- Two special celebrations: Labor Day and Mother’s Day
- Council update: CityLink Cycleway
- Council update: Prebble St connection
- Veloway overpass at O’Keefe St
- Cross River Rail at Kent St
- Bicentennial Bikeway at Toowong
- Neville Bonner Bridge
- Around the suburbs
- Other Australian Cities
- Around the world
Two special celebrations
This week started with a celebration of the achievements of the labour movement. Some people couldn’t resist taking their bikes along to the #LaborDay2021 march. And why not? Cycling was an easy way to get to the start of the march, especially with many roads closed to cars. The police and ambos know this and deployed their bike squads for the event. The kids were enjoying the closed streets on their bikes and scooters too, although the hills were too much for some little ones. We think it would be great if a few streets through CBD the Valley were closed to cars and opened up to people more often. After all, streets can’t be all work and no play.
To finish the week, we celebrated Mothers’ Day with thanks to all the mums, and hugs to everyone missing their mother.
Did you know that maternal modelling of healthy active behaviours seems to have a greater influence on children’s activity levels compared to paternal modelling? (Sorry guys). This seems to be especially true for encouraging girls.
Was your love of riding a bike encouraged/inspired by your mum?
Council update: CityLink Cycleway
Council returned after a long autumn recess this week. On Tuesday morning, the Public and Active Transport Committee discussed a petition requesting that they reinstate loading zones and parking for businesses during trading hours in the bike lane on Elizabeth Street. That would of course effectively decommission the CityLink Cycleway.
The good news is that Chair, Cr Ryan Murphy reiterated that the administration is fully committed to continuing the CityLink trial for the full 12 months (until late February 2022). More disappointingly though, he also said that during that time they don’t intend to extend the streets covered – either further up Edward St, on George St, or along an additional queen-direction street like Ann St.
The background material prepared for the committee noted the 2016 petition which saw almost 3,000 signatures in support of CBD bike lanes (although that petition was wrongly attributed to Bicycle Queensland, when it was actually from us and Brisbane CBD BUG).
Council update: Prebble St connection
We also heard a couple of enticing snippets of information in listening to the Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon. Infrastructure Chair, Cr David McLachlan listed projects that Council’s City Projects team have submitted for funding under various Australian and Queensland Government schemes. One of these is for $3.7million for a bikeway connecting Rochedale to the Bulimba Creek Bikeway at Prebble St – including a bridge across Bulimba Creek. We’ve previously discussed this with Councillor Steven Huang, pointing out the need for better active transport connections into Rochedale. We know Cr Huang is also very keen on opportunities for recreational cycling, and supports improved access to the Bulimba Creek Bikeway.
We understand from Cr McLachlan’s speech in Council that the relevant funding announcement will be made by the Queensland Government on 1 June. We certainly hope this project is included.
We welcome the announcement from Cr Ryan Murphy on Wednesday that more e-scooters will be added to the public hire fleets (Lime and Neuron) – but with some caution. Brisbane City Council are rightly proud of their record of innovating with the use of new electric personal mobility devices, but they need to match that with faster and bolder moves to adapt our streets so that public space is safe, comfortable, and functional for everyone.
Veloway overpass at O’Keefe St
We were hoping to be able publish some drawings of the proposed Veloway overpass at O’Keefe St ahead of consultation sessions this week, but still only had these artist’s impressions:
Representatives from East BUG, South BUG and CBD BUG all dropped in to the consultation on the Veloway O’Keefe St overpass on Thursday afternoon at Buranda Village (which has one of those toast-racks it’s really difficult to lock a bike to), and on Saturday morning out the front of the Stones Corner Library.
We were concerned to find out that the current plan for the overpass would involve removing that ramp from the Veloway to O’Keefe St on the northern side. That would mean anyone heading to/from the PA hospital bikeway would still have to deal with the disaster-zone at Carl St, and potentially have to cross O’Keefe St twice. For those of us who have campaigned for years for improvements to the east-west connection to the Schonell Bridge – including the bridge across the rail lines that will be part of the Cross River Rail development – this feels like a disappointing backwards step. This isn’t just a vital north-south connection; many people access the Veloway at O’Keefe St from Logan Rd and Old Cleveland Road to the east, and also connect west to the PA Hospital, Eleanor Schonell Bridge, UQ, and the western suburbs.
We have a follow-up meeting with the technical team in TMR to discuss the project further next week. Hopefully there is an opportunity to provide the much anticipated overpass and also cater for people connecting from the east and west at O’Keefe St.
Cross River Rail at Kent St
Straight after the Veloway consultation on Thursday, we joined a video conference with the Cross River Rail team for an update on the latest construction news and the impacts on active transport. One recent operating change has been at Kent St, Annerley where the temporary shared path has been realigned and the construction vehicle entry gate has been moved further north. As before, both the entry gate and exit gate (at the end of Kent St) are supervised during construction hours. From what we’ve observed, this seems to be working well to keep everyone safe; our followers on Facebook agreed.
Bicentennial Bikeway at Toowong
For the hat-trick of consultations on Thursday evening, Mitch, Stella, Belinda and Paul took a slow roll to Toowong to attend a consultation session with Consolidated Properties Group who are seeking community feedback on plans to develop three luxury residential riverfront apartment buildings on the site at 600 Coronation Drive, Toowong which has sat empty since it was vacated by the ABC in 2006.
