BQ supports Australian experts call for space for safer walking and cycling

Whilst Australia has responded promptly to COVID-19, the result of lockdown measures has left us concerned with current cycling safety standards.

Dr Ben Beck, from the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, led the important call from health and transport experts. He expressed his concerns for safety, as our paths and cycleways are inadequate to handle the physical activity requirement during COVID-19.

The Australian Government recognised the importance of remaining physically active during the pandemic, listing exercise as one of four essential activities. As a result, many Australians have been getting active across the country by walking and cycling.Whilst this is positive, many areas lack sufficient space required to maintain critical physical separation.  


Bicycle Queensland CEO, Rebecca Randazzo and Dr Beck collaborated on this letter, calling on decision makers to take urgent steps to provide more space for walking and cycling during and after the pandemic. The letter was sent to all State and Territory Transport Ministers and co-signed by over 100 Australian experts and Bicycle Queensland.


Bicycle Queensland proposes pop-up bikeways in Brisbane’s CBD

In efforts to improve cycling accessibility throughout Brisbane’s CBD and adapt to the recent surge of cyclists, Bicycle Queensland has put forward concept plans to Brisbane City Council and the State Government for separated bikeways on George Street and Mary Street.

The journey of so many CBD cyclists is hazardous, putting not only existing riders at risk but also discouraging any potential cyclists from commuting to the city. As a solution to this problem, the ‘pop-up’ lanes proposed by Bicycle Queensland will provide a safe route for existing and future riders to cycle through the CBD.

Safety is a priority for all cyclists

“Improving safety and convenience in the CBD itself takes away one more major barrier for people who want to return to their workplaces, but don’t want to be stuck in traffic for hours”, highlights CEO of Bicycle Queensland, Rebecca Randazzo. “People who work in the CBD need incentives to leave the car at home, and get to work by bicycle and walking,”. The proposed pop-up bikeways aim to drastically improve the safety and cycling experience for thousands of city workers, students and delivery riders in the inner city.

The advocacy team have felt strongly about pushing for more CBD bike lanes for some time, however we believe now more than ever is an opportune time to fast track the long-term plans of an inner-city CBD grid. We know first-hand that new riders prioritise safe infrastructure as a deciding factor to whether or not they keep riding. Having pop-up bikeways implemented in busy CBD areas is our first proposed step to making riders feel more safe and comfortable riding through the city.

The proposed plan

Before developing these plans, we consulted with expert Government stakeholders and contacts to ensure our proposed ideas were viable. The plans show a 3-metre wide, bi-directional bikeway extending from the existing lanes on George Street along to Mary Street. The Mary Street bikeway flows from George Street through to Edward Street, ensuring a seamless experience travelling from an east to west direction in the CBD.  

Construction for the Queen’s Wharf precinct and the Cross-River Rail have affected both George Street and Mary Street, changing road conditions and limiting car usage. Repurposing these streets and implementing pop-up bikeways supports active commuting in the city with minimal change to current road setups.

“The last thing we need is for every person who usually takes public transport to the city getting into their cars”.

CEO of Bicycle Queensland, Rebecca Randazzo

It is important to note the plans do require the removal of some on-street parking on both George and Mary streets, however both on and off-street parking is available nearby. The infrastructure can be achieved in a matter of days by using barriers and line divides on existing roads. This projection is similar to the planned pop-up cycle ways recently announced for Sydney.

Rebecca Randazzo makes a valid point concerning social distancing implications on transport, stating that, “Public transport continues to be a difficult proposition for many people as we come out of the pandemic but still continue with social distancing.”

The plan moving forward

Bicycle Queensland’s advocacy team were proud to present these plans to Brisbane City Council’s chair of Public and Active Transport, Cr Ryan Murphy, and also separately to the State Transport and Main Roads Minister, the Hon Mark Bailey MP. We will endeavour to keep you all updated with progress on the proposal moving forward. Bicycle Queensland’s advocacy team would like to thank CBD BUG and Space4Cycling Brisbane for prior work done on this idea and previous BQ campaigns.

If you are interested in finding out more about this proposal, you can read more via the link below:

CBD Pop-up Cycle Space Proposal

Advocacy Press releases

Riding a bike is 39 times better than going to the gym, Queenslanders say

78% of Queenslanders who have taken up bike riding for exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic prefer bike riding over going back to the gym.

This is one of the findings in a survey commissioned by Bicycle Queensland, which had more than 3000 responses from new and existing bike riders over the past two weeks.

