North Brisbane Cycleway

The North Brisbane Cycleway (previously known as the Northern Veloway) is a proposed cycleway connecting from the Victoria Park bikeway (near the Brisbane CBD) north to Aspley.

Key Priorities

There are many missing links that must be addressed before there is a safe route for cyclists from the CBD to Chermside and beyond. These won’t be fixed all at once, so the CBD BUG is focusing on 5 immediate priorities necessary to allow northside riders easy access to the CBD.  The five highest priorities are (click on them to link to a more detailed description below):

  1. Old Fire Station corner on Bridge St, Wooloowin
  2. Proper lighting along existing sections
  3. McDonald Road corridor, Albion
  4. Land bridge intersection at York’s Hollow, Herston
  5. Dickson Street corridor, Wooloowin

Old Fire Station Corner

The bridge between Bridge St and Hudson Rd in Wooloowin is used by thousands of motor vehicles every day, and hundreds of frightened cyclists. It is a safety issue for all users, with poor sight lines, and the reversal of the usual give way rules, causing frequent collisions between motor vehicles. On-road painted bike lanes northbound veer into the path of oncoming traffic.  Bike lanes southbound disappear altogether, forcing cyclists to ride uphill in a narrow lane with heavy traffic, then struggle to merge across to a right-hand traffic lane against fast-moving vehicles trying to turn left across the bridge.

Cars can avoid the intersection completely, by using Sandgate Road, Gympie Road or the Airport Link tunnel. Unfortunately there is no viable alternative for northside cyclists. Virtually any logical route into the CBD from the northside requires cyclists to come through this intersection.

Fire Station Corner from south on Bridge Street.  Fire Station Corner from south on Hudson Street.

Bike lane ends before junction.                    Bike lane squeezed between north bound lanes.

Solution

We understand the city and state governments are working to implement a solution to this awful intersection as soon as possible. We support their efforts, and encourage them to work as fast as they can, taking into account the interests of cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.

Responsible agency:  Brisbane City Council

Lighting

Cyclists will not use bikeways if they feel unsafe.  Sections of the existing North Brisbane Bikeway are both unlit and in isolated areas.  Many cyclists will not use these sections of the bikeway after dark, and refer to them as spooky.  The sections of bikeway that need attention are:

  • from the tunnel under College Road to Victoria Park after the Grammar School buildings.
  • along the edge of Victoria Park Golf Course parallel to Gilchrist Avenue
  • from the corner of Federation Street to Le Geyt Street, Windsor.  (This should be addressed as part of Section 1b.)

Solution

Lighting should be installed as a matter of priority on the path between the Grammar School buildings and the railway line from College Road to Victoria Park.  This section is currently not subject to any further scheduled improvements.  Lighting should be installed alongside Victoria Park golf course as part of Section 1a and between Federation and Le Geyt Streets as part of the Section 1b upgrades.

Responsible agency:  Brisbane City Council

McDonald Road

McDonald Road in Albion is where the safe path along Breakfast Creek ends for northbound cyclists, and the dangerous on-road sections begin. It features steady high-speed traffic of cement mixers and gravel trucks serving the concrete plant at the corner of McDonald Rd and Somerset St, plus a variety of rat-runners trying to avoid the traffic on Lutwyche Road.

Cyclists can choose between

  • an on-road route protected only by Bicycle Awareness Zone road markings, hidden under parked cars and trucks and often covered with gravel from the cement works, or
  • a deteriorated off-road shared path with dangerously designed road crossings.

Solution

An easy solution for the offroad path is to remove 2 parking spots at each road crossing to improve sight lines, and realign the existing gutter ramps. A safer, separated route could also be achieved cheaply by using the existing shoulder of McDonald Road running parallel to the train line, for a bi-directional bike path. While traffic accessing four side streets may be affected by this, all the side streets are only between 10 and 50 metres long, with alternative ways to access affected properties from McDonald road.

