On seeing surveyor's pegs and various engineers messing about at Nosworthy Park, I spoke to the Lord Mayor at the Rocks Riverside Park Festival. His reply is attached. He makes it clear that Council has decided to build a bridge across Oxley Creek at Nosworthy Park and will not consider alternatives. However, there are no funds for building this infrastructure as yet, only $70,000 to complete plans. There is still time to call Council to account and perhaps change to a more suitable plan.
Council's proposal is to build a bridge from Oxley Creek Common, across Oxley Creek, to provide a route from the Common and Brisbane Markets to Corinda Stations and High School. A brief consultation a couple of years ago with Councillor Johnston revealed that the most direct and simple route would be to cross the creek at Kennard St, with a concrete path from Sherwood Rd through the southern most lawns of the Common to the bridge.
Since that time Council has worked, away from the public gaze, on the plan that has resulted in this proposed bridge into Nosworthy Park. A concrete path to this point from Sherwood Rd is, of course, much longer than to a Kennard St bridge, the concrete would then wind up the hill to existing concrete pathways at the top of the hill, just north of the Graceville Bowls Club, to Hall Ave. Bicycle Awareness Zones will then be stencilled onto the road pavement to guide cyclists to Corinda Railway Station and Corinda High School. An aerial photo with the proposed bridge and path is below, along with the alternative at Kennard St.
This project raises a number of questions.
- Is this location environmentally sensible? Nosworthy Park Bushcare Group, Oxley Creek Catchment Association, Birds Queensland and the Friends of Oxley Creek Common have all expressed strong concerns. Oxley Creek Environment Group would also be interested.
- Is this the most convenient and accessible location? Clearly not. Gradients and length of this proposal are all worse than the alternative.
- Is this the most cost-effective way to make this connection? It doesn't look like the cheapest option, a lot more concrete, a bridge just as long and more difficult terrain for earthmoving equipment.
- Will this bridge be used by commuter cyclists, for whom direct and fast routes are important? As a commuter cyclist I can say I wouldn't use it to get to the Markets from Corinda. Corinda High School has also expressed doubt as to the usefulness of this route to its agriculture students, due to time constraints. They would continue to use a bus until a direct crossing from the school to the southern part of the common is built.
- Does this route comply with the requirements for Crime Prevention though Environmental Design? Unusable at night, few if any fellow travellers on the track most of the day, an invitation to the criminal element.
The route Council has rejected, at Kennard St, would appear to the layperson to be superior on a number of grounds; more direct, far better gradients, close to neighbours at the Creek crossing, lower impact environmentally andmuch shorter.
Yet another alternative, though one that doesn't directly connect Corinda to the Common, would be a pathway around the south eastern perimeter of the Bus Depot, from Kennard St to Sherwood Rd. This would be far cheaper, be well lit at all hours, would connect to the southern footpath of Sherwood Rd, which already exists in form if not as a pavement as yet and would eliminate the need for a bridge completely. This route would appear to avoid all five problems raised above.
A bridge across the Creek, preferably well south of Nosworthy Park (beyond Ambiwerra) would be a great asset to the neighbourhood, but no such bridge would ever be able to attract workers at the Markets or other commercial and industrial premises, commuters to the city or eastern suburbs let alone sport cyclists. Such a bridge would remain a mainly recreational asset, as would the currently proposed project. A Kennard St bridge might attract commuters.
In summary, the proposed Nosworthy Park bridge and bikeway fits the Council's practices of 20 years ago, of the original Kedron Brook cycleway it is purely recreational and obeys the rule of such paths, being the longest distance between its start and its finish, traversing, and concreting over, parkland.
A text version of Lord Mayor Graham Quirk's letter appears below.
16 September 2011
Mr John Nightingale
Corinda QLD 4075
Dear Mr Nightingale
I refer to your conversation of 23 July 2011 with one of my staff members at the Centenary Rocks festival at Rocks Riverside Park, about Council's plans for a new bridge crossing and bike path at Oxley Creek, Corinda. I apologise for the delay in responding to you.
I undertand Ms Linda Austin, Communications Office within Council's City Projects Office, contacted you on 24 August to discuss this matter. I note that your main concerns were Council's consultation with environmental groups and the preferred location of the bridge.
The project you refer to is called Oxley Creek bikeway stage two and was initially scheduled to start construction in the 2010/11 financial year. However, as a result of the devestating floods in January this year, the project was deferred so the budget could be reallocated to assist with flood recovery works.
You may be aware that the Oxley Creek bikeway stage two is to be constructed in two phases. The first phase includes a shared pedestrian and cycle pathway from the Brisbane Markets to Oxley Creek Common. The second phase includes a shared pathway from Oxley Creek Common to Nosworthy Park, with bicycle awareness zones to Corinda Rail Station and Corinda High School. Council has funds this year to finalise the design, with funds to construct the bikeway yet to be allocated.
Once completed, the bikeway will connect to the recently constructed Sherwood Road and Brisbane Markets entry intersection. This signalised intersection provides a safe crossing of Sherwood for pedestrians and cyclists.
I can confirm that Nosworthy Park has been identified as the preferred bridge location as it provides a more direct route to Corinda Rail Station and Corinda High School. In addition, this location is preferable to the alternative location of Kennard Street (near the Sherwood Bus Depot) as the bridge would have to be significantly longer at this point in the creek, which would cause a greater environmental impact on the surrounding area.
The preferred alignment into Nosworthy Park will take the existing terrain of the slope into consideration and will be designed to minimise the area of path and gradient for both cyclists and pedestrians. The project team are aware of the sensitive environmental considerations for this project and acknowledge the terrific work completed along the creek and within the parkland by the many environmental groups for this area.
Council is committed to addressing environmental concerns and working with local community and local environmental groups. It is expected that the project team will meet with the local environmental groups to discuss the design and to implement replanting programs and other suggestions, wherever appropriate, within the 2011/12 financial year.
I encourage you to stay in contact with Ms Austin on 1800 699 416 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for further updates on this project.
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns.
|Simmonds J letter re bikeway Oct 2011.pdf||451.14 KB|
|BURG Factsheet 01 Michael Yeates.pdf||69.43 KB|
|Eastern Corinda Cycle Connectivity.pdf||248.4 KB|
|via Kennard Street.pdf||323.89 KB|
|via Sherwood bus depot.pdf||321.98 KB|