6 Dec 2020

We were wondering when construction on the CityLink Cycleway would finally start, so rolled down Elizabeth St to take a look on Tuesday evening – just in time to witness the birth of a protected bike lane!

We’ve been excitedly watching as the yellow kerbs are installed along Elizabeth St.

Check out the transformation of Exhibition St in Melbourne with a new protected cycleway! This was always a very intimidating place to ride, but is now suitable for anyone wanting to cycle to work or into the CBD for shopping, entertainment, etc. We look forward to being able to do something similar very soon on Elizabeth St in Brisbane!

Not too hot to ride

Brisbane has experienced a sweltering start to summer, but the heat hasn’t put people off cycling, with busy days recorded by the counters around Brisbane. By about 9pm Tuesday night there had been over 4,000 cycle trips past the counter at South Bank, over 700 on Annerley Rd, and almost that many on Lytton Rd, East Brisbane.

Victoria Park Vision

On Sunday, Brisbane City Council unveiled their final vision for Victoria Park. Our submission on the first draft of this vision emphasised the need for direct active transport connections between key routes and destinations at the edges of the park – including the North Brisbane Bikeway, Aberleigh Rd (the link to the northern suburbs and Enoggera Creek Bikeway), the Land Bridge, and QUT’s Kelvin Grove Campus. We’re pleased to see the updated concept plan appears to incorporate these suggestions. We like that it shows a direct cycling link from the Land Bridge to the North Brisbane Bikeway at Mosch’s Tunnel in the north-east corner of the park.

Victoria Bridge is going green at last!

From Victoria Park to Victoria Bridge: it’s finally becoming a green bridge (for public and active transport only)!! The Victoria Bridge will be closed to general motor vehicle traffic from 24 January 2021.

This has been planned as part of the Brisbane Metro project since back in 2016, but it has taken a long time to get here. Council has recently completed a number of intersection projects in the vicinity to facilitate drivers taking alternate routes, but we still expect to see a significant “traffic evaporation” effect as people are discouraged from using the CBD as a thoroughfare, and realise there are better alternatives to driving for most short inner-city trips.

If you’ve followed us for a few years, you’ll know it has been something of a battle to get a separated cycleway across the Victoria Bridge, and we’re delighted this is finally happening. We understand from Jonathan Sri, Councillor for The Gabba that a temporary cycleway will be installed on the bridge shortly after it is closed to motor vehicle traffic, and more permanent changes to the bridge will continue from there. Victoria Bridge and William St to Elizabeth St will then link in to become part of the CityLink Cycleway.

The bicycle wheels are finally turning in Brisbane!!

Green Bridges

Although it’s a busy time of year, please don’t miss the opportunity to find out more information and have a say on Council’s proposed green bridges between Toowong and West End, and St Lucia to West End.

Information sessions coming up:

  • Wednesday 9 December 2020 4-7pm St Lucia Bowls Club, 9 Carr Street, St Lucia
  • Thursday 10 December 2020 4-7pm South Brisbane Sailing Club, 68 Hill End Terrace, West End
  • Saturday 12 December 2020 9am-12 noon Toowong Rowing Club, 37 Keith Street, St Lucia

If you have a preference for one of the options presented, but don’t like some of the details (or lack of them), make sure you tell Council officers why that’s your preference, but what you think needs to be included/excluded/changed for it to work in practice. (eg. Expanding green space rather than reducing it; ensuring there are frequent connecting buses including in the evenings; improving footpaths and road crossings; etc.)

We’ve captured our thoughts about the options proposed for a walking and cycling bridge connecting St Lucia to West Endcheck it out on our blog.

We hope to do something similar shortly for the proposed bridge between West End and Toowong, so keep a look-out for that.

Going Loopy

Does anyone else hate maps that don’t put north at the top?? (Is this a First World Problem?)

The River Loop wayfinding signage has been installed, but those of us who are Upright Mappers might be left scratching our heads. Or standing on them…

Also, some of the “to city” and “from city” directions seem a bit strange, not least because it’s… well… a loop.

Centenary Cycleway at Sumners Rd

West BUG provided another exciting progress report – this time from the Centenary Cycleway at Sumners Rd.

The connection on the southern side of Sumners Rd is now open, and you can almost touch the tunnel from there! (Note there’s still some way to go on the northern side before that’s open for use though). When completed, this will shave 700m and a sometimes long wait at the traffic lights at Dandenong Road, saving up to 5 minutes on a trip along the cycleway.

