Junction Road Bike Lanes Upgrade Faces Opposition From Cycling Groups

Bike lanes
Photo credit: Google Street View

Local officials are moving ahead with plans to upgrade the bike lanes along Junction Road, but the design changes are receiving disapproval from some cycling advocates.

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The upgrades between Baringa Street and Barwon St in Morningside will install dedicated, single direction bike lanes on both sides of the road with buffer zones between parked cars and the traffic lane. Brisbane City Council says the design balances safety and access for all road users whilst minimising parking loss and construction impacts.

However, cycling groups like East BUG Inc and Space4Cycling BNE argued the city should revert to earlier plans that placed the bike lanes next to the kerb with greater separation from traffic. 

Design 1 (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council)

The original design proposed protected bike lanes installed next to the kerb, with a buffer of on-street parking between cyclists and moving traffic. This aligns closely with what the local community advocated for – infrastructure that feels safe and comfortable enough for children to ride to school. 

Photo credit: BCC

Space4Cycling BNE believes separating bikes and e-scooters from both pedestrians and cars helps promote active transport whilst minimising conflict points. Residents would still enjoy easy, convenient parking without having to cross the bike lane. Even bin collection remains simple, with room along the kerb to place bins for pickup clear of parked vehicles.

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Biking advocacy groups also noted that few residents were aware of the last-minute switch to the parking-adjacent layout.

The new design selected by Council, on the other hand, places parking spaces next to the kerb with the bike lane sandwiched between parked cars and moving traffic. 

New project plan (Photo credit: BCC)

According to advocacy groups, this makes parking more difficult, as drivers must cross over the bike lane to pull in and out of spaces. It also allegedly creates new hazards, with the risk of an open car door colliding with a passing cyclist and potentially causing serious injury or death. 

City Transport Chair Cr Ryan Murphy defends the current design, saying further risk assessment found alternatives less safe for cyclists, pedestrians, and others accessing the road. He notes the selected plan offers the best value whilst still improving bike infrastructure.

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Cycling groups argue for revisiting earlier designs they believe provide greater separation and safety for bike lanes, though officials say the current plan already balances accessibility and safety effectively. 

With construction underway, major design changes appear improbable despite some community members advocating for more public input on bike infrastructure plans. Local officials maintain the upgrades will increase sustainable transport options for Junction Rd users of all types.

Published 8-February-2024