Quarterly Advocacy Update, December 2019
Advocacy is one of three pillars of Bicycle Queensland’s activity (along with membership and events). Here’s snapshot of the last couple of months of advocacy work that our team has been involved with. Not included in this list is the regular interactions via phone and email with BQ members and other bike riders on safety and infrastructure issues across the state.
• National Ride2Work Day was held on 16 October, at the Law Courts Plaza, 415 George Street. We had around 300 bike riders come for the breakfast. Attendance from State MPs was good — it was a sitting week — but Brisbane City councillors and the Lord Mayor were conspicuous by their absence. The Minister for Public Works and Housing, the Hon Mick de Brenni MP, stood in for Transport & Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.
• BQ’s CEO attended the BlackSpot Panel in early December. It’s a Federally funded program which funds infrastructure upgrades. The overall spend is around a 50:50 split between major Queensland cities and rural communities. The panel successfully lobbied for an additional $10 million from the Federal government to include additional projects, which may include bike-related safety projects.
• Bicycle Queensland also sent a team along to the opening events for the newly upgraded section of the Bicentennial Bikeway, opened as part of the multi-billion dollar Queens Wharf Brisbane project. The new section of bikeway is adjacent to Waterline Park, a new public space between 1 William Street and the river. BQ has plans for further events at this site, as it is easily accessible from most points of the compass.
• Bicycle Queensland held our first Bicycle User Groups combined meeting. Representatives of bicycle user groups from around south-east Queensland came to a breakfast event at BQ HQ, Lang Parade, Milton. The agenda focussed on ways that BQ could assist the BUGs more effectively. There was also a presentation by Lori Dean, on her learnings from the University of Amsterdam’s course on ‘Building The Cycling City’. The BUGs consultation breakfast will be a quarterly event in 2020.
• Toowoomba region of Transport and Main Roads held an options workshop about the Principal Cycle Network as it pertains to Gatton. BQ’s advocacy manager was the only community representative. It was a very positive workshop, and established a clear priority for where the principal cycle network should be placed. The workshop outcomes will shape the provision of a bike link from Gatton’s town centre to the nearby UQ campus, as funding becomes available. This would be a great project, as the ride from town to UQ at present is on a narrow 80km/h with plenty of heavy vehicle traffic — a daunting prospect which some brave students and UQ staff currently endure.
• BQ’s advocacy manager participated in Toowoomba Regional Council’s Transport and Active Living Forum, a one-day event. The forum had input from international experts such as Rod Tolley (Walk 21) and Herbert Tiemens (Dutch Cycling Embassy). But the real excitement was generated by participants from the local communities, imaging a Toowoomba which prioritised walking and cycling movements, especially within the CBD area (for walkers) and routes to the CBD (for bike riders). TRC key staff and the local manager of the Transport and Main roads district have generated some good momentum from this forum for progress on active transport projects.
Meetings with projects
• The advocacy team met with Transport and Main Roads project team for the M1 upgrade from Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill. This motorway upgrade will include a new section of V1 (Veloway 1) alongside it. The first stage will pick up where the V1 bikeway currently finishes (opposite the RACQ office at Eight Mile Plains), and take riders as far as Sports Drive, Underwood. That stage is scheduled for completion late 2021. By 2025 the V1 should connect up to the existing short section of bikeway under Loganlea Rd at Daisy Hill. This project is a great example of TMR’s policy of providing for bikes in all upgrades of TMR-owned roads, coming to fruition.
• Alongside the V1 developments, the same M1 upgrade project has also triggered an upgrade of bike lanes on Logan Road, from the Gateway Motorway overpass, down to Beenleigh Road. This project will benefit on-road cyclists, and is a welcome improvement for commuter cyclist safety through Eight Mile Plains. BQ and Brisbane South BUG representatives met with the contractor engaged to deliver the bike lane project, and provided feedback on concept designs.
• BQ CEO and Advocacy Manager met with Brisbane City Council with a proposal for a bicycle education centre as part of the Victoria Park Visioning process. We are looking for opportunities to make the case for this centre in our meeting with BCC decision-makers, e.g. Councillors and senior managers.
