First Letter Sent 02 September 2015 – PDF Link
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk CC Cr David McLachlan
My Dear Lord Mayor,
Recent traffic changes on Hudson and Bridge Street at Albion have changed the traffic flow along Dickson Street. In particular, the Brisbane North Bicycle User Group (BN BUG) has noted the increased speed that cars travel along Dickson St. Due to the design as well as unsafe and illegal behavior of people driving in that section of road, motor vehicles are constantly cutting into and out of the bike lanes on both sides of the road. This behavior is illustrated in the photograph below (looking south along Bridge St at the intersection of Wride St).
Video of this is also available via this YouTube link https://youtu.be/EsYDD1z8QFM
Phone calls by our BN BUG co-conveners to the Brisbane City Council (BCC) have highlighted the fact the BCC believe the road design is in accordance with specifications and that reported accidents between people riding bicycles and cars are low. Also, that as the Department of Main Roads (TMR) will eventually be doing work along this route as part of the North Brisbane Bikeway that the BCC believes no remediation work should be undertaken.
The BN BUG strongly believes that this situation is unacceptable as people’s lives are in danger, it is only a matter of time before there is a serious injury or worse along this road corridor. This point is further validated by an incident on Tuesday 1 September when a person riding a bicycle was hit by a car in Dickson Street. Qld Ambulance twitter link https://twitter.com/qldambulance/status/638494777365954560 BN BUG would like to work with BCC to prevent accidents along this key bicycle corridor.
This situation can easily be remedied in the short term by two solutions.
1. Reduce the speed limit on this neighborhood street to 40 Kph.
This will increase safety and is supported by local residents. Refer to recent petition by local residents http://www.epetitions.brisbane.qld.gov.au/petition/view/pid/271
2. Install raised curbs along the edge of the bike lane at the intersection of Wride St
Recently the intersection of Gympie Road/Kedron Park Road (city bound direction) had raised curbs installed to prevent cars from cutting across or into the bike lane. A similar detail could be installed in this location at minimal cost. Physical separation is the safest option and is a cost effective solution in the short term.
A photograph of the raised curbs in question at Kedron is shown below.
Ultimately the BN BUG believes the bike lane and footpath should be reconfigured away from the traffic lane in this section as per the picture below (looking south along Dickson St). The green section is the bike lane, the pink section is modified footpath.
The BN BUG co-conveners believe that the BCC should as a minimum follow our two suggestions to improve safety in the short term. The BN BUG is willing to work with the BCC to help improve safety for everyone and we are willing to meet with the Brisbane City Council to help make this happen.
BN BUG Co-Convener
2 September 2015
First Response Received 28 September 2015 – PDF Link
Mr Andrew Methorst Co-convenor Brisbane North BUG firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr Methorst
Thank you for your letter of 2 September 2015 about cyclist safety along Bridge and Dickson
Streets, Albion. I appreciate you taking the time to raise your concerns on behalf of your members.
Like you, I want roads across Brisbane to be as safe as possible for all users. I asked
Mr Anthony Holloway from Council’s Transport Planning and Strategy branch to investigate and I understand Mr Holloway spoke with you on 9 September.
As you will be aware, Council is a strong supporter of cycling to ease congestion and promote an active and healthy lifestyle. Council recognises that this section is a critical corridor for many of your members. That is why we have installed significant enhancements to improve the safety of cyclists using this route. Shared bike lane and parking lanes have been installed along Dickson Street, with some sections reduced to bicycle only. Intersections have been treated with green priority pavement markings to alert drivers that cyclists may be present on the road. Warning signs and other pavement warnings have also been installed to encourage motorists to take care along this road.
While I appreciate your desire for further enhancements, it is worth noting that this road will form part of the North Brisbane Bikeway (NBB), being delivered by the Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR). Council considers it to be important to minimise the number of short term changes to the road environment before the NBB is delivered. Ultimately, the DTMR is responsible for the construction along Dickson
Street. Further information can be found on their website www.dtmr.q1d.gov.au and searching “North Brisbane Bikeway”.
