Cycling Brisbane – recent news

In this digest Space for Cycling gives an excellent summary of recent developments in bike infrastructure around Brisbane including a new bike path through the city, the need for more dedicated bikeways further out from the city at Rochedale, Iswich and Sandgate. You can read about it here or click on the links to take you to the Space for Cycling site. – Ian Curr 22 Feb 2021

Ian Terry & Lachlan on a weekly training ride for the Tour de Brisbane. They are all members of the Big Ride for Palestine that happens every year around August. Photo: Lachlan Hurse.

21 Feb 2021

Thanks to our observer in Council’s Public and Active Transport Committee meeting on Tuesday morning, we learned that the Citylink Cycleway on Edward St was to open at 5am Friday morning. Oooh, the anticipation…

As it happened, Friday got off to a damp start, but that didn’t stop riders finding their way to the new bikeway; it was quickly up and rolling!! Woohoo! 🍾

We decided that needed a celebration, so we organised an unofficial opening and ribbon cutting on Friday evening. (You might have caught Belinda speaking to Steve Austin on ABC Radio Brisbane). Thanks to everyone who joined us to unofficially open the CityLink Cycleway. Already it makes a huge difference to how the city feels.

It has been a long and sometimes frustrating campaign to convince people of the need for safe space for cycling in the heart of Brisbane, and it was great to take a moment to celebrate together. Well done to everyone in Brisbane City Council and in the Queensland Government who has helped to bring this project to life.

Remember – at this stage, CityLink is a 12 month trial, so let’s get behind it, and help ensure the trial is a big success.

It’s chalk and cheese comparing Elizabeth Street before and after CityLink! Make sure you let Council know how much you love it. The link to have your say is here.https://www.facebook.com/v2.3/plugins/video.php?allowfullscreen=true&app_id=249643311490&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fx%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2F%3Fversion%3D46%23cb%3Df317099fd8a333%26domain%3Dspace4cyclingbne.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fspace4cyclingbne.com%252Ff25f14fdeaedf9c%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=718&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F1653312801581530%2Fvideos%2F121101623204767&locale=en_US&sdk=joey

Victoria Bridge update

It’s a beautiful sight… The bike lanes on Victoria Bridge are looking great from the southern end.*

There was plenty of action this week between the Victoria Bridge and the CityLink Cycleway on Elizabeth St too. Workers are busy on William St to create the new connection, and at the northern end of the bridge – which we hope will make things much better for people using the pedestrian facilities as well as people cycling and scooting. These works are due to be completed, with the CityLink Cycleway extending across the bridge to South Brisbane by late March. We’re excited!!

Of course, all the people working on these major construction projects around the CBD need to get to work just like office and retail folk – and the best way to do that without getting stuck in traffic and contributing to congestion is by bike!

(*Yes, Victoria Bridge really runs south-west to north-east but we find it convenient to to refer to the northern (CBD) end and southern end which lands at South Bank on the “south side” of the Brisbane River!)

Sir Fred Schonell Drive

The news is not so great over at St Lucia, where we recently reported on the removal of bike lanes on Sir Fred Schonell Drive.

Thanks to Michael Berkman, MP for Maiwar for highlighting that Sir Fred Schonell Drive is an important cycling route (to UQ, to local destinations, and as part of the River Loop) and that trying to push people off the desire line by making cycling there more dangerous is not a responsible way to manage a transport network.

Friends of Guyatt Park, enemies of green bridge

Nearby, the Friends of Guyatt Park oppose a bridge for walking and cycling between Orleigh Park, West End and Guyatt Park, St Lucia. At their Save Guyatt Park meeting on the weekend, Councillor James Mackay spoke against the green bridge to Guyatt Park, citing loss of green space due to the large landing footprint (mentioning the Kurilpa Bridge loop as an example), and arguing that children won’t be able to safely cross any bike paths to the bridge.

We’re disappointed that Cr Mackay opposes the bridge due to design features when no design has so far been put forward (or at least not publicly). We’ve previously suggested that bitumen space adjacent to the park could perhaps be converted to green space to compensate for any loss due to the bridge landing.

It is also curious that Cr Mackay cites danger from cyclists when Guyatt Park already has a cycle path through it; indeed Council’s new Riverloop signage promotes that as the primary route for sports and recreational cycling; a position we understand the councillor supports.

Cr Mackay’s opposition to the bridge is remarkable given Council’s vision for Brisbane to ‘allow citizens to adopt sustainable travel choices including walking and cycling’ and ‘have active and healthy communities’.

