- Public eBikes are coming
- Indooroopilly Riverwalk
- Cultural Centre Riverwalk
- Go Between Bridge
- Queens Wharf Road
- Howard Smith Wharves
- Kangaroo Point Green Bridge connections
- Green Bridges to West End
- Green Bridge to Bulimba
- North Brisbane Bikeway drainage
- Kedron Brook Bikeway improvements
- The problem with Morningside
- An issue in Norman Park
- Old Cleveland Road, Carina
- Indooroopilly School woes
- No more left turn on red
Public eBikes are coming
After attending Council’s committee meetings on Tuesday morning, we happened upon some breaking news: eBikes from Beam and Neuron are coming to Brisbane streets from 22 July.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Cr Ryan Murphy took scooters to the media announcement of the new e-bike and scooter contracts. But we found it ironic that they had to ride from City Hall to Reddacliff Place on the footpath. Victoria Bridge and the CityLink Cycleway are fabulous, but there are still plenty of missing links… Like George St….
Meanwhile, it was “Straight to the pool room!” for one piece of Brisbane cycling history. Pat admitted he had never ridden a CityCycle before last Saturday night, when he won a retired bike in our raffle at the Brisbane Bicycle Film Night. It went home with him… to Mt Gravatt… (How? Did anyone spot Pat spinning south along the Veloway on Saturday evening?? 😍). Thanks to Cr Ryan Murphy for arranging this fun prize.
But even bigger news this week was the opening of the Indooroopilly Riverwalk, with connects from Witton Barracks Park, and Lambert St, Indooroopilly to Twigg St.
Indooroopilly was certainly the place to be on Sunday, with a huge crowd rolling up to check out the new riverwalk. As Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner pointed out in his opening speech, the original plan was to deliver the riverwalk in two stages, starting at the western end. But the community (including us) demanded that it be built as one project, connecting all the way to through to Witton Barracks Park. Going by the response at the opening, that was definitely the correct decision!
Indeed, opening new bikeways seems to be a pretty popular thing to do. We think the Lord Mayor should do it more often….
After the crowd had thinned a bit, we rolled down to check it out—including the entry from Riverview Tce, mid-way along. Our verdict: it’s a winner! An impressive piece of engineering, which is not only practical, but has some amazing views.
Cultural Centre Riverwalk
Speaking of riverwalks, we were excited to discover on Thursday evening that the Cultural Centre Riverwalk (between the Kurilpa Bridge and Victoria Bridge) which had been closed for rehabilitation works since September last year, was back in action. We’ve missed it!!
Go Between Bridge
The news wasn’t so positive regarding the GoBetween Bridge though. The bike side was closed again this week to complete a final top-coat. And then it rained. Hopefully by the time you are reading this, it is fully open again!
Queens Wharf Road
Back in 2016, we met with the developers of the casino resort at Queens Wharf to protest their full closure of Queens Wharf Road for 7 years during construction. We argued that it was a critical connection from the Bicentennial Bikeway to the CBD, and that it could be kept open as a ramp for people walking and cycling by installing concrete or water-filled barriers separating the path from trucks entering the site that way.
Unfortunately our concerns were dismissed, with cyclists relegated to the lift or the tight switch-back ramp on the upstream side of Victoria Bridge. Now the lift seems to be having major reliability issues, and the ramp doesn’t connect at all well to the CityLink Cycleway on William/Elizabeth St or on the Victoria Bridge.
Hopefully the analysis of the CityLink Cycleway usage will take into account how incredibly difficult it is to access from the Bicentennial Bikeway—especially while the lift is out.
Howard Smith Wharves
On the topic of elevators, Brisbane CBD BUG have a petition asking Brisbane City Council to take action to fix the planning decision which has allowed the elevator at Howard Smith Wharves to open directly onto the main active transport corridor between the CBD and the New Farm Peninsula. People waiting for the lift block the path, and the situation is unpleasant and unsafe for everyone. The addition of thin, low bollards (which don’t meet any relevant standards) has not helped at all.
The area can be expected to become more congested once additional pedestrian traffic is generated by the new CityCat terminal Council is constructing to service the development.
Please add your name to the petition – and don’t forget to look out for the confirmation email link.
