31 Jan 2021

Woohoo, the first stage of the CityLink Cycleway is open – the length of Elizabeth Street. Check it out!

After more than five years campaigning for protected cycleways in the CBD, we felt the first stage of the CityLink Cycleway along Elizabeth St was worth celebrating. So on Friday evening we went along to cut the ribbon on it.

Thanks to everyone who signed our petition (almost 3,000 of you), sent a postcard to the Lord Mayor, contacted their local councillor, and came on one of our “Big Push” rides or slow rolls through the CBD. Now Brisbane has the start of a protected inner city cycle network. Let’s keep the momentum rolling!

We also had some more information from Council’s Chair of Public and Active Transport, Cr Ryan Murphy, on the next stages: Edward St is due to open in February, and William St and Victoria Bridge to Grey St, South Brisbane in March. Brisbane is beginning to transform!

Victoria Bridge is free of cars

In the meantime, we’ve been enjoying being able to cycle across Victoria Bridge without fear of being harassed by drivers, or having to squeeze along the busy footpath. Removing general traffic from this bridge is a small but significant step toward a CBD that is less choked with cars. We love it!

Note: we understand that cycling will have to be restricted again while the permanent cycleway is constructed, but we’re looking forward to riding along the new separated path by April.

North Brisbane Bikeway officially opens

In another milestone for cycling advocacy, on Thursday afternoon, Minister Mark Bailey MP officially opened Stage 4 of the North Brisbane Bikeway. It was great to be joined by a number of people who have advocated for more than a decade for a safe cycling route to Brisbane’s northern suburbs.

The North Brisbane Bikeway is a fantastic facility, which creates a route suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Already there are new people riding who would not have made this journey last year. And those of us who used to fear being squeezed off the road along Dickson St can now take the bend at Wooloowin Station with a happy smile!

This sets the standard for what we’d like to see all over Brisbane, so people have the option to leave the car at home, and make a more convenient, healthy and environmentally friendly transport choice. Try it – you’ll be smiling too!

Also, a reminder that when the plans for the North Brisbane Bikeway were first circulated, some people predicted the residents of Fraser St, Wooloowin would object to their street being made into a cul-de-sac. In fact, not only did the Fraser St residents support the bikeway plan, but residents in other nearby streets asked if theirs could be closed to through traffic also.

Where would you rather live: on Fraser St as a short-cut for a steady stream of traffic, or the version where your kids can learn to ride bikes?

As Brisbane City Council contemplates the next stage of the North Brisbane Bikeway to connect up to Kedron Brook, it’s important to remember that much of the outrage reported on behalf of local residents is either out of proportion, out of context, or completely false.

Back to School

Speaking of children; if yours are back at school this week—or perhaps attending school for the first time—are you giving them the best opportunity to succeed? Studies have found that kids who cycle or walk to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, perform measurably better on tasks demanding concentration, and that the effects last for up to four hours after they arrive at school.

Too often the issue preventing families from allowing their kids to cycle or walk to school is fear of the road environment they will encounter on the way. 30% or more of the traffic they might interact with during the journey is other parents driving their kids to school.

So what’s the answer to break the vicious cycle of parents driving their children to school out of fear of other parents driving their own children? School streets – where no-one is permitted to drive on that street at the start and end of the school day.

It’s an idea taking off in cities around the world. It’s cheap, simple, and surprisingly popular once people have had a chance to experience how well it works.

Go Between Bridge

We were really disturbed to hear that someone on a bike fell down the stairs from the pedestrian walkway over the Go Between Bridge last weekend. We hope he will be OK. Obviously this could have been incredibly serious.

The stairs have now been barricaded off while the detour—which directs cyclists to this side of the bridge—is in place.

This incident underscores the importance of correct usage of “cyclists dismount” signs as set out in the Manual of uniform traffic control devices (MUTCD):

  • these signs should be used to mark a specific hazard (not, for example, just an attempt to slow people down; speed signs exist for that purpose).
  • the use should be temporary until the hazard can be removed. (In this case until the work is finished and the detour no longer necessary).
  • the sign should be accompanied by a supplementary sign identifying the hazard – e.g. Staircase ahead.

Creek St and Ann St intersection

On a more positive note, although perhaps more relevant to walking than cycling, we congratulate Brisbane City Council for recent improvements to the intersection of Ann St and Creek St in the CBD. The dangerous slip lane has been removed, and the pedestrian crossing distance has been shortened, with more room to wait.

We’re always happy to see improvements which make the city more hospitable for people, rather than cars. We also note that these changes would make it easier to implement a protected cycleway along Ann St which would be a perfect complement to the new one on Elizabeth St…

Farewell Gregory Tce pop-up protected bikeway

The Grammar Path (behind Brisbane Girls Grammar School) reopened on Monday 25 January. Sadly that meant the traffic and parking changes on Gregory Terrace and College Road required to establish the temporary cycling path were also removed. We were a little sad to see the end of this pop-up protected cycleway, but hopefully the lessons learned here can be applied in future construction projects.

Work by Cross River Rail to relocate the sewer main will be ongoing within Victoria Park until April 2021, so please take care when riding through.

Sandgate Road tunnel at Nundah

There was more good news from the north side, this time from Nundah where the cycling ban has now been lifted on Sandgate Rd through the tunnel. It’s not exactly 8-to-80 cycling, but for those people who are prepared to ride on Sandgate Rd, being shunted off into the chaotic commercial centre of Nundah Village was pretty unsatisfactory. Well done to Department of Transport and Main Roads for taking a sensible policy direction here.

Veloway at O’Keefe St and Carl St

With money allocated and approved in this year’s budget to start “Veloway 1 (V1) Cycleway, O’Keefe Street, construct cycle bridge and approaches“, we’re really keen for an announcement about the plans and schedule. The number of people using the Veloway has taken off as each new section has opened, while at the same time, traffic in and out of Carl St has increased with new development in the area. The cross-over feels like a disaster waiting to happen…

Back in 2015, we proposed that the Carl St intersection be made a priority crossing—similar to those recently implemented on the North Brisbane Bikeway—but Brisbane City Council would have none of it. Now we’re just holding our breath; the overpass can’t come soon enough!