4 August 2019

passingtimeThe Indooroopilly Bikeway was headline news this week, with Council announcing updated plans for the complete link (stages 1 and 2), and revealing the full cost to be $58 million over the next 3 years. It’s important to keep that in context, as we discuss in our latest blog post. It’s a small investment compared to the money poured into widening roads to “bust congestion” (which we know does exactly the opposite), and will return big dividends to the community.

As various people worked themselves into a lather about the cost of Indooroopilly Bikeway we pointed out that it’s worth remembering that the busy Bicentennial Bikeway once looked like the ‘before’ image in this great shot from Passing Time. How many people do you think rode there in 1981? In 2018 it was around 1.3 million. Safe connections get used by people who want to cycle and walk – it’s the good side of induced demand.

cityhallWe has observers in Brisbane City Council when they finally returned from recess on Tuesday. The Public and Active Transport Committee heard a presentation on the Integrated Mass Transit Service Contract, then a number of petitions – one being a call to complete the missing sections of the riverside bikeway between Mowbray Park, East Brisbane and Cairns St, Kangaroo Point. Unfortunately that was rejected, even though it has been the subject of petitions from years, and is desperately needed for all the same reasons as the Indooroopilly Bikeway and more.

On Thursday, the Woollongabba Bikeway was officially opened by Deputy Mayor Councillor Krista Adams. Originally intended to complete the missing “Goodwill to Gabba” connection, this now not only provides a protected bikeway along Stanley St as far as Ipswich Rd, but also improved infrastructure along Annerley Rd – including a number of floating bus stops, and much wider on-road cycle lanes.

Gabba3It’s quite revolutionary for Brisbane, as it’s our first major protected cycleway along a main road. That makes it very visible, and invites people to jump on a bike (or a scooter) for transport where they may never have considered it before. Already we’re seeing the results in the diversity of people cycling this route.

Achieving a safe Goodwill to Gabba connection has taken more than a decade of advocacy, and sadly some strong words from the Coroner. Huge credit must go to Bicycle Queensland, who enlisted the help of a local consultancy firm to produce the detailed design that finally convinced Brisbane City Council this project was possible.

We’re celebrating! At the same time, we will unapologetically keep advocating for the improvements needed to make this fantastic new bikeway safer in all the details, and accessible from each end.

Elsewhere around the suburbs, Airport BUG kept us up to date with the latest progress on the North Brisbane Bikeway

…while over in the western suburbs, Chris from West BUG was excited to discover that the Centenary Bikeway had become a whole lot brighter on Thursday evening, with the lights switched on at the Witton Road S-bend, the Fig Tree Pocket Road approach, and the turnoff to Cliveden Park.

There was more exciting new stuff opened this week in Northgate, with the bridge at Elwyn St replacing the old narrow wooden footbridge. This is on a handy link to Northgate State School and Northgate Station, and a route used by commuters who work at Brisbane Airport.

On the weekend, Belinda from EaST BUG was joined by Doboy Ward councillor, Cr Lisa Atwood, for a ride – including the climb up Queensport Road which is a fair challenge for someone who hasn’t been on the bike for a while.

We checked out the Murarrie Recreation Reserve where Council is planning some major upgrades and new sports fields. Belinda was excited to hear of the possibility of a pump track or BMX track like those at Darra and Bracken Ridge. (Note to Dirtz!) She also made the case for some connections to make it easier to reach the reserve by bike – including a bridge across Bulimba Creek to Vane St, and a path along the front of the reserve so you can avoid the criterium track when that’s in use for racing by Balmoral Cycling Club.

Next, we set off to Murarrie Station, to check out the nasty corner of Murarrie and Queensport Roads (also in the pipeline for an upgrade); access to the station; and the forgotten bikeway along Bulimba Creek behind 197 Murarrie Rd.

After climbing Col de Queensport, we headed under the Gateway Bridge to check out another lost bikeway along the river at the end of the Metroplex Park. It’s only a short distance from there across to Colmslie Road, and it would provide a fantastic link to Colmslie Beach Reserve, and make it much easier for people to ride to work at some of the area’s largest employers, including Australian Country Choice.

A tour along the Bulimba Creek Bikeway to Minnippi Parklands was a chance to talk about options for connecting some of the disparate parts of Doboy and make it easier for people to reach destinations like the Cannon Hill Plaza and bus station by bike.

And that was only a small pocket of the ward… We’ll have to go again!

Cycling also gets the thumbs-up in Doboy from Labor’s candidate, Jo Culshaw, who Belinda spotted on Creek Rd on her way home. The area around Cannon Hill and Murrarie is within comfortable cycling distance from the CBD, but at the moment it’s only confident and committed cyclists who will take on routes like Wynnum and Creek Roads. For short local trips, cycling makes even more sense; but for that to be an option, we need better consideration for cyclists at most intersections, slower local streets, and good bike parking at destinations.

More from around the world

It has been a busy week on local issues, so we haven’t posted much from around the world this week. But this opinion piece from the UK resonated, especially the feeling that “New ideas – such as building cycleways – could not penetrate into council’s technical practice of designing for the car.”