Kangaroo Point Green Bridge connections
In better news about access, we’re excited about plans to finally provide an accessible underpass connecting the east and west side of the Kangaroo Point Peninsula, as part of the project to build the new green bridge.
It was reasonably quiet at Council’s information session on Saturday about the connections. Like us, the message from most people seems to be: we’re looking forward to finally having this accessible east-west connection across the peninsula; can we have it yesterday please?
Our remaining questions:
What is the plan for the connection further south along Deakin St through to Cairns St and the future riverwalk?
We like the proposed priority crossing over Main St, but what’s the plan to slow traffic turning off the highway before the crossing?
How will the connection work for people who want to walk or ride south but stay on the western side of Main St, heading towards St Vincent’s Hospital, River Tce, etc?
Given that there is no plan for a ramp down from the bridge to the riverside path at CT White Park (due to engineering constraints), what plans exist to make the route via Main St and Bright St safe for all-ages-and-abilities cycling?
Green Bridges to West End
The Westender has published a good summary of reactions (including ours) to Council’s recent announcement of the alignments for green bridges connecting St Lucia to West End and West End to Toowong. We think these bridge will encourage people out of their cars and taking healthy active transport instead, by making walking, cycling or scooting easier and more convenient than sitting in traffic (and of course contributing to it). We would have liked to see both bridges built together though, because we think there’s extra value in the network effect of having multiple bridges.
While we agree that the concerns of people living near the landing sites should be considered, we don’t agree with a few comments here that others are not impacted. Everyone suffers from the preponderance of motor vehicle traffic and the lack of safe, convenient, healthy, non-polluting alternatives.
Green bridges are a great way to make our city more connected and sustainable, and it was good to see the overall very strong community support for the initial proposals and during Council’s consultation period on the alternative landing sites.
Green Bridge to Bulimba
We agree with Bulimba residents and business owners that a green bridge (or tunnel) connecting Bulimba to Teneriffe or Newstead is “a fabulous idea”. Yes, it would be a significant investment, which probably couldn’t be done by Brisbane City Council without State Government assistance. Although we note that Council spent around $60 million on the Indooroopilly Riverwalk, not to mention $650 million widening Kingsford Smith Drive (including the Lores Bonney Riverwalk), plus a new bridge over Breakfast Creek…
North Brisbane Bikeway drainage
North BUG are happy to report that the drainage work has been completed where the North Brisbane Bikeway goes under the railway tracks by Breakfast Creek at Windsor. We hope that this third attempt to fix this danger spot works, as the slime created by water on the path was getting slippery, right in the middle of a bend. Thanks to the Department of Transport and Main Roads for getting this sorted after we reported the issue in March.
Kedron Brook Bikeway
North BUG also advise that work to repair and widen Kedron Brook Bikeway where it passes north of the hockey fields at Shaw Park starts on Monday 7 June. This is great news for people riding bikes and walking on this busy route between Shaw Road and Kalinga Park at Wavell Heights, and well worth finding alternative routes for three weeks until the end of the month. The $163,100 project is funded by the Northgate Ward Suburban Enhancement Fund. So thanks to local Councillor Adam Allan for taking action on this much-needed improvement, which was approved by council’s Public and Active Transport Committee in November.
Some bollards sprouted in Morningside, at the intersection of Wynnum Road and Jack Flynn Memorial Drive this week. We suspect they aren’t likely to convince people who are not already prepared to ride on the road in quite hostile conditions, but do you think barriers like this have a role to play in enhancing existing painted cycle lanes?
EaST BUG are not sure these are quite the answer to the active transport black hole at the intersection of Wynnum Road and Jack Flynn Memorial Drive in Morningside—and surrounding area—but it will be interesting to see what happens. It looks like one or two of the posts had already taken a hit just hours after they were installed.
What is exciting though, is that the pedestrian lights now seem to be set up to trigger automatically each cycle, and allow a complete crossing over Wynnum Rd without a wait in the holding pen. That’s something we wrote to Council to ask for 6 years ago when this intersection was “upgraded” via the Australian Government’s Black Spot Program.
Further east on Wynnum Road, there are now also bollards and plastic kerbing guarding the edge of the new painted lanes on Wynnum Rd either side of the intersection with Junction Road.