Chris from Brisbane West BUG deserves a lot of credit for ensuring this excellent cycling connection was included in the Sumners Rd interchange project; as does Jess Pugh MP, Member for Mount Ommaney.

Cross River Rail

We also have some good news to report from a meeting we had with the Cross River Rail delivery team:

Firstly, the path through Victoria Park on the eastern side of the rail line between the Land Bridge and Bowen Bridge Rd will re-open ‘towards the end of next week’, as the sewer relocation work there has now been completed.

Also, the Grammar Path (from the College Rd underpass, behind the Grammar Schools to the Land Bridge) is about to be closed again for 2 months, BUT this time the detour along College Rd and Gregory Tce will take a lane/parking spaces and create a separated bikeway, protected by barriers from motor vehicle traffic. This will be in place over the school holidays (until 24 January). Thanks to the Cross River Rail team for taking onboard our (strong) feedback from last time the Grammar Path had to be closed.

(Sorry about the poor quality map image – we’ll update when we have more details.)

North Brisbane Bikeway

As stage 4 of the North Brisbane Bikeway gets tantalisingly close to completion, Brisbane North BUG have been out chatting to people about what the final connection—extending it all the way to Eagle Junction—would mean to them.

Ben: it’s all about convenient transport

For Ben it’s all about convenient transport; being able to ride with his family and feel safe. Ben can’t drive because of a medical condition, so he uses his bikes to get everywhere from his home in Kedron. Ben is one of the thousands of people hoping they will soon be able to travel safely to the city by bicycle from northern Brisbane.

‘It would mean, because I can’t drive, that I can get to and from the city without having to ride on roads’

Ben, Kedron

As if to emphasise the need for Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government to move quickly on the All the Way to EJ link, when Ben and his family were riding home from our photo shoot, they were close-passed on Shaw Road by a motorist leaning on their horn.

Ben says getting around by bike is much more convenient than public transport. He can be in the CBD from Kedron in 30 minutes, which is a fraction of the time it takes to get there by bus, once you include walking time at each end of the trip. But it will be so much safer when the bike route connects.

Rachael wants affordable transport, and access to study opportunities

Rachel says a safe, connected bikeway to the CBD from Nundah would give her much better options for affordable transport. She’s hoping governments will act soon to fill the gap in the bikeway network at Eagle Junction, which has already affected her choice of where to study.

Rachel has been patiently waiting for the bikeway link since 2012, when she started a three-year degree at Queensland College of Art at Southbank. When she began working and volunteering in the CBD (and later West End/South Bank) a few years later, she wanted to save money on public transport because she was no longer eligible for concession fares and didn’t have a high income.

Now, returning to university to complete a teaching degree, she has enrolled at Australian Catholic University at Banyo rather than study in the city or south side.

‘I chose ACU because of the proximity and ability to save money on transport fares, especially as I am not a full time student who is eligible for a concession card.’

Rachel

Cycling in the Media

Thanks to Dr Angus for highlighting the issue that government funding at all levels facilitates cars at any cost and drivers think they own the road.

“We’ve got a car culture, we worship at the altar of the private motor vehicle … It’s like the sky is falling in the moment you even talk about doing anything differently here.”

Dr Daniel Angus

Poor driver attitudes, and the resulting dangerous behaviour we see far too often in Australia is encouraged and condoned by a system that prioritises the convenience of driving ahead of safe, liveable cities and suburbs.

Of course, for some perverse reason, any time there is a positive story about cycling, our dominant media organisation seems to find the need to counter it with some complete rubbish. That was certainly the case with Brisbane’s daily tabloid paper today this week. We recommend you don’t click on it or react to those sorts of stories. These types of pieces are designed to inflame controversy to generate attention and advertising revenue. The “debate” you end up having online is likely either with a deliberate troll or a bot. The publishing source is not concerned with accurately portraying the original ‘issue’, or that the ensuing comments normalise anti-social behaviour and traumatise survivors of abuse and violence. Don’t get drawn in.

For some fun instead, check out this classic: “The terrible journalist’s guide to writing an article about bicycles“. It’s more accurate and more thoroughly researched than the Courier Mail article.

But if you’re not a terrible journalist, and would like to read something more informed about cycling, check out this good article from Canada on protected bike lanes, and why they matter. “This is not about a war on cars, it’s about rethinking how we care for each other.”

Finally, with plenty of social gatherings at this time of year, perhaps you have that earnest but annoying family member or work acquaintance who has suddenly had the original thought: “cyclists should have to be licenced and pay registration“. Here’s a handy guide from Bicycle NSW to help you calmly handle the situation without spoiling the Christmas cheer.