Cycling in Brisbane Australia
Council just released the GIS data for the bikeways. It's supposed to be updated every six months but this time it took more than a year.
One way to visualize it is with Google Fusion Tables which plots everything so you can zoom in and out quickly, and filter based on any of the columns.
I like presenting the data as a table - the named bikeways, their average width (weighted by section length), and how much of each bikeway is each type. Notice that both "BAZ" (bicycle awareness zone) and "connect" types have been deleted. E.g. look at corner of Russell and Edmondstone in West End - "bicycle lanes" near there are a joke but the "connect" i.e. the ped crossing stuff is gone.
There's 160.5 km of named bikeways.
The total length is now 876 km (down from "over 1300 km").
Width is a good measure of quality for the off-road and named paths especially with BAZ and Connect gone. However there's no measure of "connectedness". Victoria Bridge is now counted only one instead of three times with the two BAZ "lanes" gone. Bike lanes are still counted twice for each side of the road e.g. Sylvan Road. The problem with the BCC Annual Reports is that they report the total road length and the total bikeway length right next to each other as if they are somehow comparable when they are not.
After this breakdown, it's interesting to consider what is in "the rest". Spaghetti!
I think it's useful to break it down by suburb and consider only bikeways that are not "on road", looking at weighted width and length by suburb. There's 287 km of non "on-road" bikeways. Of the 588 km the weighted width of the "on road" is 1.31 m (doesn't sound like it meets Austroads standards on average) and the weighted width of the non "on road" is 2.72 m.
On top there's Forest Lake with 33 km and weight averaged path width (WAPW) 2.78 m. Everything is actually quite well connected within the suburb. Roxwell St BAZ now gone.
There's no other suburb quite like that. Next biggest one is Bracken Ridge (12.3 km, 2.71 m) where a lot of Brisbane's "bikeways" started in the late 70s (see BCC Annual Reports), next to Sandgate, but they are not connected. Similarly with Bald Hills (7 km, 2.51 m) and Carindale (10.4 km, 2.37 m).
Seventeen Mile Rocks has a nice loop (6.3 km, WAPW 3.48 m), I confess I wasn't aware it was this well connected around the suburb now.
Yeronga has connected paths to the Corso if you can get to it (5 km, WAPW 2.40 m)
There's the essential inner city paths of Kangaroo Point (5.0 km, 2.91 m), South Brisbane (2.8 km, 4.76 m shared with pedestrians), St Lucia (2.6 km, 3.2 km Esplanade/Hillside Tce), Newstead (2.5 km, 3.73 m), Brisbane (2.1 km, 3.98 m shared with pedestrians), Brisbane City (0.8 km, 5.98 m).
and recreation: Nundah (1.5 km, 6.7 m crit track), Murarrie (7.0 km, 3.5 m - crit track, and the bits just NW of it along Creek Road and Metroplex Ave).
Wonder if this new data helps Melyvn update his Bikepath Classic? If I were REALLY good I could write a program to work out things like the longest "connected component" allowing for gaps where the "Connect" bits used to be.
Mike has some good tweets already
Compare 2015 & 2016 bikelanes in Brisbane.— mikefc (@coolbutuseless) August 12, 2016
Removal of useless BAZ really shows fragmented network. pic.twitter.com/aQL3QoQGRp
So you say there is 160k of named bike ways.. and then there is 860k in total. It there 700k of little bits of pathway in park and stuff or does that include on-road parking lanes.. I mean bike lanes?
Here's the current breakdown in kilometres
Shared Pathway 420.0323
Bicycle Route 73.19557
Bicycle Lane 277.5835
Informal On Road 14.70509
Informal Off Road 58.56379
Bicycle Path 28.41339
Separated Pathway 3.449423
I'm thinking generally vehicles can park in bike lanes at any time, except for the "part time lanes" on Annerley, Sylvan, Wynnum and Oxley.
They are kind of honest about the length in some places - Annerley Road and Indooroopilly Road look like spaghetti. Go click the Fusion Tables link and have a play with the filtering.
Informal On Road - Bellevue Parade in Indooroopilly is a funny one. Connects to absolutely nothing. At the top and bottom there are big red "REDUCE SPEED" signs and "SLOW" painted in both lanes (like that will work).
I take that on board. If someone is a "cyclist" and wants to ride they will find away.
However "normal citizens" who are looking to ride need an easy to follow connected way. Plus they need to be aware that it exists, and that it is safe to use (from a "safety" perspective, and a personal safety perspective "think females riding on deserted unlit paths").
I showed a commuter the way in from Ferny Grove the other day. It's like 20k, and a total and utter mess. It winds through a maze of back streets, with no signage or guidance. It needs a good sense of direction and a goodly helping of local knowledge to find your way.
She's happy and doing it well now without getting lost. However, she was already a confident cyclist who has been riding a long time. There is no way a "normal" person would do it.
Great point. In Brisbane you have to show someone how to get to where they want to go in relative safety. The paths are a disjointed mess. I don't recommend anyone ride to the city from chermside without an experienced rider helping show them and select the least bad route. New riders are not welcome in Brisbane to ride to places they want to go to.
I won't say they have to be "bold and brave" necessarily although it helps. They certainly have to be determined though, and especially if they don't live next to the SE freeway or Centenary motorway.
Yes you need to be confident as some motorists will try every trick to push you off the road. I ride defensively but deliberately, I'll hold lanes where needed, I'll move over where there is space. My mirror makes my commute much nicer to work with traffic and cause least angst. Unfortunately we are treated as 3rd class citizens on the road.
What's a bicycle route? For example a section of Kedron Brook used to be shared path but then they turned part of it near the kids playground near Toombul to Diggers drive. Is that bicycle route? There isn't anything other than BAZ on the road a bit like the southbank end of goodwill bridge.
So a sign on the side of the road is considered a bike route? Wow that's even lower than a baz. i guess they are counting those signs near chermside/Wavell heights as part of them.
Out of interest.. the old BCC bikeway maps have disappeared off their website. Fortunately I have a full set electronically, and even some paper ones. let me know if anyone wants one.
It was updated again a couple of days ago. Total 896.9 km now.
Very basic kludgy R code and a table update (this time with better "NA" bikeway name handling)
Bicycle Lane 288.5032
Shared Pathway 433.8256
Bicycle Route 71.74248
Informal Off Road 56.80449
Bicycle Path 28.50871
Informal On Road 13.02548
Separated Pathway 4.449828
bu <- unique(r$BIKEWAY_NA)
ru <- unique(r$TRAFFIC_TY)
for (b in bu)
bt <- sum(r[r$BIKEWAY_NA==b,]$SHAPE_Leng/1e3)
bww <- sum(r[r$BIKEWAY_NA==b,]$WIDTH*r[r$BIKEWAY_NA==b,]$SHAPE_Leng)/sum(r[r$BIKEWAY_NA==b,]$SHAPE_Leng)
for (t in ru)
bt1 <- sum(r[r$TRAFFIC_TY==t & r$BIKEWAY_NA==b,]$SHAPE_Leng/1e3)
## and the NAs
bt <- sum(r[is.na(r$BIKEWAY_NA),]$SHAPE_Leng/1e3)
bww <- sum(r[is.na(r$BIKEWAY_NA),]$WIDTH*r[is.na(r$BIKEWAY_NA),]$SHAPE_Leng)/sum(r[is.na(r$BIKEWAY_NA),]$SHAPE_Leng)
for (t in ru)
bt1 <- sum(r[r$TRAFFIC_TY==t & is.na(r$BIKEWAY_NA),]$SHAPE_Leng/1e3)