Responsible agency:  Transport and Main Roads

Yorks Hollow Railings

There are a number of examples of poor design on the bicycle link between Royal Brisbane Hospital and the CBD, and they are becoming increasingly obvious as bicycle traffic grows. But one of the worst is the badly designed bike path intersection at Yorks Hollow, where the land bridge across the Inner City Bypass meets the Victoria Park shared path. It is impossible to turn left off the Victoria Park path without riding on the wrong side of the intersecting path, due to the sharp 90 degree turn, the narrowness of the path and the non-standard railings jutting out from the fencing on either side. This will become a greater hazard and cause significant congestion as cyclist numbers increase.

Solution

An easy solution is the removal of the railings and a widening of the radius of the intersection of the concrete paths.

Responsible agency:  Brisbane City Council

Dickson Street Corridor

Dickson Street in Wooloowin is a crucial link in almost any cyclist’s route to northern Brisbane. But it is also a narrow, busy connecting road, with fast motor vehicle traffic, that is heavy at peak times.  The alternatives for cyclists are:

  • a ride in the door zone, as the ‘cycle paths’ on both sides of the road are always blocked by parked cars, or
  • an off-road footpath that is less than a metre wide, has frequent driveway crossings and is heavily used by pedestrians accessing Wooloowin and Eagle Junction train stations.

Solution

Easy solutions include a bi-directional separated bicycle lane in one of the lanes currently used for car parking, or a wider, safer shared offroad path.

Responsible agency: Transport and Main Roads.

Background

The northern and north-eastern suburbs of Brisbane do not have any safe way to get to the CBD by bicycle. This has been a long-standing problem, but in recent years the situation has got even worse, with the construction of the new tunnels around Bowen Hills obliterating bike paths and bridges in the area, taking away road space, and making cycling much more dangerous.

The need for a safe cycle route to the northern suburbs has been identified numerous times in government planning documents (such as the Western Brisbane Transport Network Investigation and, more recently, the Queensland Cycle Strategy), and some planning has been done, but progress has been slow, and the government has held back on making firm commitments to build the cycleway, while pushing ahead with road projects that continue to make it even more difficult to cycle.

The CBD BUG has been campaigning for the cycleway to be built as a matter of urgency. We have written to and met with numerous councillors, state MPs, and staff from both Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, and pursued the release of information under Right to Information legislation. We are hopeful of a obtaining a firm commitment to build the cycleway in the near future.

News

Follow developments on our blog under the Northern Veloway tag, as well as general northern suburbs issues under the northside tag.

Media releases

11 March 2012: North Brisbane Cycleway to deliver benefits for Brisbane’s north
15 March 2011: Cyclists call for Cycling Super Highway on Brisbane’s north side

Correspondence

From ULDA: North Brisbane Cycleway response (15 February 2012)
To ULDA: North Brisbane Cycleway alignment (24 January 2012)
From TMR: Northern Veloway RTI decision letter (13 January 2012)
From TMR: Northern Veloway RTI consultation notice (3 January 2012)
From TMR: Intention to refuse Northern Veloway RTI application (23 November 2011)
From TMR: Northern Veloway RTI acknowledgement (10 November 2011)
To Neil Roberts MP: Northern Veloway meeting (8 September 2011)
To Stirling Hinchliffe MP: Northern Veloway meeting (8 September 2011)
From Cr Simmonds: Northern Veloway response (15 July 2011)
To Tim Nicholls MP: Northern Veloway meeting (1 July 2011)
To Cr Kim Flesser: Northern Veloway meeting (1 July 2011)
To Grace Grace MP: Northern Veloway meeting (1 July 2011)
To Cr David McLachlan: Northern Veloway meeting (1 July 2011)
To Cr David Hinchliffe: Northern Veloway meeting (1 July 2011)
From Cr Simmonds: Northern Veloway acknowledgement (10 June 2011)
To Cr Simmonds: Northern Veloway meeting (3 June 2011)

RTI documents

Documents obtained under the Right to Information Act (January, 2012):

Other documents

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