Cyclists as well as bushcare volunteers, local residents, park-users, architects, and engineers oppose the planned Oxley Creek Bikeway Stage 2. The bikeway will skirt Oxley Creek Common for hundreds of metres and bridge the creek at Nosworthy Park.
Over 80 people attended a public meeting on 16th November at the Corinda Bowls Club to learn about the Brisbane City Council’s plan and to express their views. Council declined to send along a member of the Bikeway Team. The problems with the planned bikeway identified at the public meeting were:
Unsuitability for cyclists: The bikeway is not a direct route for commuters, and there is poor visibility near the Bowls Club. The incline up from the creek is too steep. Having cyclists share a bikeway with elderly pedestrians, dog-walkers, bird-watchers, and tricyclists goes against current bicycle-user research.
Waste of taxpayers' money: The cost of the project is $4 million - and yet the ultimate goal is the larger project of upgrading Sherwood Road. The money would be more appropriately saved for that upgrade, especially since cyclists do not favour the bikeway.
Inappropriateness for the disabled and the elderly: The incline will make the bikeway inaccessible to wheelchair users and fails to meet the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act. Many elderly pedestrians will be unable to cross the bridge.
Damage to the environment: The bikeway will destroy much of the creek bank area. The Oxley Creek Common is home to over 190 bird species and attracts not only local but also international bird-watchers. These bird species and other wildlife depend on the undisturbed habitat of the creek area. The rehabilitation of the area along the creek on both Oxley Common and at Nosworthy Park (hundreds of hours of work by volunteers) will be undone.
Disruption of recreational use of parkland: The bikeway will cover the surface of Nosworthy Park (already a small park) with 3 metres of concrete and up to 2 metres of landscaped border. To comply with cycle safety provisions, a second path through the park will be required to allow exit onto Hall Avenue. There will be little space (and less safety) for children to play and community groups to gather.
The consensus of the meeting was that alternative routes and bridge sites must be reconsidered. Kennard Street, rejected by Council, is closer to Sherwood Road, provides a more direct route for cyclists, has a reduced gradient and minimal height differential between banks, requires only a small area of riparian zone to be cleared, and entails no access problems in construction. Councillor for Tennyson Nicole Johnston wrote: ‘I am supportive of a bikeway . . .but it must be in the right location . . .’.
Residents, environmentalists, cyclists, and park-users who wish to ‘have their say’ in favour of or against the proposed bikeway must do so before 30th November (telephone 1 800 550 712 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with copies to email@example.com and Tennyson.firstname.lastname@example.org). Council plans are online.
Sponsors: Oxley Creek Catchment Association; The Nosworthy Park Bushcare Group; Friends of Oxley Creek Common; South West Brisbane Bicycle User Group; and Walter Taylor South Action Group.
Contacts: Oxley Creek Catchment Association (OCCA), 07 3278 2899, email email@example.com;
Faseny McPhee, Friends of Oxley Creek Common,3379 2634; and John Nightingale, South
West Brisbane Bicycle User Group, 07 3278 1610 or 0408 113 148, email firstname.lastname@example.org