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Cyclists welcome release of Riverwalk options
The Brisbane Central Business District Bicycle User Group (CBD BUG) has welcomed the Brisbane City Council’s release of five design options for replacing the iconic floating Riverwalk that provided an essential connection between the CBD to New Farm for cyclists and pedestrians prior to the January 2011 flood.
Riverwalk’s loss during the flood has had massively negative impacts on cycling. In response the CBD BUG has pushed for its urgent replacement and wrote to Lord Mayor Campbell Newman in February 2011 seeking his commitment to the path’s reconstruction.
The CBD BUG now welcomes the opportunity for the community to provide comment to Council on the five options. The CBD BUG currently does not have a preferred option, instead preferring to focus on the design quality of the replacement structure. There was no doubt there were design faults in the former walkway, which the CBD BUG believes can be improved upon with its replacement. The following factors have been indentified in this regard.
- Segregation – As a shared facility the former Riverwalk was inherently limited in its carrying capacity due to the potential for conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists, particularly during the peak travel periods. The CBD BUG welcomes the indication that the new facility will be segregated similar to the recently upgraded sections of the Bicentennial Bikeway.
- Designed for commuters – While the walkway was used by people for exercise and recreation, its greatest community benefit was derived from its use by commuters. In that sense the new path needs to meet the needs of people travelling to and from their regular work and study destinations. Segregating cyclists and pedestrians goes a long way towards achieving that outcome.
- Clear lines of sight — For user safety clear lines of vision are essential to reduce the chance of conflict occurring. On that basis the CBD BUG suggests straight paths, rather than curving paths, should be preferred.
- Ability to be used during king tides – Some of Brisbane’s busiest cycleways are regularly closed due to being submerged by king tides. Regardless of the replacement Riverwalk being a fixed or floating structure, it must be built so it remains open during king tide events.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk stated yesterday in the media that the former Riverwalk was carrying around 3,000 people a day, and the CBD BUG expects this number to grow once the path is reinstated. This is similar to the number of people using the Bicentennial Bikeway, which is currently being upgraded to contemporary standards, and the CBD BUG anticipates the replacement walkway will meet equally high standards.
Media contact: Paul French
0423 974 825