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Advocacy Press releases

Queensland Government invest $315 million in bikeways

The Queensland Government has committed $315 millon over the coming four years to expand the network of bikeways and walking paths. Bicycle Queensland applauds this investment, which overshadows the recent announcement of a $100 million Active Transport Fund.

The state government is aiming to encourage more Queenslanders to leave their cars at home, however the $315 million investment is still a fraction of the eye-watering $34.7 billion that is registered in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) following the state budget announcment. So while $315 million seems like a lot, and it is, it’s not even 1% of the total investment in transport. The United Nations suggest 20% of transport infrastructure funding should go towards active transport, but Queensland is falling well short.

‘Every person who rides a bike or walks to work, school, to socialise or to go to the shops means less traffic and less pollution, and can also mean savings on transport costs,’ stated Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish. ‘It’s not only cheaper than using a car but it’s much better for your health and we think Queenslanders deserve world class active transport facilities.’

The Queensland government state that for every dollar invested in a bikeway, nearly five dollars are returned in economic benefits to Queensland – however the cost to benefit ratio for many built motorways is as low as 0.24, compared to close to 5.0 for bikeways.

Some other projects of note within this funding include:
– $41.5 million for the Cairns Southern Access Cycleway (co-funded with the federal government)
– $36.1 milion velobridge over Birdwood Road on the Veloway 1 in Greenslopes
– $9.4 million towards the second stage of the New England Highway Bikeway between Highfields and Toowoomba
– $10.4 million for improvements to active transport on Moggil oad from the Centenary Motorway to Chapel Hill Road.
– $22.5 million to fill gaps on the Riverwalk at Kangaroo Point – which makes an unbroken link between Kangaroo Point and Mowbray Park
– $9.6 million to develop a network of bike-friendly streets in South Brisbane, Highgate Hill and West End.

‘Bicycle Queensland members and the 800,000 Queenslanders who regularly ride a bike all welcome this announcement from the Minister,’ said Andrew Demack, Bicycle Queensland’s Director of Advocacy. ‘Building bikeways is great value for money for Queensland towns and cities, and we’re keen to see connected, high-quality bikeways built that give people the chance to get to their destinations safely while building their fitness and reducing congestion and carbon emissions.’

Categories
Advocacy

Toowoomba creates Queensland’s first Safe Active Street

On Friday June 21, 2024, Toowoomba Regional Council opened Queensland’s first Safe Active Street on Pierce Street in Toowoomba. Not just a first for Queensland, this was a first for the whole eastern seaboard of Australia. A Safe Active Street prioritises cycling, with a speed limit of 30km/h. Cars need to yield to cyclists, with painted lanes making all road users aware of the changed conditions.

Dropping the speed limit to 30km/h reduces the severity of any collisions between road users (no matter the modality) but it also helps make more bike riders feel safer on said street. Piercee Street in Toowoomba is a connector on the West Creek Cycleway, and amending the street into a Safe Active Street was a more cost-effective solution than creating a separated bikeway to create the connection. As Pierce Street ends in a quiet cul-de-sac there will be minimal impact on drivers of vehicles, but enhanced safety for those on bikes.

What does a Safe Active Street mean?

  • The speed limit is 30km/h. This applies to all road users.
  • People riding bikes are to ride near the centre of the shared travel lane (the terracotta painted zone).
  • People driving cars are to maintain 30km/h or less behind the person on a bike until safe to overtake, ensuring a distance of one metre from the rider. You are allowed to drive over the outside lines of the terracotta zone to overtake safely or to pass an oncoming vehicle.
  • Always give way to oncoming traffic and drive or ride in a safe and courteous manner.

Brian McKay, Senior Transport Planner at Toowoomba Regional Council, explained the concept of a Safe Active Street, and why they can be an important part of transport networks – and also affect change.

‘A Safe Active Street is something that is common throughout a lot of countries in Europe. Basically it is a street where everyone shares the same space. It has a lower speed environment… and we all know that 30km/h is that critical speed limit for safety. Bike riders have priority on this street and car drivers will have to sit behind a cyclist until they’re safe to move past.’

Having looked at various options to solve this missing link on the West Creek Cycleway, this was deemed the best fit by council.

‘We have a very car dominated road network in Queensland and in Australia,’ added McKay. ‘So all the time we can get these incremental changes to show people that there is a different kind of behaviour that is appropriate and safe for all users, then it is a great outcome for all.’

