With vehicular traffic in the CBD at an all-time low due to Covid-19, Bicycle Queensland is urging the Brisbane City Council and Queensland Government to adopt a proposal for pop-up bikeways in Brisbane’s CBD.
The plan put forward by Bicycle Queensland is for separated bikeways on George Street and Mary Street which it says would go along way to help improve cycling accessibility throughout the CBD.
According to the organisation, the journey of so many CBD cyclists is hazardous, putting not only existing riders at risk but also discouraging any potential cyclists from commuting to the city.
“Improving safety and convenience in the CBD itself takes away one more major barrier for people who want to return to their workplaces, but don’t want to be stuck in traffic for hours”, highlights CEO of Bicycle Queensland, Rebecca Randazzo.
“People who work in the CBD need incentives to leave the car at home, and get to work by bicycle and walking,”. The proposed pop-up bikeways aim to drastically improve the safety and cycling experience for thousands of city workers, students and delivery riders in the inner city.
“The advocacy team have felt strongly about pushing for more CBD bike lanes for some time, however we believe now more than ever is an opportune time to fast track the long-term plans of an inner-city CBD grid”.
“We know first-hand that new riders prioritise safe infrastructure as a deciding factor to whether or not they keep riding. Having pop-up bikeways implemented in busy CBD areas is our first proposed step to making riders feel more safe and comfortable riding through the city.”
The proposed plan
Bicycle Queensland consulted with expert Government stakeholders and contracts to ensure their proposed ideas were viable before developing the plans.
The plans show a 3-metre wide, bi-directional bikeway extending from the existing lanes on George Street along to Mary Street. The Mary Street bikeway flows from George Street through to Edward Street, ensuring a seamless experience traveling from east to west direction in the CBD.
Construction for the Queen’s Wharf precinct and the Cross-River Rail have affected both George Street and Mary Street, changing road conditions and limiting car usage.
The group claims that repurposing these streets and implementing pop-up bikeways supports active commuting in the city with minimal change to current road setups.
“The last thing we need is for every person who usually takes public transport to the city getting into their cars”.
CEO of Bicycle Queensland, Rebecca Randazzo
“It is important to note the plans do require the removal of some on-street parking on both George and Mary streets, however both on and off-street parking is available nearby.” – Bicycle Queensland
The infrastructure can be achieved in a matter of days by using barriers and line dividers on existing roads. This projection is similar to the planned pop-up cycle ways recently announced for Sydney.
Bicycle Queensland CEO Rebecca Randazzo said that public transport continues to be a difficult proposition for many people as we come out of the pandemic but still continue with social distancing.
Bicycle Queensland’s advocacy team presented the plans to Brisbane City Council’s chair of Public and Active Transport, Cr Ryan Murphy, and also separately to the State Transport and Main Roads Minister, the Hon Mark Bailey MP.
Globally, from Berlin to Auckland, pop up and fixed bicycle lanes are appearing in many city municipalities which are taking advantage of Covid-19 to help increase bike safety and well-being.
If you are interested in finding out more about this proposal, you can read more via the pdf below:CBD Pop-up Cycle Space Proposal_FINAL_20200514
This would be awesome, every effort to cut traffic needs to be made. We have no reason to drive in cities, everyone should be taking public transport or riding a bike unless they’re disabled or they have to carry goods such as tradies or truckers. A step towards car free living such as in Europe, is a step in the right direction.
Ideal time to improve on how we do things. Central London is also introducing new cycle and pedestrian linkages in this moment of opportunity.
There should be free or low cost car parking built outside the CBD to encourage those that must drive a private vehicle for whatever reason to not commute into the city itself. This to offset the inconvenience some drivers will obviously feel as active transport infrastructure slowly takes over the street real estate.
End of journey facilities equipped with showers, changerooms and secure bike lock ups (appropriate for expensive bikes) should be far more prevalent throughout the CBD. “Build it and they will come” goes the saying made famous in that Hollywood movie.
The CBD as everyone knows, would be a far safer, friendlier and inviting place if it were made as car free as possible.
It looks like this would benefit people and not companies. So it definitely isn’t going to happen. Nice sentiment though.