Protected Bike lanes for Edward Street - CBD

Principal Petitioner Donald Campbell, New Farm
Date Closed Thu, 28 Apr 2016 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 186 signatures

(View signatures)

Residents draw to the attention of Brisbane City Council the hostile nature of the Brisbane CBD to the needs of cyclists. While the CBD is skirted by the Riverside, Botanic and Bicentennial Bikeways, the current nature of the CBD streets is quite hostile to cycling for anyone accessing a building within the centre of the CBD. While in 2009, this was improved upon by reducing the CBD speed limit down to 40 kilometres per hour, this is not enough. All but the fittest person is unable to attain 40 kilometres per hour on a bicycle under normal conditions, meaning many are forced to ride on the already overcrowded CBD footpaths. The fact that this reduction in speed limit is not enough was clearly shown in 2013 when a CityCycle user on Facebook was advised by Council not to use the CBD streets when traveling from Wharf Street to Brisbane Square.

This petition therefore requests that as part of the Edward Street works (currently in the planning stage) include protected bi-directional bike lanes between Ann Street and the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. Incorporating bike lanes into the proposed works would greatly boost the permeability of the Brisbane CBD to cycling. It should be noted that Edward Street is listed on the SEQ principal cycling plan as a primary corridor and on Brisbane City Plan 2014 as a secondary cycling route.

Council response

Your petition was considered by Council at its meeting of 19 April 2016. It was decided that the petitioners be advised of the information below.

Council is a strong supporter of cycling around our city as a way to ease congestion on our roads and to encourage active and healthy lifestyles. Over recent years, Council has implemented a number of strategies, which have helped to improve cyclist safety within the city. This has included reducing the speed limit across the inner-city from 50 kilometres per hour (km/h) to 40km/h to create a safer environment for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, as well as installing Bicycle Awareness Zone (BAZ) symbols to alert motorists that bicycles may be present on the road.

Council acknowledges the importance of Edward Street to all users, including pedestrians and cyclists. In 2014, Council released the City Centre Master Plan (CCMP), which sets the vision and strategic framework to guide a generation of growth in our urban heart. The CCMP identifies Edward Street as part of our ‘shared heart’ area, which is envisaged to become a precinct shared by pedestrians, cyclists, buses and general vehicles.

To further guide the future of Edward Street, Council recently released the Edward Street Vision, extending from Turbot Street to Alice Street. The vision recognises the importance of improving the quality and capacity of the pedestrian environment, as well as delivering improved cycling outcomes. To facilitate bicycle connectivity through the city, the vision provides for future footpath widening from Margaret Street towards the City Botanic Gardens, to allow for bicycle traffic from the river’s edge to disperse into the Central Business District (CBD) grid.

The Edward Street Upgrade Project is the first step towards delivering the Edward Street Vision. The project area extends from Queen Street to Charlotte Street and is to be delivered over the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 financial years. The project will deliver a world-class retail environment that will include widened footpaths, street tree planting, street furniture, lighting and public art.

As you may appreciate, the demands for road space in the CBD, including footpaths, are very high. Edward Street currently consists of four lanes: two dedicated general traffic lanes, a bus lane between Turbot and Queen Street which operates between 7-10am and 2-7pm Monday to Friday, and a parking lane. The Edward Street Upgrade Project will involve widening the southern footpath verge to provide for increasing pedestrian movements in this high-growth retail area. This expansion will accommodate the renewal and regeneration of the existing parking lane as footpath, effectively reducing Edward Street to two traffic lanes plus the bus lane between Adelaide and Charlotte Streets.

The provision of separated cycle lanes, either one-directional or bi-directional, would require the removal of an additional traffic or bus lane, which would have significant impacts across the inner city road network. Alternatively, it would necessitate a reduction in the pedestrian footpath width.

Council has installed Bicycle Awareness Zone (BAZ) symbols along Edward Street to alert drivers to the shared nature of the road environment and to indicate that they should expect cyclists along the route. Cyclists can also use the bus lane, which operates as a clearway between 7am and 10am and 2pm and 7pm Monday to Friday, and is not available to general traffic during those times (i.e. buses, taxis, bicycles and essential service vehicles only).

Council will continue to incorporate strategies to improve cyclist safety in the CBD. However, due to space limitations within the project area, Council is unable to support the installation of protected bike lanes, either one-directional or bi-directional, as part of the Edward Street Upgrade Project.