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Advocacy

The North Brisbane Bikeway’s missing link is coming

Bicycle Queensland was pleased to take the opportunity to participate in Brisbane City Council’s community working group for the next and final stage of the North Brisbane Bikeway: between Price Street to Kedron Brook.

As the working group has completed its work, we have written to the Chair of Transport for BCC, Cr Ryan Murphy, urging Council to complete this vital project.

This 500 metre section of bikeway will unlock a direct connection from Sandgate and even Redcliffe, all the way to Brisbane’s CBD. As a missing link which makes a difference to every bike rider, e-bike rider and e-scooter rider on the north side of Brisbane, it is hard to understate the significance of the NBB project.

North Brisbane Bikeway

We’ve been working closely with Brisbane North Bicycle Users Group as we look for the best way to help BCC see that even with some local opposition, this project is one which benefits almost everyone, through reducing congestion and enabling safe active transport.

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Press releases

Bicycle Queensland Celebrates Success of Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Event

From May 3rd to 6th 2024, Bicycle Queensland, assisted through funding from the Queensland State Government, were proud to assist the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Association (BBIRT) in the successful running of the inaugural Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Weekend.  The event saw an impressive turnout of riding enthusiasts from across Queensland and New South Wales, coming together to celebrate their passion for cycling and exploration on the Dawes Range Tunnels section of the BBIRT (Barrimoon to Builyan).

Photo from the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Weekend 2024, supported by Bicycle Queensland. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.

The Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail event offered participants an unforgettable experience filled with camaraderie, scenic vistas, and thrilling challenges. The event had it all, with a dash of rain keeping the temperatures ideal, and adding a challenge element with some wet conditions. Riders embarked on a variety of rides through picturesque landscapes, traversing the diverse terrain of the rail trail -including the iconic Dawes Range tunnels. Evenings were spent being well fed and entertained with live music, all while camping under the wide Queensland night sky.

Photo from the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Weekend 2024, supported by Bicycle Queensland. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.

One participant expressed their delight, stating, “Meeting other like-minded people and riding with others in a group while soaking in the fabulous scenery made this event truly special.”

Another attendee shared their enthusiasm, remarking, “The riding, the challenges of the culverts, the venue, food, and drinks – it was all superb. This event brought together a great mixture of riders and bikes, creating an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.”

Photo from the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Weekend 2024, supported by Bicycle Queensland. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.

Each day had planned rides that let riders explore the old rail corridor and the sights it took in, and of course some of the historic infrastructure along the way. With ride leaders on hand, attendees were able to lean on their knowledge of the area and the rail corridor.

The Honourable Glenn Butcher, Member for Gladstone, was in attendance, and clearly impressed by the experience.

“The Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail has been one of the pinnacle projects that we have done in the region, utilising an old rail track which was ripped up a number of years ago now, to turn it into what I believe is one of the best rail trails not only here in Queensland, but in Australia.”

“I’m looking forward to what we can do in this part of the world. I’d like to see this end up as Australia’s longest rail trail. From Gladstone all the way through heading south.”

Hon. Glenn Butcher shakes hands with Bicycle Queensland CEO Alton Twine. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.

The BQ Team were in attendance for the weekend, comprising CEO Alton Twine, Advocacy Director Andrew Demack and Grants and Sponsorship Officer Paul Dalitz.

“This weekend has been a great success, in no small part due to the hard work from the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Association,” said Alton Twine after the weekend. “The weather threw up some extra challenges, but I think the turn out and positive event experience has illustrated just how popular this sort of infrastructure is. I’m certain the enthusiasm around the BBIRT will continue to grow from here.”

Andrew Demack was impressed by the turn out – but not surprised.

“Bike riders love rail trails because they are removed from traffic. Any time a rail trail is developed – riders will come. The bike riders who visit rail trails are committed travellers, they will spend time in the region and visit local businesses. As such, rail trails are an essential tool for economic revitalisation.”

“Bicycle Queensland are thrilled to have partnered with the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Association, and we look forward to working with them again soon.”

Andrew Demack runs a bike maintenance basics workshop during the BBIRT weeekend. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.

Gladstone Regional Council Mayor, Matt Burnett, had the honour of opening the event on Friday night and was thoroughly impressed by the overwhelming turnout of participants and the dedication from the volunteers to make the event a success. Mayor Burnett commended the organisers for their efforts in bringing together such a vibrant and inclusive event, emphasising the importance of initiatives like these events in promoting the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail.