Bike riding and sales of bicycles have boomed during the home confinement phase of COVID-19 restrictions, as Queenslanders seized the opportunity to get out of the house once a day for exercise. Families with children being home-schooled also were grateful for the chance to be outside, often riding together for the first time.

Bike retailers such as 99 Bikes, and online retailer Pushys, reported item as diverse as indoor trainers and child seats were sold out, and re-stocking is proving to be a challenge.

But overall, bike sales were reported by retailers to be up between 50% and 500%, depending on the category.

Automated counters on Brisbane City Council’s bikeway network have reported a massive increase in the number of bike riders. On Kedron Brook bikeway, numbers are up about 300%. 

Bicycle Queensland CEO Rebecca Randazzo said: “This is an opportunity for all levels of Government to be bold, and to work together.”

“The numbers are irrefutable – Queenslanders want to be active, whether it’s about getting to work or getting some exercise.”

“We need to provide safe spaces for people to ride, and the time to act is now.”

John Reghenzani, who lives at Paddington and works at Newstead, is one such commuter, who is returning to office work after home confinement.

“I’ve determined for myself that riding to work is the way to go. I’m killing two birds with one stone … getting exercise to combat my sedentary lifestyle while getting to work more quickly than if I took the bus.

“I’m not a morning person, so riding to work clears out the cobwebs in the morning, and on the way home it helps to get rid of the workplace angst,” John said.

Respondents to Bicycle Queensland’s survey said they started riding bikes during the pandemic because they couldn’t go to the gym (36%), or because cycling is exercise that is gentler on the body than running or walking (36%), or because cycling is exercise they can do with a partner or the whole family (32%). They didn’t ride before the pandemic because of lack of time (40%) or concerns about personal safety (32%).

Most of these new riders are riding on bike paths (76%) or in bike lanes on roads. They are buying road bikes or hybrid/commuter bikes. About 50% of them spent more than $1000 on their new bike, and also dropped another $150-200 on accessories.

They are finding their fitness is improving (68%), and they are discovering their neighbourhood (32%). Best of all, cycling brings joy into their life (65%)!

And a vast majority believe that bike riding will continue to be a regular activity in their life, even once the pandemic is over (81%). Only 2% would prefer to go back to the gym!

These new riders would like to see better cycling facilities, closer to their homes (57%), better end of trip facilities at work (44%), and education course such as bike maintenance, bike skills and route planning.

Advice Advocacy

Supporting your local bike shop during COVID-19


During these challenging times it is wonderful to see more folks and families returning to cycling to support their physical and mental wellbeing.  We are also seeing an uptake in active transport as cycling provides a fun, cheap and healthy alternative to public transport. 

With community safety in mind, bike stores are changing the way they work to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to keep the cycling community pedalling. We recommend contacting your local store to ensure you are aware of what process and procedures they have in place.

Find below some changes your local bike shop might be adopting to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. 

  • taking extra precautions and using disinfectant on all contact surfaces.
  • reducing the daily number of employees to minimise the number of people in the shop at once.
  • employees are practicing social distancing other safety precautions.
  • encouraging customers to visit their webstore for parts, and to call or email if they have any questions.
  • if they are accepting bike for services, an appointment only system may apply.
  • new services like customer pick up and drop off services, car park handovers and over the phone payments may be in place.
  • customers will be asked to remove personal items from their bike prior to services e.g. water bottles, bike computers etc.
  • during this time, they may not be offering bike fitting or set up services.
  • prohibiting customers from trying on clothing and helmets, or using a “loan” helmet.
  • if customers purchase items and need to return them, that item will be placed in quarantine for a period. There is not specific data on how long the virus can survive on clothes.  It depends largely on the environment conditions – temperature and humidity.
  • employ the use of face masks for washing bikes to reduce the risk to staff of inhaling vaporised virus particles.
  • place hand sensitisers facilities at the entry to the shop and encourage everyone entering to wash their hands.
  • queue control maybe in place outside of shops to manage social distance guidelines.

Tag your local bike shop to let them know you value their commitment and effort in assisting us to all to #ridewell through COVID-19. Posts on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Please see our Coronavirus Q&A for cyclists and Coronavirus update for Cyclists stories for our recommendations to stay safe.


Quarterly Advocacy Update: March 2020

Advocacy is one of three pillars of Bicycle Queensland’s activity (along with membership and events). Here’s a snapshot of the last three 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.