I note Brisbane North BUG’s support for the recent petition to reduce the speed limit along
Dickson Street to 40krn/h. I can advise that the petition has been investigated and was considered by Council at its meeting held on 15 September. Dickson Street is classified as a Suburban Route within the Brisbane Road Hierarchy Plan. These routes connect arterial routes in and around suburbs and are important public transport and inter-suburban freight links. The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, set by the Queensland Government, establishes the minimum speed for such roads to be 60km/h. As such, Council was unable to support the proposal of reducing the speed limit in Dickson Street at this time.
As you know, the Queensland Road Rules require motorists to provide a minimum distance of one metre when passing cyclists. Speeding or failing to provide the minimum clearance is considered poor driver behaviour and are best handled by enforcement of the Queensland Road Rules. I would encourage you and your members to report this to the Police via the PoliceLink Service on 131 444.
While I appreciate this may not be the outcome you and your members were hoping for, I am sure that we can continue to work together to improve safety along this section while the NBB is completed. If you would like any further information please contact Mr Holloway on 3403 8888
Thank you for contacting me.
Second Letter Sent 06 January 2016 – PDF Link / Attachment 01 / Attachment 02
My Dear Lord Mayor,
Thank you for your letter of 28 September about cyclist safety along Bridge and Dickson Streets in Albion and Wooloowin. Brisbane North Bicycle User Group (BN BUG) welcomes Brisbane City Council’s interest in the work by the Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to develop the North Brisbane Bikeway.
Since you wrote, TMR has confirmed at an update meeting with NorthBUG and other groups that it plans to complete the bikeway as far north as Rigby Street, near Wooloowin train station, by the end of 2018. This is great news and we expect this will help to increase the modal share of cyclists riding into the city.
Our concern, therefore, is about a well-designed, convenient connection from Rigby Street to the Kedron Brook Bikeway and beyond. This connection will deliver an important strategic outcome by helping people from a wide area of north Brisbane gain safe access to the city centre and points along and near the bikeway.
The reason we are concerned is that all the existing bicycle access along that corridor is dangerous, so it is used only by the brave and determined. Most people in Brisbane will refuse to use a bicycle route unless they feel safe – protected from passing traffic and other hazards.
The standout hazard along the route is Dickson Street between Rigby Street and Price Street. It is a busy road with no space for cyclists, as the ‘bicycle lanes’ are filled with parked cars. Cyclists are therefore forced to ride in the traffic lane to avoid the door zone. The speed limit on Dickson Street is 60 kilometres an hour – a speed at which a pedestrian or cyclist hit by a motor vehicle has a less than 10% chance of surviving.
Yet Dickson Street is designated as a District Road on the Brisbane City Planning Scheme (see http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/v1_201406_om0182-20.pdf). This makes it an ideal route for ‘buses, pedestrian and bike facilities’ according to your planning documents (see http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/tt-latm-roadclassifiction.pdf).
District Roads can have a speed limit of as much as 60 km/h, but are allowed to have lower speed limits.
We are bringing this to your attention as your letter of 28 September says that ‘Dickson Street is classified as a Suburban Route within the Brisbane Road Hierarchy Plan’. The letter goes on to say that Brisbane Council has rejected a petition asking for a reduced speed limit along Dickson St as the minimum speed on a Suburban Route is 60 km/h.
Given that Dickson Street is in fact a District Road, and can therefore have a lower limit, we ask that Brisbane Council lower the speed limit on the street to 40 km/h as soon as possible.
We note that Dickson Street is narrow, winding and not designed to be driven at 60 km/h. Almost all motorists who drive past Wooloowin Station at 60 km/h cut the corners and drive in the bicycle lane in order to stay in control of their vehicles (see https://youtu.be/EsYDD1z8QFM for a video of the bikeway where Bridge Street becomes Dickson Street across from Wooloowin Station).
At this time, the TMR sections of the North Brisbane Bikeway are only funded as far as Rigby Street, and it will be three years before those sections are completed. Given that the path along Dickson Street between Rigby Street and Price Street is not funded, it is likely to be substantially more than three years before there is a safe off-road option past that dangerous section.
We encourage Brisbane City Council to do what it can to work with other levels of government to help implement the off-road route on Dickson Street sooner. But in the meantime, the lower speed limit would increase the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of motor vehicles.
