For a Better Brisbane

Cycling superhighways

The opening of Brisbane’s CityCycle scheme is now imminent. With this in mind, lets look over at the city of London, England, where they have a plan for ‘cycling superhighways’. These are highly distinct, high quality cycling routes for commuting. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson shows us around.

The cycling lane’s high visibility reinforces the presence of the cycling right-of-way and sends strong message to motorists ‘Expect to find cyclists here!’. Parking improvements also feature prominently. After all, if free parking was good enough to fill our city with cars, perhaps free bicycle parking will lure more people to ride bicycles? At least in Brisbane, it’s always hard to find an obvious bicycle rack. Car parks, being on the street, are always easy to see and immediate in their presence. With cycling racks, most often this isn’t the case.

The other thing that I think is a problem
is parking, which sounds ridiculous but there
are not enough places to park.

– A Londoner talking about problems with cycling in London.

The proposed cycleways mirror existing main roads and main public transport lines in an effort to keep the routes legible and simple. Continuity will mean that cyclists will not have to experience bicycle lanes that appear and then disappear like in Brisbane.

Perhaps an interesting take home message is that not all cycling lanes are equal. In the same way that a simple ‘core’ of high-frequency bus ‘BUZ’ routes are marked out on a special maps, a core network of trunk cycleways could be marked out in the same way to give that sense of ‘hireachy’ and legibility as main cycling routes.


Written by .

September 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I don’t think helmets are the main problem- magpies are!

    People walking walking or riding around and then swooooosh! A bird with a sharp beak will attack you. Ouch!


    September 29, 2010 at 2:14 pm

  2. I so want this cycle scheme to work. I think its great to add another option for getting around our great city.
    However, we’ve every reason to question if that can ever happen whilst we have ‘mandatory helmet’ laws for adults.
    The safety benefits of helmets in accidents is questionable and inconclusive…only those in serious accidents present to hospital emergency rooms.
    What’s established by facts though are the massive, and increasing, costs to public health and welfare from less active lifestyles.
    Another established fact is the significant discouragement of bicycle use when mandatory helmet laws for adults are introduced.
    So that’s one big question mark and two big negatives….I really hope our bike scheme works.


    September 29, 2010 at 11:47 am

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