Safety focus of first-ever Brisbane joint transport committee

The safety of bike riders and pedestrians will lead discussions when the Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council and community advocates meet on Monday for the inaugural Active Transport Advisory Committee (ATAC) meeting.

After last month announcing the group’s formation, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey and Active Transport Chair Councillor Ryan Murphy will tomorrow convene a meeting with cycling and walking groups from across the city to look at ways safety can be increased for bike riders and pedestrians.

Other invited attendees include Bicycle Queensland Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Randazzo, Cycling Queensland CEO Sean Muir, representatives from Bicycle User Groups across the city, RACQ’s Head of Public Policy Dr Rebecca Michael and Queensland Walks Executive Officer Anna Campbell.

“Sadly, the cycling community lost one of its biggest advocates last week when Carolyn Lister tragically lost her life while riding to work – and my heart goes out to her friends, colleagues and family,” Mr Bailey said.

“While we’ve made substantial leaps in terms of building a city-wide networks of bike lanes and paths, what’s clear is that they’re not as well coordinated as they could be.

“This is an opportunity for the different levels of government and our peak advocacy bodies to achieve more for bike riding and walking safety.

“It’ll open a direct channel of communication for bike user groups and the walking community to help shape how the city rolls out the infrastructure they’ll use.

“Paths are being built across Brisbane as part of major roads upgrades to join up with dedicated bikeways built by both the State and Council, like the Queensland Government’s recently opened $45 million Veloway Stage E, but we know more can be done.

“We’ve seen more people than ever before take up bike riding and walking, and it’s absolutely important that we continue to encourage this momentum.”

Among the topics to be discussed will be identifying missing links in the network, inner city bicycle lanes and rider safety.

Cr Ryan Murphy said the group would be fundamental in planning for the future of Brisbane’s cycling infrastructure.

“This committee will help to increase safety for all road users and especially our vulnerable cyclists, by taking a coordinated and considered approach that brings the best ideas from the key advocacy bodies, Council and the State Government,” he said.

“Council has already invested a record $320 million in the past decade in cycling infrastructure and we’ve seen a surge in activity due to the impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

“Cycling in Brisbane may be in its biggest renaissance since the 1970s, and we don’t want to lose that momentum because people feel it’s unsafe or too risky to make the change.

“While Council’s bike network and the State Government’s infrastructure are fundamentally different, the end-user doesn’t care who built it, they just want a safe trip from A to B.”

Bicycle Queensland CEO Rebecca Randazzo said she was looking forward to sharing members’ experiences and learnings to inform government about infrastructure projects that will improve the safety of cyclists.

“The bringing together of local, state and community groups provides a real opportunity for us to work strategically and reap the benefits of integrating Council and State Government projects and education campaigns,” Ms Randazzo said.

“Together, we can get some great work done at a local level whilst taking big steps forward to achieving our shared goal of creating a city wide, connected and safe transport system.”

Queensland Walks Executive Officer Anna Campbell said the new group would put a greater focus on recognising walking and cycling as a priority in road safety design, promoting access and inclusion, and reducing congestion.

“Not every Queenslander owns a car, or has a licence, and many residents choose to get to work or get to the local shops on foot or by bike,” Ms Campbell said.

“By designing our urban environments for walking and riding, everyone wins – the environment, our wallet, our health, community connections, and our local businesses.”

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