Cyclists protest against bikeway and footpath closures endangering lives

2 May 2008

Brisbane cyclists will stage a protest ride on Friday 9 May 2008 from 4.30 pm
along Bowen Bridge Road in front of the Royal Brisbane Hospital at Herston, to
highlight the dangers to cyclists from the closures of bikeways and footpaths
on Brisbane’s north side.

The protest has been prompted by the latest footpath closure to hit cyclists.
Cyclist frustration boiled over when access from the north side, already
severely restricted by construction of the North South Bypass Tunnel, was all
but cut off when Northern Busway construction commenced. Both projects are
not due to be completed until late 2009.

Brisbane Central Business District Bicycle Users’ Group (CBD BUG)
spokesperson Paul French said that “cyclists had no option other than to take
to the streets to underscore the failures by both the State Government and
Brisbane City Council to provide safe alternative routes for cyclists while major
infrastructure projects are constructed”.

“For many cyclists, the dangers of sharing roads with high-volume high-speed
traffic are just too great. Cyclists need and deserve appropriate bikeway and
footpath access. The disregard for cyclist safety suggests that to project
managers cyclists are invisible – the same problem that cyclists have with
many motorists. We draw no comfort from the latest footpath closure in front of
the Royal Brisbane Hospital meaning that if a cyclists is hit by a vehicle it is
only a short distance to an emergency department” he stated.

He went on to say that “the closures are forcing many cycle commuters to go
back to using their cars or on to already over-crowded public transport. With
Brisbane’s current traffic congestion and overstretched public transport you
would expect an approach of trying to encourage cycling. Instead, we’re
seeing the opposite of the many public statements from our politicians of their
intent to foster cycling.

Mr French called on the Premier and Lord Mayor to make sure their respective
bureaucracies worked together so cyclists are not simply driven off by the
current range of large scale transport projects, and for them to cooperatively
build a world class cycle commuter network for Brisbane.

Mr French also said that every cyclist means one less car on the road and next
month’s state budget would be a prime opportunity for the Queensland
Government to make a real commitment to alleviating Brisbane’s gridlock by
putting serious money into cycling infrastructure.


Media contact: Paul French, contact 0423 974 825

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