Chris Carson election campaign & cycle rally

Not to be outdone by the major partieselection campaigns, Independent Brisbane Lord Mayoral candidate Chris Carson has been making a few waves of his own this week.

Mr Carson has made cycling a key part of his platform, with stated aims to reduce conflict and improve safety for all road users, and to reduce the number of cars on the road. Although his statements are generally positive for cycling his policy currently includes a severely misguided proposal to ban bicycles from major roads in peak times.

Mr Carson also weighed into the cycle infrastructure funding bidding competition this week with a promise of combined pedestrian and cycle infrastructure funding of $300 million (over four years), which we understand includes $100 million for improving pedestrian and cycle mobility in the inner city, and $100 million for bike paths across the rest of the city.

This afternoon Mr Carson announced a ‘cycling rally’ to be held this weekend:

INVITATION TO ALL ROAD USERS – This Sunday April 22, 2012, you are invited to attend a cycling rally through the streets of Brisbane. As this is a cycling rally you are asked to attend on a bicycle. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend – recreational cyclists, competitive cyclists, commuter cyclists, once a year cyclists (make this your one ride). I am standing for Lord Mayor with one main objective – to improve Brisbane roads for all road users.

The more people who attend on their cycles, the more strength this message will hold. I personally am stand as Lord Mayor for “Traffic Change”. However, this rally is not about securing votes for me. It is about showing whomever does get into power that they need to take “Traffic Change” seriously and honour any announcements they make throughout the election campaign. This rally is about YOU and every other Brisbane road user. If you are not in Brisbane then please forward this to anyone you know in Brisbane.

I ask that you make every effort to attend this rally and I ask if you could spread this invitation by whatever means at your disposal. Please assemble at KING GEORGE SQUARE between 11am and 11.30am this Sunday, April 22.

Feel free to bring banners, signs and placards to the rally. Please register your intent by emailing me at Chris_Carson_For_Lord_Mayor@hotmail.com
Here are some suggestions –

“Better Roads for Bikes Mean Better Roads for Cars”;

“Give me some Space and I’ll Give you some Space”;

At this stage it’s not clear what form this rally is intended to take, or how antagonistic or constructive it will be. CBD BUG is not endorsing the rally, but members can of course make their own decisions about whether (and how) to participate.

As an independent (and previously unknown) candidate Mr Carson’s chances in the election are not high, but we hope he can create some additional public and political pressure on the established parties to better support and prioritise cycling as a mode of transport.

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