Bicycle Queensland extends its heartfelt gratitude to all participants, volunteers, and supporters who contributed to the success of the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail event. Their passion and dedication have played a pivotal role in fostering a vibrant cycling community and showcasing the beauty of Queensland’s landscapes.

With our eyes now set to 2025, we will carry on working with the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Association to deliver another fantastic event experience on the iconic rail corridor in early May, 2025. Make sure you’re signed up to our newsletters for all updates, or follow us on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/bicycle.qld
https://www.instagram.com/bicycle_qld/
https://www.facebook.com/boyneburnettinlandrailtrail

Photo from the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail Weekend 2024, supported by Bicycle Queensland. Photo by Element Photo and Video Productions.
Categories
Press releases

$100 million Active Transport Fund announced

Bicycle Queensland welcomes the announcement by the Australian Government of its commitment to invest in active transport infrastructure, fostering more liveable, active, and connected cities and regional centres nationwide.

Catherine King, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, announced $100 million to establish a ground breaking national Active Transport Fund. This fund aims to enhance and develop new bicycle and pedestrian pathways, promoting zero-emission travel, ensuring safer routes for cyclists and pedestrians, and fostering active and vibrant communities.

“The creation of the national Active Transport Fund marks a significant step towards building sustainable and accessible transportation options across Australia,” said Alton Twine, CEO at Bicycle Queensland. “We applaud the government’s recognition of the importance of active transport in promoting social connection, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and creating vibrant urban and regional environments. Bicycle Queensland commends the government for prioritising investments in infrastructure that enable individuals to commute to school, work, and local services safely and sustainably.”

Bicycle Queensland Queen's Wharf separated path

The program guidelines for the Active Transport Fund will be collaboratively developed in consultation with states and territories. These guidelines are set to be unveiled to the public before the fund’s anticipated commencement on July 1, 2025.

Minister King emphasised the government’s commitment to creating thriving communities across urban and regional Australia.

“We want communities to thrive whether they be in cities or in the regions,” stated Minister King. “We are investing to build economic opportunity and also the opportunity for people to enjoy the spaces and places they live in, building connection and improving safety.”

“It’s great to see the federal government on board with providing transport for all users,” stated Andrew Demack, Bicycle Queensland’s Director of Advocacy. “Funding to grow and maintain an active transport network has been missing at both a federal level, and this is a fantastic first step by the government towards progressive transport investment.”

Bicycle Queensland looks forward to collaborating with the Albanese Government and stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of the national Active Transport Fund, advancing the vision of healthier, more connected, and sustainable communities nationwide.

Learn more about what we do at Bicycle Queensland here – or sign up to receive all the member benefits!

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Uncategorised

Interview with Mary Doolan Co-convenor Brisbane CBD BUG

Challenges for women cyclists:
  • Safety concerns: Women are generally more risk-averse than men and often cite safety as the main reason for not cycling, especially on roads.
  • Lack of infrastructure: Existing infrastructure may not cater to the needs of commuting cyclists, and there’s a gap in safe and connected routes.
  • Limited representation: BUGs and other cycling advocacy groups are mostly male-dominated, making it harder for women’s voices and needs to be heard.
  • Knowledge gap: Many people, including cyclists who are experienced in forms of riding other than road riding, may lack basic knowledge about safe riding practices and group riding etiquette.
Mary Doolan’s suggestions
  • The importance of women’s involvement in BUGs and advocacy to address safety concerns and promote cycling for all.
  • The need for better education and outreach programs to equip cyclists with necessary skills and knowledge.
  • Strategies like social media sharing, one-on-one mentoring, and addressing fundamental knowledge gaps to attract more women to ride.

See the City Differently: Brisbane’s Women Cyclists Pedal for a Vision We All Need

A conversation with Mary Doolan, Co-convenor Brisbane CBD BUG

Forget the roar of engines, listen instead to the quiet hum gaining momentum on Brisbane’s streets. It’s the sound of two wheels, women cyclists rising above the urban din. They want to reshape the city through their unique perspective, creating a bike culture that’s safe, inclusive, and reflects their needs.

Research shows that generally, the male perspective is evident in decision making re cycling infrastructure design, and Mary thinks this needs to be evened out. The road ahead mirrors Brisbane’s hilly terrain – challenging and demanding a different perspective. A unique perspective that women cyclists have to offer.

