Grammar Shared Path Lighting

Principal Petitioner Richard Bean, Toowong
Date Closed Sat, 26 Sep 2015 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 170 signatures

(View signatures)

The primary and only bikeway from the northside of Brisbane into the city is a shared path running between the Grammar School buildings and the railway line, then along the edge of Victoria Park, connecting the pedestrian and bicycle tunnel under College Road with Gilchrist Avenue and the paths to the north and northeast. Brisbane bikeway traffic is growing by eight per cent a year according to Lord Mayor Graham Quirk (June 2015). Thus, the potential for hazardous conflict in this area is increasing. Connecting infrastructure has recently been built with the opening of the 'Ekka ride' (North Brisbane Bikeway stage 1A), and the next sections of the bikeway have been mapped by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

The much-needed bikeway cannot reach its potential without lighting in this area. The paths are hazardous for people using bikes and people walking, as people riding bikes are often temporarily blinded by the lights of riders coming the other way and may not notice pedestrians along this stretch. This is not an issue which can be rectified by signage. Alternative routes such as Gregory Terrace are hilly, exposed to motor vehicle traffic, far off the logical and direct route along the Grammar/Victoria Park paths, and even narrower. In nearby Victoria Park, lighting in the northeast section is provided only during the Brisbane Exhibition, ironically for the safety of Ekka patrons walking to their motor vehicles.

Two international students have been murdered in Brisbane at night recently: Eunji Ban in November 2013 and Sophie Collombet in March 2014. The Grammar/Victoria Park paths are also on the major bike route for students travelling from the Kelvin Grove Queensland University of Technology campus to the city. Students attending night lectures will be discouraged from using active transport because of the lack of lighting. It is time for Brisbane City Council (BCC) to act. It has been reported that lighting for the Grammar and Victoria Park paths is not in the current four-year BCC program of funding which finishes in 2016. If it were to get into the next program, lights would be installed sometime between 2017 and 2020.

BCC recently responded to the petition concerning Sylvan Road protected bike lanes, implying that upgrades would only occur if crash frequency increased. The issue on the Grammar/Victoria Park paths is that people are avoiding them due to personal safety concerns, particularly in winter, with sunset as early as 5pm in June. There has been no public progress over the past year on lighting or safety for the paths, apart from a sign near the Normanby Fiveways saying “Alternate Night Time Bike Route”, directing pedestrians and cyclists along the impractical Gregory Terrace pathway.

BCC needs to act urgently to put lighting on the Grammar/Victoria Park paths because:

• bicycle and pedestrian traffic along the paths is increasing quickly;

• the paths are very dark at night, so cyclists can't see each other or pedestrians on paths that are too narrow for the traffic they carry; and

• recent murders and other attacks at night on paths around central Brisbane highlight the need for proper lighting for the safety of pedestrians and people who ride bicycles.