Queensland’s State Government has announced a series of cycling infrastructure projects in recent weeks, as part of its commitment of $252 million to active transport during the next four years.
The latest announcement was the second stage of a $13.55 million Highfields Bikeway in Toowoomba.
On 10th February, the Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said designs for Stage 2, between Toowoomba Christian College and Hi Winds Road, have been completed.
He said the designs incorporated feedback from frequent users of the Highfield Bikeway’s first section. Similarly, two rounds of community consultation were planned for a proposed third stage. An initial phase of consultation was conducted late last year and round two is scheduled for April.
If funded, Stage 3 will connect Hi Winds Road to an existing path at the John French VC Memorial Bridge, which continues into Harlaxton.
The Highfields Bikeway is adjacent to the New England Highway, which the Minister says “is only going to get busier as Highfields continues to grow”.
He said the new bike path provides alternative travel options and would result in fewer cars on the road.
“Some community members have already made the first stage of the bikeway a part of their regular fitness and social routines, which is the perfect outcome,” the Minister added.
The Government has also been refreshing line marking and signs along the nearby Ruthven Street bike lane.
The line marking – to delineate the two lanes – updated signs and installation of bike-friendly drainage grates were scheduled to be completed at the end of February.
“More Queenslanders than ever before are choosing to pump the pedals and get active. To encourage this, we’re building the infrastructure that is needed by the community as a priority.
“On average, every one dollar invested in cycling infrastructure returns almost five dollars to Queenslanders in health benefits, reduced traffic congestion, and other benefits.
“The more people using it, the healthier and less congested these communities will be.”
Veloway 1 Upgrades
Earlier that week, the Minister announced planning had begun for two upgrades along the Veloway 1 (V1), at Wooloongabba and at Trinity Lane in South Brisbane.
A new velobridge will remove the need for cyclists to cross two streets in the busy Wooloongabba area, O’Keefe Street and Carl Street.
A northern access ramp on O’Keefe Street will be retained to allow bike riders to connect to the nearby Princess Alexandra Bikeway.
A new connection at Trinity Lane will remedy the existing “very old, steep and narrow connection”, which currently required bike riders to dismount at one point to pass through.
“With the Council putting in the new cycleway a few years ago, it became clear this ‘connection’ was not even adequate for bike riders. This project is a good case of different levels of government working collaboratively to create an integrated active transport system,” the Minister said.
“An upgrade would provide a safer, more efficient and quicker riding experience to connect with the local separated Woolloongabba Bikeway along Stanley Street.”
Planning for the V1 Stanley Street-Trinity Lane upgrade is due to be completed by mid-2022.
The V1 is a dedicated, 17km cycleway between South Brisbane and Underwood.
Queensland’s Largest Infrastructure Project
In January, the Government announced a new 480m-long cycle and pedestrian bridge to connect a new underground Cross River Rail Boggo Rd station with the busway, Park Road train station, the Boggo Road health, science and education precinct, the new PA Hospital precinct and a new high school at Dutton Park.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Cross River Rail – the largest infrastructure project in Queensland’s history – would make it easier for locals to travel throughout the southeast and access essential services.
Mr Bailey said: “This bridge will be a unifier for the local community as it soars over the railway junction and will make active travel safer, quicker and easier for local workers, residents and students.”
It will form an extension of the local cycle network and provide faster and more convenient walking and cycling connections, including a link to the V1.
The main deck of the bridge will be 20m above the ground, up to 6.25m wide, and will include dedicated cycle and pedestrian paths, seating, shade and rest stops.
Construction on the new bridge is scheduled to begin this month and is expected to take around 18 months, depending on weather conditions.
In addition, work has started on regional Queensland’s longest bikeway, from Gordonvale to Cairns.