We had raised concerns about the quality of the surface in the new lanes—specifically at the interface with the concrete gutter—so it’s good to see markings that hopefully indicate that will be addressed. (No sign of stenzil-guy yet though…)
By day 2 of “bollard watch” some of the flex-posts on Wynnum Rd at Jack Flynn Memorial Drive and Junction Road were looking a bit battered, but we watched one get run over and spring back again unscathed. They were all still standing that morning, so had already lasted 24 hours longer than originally predicted!
It’s going to take a lot more than a few flex posts to make Wynnum Rd feel safe for cycling though. So we challenge Council to start addressing the worst parts:
If you cycle towards the CBD from the eastern suburbs along Wynnum Road through Morningside, it’s likely you’ve had an uncomfortable experience as you round the corner after the signals at Burrai St and find you need to move out into traffic to get around a parked car. It’s a dangerous squeeze point.
East BUG are petitioning Council to remove the two kerbside parking spaces in front of 655 Wynnum Rd, Morningside (the laundromat and Cash Converters). Those businesses have off-street parking for customers and staff, so the space should be available for people to travel safely by bike on this primary cycle route.
Please add your signature (and look out for the confirmation email).
Mind you, even closer to the CBD than Morningside, the “eastern cycleway” is a basket case. It has had no investment, and no apparent interest from Council for a decade.
This is concerning too: EaST BUG members have spotted road markings that appear to indicate Council plan to block the bike lane on Bennetts Rd, Norman Park with build-out islands for the pedestrian ‘crossing’ near Morehead Ave. We’re all in favour of improved pedestrian crossings, but a well-designed crossing should not make conditions more dangerous for people cycling.
Bennetts Rd is a primary route on the Principal Cycle Network Plan. It is the key connection between Coorparoo and Morningside (and beyond) and it is well used by people cycling from the eastern suburbs trying to avoid some of the most diabolical sections of Wynnum Rd. Blocking the bike lane here would be a major backwards step.
We’ve previously asked that Council upgrade the path through to Waite St and Norman Park Station, and connect it through to the Norman Creek Bikeway at Crown St. It’s very frustrating to see those pleas ignored, and this happening instead!!
Old Cleveland Road, Carina
Still on the east side: if you’ve cycled along Old Cleveland Road, Carina recently though the Eastern Transitway roadworks you’re a braver person than a few of us. There’s currently no shoulder at all on the northern side, and the narrow shoulder on the southern side (heading inbound) is blocked with a temporary barrier. Perhaps that is to protect the skinny footpath from passing vehicles?? Or to allow pedestrians to step down into the gutter if they encounter someone coming the other direction?? Unfortunately it doesn’t help anyone cycling – either on the road or on the footpath.
We’ve contacted TMR to ask why the speed limit of 60kph has been deemed suitable during this work—given this is supposedly a principal cycle route, as well as busy bus route and heavy vehicle transport corridor. They claim that the traffic management plan has made suitable provision for cycling, and includes “Share the Road” signs—which we actually can’t see in our photographs, so can’t confirm.
We’ve asked for more information about how long it will remain in this state. If you ride this way, how is it going for you?
Indooroopilly School Woes
Back Indooroopilly, where residents have been crying out for a new school due to crowding, there are now concerns that it would lead to more traffic. But what if Council were prepared to take the steps necessary to make it safe for kids to walk and cycle to school instead of their parents driving??
Children attending their local school should result in less motor vehicle traffic, not more! But that means we need to stop prioritising cars.
No more left turn on red
In other new, we are not at all sorry to see the end of the “left turn on red” trial at intersections across Brisbane from 30 June. Conditions for walking and cycling in many Brisbane suburbs are hostile enough, without the added uncertainty of drivers accelerating through red lights.
We think it’s a poor argument to say “no-one has been killed at one of these intersections specifically by a driver turning left on red”. The reality is that many people already feel they need to drive everywhere – especially with their kids – because traffic just feels too aggressive and unpredictable.
The argument that “this works successfully in the US” is also unsatisfactory. The equivalent rule in the US has long been proven dangerous; it’s simply difficult to make the necessary legislative changes in a dominant car-culture where everyone feels entitled to drive and be given preferential treatment when they do.