Safety concerns loom large. “There have been times,” Mary admits, her voice softening, “when I felt vulnerable, threatened .The lack of dedicated infrastructure and the car-centric culture can be daunting.” This sentiment echoes throughout the female bike riding community, creating a knowledge gap and a palpable hesitancy from women to embrace bike riding.

Mary embodies the spirit of a much wanted change. “We need a shift in the default position,” she declares, her voice firm. “Instead of automatically reaching for the keys, we should ask, ‘can I bike there?’ ‘But this requires more than individual choices. ‘We need active policies that prioritise safe cycling infrastructure designed with women in mind, and empower our female voices in decision-making bodies.”

We asked Mary what would she say to a captive room of government leaders – from the Premier to regional councillors?“There’s a lot of talk about congestion busting. When it comes to the use of transport and driving, the best way to bust congestion is actually to take cars off the road. There’s a whole heap of policies that should be in place that could do that. And one of those policies would be to get people out of cars, and onto other forms of transport, including bike riding. It also has the flow on effect of improving people’s health. I mean, it has a positive impact on health budgets. It has a positive effect on the environment. And it also is just one of those things that really helps connect communities. When you’re riding your bike, you can actually say hi to people, and stop and chat and you know, go for coffee and support businesses. You can’t do that, generally in a car. 

Then I’d like you all, to perhaps get together and come up with an active policy which has a stated aim of changing people’s default positions, instead of getting in a car, to start using something else, using an active transport method to get around.”

We’d like to see that meeting.

On a roll, Mary adds, “Brisbane, or any Queensland city for that matter, has the potential to be a cycling haven,” her voice full of optimism. “Imagine a city that’s not just dedicated paths that weave alongside creeks, but a city where children bike ride confidently to school, and where diverse communities connect over shared rides. It’s achievable, but it requires collective action, and especially, listening to the women who see the city differently.”

So, the next time you see a female bike rider, remember: she’s not just a cyclist passing by, she’s a new perspective, a voice that wants to advocate for a more equitable and vibrant city. “We need more women in influential roles, in BUGs, in government, everywhere, not just because it’s fair, but because our unique perspective on safety, infrastructure, and community will benefit everyone” 

But how do we get more women involved, if the safety issue is so strong?

Mary thinks that social media, mentorship and accessible, well thought out riding education programs are important pieces of the puzzle. But that we also need to address the infrastructure gap: creating dedicated cycling paths that actually connect the city and feel safe and accessible, especially for women and families. By creating a welcoming environment both online and offline, we can encourage more women to say, ‘Hey, I can do this!’

Categories
Advocacy

A tribute to Gillian Duncan

Advocacy takes many forms in the bicycle world. One of Australia’s most influential cycling advocates, Gillian Duncan, sadly passed away from cancer recently.

Gillian led the cause of legitimising mountain bike trail access in Brisbane, and was the founder of Gap Creek Trails Alliance.

In partnership with Mark Roberts she published the seminal book ‘Where to MTB in South-East Queensland’, which predated online resources, and was a breakthrough in listing all the legitimate trail experiences available.

Gillian was softly-spoken and smiled often, but her gentle exterior only slightly veiled her incredible tenacity and persistence. Below are some further tributes to Gillian, from people who worked closely with her over the years.

Chris Maierhofer (trail builder, mountain biker):

Gillian was a true trail blazer. An instigator, agitator, and advocate; she was tenacious, patient, and strategic.

She shaped the path of mountain biking not only Gap Creek but regionally and nationally. From shaping the direction and construction of trails on ground to being instrumental in bringing IMBA to Australia and helping to author the first ever Australian Mountain bike national trail guidelines and being president of Mountain Bike Australia.

Mark Roberts (mapmaker, book publisher):

During the last 12 years, Gillian and I created 5 books in 11 editions and sold 42,000 copies – 20 tonnes of books! I am proud to have collaborated with Gillian and very proud of what we made together.

Rob George (Roadie Rob, mtb coach and trail builder):

We lost the original driving force of mountain biking and women’s mountain biking in Brisbane when Gillian Duncan passed away.

Without her I can’t imagine mountain biking in Brisbane and also my own businesses wouldn’t be anywhere near where they are today.

She approached me in the early 2000s to tell me that mountain biking was going to be part of the Real Adventure Women’s program and asked if I would run it.

She was always pushing for new mountain bike trails, and boy did she have to fight hard for that, she copped heaps of flack, but she absolutely never backed off.

