According to the Brisbane City Council, the CBD to Carindale commuter corridor aims to “Complete a gap in the eastern commuter cycling network and provide a safe alternative route to Old Cleveland Road”. We should stress upfront that Old Cleveland Road is an arterial route for cyclists for the same reason it is for drivers: it is the most direct way eastbound, it runs between major population blocks, and it is easy to navigate. EaST BUG’s position is that work on the sections of the secondary route should not be used to distract from the deficiencies in the intended primary route along Old Cleveland Road – including notably at Stones Corner. However, with that aside, let’s take a look at the secondary route – in particular, the section between Logan Road in Woolloongabba and Bennetts Road at Coorparoo which has been the focus of work in 2015:
The primary factor limiting the value of this route as of October 2015 is that the end closest to the city is at the head of Logan Road near Planet Cycles. Our members have commented that inbound riders can go through the Mater Hospital zone (which has major problems for cyclist safety, including a fatality in 2014), or they can ride up the ramp near the motorway onto the Veloway and get to the CBD via South Bank. However outbound there is no way to reach that point safely from the CBD at peak times. Without a counter-flow bike lane along Stanley Street we believe that the whole project can’t function as a commuter route to the CBD, and thus it so far only provides limited value as a local route to Woolloongabba.
Along the route itself, there are a number of issues which compromise its functionality as a legitimate cycling route:
- Although touted as a bicycle commuter corridor, people on bikes receive no priority over people driving private vehicles on neighbourhood streets. There are no priority crossings or traffic calming measures included in the plans. This needs to be addressed at Hampton St, Longlands St, Norman St, Turbo Dr, Gladstone St, and Barnes Ave.
- The corridor also crosses a couple of busy roads with no signalised crossings – including Bennetts Rd and French St at Coorparoo (which is a high volume road at peak times). At best this will break momentum and cause delays to the ride, discouraging riders from using this route.
- There are no reminders to drivers to give way when crossing the off-road sections of the bikeway to accesses private property. For driveways to busy premises (such as service stations), this poses a real danger to people on bikes.
- The route is very convoluted and way-finding for an unfamiliar cyclist would be very complex. Giving verbal instructions to follow the pathway would be almost impossible.
- Sections such as the stretches down Riddings St and Birdwood Rd at Coorparoo are only planned to be bicycle awareness zones (symbols painted on the road), which have been proven to do nothing to increase cyclist safety or comfort.
- Sections of the bikeway are subject to flooding. Maintenance priorities should address the safety issues this causes, and information on detours should be provided.
At EaST BUG we are concerned that work to date has concentrated on small issues that are easy and cheap to implement, rather than tackling the bigger challenges along this corridor that will have the most effect. We are keen to work with Council to address the outstanding issues along this route so that it can become a viable commuter bikeway corridor.