Today, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner revealed the locations of the proposed two new green bridges to West End.
Cr Schrinner said that after a major consultation process, the alignment options to be progressed by Council will be the proposed Option A for both bridges. Option A for the St Lucia bridge runs between Guyatt Park and Orleigh Park at Morry Street, and for the Toowong Bridge, from Coronation Drive to Forbes Street in West End.
“The level of community feedback on the alignment options was impressive with more than 4000 responses received during the four-month consultation period,” Cr Schrinner said.
“With 83 per cent of survey respondents supporting 600 Coronation Drive and 64 per cent backing Guyatt Park, it’s crystal clear that Brisbane residents want green bridges and know exactly where they want them.”
Last week, Councillor Jonathan Sri published the results of an online survey conducted by his office on the bridges proposals, with similar outcomes. Cr Sri discussed the results with the Westender.
Cr Sri heard from residents at community forums and through a range of direct contact strategies but said the most significant sample of resident feedback was via his online poll.
“The council consultation didn’t give residents an option to clearly state that they were opposed to a bridge altogether, which is probably why the overall support for new bridges seemed stronger in the Council consultation than in my ward office consultation.”
“My consultation process did give residents an option to vote for ‘no bridge’ and it was interesting to see that close to a third of respondents thought the St Lucia bridge wasn’t needed.”
“However both consultation processes essentially suggest the same conclusions: that a strong majority of residents feel both bridges are worthwhile, and that the Option A alignments were clear favourites for both the Toowong and St Lucia bridges,” Cr Sri said.
Neither of the two preferred options announced today include home or property resumptions which will be a relief to many living in Boundary Road and Ryan Street.
Aleko Paltoglou ran a passionate campaign against the Boundary Street option, which threatened the resumption of family homes. He told the Westender today that the “Stop Mega Bridge” group wants to thank those who offered their support by putting up the yellow “No Mega Bridge” signs on their front fences. He also thanked those who rallied behind their cause by signing petitions and forwarding submissions to Brisbane City Council opposing the Option C alignment.
“The objective of the Boundary Street Residents Group from the beginning has been not to pit one part of the community against another but rather to highlight the deficiencies of Option C alignment of the St Lucia to West End green bridge proposal. We hope we have achieved both,” Mr Paltoglou said today.
Toowong Bridge First
Public and Active Transport Chair, Councillor Ryan Murphy said residents showed greater enthusiasm and readiness for a Toowong to West End green bridge.
“So we will take this on board when determining the next steps for these projects,” Cr Murphy said.
“Residents have told us that this bridge is the priority and that we should focus on building it before we proceed with construction of the St Lucia to West End link.”
In a similar finding to that of Council, Cr Sri says in his summary of findings that support for a St Lucia bridge was slightly less enthusiastic than support for the Toowong bridge.
“We would still like to see more detailed demand modelling and a business case etc. for the St Lucia bridge. However, the project does seem to have majority support among engaged residents who took the time to respond to our consultation,” he wrote.
Business Cases Next Step
The next step for Council will be the completion of business cases for both bridges.
“We expect the detailed business cases will be completed this year, which we will then discuss with the Queensland and Australian governments to determine the next steps for these projects, including funding and delivery timeframes,” Cr Murphy said.
Council has allocated $550 million in the green bridge program, with additional funds being sought from other levels of government
Cr Sri said that residents raised concerns during the consultation phase about the lack of detailed information provided by Council and general frustration with the short consultation timeframe. He said it will be important for Council to produce business cases that “very clearly and transparently weigh up the costs and benefits” of the bridges.
Detail required on Bridge access
In April, Cr Sri raised concerns about access to the proposed landing sites for the Kangaroo Point Bridge, planning for which is now quite advanced. Cr Sri said it will be important that Council provides more detail about how users will access the two West End bridges.
While very supportive of the Kangaroo Point Bridge, Cr Sri said:
“A project like this is only as good as the connections leading to it, so as part of this process BCC should be clearly identifying the footpath upgrades, crossings and new bike lanes that link to the bridge. The linkages to the bridge need to be planned and delivered simultaneously as a single, holistic project.”
For the West End bridges, Cr Sri asks:
“What cycling corridors is Council expecting to connect to Riverside Drive? What is the timing and budget for new pedestrian crossings or bike lanes connected to bridges?
Cr Sri also said there is some concern that the bridges are being used as a proxy by Council to avoid addressing cycling safety issues on Montague Road and Sir Fred Schonell Drive.
“We need to see some more detail from Council about what the future vision is for Montague Road. Are they are going to allocate any serious funding towards separated bike lanes on the Montague road corridor, or are they just planning to push the majority of cyclists and riders along the river?”
You can read Council’s consultations reports here:
You can see Cr Sri’s detailed consultation report on his website:Here