  • BQ advocacy manager and CEO were invited by Cr Fiona Hammond, Chair of Brisbane City Council’s Environment, Parks and Sustainability Committee to assist her at the opening of the new bikeway section along Riverside Drive, West End. Channel 9 covered the event. The project formalises the section of Riverside Drive from the dead end of Hill End Terrace through to Victoria St as a bikeway. Other sections towards the CBD from there continue to be informal but vital bikeway links.
  • BQ CEO attended the “sod turning” ceremony at Demeio Cycle Park, Demeio Rd, Marsden.  Rebecca was joined by the Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, the Hon Cameron Dick MP, members of the Transurban projects team, Logan BUG and representatives of the local community. This project is an initiative of the Logan Enhancement Project and is all about getting our youngest road users up to speed on basic road safety.  Designed to resemble a real road, the park will allow kids to interpret and understand different road signs, experience travel at different speeds and learn how to give way and share the road safely.  BQ has provided input for additional resources to be made available at the park including education posters on helmet fitting and a bike workstation.   BQ is being kept up to date on the project from the Transurban team and look forward to attending the opening which is scheduled for late 2020.


  • BQ advocacy manager met with TMR’s Metro bikeway designers re options for the V1 at Worrell Street, Macgregor. This is the only remaining ‘on-road’ section of the V1 bikeway, so completing it will be a final piece in the puzzle. The key design challenges are about improving the sightlines and safety of riders as they transition from the motorway-adjacent path to the proposed new path along Worrell St. There are two (or maybe three) other V1 upgrade projects in the pipeline ahead of this one, so it might several years away.
  • BQ advocacy manager met with the Eastern Transitway team re bicycle facilities on Stage 1 of this project. The Eastern Transitway will improve bus facilities on the Old Cleveland Road corridor from Creek Rd, Carindale to Coorparoo. A high-quality shared path is planned for Stage 1, but the project team admits that the restraints of the corridor won’t allow for dedicated bicycle facilities along the full length. BQ will continue to advocate for a high-quality bike facility through Camp Hill and Coorparoo.
  • BQ advocacy manager met with Tim Mitchell from Redland City Council, for an update on the Redlands Coast Transport Strategy. Bicycle Queensland strongly supported the Redlands planning team’s approach to this document, which prioritised walking and cycling and public transport, over other modes. The strategy will hopefully see Redland City move from a ‘business as usual’ approach will only leads to more car-dominated suburbs, to a transport system that gives people the option to travel actively and safely to all their destinations. We heard back recently from Redlands City transport planner Tim Mitchell that the strategy has been adopted. He said in the email: “As a key organisation in advocating active travel across Queensland and in particular informing broader transport policy I would like to once again thank you for being involved in the project and look forward to continuing the strong working relationship between Bicycle Queensland and Council.” We’re keen to see Redlands reintroduce a Council active travel committee, with BQ and local cycling representatives able to meet regularly with Councilors and key staff.
  • BQ advocacy manager and CEO met with Transport and Main Roads Minister, the Hon Mark Bailey, and senior TMR staff including Deputy Director General and Translink boss Matthew Longland, re Bicycle Queensland’s on-going relationship with the department. This is a crucial relationship for Bicycle Queensland. BQ proposals on the ‘Bike With’ program, Bike-Friendly Towns, and Community Harmony Alliance were very well received, and will be part of ongoing discussions.
  • In February, BQ advocacy manager was the cycling community’s representative at Transport and Main Roads’ Active Transport Investment Program’s grants assessment panel. Local councils across the state submit projects for 50-50 funding. Some of the projects are in the planning or feasibility phase, others are closer to construction. As long as the proposed project is on the state-wide Principal Cycle Network Plan (preferably as a Highest Priority or Priority A route), and it passes the ‘value for money’ test, then it stands a good chance of being funded. The PCNP was developed in consultation with councils, and bike-riding groups, and is regularly updated. There were dozens of projects submitted by councils, and the panel also assesses cycling projects from the TMR districts. And as a result there are some excellent projects in the pipeline. Some are a few years away from pouring the concrete, but others will be here sooner rather than later.
  • BQ advocacy manager met with TMR’s North Brisbane Bikeway project officers, re options for the next stage (stage 4). Works have just completed on Stage 3, which is a great separated link through Albion, along Bridge Street / McDonald Rd alignment. This project has taken a long time to get to this stage, and every step has been a battle. But we believe the outcomes are very positive for people from the northside who want to commute to the CBD.
  • BQ’s advocacy manager and CEO hosted BQ’s first ever online meeting of regional bicycle user groups. We had representatives from Cairns, Innisfail, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Capricorn Coast, Bundaberg, and Fraser Coast — all of the active regional BUGs were represented, except Toowoomba which comes to the metro forums we hold. It was an excellent discussion about how BUGs can work collaboratively with BQ, local Councils and TMR districts towards getting the principal cycle network built. Timing was very good as new Councils will be elected this weekend, and we are keen to work with local advocates to ensure we are most effective in helping set agendas for the next four years.