If Brisbane is ever going to offer its residents the choice to live a sustainable lifestyle where they can choose to leave the car at home and get around in a way which keeps our community active and healthy, manages traffic congestion and address air pollution and climate impacts, we need to have councillors on board with the city’s vision.

Indooroopilly Riverwalk

Thanks to West BUG for these pictures of the Indooroopilly Riverwalk which is powering towards completion, with opening likely in May. The ramp up to Witton Barracks is taking shape and only two more spans missing in the bridge structure.

Rochedale intersection

Would you ride with your kids to school on painted on-road bike lanes and green strips between lanes of moving traffic? Would you let your high-school aged kids ride there unsupervised? If every family who might want to walk or cycle to school in a busy area uses off-road shared paths, is 2.5m sufficient? And are on-road lanes then wasted space?

This week, Council’s Infrastructure Committee had a presentation on the project to upgrade the intersection of Rochedale and Priestdale Roads in Rochedale. This intersection is on the border of Logan and Brisbane City Council areas, and the current single lane roundabout is at capacity, with 19,200 vehicles per day. It is in close proximity to 5 schools – with a combined 5,000 students – and a childcare centre so it gets particularly congested at the start and end of each school day.

Some might be surprised that we’re disappointed in the design that was presented. After all, it proposes a fully signalised intersection, with pedestrian crossings on each arm, and has on-road painted bike lanes as well as 2.5m wide off-road shared paths.
But given the amount of local traffic in this area – and how much of it is school traffic – we question if this design really supports and encourages families who might consider switching to active transport instead. We think a better approach would be to create fully separated and protected cycle tracks through this intersection that would leave the footpaths for people travelling at walking speed, while allowing people of all ages and abilities to travel by bike or e-scooter without being exposed to motor vehicle traffic. We think a design more like the revised version proposed for the new intersection on Gladstone Road in front of the new Inner City South State Secondary College would be more suitable here too.

Ipswich Motorway Cycleway connections

There’s some good news from the south as well: work on the Granard Road Cycleway has commenced. This will link the new Ipswich Motorway Cycleway to Balham Rd, Rocklea (outside Bunnings). From there you can either continue east along Granard Rd (if you’re keen…), or take Balham Rd to Marshall Rd for a lower traffic route through to the Salisbury Cycleway along Riawena Rd.

Now we need Council and/or TMR to take action at the other end of the Ipswich Mwy Cycleway at Oxley. Unfortunately Council’s latest position on that is: “Construction of a pathway along Bannerman Street is a low priority for Council, given the extremely low walking and cycling demand expected. The street services a small residential catchment to the east of Oxley State School, with the majority of those accessing the catchment and the school using existing pathways and safe crossing facilities on Oxley Road and northern section of Bannerman Street.” We think that’s rather poor, and will continue to urge Council and TMR (via the Active Transport Advisory Committee) to work together to connect the cycleway at each end.

North Brisbane Bikeway

Over on the north side, Dirk has been delighted as most of the ‘death corridor’ between Eagle Junction and Windsor has turned into the new North Brisbane Bikeway. Now he’s hoping that the final connection can be finished, making all of his ride from Sandgate to the CBD safe.

A new path along Dickson Street past Wooloowin Station to Price Street opened last month. So the 1.4 kilometre All The Way to EJ (Eagle Junction) link is all that remains to be completed of what will be a 40 kilometre northern bikeway extending to Redcliffe.

For more than six years, Dirk has regularly ridden his two-wheeled recumbent bike into work, despite the ‘gauntlet’ of the on-road sections that he says would put most people off riding.

‘Given the majority of my commute was pathway, though, I persisted. I was one of the keen ones who put up with the conditions in this corridor, and I just rode as carefully as I could.

‘I’m so grateful for the improvements to the bikeways in this area of Brisbane, and I’m looking forward to when more people will inevitably start riding, rather than just the keen/mad ones like me.

‘I also love the priority crossings where right of way for the busier bikeway is prioritised over the quieter streets. I am really impressed with motorists respecting the rules at these crossings and giving way attentively. I always try and wave in appreciation.’

Dirk, recumbent rider

Facebook versus News

It was a strange week on social media, as Facebook banned links to Australian news site. But we’re still here! If you’re about to quit Facebook out of frustration, you don’t have to lose access to all the latest about active transport in Brisbane. Remember, we publish this weekly digest, and blog about the latest happenings.

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