We also acknowledge the help from local councillor Jonathan Sri, Councillor for The Gabba, state member Jackie Trad MP, and support from Bicycle Queensland and Cycling Queensland.

Details can be found under application A005521080 in PDOnline.

Green Bridges

On Tuesday, Council’s Public and Active Transport Committee heard a presentation on the green bridges at Kangaroo Point and Breakfast Creek. The message from East BUG about the Kangaroo Point Bridge is bring it on! But don’t wait to build the connections at the Kangaroo Point end. Even without the bridge, they’re needed now! (Just ask Brenda Bones who has been waiting at Brisbane Airport for a connection from the Gateway Bridge Bikeway since 2010!)

Consultation is now open on the reference design for the CBD to Kangaroo Point bridge. You can have your say online and/or by attending one of the information sessions.

KPbridge

We’re excited that serious planning for this bridge is finally under way! It will cut up to 3km off a trip from the eastern suburbs to the CBD, Botanical Gardens and QUT. Of particular interest to East BUG are the connections at the eastern end. They suggest including in your feedback:

  • The underpass shouldn’t wait until the bridge is completed; it’s badly needed now!!
    Similarly the crossing over Main St.
  • Stairs and a lift up from CT White Park sound good, but we’d also like to see a rideable ramp. The terrain doesn’t appear too steep to support this – after all, people already ride up to the top of Thornton St which is steeper.
  • Council needs to urgently improve Deakin St, and the connection to Shafston Ave. Again, this shouldn’t wait for the bridge. It’s particularly urgent with plans now approved for a supermarket at the corner with Ferry St.

New Farm Park

We’re continuing calls to remove cars from New Farm Park. If the ‘ring road’* was not choked with cars, perhaps it would look more like the loop around Hawthorne Park? Once home to the Balmoral Cycling Club (and you can still see remnants of the banked track), you can still cycle around Hawthorne Park, but not fast – and you wouldn’t want to. Now it’s full of local families getting fit, having fun, and creating fabulous memories. Every suburb should have a park like this!

Sign up to free New Farm Park from the cars.

* Note the ‘road’ in New Farm Park is not a gazetted road. Its status is only the same as the path in Hawthorne Park. It could easily be returned to a space for people to enjoy.

For those concerned that removing cars from the park would exclude older people, here’s a good reminder from the folk at Modacity: Dutch seniors (65+) make 28% of their trips by pedal power. For physically impaired people, it’s 16%. The only “ageist” and “anti-disabled” transport policies are ones that mandate the ability to own and operate a costly and complex machine to be a functioning member of society.

Bikeway works and closures

One path opens, another gets squeezed: There was good news this week for those accessing the CBD from the north; work on the retaining wall beneath the Grammar Path is finished, and the path is now fully open again.

However, at Queens Wharf there are restrictions ahead, as work moves upstream along the Bicentennial Bikeway. The path between the North Quay Ferry Terminal and the Queens Wharf site will be restricted to 3m (shared with pedestrians) from next month until late 2021.

QueensWharfWorks

There’s good news at Nudgee: remediation work has finally started on the Jim Soorley Bikeway. The path is closed until November, with the detour being via the Gateway North Bikeway. How great it is to have alternative routes available?!

However, at the same time there are also works happening on Nudgee Rd opposite the golf club, so look out for daytime diversions, and a temporary path there if you’re continuing north on Nudgee Rd.

Squeeze on the Waterfront

Well done to Brisbane CBD BUG whose submission on Dexus‘s planned development at Eagle St attracted the attention of the Courier Mail. As Donald has pointed out, the proposed 6m wide shared path along the river front risks creating another conflict zone like Howard Smith Wharves. This makes it unsafe for the thousands of people who rely on the path to cycle to work (or increasingly, travel by e-scooter) and opens the door to years of angst. A smart design solution would preserve the role of the riverfront path as a through route for continuous (not fast) cycling, and also make it comfortable for people strolling, relaxing, and just hanging out enjoying the view without fear of stepping into the path of someone cycling, scooting, or jogging. Dexus brought out expert consultants from the US to meet with us back in 2018, but appear to have then ignored the best advice.

Brisbane CBD BUG and Bicycle Queensland are working together on a response.

Ipswich Motorway Cycleway Opens

The Ipswich Motorway Upgrade team were a bit coy on Thursday when we rang to ask when the cycleway would be open… But on Friday, there it was!!

(The connection through to Granard Rd is not open yet, so you still have to brave the Ipswich Rd service road for a bit, plus the underpass at Oxley Creek is still to come.)

Around Australia

MelbourneGo Melbourne! From Bike Melbourne on Twitter, we saw concrete barriers being installed to create a protected bikeway along the southern end of William St and through the “S-bend” to Queens Bridge St. Anyone familiar with this area might remember there used to be a worse-than-useless painted green strip that delivered you straight into the back of parked cars, and cycling through the s-bend took confidence and courage.

There are so many places this treatment would make a huge difference in Brisbane without restricting “traffic flow” in any way. We’re really looking forward to the CityLink Cycleway, but still think Brisbane City Council could be far more bold and ambitious beyond that. We could have a good, functional network of protected cycleways in inner Brisbane (the area most needing relief from congestion) with a few simple screw-in barriers and the political will to decide that allowing thousands of people to take up healthy transport options is better value than on-street car parking. Here are our suggested “COVID response routes” from back in May:

CovidResponse

In NSW, not stopping with the first 10km of pop-up protected cycleways in central Sydney, Transport for NSW are now moving on to Stage 2 which will see another 20km installed through 8 council areas: Bayside, City of Sydney, Inner West, North Sydney, Parramatta, Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra. They are focused on connecting journeys and encouraging more people to ride bikes in areas where buses and trains are crowded and people are concerned about spreading infection. Of course the legacy of getting more people taking healthy, non-polluting transport will outlast the pandemic.

Other News

We joined in with Bicycle Network‘s #ParkitForThePlanet Day on Wednesday 26 August. Chris reckons it’s easy to leave the car at home for shopping trips – it’s amazing what you can carry in panniers or a basket. Belinda’s car is parked almost permanently in the carport; taking the bike is easier, cheaper, and much more convenient to park.

You can contribute to the #FightForPlanetA and swap short car trips for trips by bike when you can!

WarmBikeWith renewed concern about COVID-19 in the community, and a restriction on gatherings – even outdoors – we won’t be meeting for our usual Tuesday Slow Rolls for the moment. So we’re inviting you to show us photos from your commute or trip around the block instead.

Also, a shout out to our followers in Melbourne who are in the midst of strict lockdown restrictions. Sending you warm thoughts.

For inspiration from the Big Apple, check out the Miracle on 34th Avenue. During the pandemic in New York City, residents took control of the public space in their neighbourhood, opening the street for people. It will be hard to go back!