  • BQ’s CEO and advocacy manager met with key people from the Department of Housing and Public Works and Sport & Recreation, Rory Parker, policy advisor to Minister Mick De Brenni, and Chad Anderson, Executive Director for Housing and Public Works. BQ presented our vision for programs which would move Queensland forward towards connected liveable communities, including the ‘Bike With’ program, and Bike Friendly Towns, and the Commuter Harmony Alliance. There was in-principle support for the Alliance, and good discussion on ways forward through the Sport and Recreation Partnerships Office, which co-ordinates the Activate! Program. This relationship has great potential for getting the cycling and active commuting message into targetted regional areas.
  • BQ advocacy manager attended a regular meeting of the Brisbane North BUG (bicycle user group), as the guest speaker. It was good opportunity to touch base with BQ members who are passionate about improving cycling in their local area, and to update NorthBUG about BQ’s strategic direction. One great local project the BUG is advocating for is an off-road pathway connection in the Moreton Bay council area, which would link into the Kedron Brook bikeway. The proposed link would route through Harry Evans Park. Moreton Bay council are surveying the park with the purpose of developing designs.
  • BQ advocacy manager met with Michael Visser, a BQ member who has been active in looking for positive outcomes on how on-road cyclists with cameras fixed to their bikes, can work co-operatively with the Queensland Police Service on enforcement of safe passing laws. Visser is a web developer, and he has also been working with the camera manufacturer Cycliq. Michael gave us a preview of Upride, an online reporting tool, which Cycliq has funded. See Upride has the potential to take some of the “heat” out of interactions between cyclists who have been close passed, and QPS officers who feel under-resourced to deal with the issue.
  • BQ CEO and advocacy manager met with Sandy Murdoch, founder of Traction, a charity which does great work with at-risk young people, and uses the bicycle as a vehicle for change (pun very much intended, thank you). Traction’s mentors work with selected high school students on an intensive project, usually stripping down and rebuilding a bicycle. The meeting was to strengthen existing ties between the two organisations. COVID-19 has temporarily shut down our plans for Traction to provide bicycle maintenance courses to BQ members and the public, but no doubt that will return when the time is right.
  • BQ CEO and advocacy manager met with Russell White, Managing Director Driver Safety Australia, and founder of the Australian Road Safety Foundation, re BQ’s Commuter Harmony Alliance and building partnerships in the driver training area. BQ will work on providing resources in areas such as fleet training for drivers.
  • BQ’s CEO was invited to be part of a very select stakeholder group, meeting with Queensland Police Service’s head of Road Policing, Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating about changes to the Road Policing Command structures. Others in the room were senior leaders in Transport and Main Roads, including the Director-General, and CEOs and senior leaders from the Local Government Association of Queensland, RACQ, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, QUT research group CARRS-Q, and the University of Southern Queensland. Assistant Police Commissioner Keating briefed stakeholders on Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll’s vision for the future of policing in Queensland. Ben Marcus was introduced to the group as the contact going forward regarding all maters to do with Road Policing Command.  Ben expressed his commitment to this role and reinforced the QPS commitment to Road safety.  Ben will be actively updating stakeholders on the outcomes of the QPS strategic review and service alignment program discussions. Like Bicycle Queensland, the QPS strives to provide a professional service to all of Queensland.  The decision to place a Deputy Police commissioner permanently in North Queensland can only mean better outcomes for regional Queenslanders.   
  • BQ advocacy manager attended Queensland Rail bicycle reference group. As previously mentioned, this group has made great progress in helping Qld Rail identify the needs for secure bike parking cages and casual bike parking racks at prioritised stations in the CityRail network. That role is almost completed, especially as the station upgrades roll out as part of Cross River Rail. However, there will still be a number of older stations which have major accessibility issues, requiring multiple flights of stairs to reach the platform — tough for many users, not just people with bikes. As these are mostly smaller, less patronised stations, it becomes a balancing act as to whether the investment in upgrading the station is justified in increased patronage, but BQ’s view is that providing local access is a key to enabling multi-modal transport trips, as well as reducing car dependence.
  • BQ CEO and advocacy manager met with Paul Turner, Chief Communications Officer for RACQ, and RACQ’s head of policy Steve Spalding. The meeting was to continue to build our potential partnership opportunities with RACQ, on areas to do with e-bikes, breakdown service, insurance opportunities, and also discussions on current and proposed Compulsory Third-Party Insurance (CTP) funding models in Queensland. BQ supports the continuation of the current low-cost CTP system, which gives cyclists the opportunity to be covered by BQ’s membership based insurance.
  • BQ CEO and advocacy manager met with Mitchell Price and Ian Brouckaert from Lime, about their company’s plans for e-bikes and e-scooters in the Queensland marketplace. E-scooters bring an increase in traffic on shared pathways that places pressure on Governments local and state to provide higher standard facilities. We also discussed insurance issues, and the burgeoning privately-owned e-scooter market, and the challenges that brings.
  • BQ CEO and advocacy manager met with Cross River Rail project re designs for the station upgrades for Fairfield and Exhibition station. BQ’s feedback advocated for casual and secure bike parking at the stations, ease of access to the platforms for people with bikes (and people in wheelchairs, parents with prams and strollers, etc) and strong connections to the local bikeway network, especially for Exhibition station.
  • BQ CEO and advocacy manager met with Brisbane City Council project team for the Victoria Park Vision, specifically to advocate for extension of the ‘community hub’ concept in the draft vision to be expanded to include a physical space that community groups such as BQ and BUGs and riding groups could use for education and training, but also as a social meeting space.