Another measure that would make cyclists riding along Dickson Street more likely to arrive home alive is curbing or some sort of physical barrier along the sections of the existing on-road path where drivers consistently cut the corners, as shown in the video. This too would make drivers more likely to slow down.
We are keen to meet with you or your staff to discuss this issue further, and work toward a resolution of a longstanding safety blackspot. This is likely to include immediate, inexpensive and easily achievable measures such as curbing and lower speed limits, as well as work toward the longer-term objective of a safe off-road path to the Kedron Brook Bikeway.
Second Response Received 9th February 2016 – PDF Link
Dear Mr Methorst
Thank you for your further email of 6 January 2016 about cyclist safety along Bridge and Dickson Streets in Albion and Wooloowin.
Council values our strong partnership with Brisbane’s Bicycle User Groups (BUG) to deliver the safe and efficient active transport system for our city. The Brisbane North BUG has been instrumental in helping Council to deliver the $120 million Better Bikeways 4 Brisbane program and to create a better commuter network of bikeways that service major employment areas, as well as improving access and safe travel to local shopping strips, schools and public transport hubs.
I certainly appreciate the advocacy of the Brisbane North BUG on behalf of your members and your ongoing interest in the North Brisbane Bikeway. I asked Mr Antony Holloway from Council’s Transport Planning and Strategy branch to investigate your concerns and understand he spoke with you on 29 January.
As you point out, the Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads
(TMR) is currently delivering the North Brisbane Bikeway, connecting the CBD through to Chermside. I can assure you Council is working in partnership with TMR to deliver this important project. Council has delivered three sections of the bikeway, from Pfingst Road in Wavell Heights to Hamilton Road in Chermside. In the southern section of the route, Council is currently constructing a new signalised cycle crossing on O’Connell Terrace, to be completed by the end of February, to link to TMR’s planned work in Bowen Park later in the
I note your concerns about the section of the North Brisbane Bikeway along Dickson Street, from Rigby Street to Price Street. While this section falls within the responsibility of TMR, I see value in the upgrade of this section being brought forward and I have asked Council officers to provide any assistance they can to TMR to accelerate the design and delivery of this important project. I have also written to the Honourable Mark Bailey MP, Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, to reiterate Council’s commitment to working with the Queensland Government to deliver this important initiative.
I can also assure you and your members that Council will upgrade the adjoining stage of the
North Brisbane Bikeway, from Price Street to Kedron Brook. It is my expectation that this section will be designed and delivered in parallel to TMR’s section along Dickson Street, from Rigby Street to Price Street, to ensure a safe and seamless route through the area. I have asked Mr Holloway to continue discussions with you to ensure the views of the North Brisbane BUG are included in the design of this link.
I understand Mr Holloway also discussed with you the classification of Dickson Street within
Council’s Road Hierarchy Plan. As advised, the road hierarchy refers to the strategic future use of a road and not its current usage. While Dickson Street is listed as a ‘district access road’ within the Road Network Overview published in the Brisbane City Plan 2014, Council recognises the future importance of Dickson Street to our road network and has identified the need to adjust its status to a ‘suburban road’. While I support Council officers ensuring our decisions strategically align with our future needs, I acknowledge Council’s web site currently only publishes the Brisbane City Plan 2014 and I apologise for any inconvenience this causes.
I must also stress that Council’s decision to not reduce the speed limit on Dickson Street was based on a number of factors, including the success of the recent portable speed warning sign, which showed motorists were travelling below the posted speed limit of 60km/h. Given the importance of Dickson Street to our road network, I continue to not support the reduction of the speed limit at this time.
Given the significant investment that will be made over the next few years to finalise the construction of the North Brisbane Bikeway, Council does not consider it value for money to make any interim adjustments to the road network that would need altering again soon afterwards. Instead, Council considers a safer outcome for all users would be to bring forward the TMR planned upgrade to Dickson Street.
I appreciate this may not be the outcome you were hoping for, however, I can assure you the
Queensland Government has Council’s full support for the North Brisbane Bikeway. I will continue to work with the Queensland Government to bring forward the delivery date of this important project. If you have any further questions about these matters, please contact Mr Holloway on 3403 8888.
Thank you once again for contacting me about the North Brisbane Bikeway project.
Last Updated: 12 February 2016