Brisbane CBD minimum grid of protected bike lanes

Principal Petitioner Paul French, Brisbane
Date Closed Sat, 13 Aug 2016 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 2184 signatures

(View signatures)

Residents draw to the attention of the Council, the need for a minimum grid network of protected bike lanes within the Brisbane CBD to allow people of all ages and abilities to safely access destinations in the CBD by bicycle. This minimum grid will bring economic benefits to the city as more people are able to access businesses and shops using active transport, and it will make the CBD more attractive to visitors and tourists. Vulnerable road users such as people on bicycles are not able to safely and confidently share the road with motor vehicles – including trucks and buses – even when the speed limit is 40 kilometres per hour. On two of the major CBD thoroughfares, speed limits remain at 60 kilometres per hour. Bicycle awareness zones (BAZ) (have been shown internationally) to do nothing to increase the safety of people on bicycles, or their perception of safety. Cyclists using footpaths in an area that is busy with pedestrian traffic is not a desirable outcome. Providing protected bike lanes in lieu of on-street parking and by better managing taxi and loading zones will not disrupt business in the CBD. By carefully selecting streets and orientations, a network of protected bike lanes can be built with next to no disruption to the bus network.

This petition therefore requests Brisbane City Council build a minimum grid network of protected bi-directional separated bike lanes along the north-west side of Ann Street, the north eastern side of Edward Street, the south-east side of Margaret Street, the south eastern side of Herschel Street, and that the protected bike lane along the north-eastern side of George Street be completed. A minimum grid network of protected bike lanes within the CBD will bring Brisbane into line with other world cities including New York, London, Paris, and Sydney, which have all recognised the benefits of providing safe, separated and protected bike lanes to allow people who want to get around by bicycle to do so safely and conveniently.

Council response

Petition Reference: CA16/664334 and CA16/677106

Thank you for your petition requesting that Council install a grid of protected bike lanes within the inner CBD.

Your petition has been investigated and it was considered by the Establishment and Coordination Committee as delegate of Council during recess at the meeting on 23 January 2017. It was decided that the petitioners be advised of the information below.

Council appreciates the passionate advocacy of Brisbane’s cycling community in prioritising and delivering for enhanced cycling infrastructure across the city. Through our strong partnership with the cycling community, Council has invested $220 million over the last eight years to build the bikeway network. In the 2016-17 budget, Council committed a further $100 million to the bikeway program over the next four years.

One of the biggest challenges facing Council is balancing the competing demands for road and kerb space on our narrow CBD streets. As Brisbane continues to grow and develop, this challenge will only get harder. Council aims to deliver a road network for all users and achieve an appropriate balance between cycling and active transport, bus movements, bus set-down and layover areas, loading zones, taxi areas and private vehicles. To achieve this balance and improve safety, Council has reduced the speed limit on the majority of inner city streets from 50 km/h to 40 km/h.

Council has investigated the impacts of installing a grid of protected bi-directional separated bike lanes and has determined that the installation would remove access to significant stretches of road and kerb space, requiring the reallocation of traffic lanes, road capacity and kerbside allocation. This would adversely affect public transport providers such as bus and taxi services.

The circulation of buses, taxi services, cyclists, pedestrians and general traffic for the next four to five years is already likely to be heavily disrupted by major new developments, such as the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane (QWB) project. Network changes required to enable construction of these projects will place higher transport demands on George Street, Ann Street, Turbot Street, Edward Street and Margaret Street. This will compromise Council’s short-term ability to reduce the current public transport and general traffic capacity of these streets.

While it is acknowledged that bi-directional separated bike lanes could potentially improve use for cyclists in the CBD, when considering upgrading infrastructure, Council must determine if the benefits of the upgrade outweighs the impact to the city. In this case, installing bi-directional separated bike lanes in the CBD could improve convenience for cyclists, but the impact to kerbside parking allocation, public transport and traffic congestion would not justify the benefits.

It should also be noted that Council received a number of similar requests to install a grid of protected bike lanes across the inner CBD in early 2016 prior to the Council election. At that time the Lord Mayor publically confirmed that Council did not propose to install a grid of
bi-directional separated bike lanes in the CBD. Council’s recommendation on this matter remains consistent with the Lord Mayor’s previously announced position. As such, Council does not propose to install the proposed grid of bi-directional separated bike lanes in the CBD.

Council will however continue to investigate alternative options on a case-by-case basis to improve safety and awareness for pedestrians and cyclists.

Could you please advise the other petitioners of this information.

If you have any further questions, please contact Mr Mark Pattemore from Council’s Transport Planning and Strategy, Brisbane Infrastructure on 07 3403 8888.