Mountain biking has lost one of our great leaders this week but she will always be remembered.

Please when you’re riding your favourite trail, remember Gillian because there is a good chance she had a big part in the reason why it’s there.

Vale Gillian Duncan will be deeply missed but never forgotten.

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Events

Story Bridge Adventure Climb

Our Membership Coordinator, Amanda Hernandez, faced her fears head on! Read on to find out how.

Over the past 6 or so months, I’ve been sharing some experiences from my annual goals list; Sunshine Coast 70.3 bike/run, running the Brisbane River Loop and learning how to swim as an adult.

Why do I have a list? Someone once asked me how many kilometres I was aiming to ride the next year. It’s something I’d never thought about. I ride my bike for fun and fitness, and while I find numbers fascinating to look back over the course of a year, like how far or how much elevation I’ve ridden, I don’t set out to achieve a goal distance, elevation or fastest time. I feel it takes the enjoyment out of riding.

However, there were a few things I had always wanted to do but I never seemed to get around to doing. That’s when I started having a goals list. I found if I put something on a list it forced me to plan and make time to accomplish it. It started out with riding each section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) and grew from there. Running 6 km non-stop to running each section of the BVRT, riding 100 miles to riding 200 km and so forth.

It’s not just about a list of things to do. It’s also about challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone and grow; to achieve things I never thought I could, because I didn’t think I had the ability, fitness, stamina or because I was too scared to try. Like riding up Mt Coot-tha – I met some great people through Brisbane Chicks Who Ride Bikes, and with their help, me and a few others rode our first loop of Mt Coot-tha. I went from being scared of giving it a go, to riding back segment repeats and looping around it for 100km. It now feels like my second home.

I have always been scared of heights, especially when I’m not standing on solid ground. I’m generally okay climbing up something but coming down is a whole other story. I am not agile and my legs turn to jelly!

I’ve ridden over the Story Bridge many times, plus on the boardwalks and bikeways around it. It’s certainly an icon of the Brisbane skyline, especially at night. I knew you could climb the bridge, but I had never seen anyone climbing it. This year it made my goals list. Was I scared? Absolutely, but I was going to give it a crack!

It’s always fun to impose my goals on others when I can, so I recruited my husband and teenage boys who are also scared of heights. The promise of lunch afterwards helped. I booked a day climb and was able to take advantage of the kids climb free with an adult offer. Love a good bonus! Before climb day I happened to ride over the bridge one afternoon and, for the first time, saw climbers! They were at a standstill on some steep steps, and I started having second thoughts – I don’t want to stop while climbing, I need to keep moving! Too late because it was booked and paid so I couldn’t wimp out now!

Climb day arrived and we stepped into our harnesses and bridge climb outfits – grey and blue to match the bridge and sky so drivers aren’t distracted. “Who’s scared of heights?” the climb leader asked. My hand was quickest to rise. She was an awesome climb leader, giving clear instructions and allaying most of my fears. In particular, it was good to know how far underground the bridge was supported. I can confirm it’s a very solid structure; no wobbling or vibrating.

We started our climb up those steep steps I had seen the climbers on a few weeks before. Everyone is clipped into the railing at that point, hence the standstill while the final climbers are clipped in. If you’re scared of heights, go towards the back of the group, but not last. The steepness of the steps lessens further up, but as we ascended, I wasn’t looking forward to climbing down face-forward.

The climb leader kept checking in with me, so I shot back a thumbs up to confirm all was okay. The view from the top is amazing and well worth the fear of the climb. We were educated on all things to do with the bridge. I won’t give too much away because I thoroughly recommend you do the climb, but it was very interesting to know that of the over 1.25 million rivets, inserted by hand, only 1 has had to be replaced since it was built around 85 years ago. If that doesn’t give you confidence the bridge is not going to collapse while you’re climbing it, nothing will.

I enjoyed it so much I will head back one day for the twilight climb. I might leave the kids home though. There’s only so much “Mum, are your shoelaces tied up?” jokes I can take in their attempt to make me look down through the gaps in the steel at the traffic passing underneath.

As always, don’t stand still – keep challenging yourself and step outside of your comfort zone. Find others to support, encourage and join you on your journey. There’s still a lot more on my list this year, what about yours?

For more information about riding Mt Coot-tha, along with other great places to ride throughout Queensland head to on our Where to Ride page.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to cover yourself with a value packed BQ membership.