Within days of Brisbane City Council announcing the next phase of consultations for Green Bridges to West End, a new residents’ group has formed and is raising objections to one of the proposed options: a Keith Street to Boundary Street bridge between West End and St Lucia.
In recent correspondence to residents and on its website, Council has outlined three options for a West End and St Lucia bridge. Their favoured Option A involves landing sites on public parklands on either side of the river, at Guyatt Park and Orleigh Park. Option B proposes landings at Munro Street and Ryan Street, and will involve the resumption of private properties (vacant land), and Option C outlines Keith Street to Boundary Street landing points (as far up as Paradise Street), with the potential resumption of private homes.
It is this last option that has raised the ire of Boundary and Paradise Street residents.
Aleko Paltoglou, media spokesperson for the Boundary Street, “Stop Mega Bridge” residents’ group says that the Keith Street alignment Option C, is the only option that results in the resumption of family homes. He says this option will have a detrimental impact on the amenity of the street for surrounding residents who would be living under or beside a bridge if Council were to proceed with this option.
“It is unheard of to have a piece of infrastructure the size of what is being proposed in the heart of a populated residential community. Green bridges do not belong in a highly populated and established residential area of two-story residential homes,” Mr Paltoglou said.
The groups says that the Boundary Street to Keith Street bridge alignment has a range of deficiencies including:
- “The proposed bridge location does not link to existing public transport infrastructure (Bus Services, City Cat and Bikeways).
- The location is not a natural cycling route from the Eleanor Schonell Bridge to West End and does not link to the Gladstone Road, Dornoch Terrace, Ganges Street, Hoogley Street, Riverside Drive cycle route.
- The journey to the proposed bridge location from the West End shopping precinct on Boundary Street is characterised by difficult terrain (harsh street gradient and lack of shade) and distance.
- Access to the proposed bridge is hindered by a narrow Boundary Street and narrow footpaths, with safety implications for cyclists and pedestrians.
- The proposed bridge will impact the surrounding environment through the potential removal of the community garden at the southern end of Boundary Street.
- The proposed bridge will impact the living amenity of residents living under or beside the proposed bridge and will result in the forced displacement of families who have lived on Boundary Street for over 60 years.”
Mr Paltoglou said the residents of Boundary Street cannot understand why Council’s proposed bridge alignment resembles the alignment of the State Government’s 1997 Briztram proposal, when this bridge is supposed to only be for cycling and pedestrians.
“It’s a mega bridge for what’s being planned.”
Have you been approached by Council?
Asked if the affected residents had spoken with Council, Mr Paltoglou said the owners of the three residential properties subject to potential resumption, including his own home, were approached by Council to discuss the Boundary Street to Keith Street alignment.
“My family and the residents of Boundary Street were aware of a potential Green bridge from Boundary Street to Keith Street, however, we all assumed that the bridge would use the State Government owned land at the Southern end of Boundary Street and would follow the design of the Kurilpa Bridge and begin at the bottom of Boundary Street, not the top.”
“We were shocked when Council informed us that a potential Green bridge from Boundary Street to Keith Street would result in the resumption of family homes and detrimentally impact the amenity of surrounding families.”
People versus Parks
“… the current proposal poses the question: people versus parks – should the community vote for a bridge that will impact the amenity of surrounding residents and result in the resumption of family homes (the Boundary St to Keith St alignment option) or should the community vote for a bridge that will potentially diminish green space (the Orleigh Park to Guyatt Park alignment option)?
“We believe that Council should develop an option that is beneficial for both people and parks,” Mr Paltoglou said .
The residents of the southern end of Boundary Street have arranged to meet other community groups and with Councillor Jonathan Sri in the coming weeks to discuss their concerns.
In its literature, Council also lists several deficits posed by the Option C alignment. Council notes, for example, the steep grade of Boundary Street, the impacts on the streetscape, the resumption of homes at the West End side of the river, and loss of trees at the St Lucia end of the bridge.
Councillor James Mackay, a former president of the St Lucia Community Association has said in a Facebook post that he would like to protect Guyatt Park and is therefore opposed to Option A in favour of Option C.
Across the other side of the river, Cr Sri representing the Gabba Ward has questioned Council’s justification for the St Lucia Bridge and has called on Council to provide more details.
“I remain a tad dubious that the business case for the West End-St Lucia bridge will stack up,” Cr Sri wrote in a Facebook post.
Mr Paltoglou said, “…the residents of Boundary Street want to protect people who will have their homes resumed and be displaced and people who will have their living amenity impacted by having a bridge traverse through and over an established residential area. We believe Council should develop an option that is good for both parks and people.”
“As a group our objective is not to pit community against community, rather we want to highlight the deficiencies with Option C so the community is informed and can provide feedback to Council.”
Mr Paltoglou said that is why he is urging people to provide feedback to Council.
The group has established a petition at this site: https://www.change.org/p/help-us-stop-the-mega-bridge-is-west-end/c
For more details on this proposal see the Council’s website: https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/traffic-and-transport/roads-infrastructure-and-bikeways/green-bridges/st-lucia-to-west-end-green-bridge