We were pleasantly surprised to have the opportunity to sit down with CPG owner and CEO, Don O’Rorke. It’s good to hear that Don is committed to providing a good quality cycle link connecting the Bicentennial Bikeway from Coronation Drive to the corner of Archer St, and to a cross-river green bridge if Council selects this landing location (which seems likely). He fully appreciates the need to minimise conflicts between people on bikes and motor vehicles turning in/out of the site.
We discussed the various constraints and challenges, such as the elevation difference across the site; the need to provide pedestrian access to the riverside open space (a requirement of the development), heritage constraints, significant trees, noise, and opportunities to widen Coronation Drive—including the cycleway and footpath.
There are more feedback sessions coming up:
- Thursday 13 May: 4pm; 4:45pm; 5:30pm; 6:15pm; 7pm
- Sunday 16 May: 10am; 10:45am; 11:30am; 12:15pm; 1pm
If you live, work, or travel through the area, we encourage you to register and get along. Entry is from the corner of Archer St.
Neville Bonner Bridge
The pillars now in place show where the new Neville Bonner Bridge will land in the Queens Wharf Casino complex. If you’ve been following us for a few years, you’ll recall that we have been very critical that this bridge will not allow cycling. It will be interesting to see if scooters and other e-mobility devices will be permitted.
We think this was a lost opportunity for Brisbane to create another active travel connection from Grey St, South Bank into the CBD at George St. Instead of providing a concession to the Queens Wharf Developers, the Queensland Government could have contributed that money to other green bridges which would better serve our city. The new bridge will also have a significant footprint on public space at South Bank (already sacrificing some beautiful trees), primarily for the benefit of resort patrons.
But all that will be water under the bridge very soon…
Around the suburbs
At the intersection of Gladstone Rd and TJ Doyle Memorial Drive in Dutton Park, you can now make out what will be the dedicated cycle lane (asphalt) and footpath (concrete) on the south-west corner.
We’re looking forward to the separated cycle lanes past the new high school, and for people riding the River Loop to be able to turn left from TJ Doyle Memorial Drive into Gladstone Rd at the top of the hill without having to stop at a traffic light at the top.
University of Queensland
It’s good news that cycling trips to the University of Queensland are increasing, with around 7 to 10 per cent of students cycling to class. That’s well above the general population where cycling accounts for around 2 per cent of commutes.
UQ is the second largest trip generator in Brisbane, so getting more people cycling there is good news for local congestion as well as for health, the environment, and the liveability of neighbouring suburbs.
We’ve been disappointed that Brisbane City Council won’t make improvements to Sir Fred Schonell Drive to make active transport safer and more inviting along that major corridor. But in combination, the 2 new green bridges should help connectivity from Toowong to UQ via West End.
North BUG report that work is now well under way on the new bike route next to Gympie Road at Aspley. Rain at the beginning of April delayed the start of construction between Webster Road and the pub at Nevin Street. But you can now see where there will be buildouts to calm traffic, and what appear to be off-road sections of path.
Brisbane City Council says people riding bicycles will be the main users of the service road, but it will still have local motor vehicle traffic. Some of the construction between the service road and Gympie Road may be for a planned sound barrier along the same section.
This will be a great local link, extending north from the bikeway already in place through Marchant Park. But we look forward to news of further extensions to connect with the Cabbage Tree Creek bikeway and beyond.
For more information, see Council’s web site.
Aiport BUG are happy to see a sealed footpath, a pedestrian entrance (separate to the driveway) and shiny new bike racks at a new airport workplace at 14 Litsea Street, Brisbane Airport.
A year ago EaST BUG reported the badly uneven pavement on the bikeway connection between Williams St and Uhlman St, Wakerley. It has finally been repaired – yay! However it’s a little frustrating they didn’t replace the banana bars at the same time.
Finally there have also been some small extensions made to the path past the toilet block in Hawthorne Park. That will make this route a little less slushy and a lot less creepy while the footpath along the edge of the cinema is closed for work on the sewer and pumping station.
Meanwhile, in other Australian Cities
While we’re enjoying the protected bike lanes along just two of Brisbane’s CBD streets, here’s a reminder that Australia’s largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne have been building out a network of protected cycleways – in their CBD and major entry routes. Take a ride with Bicycle Network in Melbourne along LaTrobe St from Spencer to the Docklands:
In Sydney, pop-up cycleways that were built during the pandemic to fill in missing links are proving popular. This experiment has been repeated over and over again in cities around the world, with consistent results: build protected cycleways that connect people where they want to go, and they don’t need any further encouragement to ride.
Also in Sydney, the steps off the Harbour Bridge cycleway have been in the news this week, with an twisting ramp proposed to make the bridge more accessible. We think North Sydney Mayor, Jilly Gibson, makes a excellent point here. Trying to find space for cycling by building elaborate and expensive structures into the air is unsustainable for a number of reasons. Instead:
“If we’re going to commit to cycling as a city, then let’s commit. The proposed ramp designs will connect to the existing Bridge cycleway that is only about 2.5m wide. It’s substandard now and unfit for any real growth in commuter and recreational cycling. The NSW government needs to be bold and visionary and develop plans that will support the next 50 years of active transport, not the next five.”Jilly Gibson, North Sydney Mayor
We think it’s time for a bolder plan in Brisbane too!
Around the world
DoorTrappen might sound like something that can easily happen on some of Brisbane’s poorly placed painted bike lanes, but it actually means “CycleOn”, and is a program for Dutch seniors to help keep them active, independent and safe on the bike as they age.