Cycling in Brisbane Australia
Mark Bailey, State Member for Yeerongpilly, is holding a rally this Saturday about pushing Brisbane City Council to build another "Walter Taylor bridge" - Chelmer to Indooroopilly.
He has been busy on Facebook and Twitter this week:
"Yeerongpilly MP Mark Bailey wants Brisbane City Council to fund duplicate Walter Taylor Bridge"
Meanwhile, there's been no congestion on Jack Pesch bridge which runs alongside the Rail bridge and Walter Taylor bridge! I rode my bicycle this morning past signs on Oxley Road promoting the rally...
Yarra BUG interviewed Councillor Jonathan Sri from the Gabba, the only Greens councillor in the BCC (26 wards, about 1.2 million people). I hardly ever listen to podcasts, but the first 20 minutes is worth it.
Really great. Really needs a transcript ... I typed up some quick notes though
1. there's a cultural bias towards within the bureaucracy towards cars and away from active transport
outdated approach to speed limit reviews
processes look at existing numbers of cyclists
2. councillors from outer suburbs, drive into work every day, struggle to imagine a different kind of city
i.e. lack of political vision and "status quo bias" (paraphrasing, but that's what he means) informed by their life experiences
3. cost - bike lanes and costs regulated - even a short stretch can cost millions; other cities put out pot plants
but BCC is very risk averse. because of this, costs of bike lanes are massively inflated while hundreds of millions are spent on road widening projects. e.g. 700 metre stretch of road widened from 4 to 6 lanes for $115 million; KSD for $650 million
while very reluctant to spend even a tenth of that on bike lanes. Annually $25 m out of a $1 b on cycling - priorities of admin reflected in that
central decision making
Advocacy voices drowned out by other electorates
Non-confrontational lobby groups, making submissions, writing petitions and asking nicely doesn't work
Further on this.. I've realised that the large council thing really works against active travel priorities.
If we had small councils then decisions would be made in favor of the quality of life of the people living there. For example, say one area was being over run by rats trying to get into and out of the city, a true local council would fix the problems because the residents of an area never want that.
In the BCC example, they have no reason to address the issue though. Because the council is so large, traffic calming an area may well make a few hundred affected people happy, but it might make the thousands that transit the area very unhappy. Because of the large council, that means that they would be making far more voters unhappy hence nothing gets done.
So what is the answer? More die-ins?
they have no reason to address the issue though
Are you saying the poor situation is offset by the potential of shifting the poor situation to another area also under the council jurisdiction, thereby no net benefit of any action taken/money spent?
For example.. my little area.. I could fix rat running with a couple of bollards. The people in the area would have their suburb back. My kids would be able to walk to school. I'd be able to ride to Kedron Brook without my life being threatened. A few hundred people would be delighted. However the thousands of residents of the Everton Park, Chermside, and all those people from even further out that use my residential street to avoid Stafford road would be very unhappy. Thus BCC from making a few hundred people happy stand to loose thousands of votes.
Whereas - if we had a local council that looked after just our area they wouldn't care about the thousands of residents in outlying areas.. they would act in the interest of their voters.
Our ward is rock solid LNP so not a cracker to be gained, but it could cost them further out on a more marginal seat.
I've often thought this. A progressive council on cycle commuting may form in the inner city where it is most popular but one over a larger area dilutes that possibility.