• We met with Transurban’s Logan Enhancement Project re bikeway bridge over Logan Motorway connecting from Illaweena St, Stretton south to Acacia St, Browns Plains. After feedback from users (Logan BUG), BQ will be going back to Transurban with suggestions about improved signage at either end of the project. From the northern end it is especially non-obvious to new users. As part of the Logan Enhacement Project, Transurban has also committed to building two new “learn to ride” style parks, in Parkinson and Marsden. These parks give young riders a taste of the road environment, in a space where parents can easily supervise their learning.
• BQ advocacy manager met with BCC’s Green Bridges project team, and discussed the priorities for the proposed bridges, and the importance of great connections from the bridges into the rest of the bikeway network. BQ agrees with Kangaroo Point as first priority, and requested West End to Toowong be the next in line after that.
• BQ advocacy manager met with Department of Transport and Main Roads team which is working on the Lindum Station precinct study. BQ gave feedback on how the existing station and surrounding precinct could be made more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, and on the need for improved bicycle parking facilities at the station.
Other meetings and engagements:
• We attended the end of year celebrations for the Active School Travel programs for both Brisbane City Council, and the City of Gold Coast. Our attendance at these events has already led to further discussions about ways Bicycle Queensland can assist in making active school travel programs available more widely, and also extending BCC’s programs into high schools.
• BQ collaborated with two University of Queensland Studio 3 student teams on a design project for a device and app which measures UV exposure for bike riders. One of those teams won an Innovation Showcase award for their work, which was a pleasing outcome.
• The International Cycling Safety Conference was held at QUT Gardens Point on 18-20 November. Bicycle Queensland’s advocacy manager led some pre-conference tours, hosted an advocacy dinner with conference participants, and we also had a display presence at the People’s Night event which closes the conference. It was a great opportunity to hear stories of best-practice in designing safe facilities for cycling, and also papers on emerging issues around the work which are also impacting here, such as e-scooters and planning for autonomous vehicles. The conference had a discernible theme of “low” cycling countries (e.g. Australia) seeking to successfully adapt learnings and best practice from “high” cycling countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden. The next ICSC will be in Lund, Sweden.
• BQ met with the CEO of Cycling Queensland, Sean Muir, to discuss how the two organisations can work more closely together. The voting process for the formation of a national sporting organisation which brings together all the competitive cycling disciplines was also discussed.
• BQ advocacy manager and CEO met with senior transport and infrastructure team from the City of Gold Coast, for an update on how BQ and Cirty of Gold Coast can work together in the future. The advocacy manager also attended City of Gold Coast’s Active Transport Reference Group. It was great to hear about the investment the City in making in active transport over the next four-year term. Gold Coast will be doubling its spend on active transport, to $20 million per year — $80 million in the next four years.
• BQ advocacy manager and CEO met with the Assistant Commissioner for Queensland Police Service, Mike Keating to discuss how we can work together to improve safety for bike riders. BQ presented member feedback on inconsistent enforcement of the minimum passing distance laws. Mr Keating agreed to raise the matter with his senior staff in Road Policing Command. Mt Keating also agreed to participate in a round-table discussion with all road safety stakeholders (TMR, RACQ, CARRS-Q etc) in 2020 with a view to a ‘harmony program’ public education campaign suggested by BQ.
• Met with Cr Jonathon Sri, BCC councillor, Gabba ward, and discussed best ways forward for advancing active transport projects in Gabba ward, including next steps for Dornoch Terrace and Hargreaves Rd.
• Met with Cr David McLachlan, Chair of BCC Infrastructure committee, general discussion on BCC and BQ priorities re developing active transport.
• BQ team members also attended BCC’s Quarterly Road Freight reference group, and the Lord Mayor’s External Reference Group, and the Queensland Rail Bicycle Reference Group (which is doing excellent work in assisting QR to prioritise improvements to bicycle facilities across its network).
• Facilitated action member concerns re parking in Sylvan Rd bike lanes, and service vehicles on Centenary Cycleway, and continued to monitor reports of close passes submitted to QPS.
— Andrew Demack, Advocacy Manager