Eastern transitway – more car doors less corridor

Queensland Main Roads department plans to build a transitway to replace it’s earlier promise of an eastern busway from Brisbane CBD to Capalaba. Previously the busway project ran out of money by the time it had reached Stones Corner. Old Cleveland Road at peak hour is a nightmare, except during covid-19 lockdown.

It seems that main roads and the Queensland Government have not learnt their lesson from its earlier attempt at a busway from CBD to Capalaba. How this new proposal influences the Brisbane Metro at the start of this run is not even mentioned in the recent announcement of the transitway proposal.

We can expect another faux attempt at community consultation. It would have been preferable for the government to build light rail along this route given that over 40,000 cars pass through the suburbs of Carindale-Carina-Camp Hill-Coorparoo-and-Stones Corner everyday.

The report from Main Roads made a big deal of the lack of impact on properties in the district where stage 1 is going..

Stage 1 of low-cost transitway

The current proposal of stage 1 of the eastern transit way is to minimise impact on existing residential properties and parking. Apparently the difference between the eastern busway and the transit way is that busway is generally separated from general traffic by a tunnel or an overpass with limited access points and designed to be a mass transit transport corridor. The transit way is a low cost alternative. Main Roads promises that the Eastern busway corridor between Main Avenue Coorparoo and Capalaba is regularly reviewed.

According to the June 2020 newsletter from Main Road a Transit way is ‘an onroad bus priority measure that improves the efficiency and reliability of bus services along that route. A transit way is a lane dedicated for priority bus use. Queensland road rules stipulate you can only use a bus lane if you are ‘operating a bicycle, bus, taxi, limousine, or an emergency vehicle, or to travel up to 100 metres to enter or leave the road.’

Bus lanes are marked using signage and line marking; there is no critical barrier between the bus lane and general traffic. According to Main Roads the region’s road network is operating at close to capacity along most key commuter corridors into the Brisbane CBD during peak hour. Currently the car-congested Old Cleveland Road corridor carries high frequency bus services that are nearly empty. According to Main Roads 12,000 people use buses along this route each weekday. Compare that with the 60,000 people that use the same route in cars. Clearly public transport is losing out.

This same route is a nightmare for cyclists. The proposed design shows a new shared path and some green markings for on road cycle improvements. What is clearly needed is a safer alternative for cyclists, commuters and people using the corridor to access parklands and leisure facilities.

Cyclists need a dedicated corridor, not more car doors!

Ian Curr
30 June 2020

Here is a map of the proposal.

Proposed transit way in the eastern suburbs of Brisbane