Media issues

  • BQ’s CEO and advocacy manager gave multiple interviews to North Queensland media outlets in late February when a driver drove into an early morning group of cyclists, who were riding in a bike lane on a wide, flat arterial road in Townsville. Five cyclists were injured, and two of them were BQ members. There is never any upside to these incidents, but the BQ team does our best to represent the cycling community in terms of our outrage that people simply riding their bikes are put at risk by these anti-social actions, and also to continue our advocacy towards safer paths and places to ride, right across this very large state.
  • BQ’s advocacy manager sent advice to bicycle users groups across the state about appopriate measures for bike riding groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • BQ’s advocacy manager took over the Cycling Brisbane Instagram @cyclingbrisbane account, for Brisbane City Council, for the week leading up to our planned first event of the year, the Bike With Brisbane active commuting day. Because BCC are in caretaker mode in the lead-up to the local government elections on Saturday 28th March, all posts had to be pre-approved by the Cycling Brisbane team.
  • In response to  COVID-19, BQ CEO published a response statement on 20/3/2020.  This statement is published on the BQ website and announced over our social media pages.  In addition to the BQ marketing has launched a #RIDEWELL campaign which will sit on our social media platforms over the coming weeks.  This campaign is designed to provide members with up to date information and guidelines regarding their cycling behaviours and choices in response to COVID-19.  Embedded in this campaign is support messages and tips to #ridewell through these exceptional circumstances.

Advocacy through story-telling

  • We’ve been working with our marketing team and the CEO to embrace video storytelling as an advocacy tool, and to share stories of success that are about the transforming power of riding a bicycle. As we worked with BQ’s events team towards the planned first public announcement of Bicycle Queensland’s Commuter Harmony Alliance, we identified ambassadors who had personal stories to tell.
    • BQ’s advocacy manager has filmed and edited video stories featuring:
    • Cathy Peel from Brisbane Chicks Who Ride Bikes, who has a inspiring story of how getting into cycling gave her confidence and improved mental and physical health.
    • David Sallows, from the University of the Third Age, Redlands, still riding several times a week in his mid-80s, who says that the social and communal aspects of cycling have kept him going strong.
    • Renee Dikeni, “Fit Aussie Sista”, a teacher and mother who is living car-free for a year, and who rides 300km a week on her cargo e-bike.
    • Ellen Armstrong and Sarah Reedman, physiotherapists who work with children and young adults with balance issues (e.g. Cerebral palsy) to enable them to be active on adapted bicycle-type devices, called ‘race runners’.
    • Hand-cyclist Graham Walters, who hasn’t let an accident which put him permanently in a wheelchair be the end of his cycling life. He has ridden BQ events including Brisbane to Gold Coast.

The video stories are being used on our social media channels, and are also be available as a playlist on Bicycle Queensland’s YouTube channel:

We’ve got others coming up as well, including Andrea and Richard Herklots, who have morphed their e-bike business into a way of providing adapted bikes for people with mobility difficulties.

— Andrew Demack, Advocacy Manager