Pedestrian safety review accepted by Brisbane City Council


Brisbane City Council has accepted a final report into pedestrian safety across the city that recommends a host of changes for the city’s foot traffic.

The report, commissioned as part of an ongoing review into the city’s safety for pedestrians and cyclists after numerous fatal crashes in the past year, was debated at the council meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Recommendations include the removal or restructuring of slip lanes such as the lane at the intersection of Ann and Creek streets in the central business district, the phasing of traffic signals to favour pedestrians, and lowering speed limits on key roads around the city and its suburbs to 40km/h.

Lord mayor Graham Quirk said the final report was one of several produced in the Move Safe project for the city.

Cr Quirk said a public appeal for information on danger zones and risk areas for pedestrians across the city, combined with Queensland Police data, provided the council with more than 6000 pieces of information on the issues on Brisbane streets.

“This report provides a pathway in terms of future actions in the Move Safe program,” Cr Quirk said.

“This will be funded not only in this year’s budget but in future budgets also.”

Opposition transport spokesman Jared Cassidy said Labor supported the recommendations made in the report but didn’t believe they went far enough.

“We’ve seen what has persisted in the Brisbane CBD since the horse and buggy days, a priority given to road users,” Cr Cassidy said during debate.

“What we’re seeing around the world are 67 cities … reducing their speed limit to 30km/h.

“We’re seeing cities in Australia, in Melbourne and Sydney, reducing the speed limit to 30km/h.

“We don’t want to be left behind. We want to see our CBD be a paradise for pedestrians.”

Deputy mayor Adrian Schrinner said the final report was based on “facts, not ideology” and accused Labor and Greens councillors of basing their opposition to elements of the report on ideology.

“This review is about council taking on community feedback, looking at the facts, looking at the data and then initiating sensible targeted initiatives that will make a massive improvement to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists around the city,” Cr Schrinner said.

However, councillor for Tennyson Nicole Johnston and Gabba councillor Jonathan Sri both strongly criticised the report, Cr Johnston expressing frustration at a lack of action on Ipswich Road, which was named in the report as one of the most dangerous in the city.

Cr Sri said the report was “tokenistic” and needed to go further.

Councillor for Morningside Kara Cook sent her “sincere condolences” to the families of the pedestrians killed in crashes across the city.

“My residents want to see pedestrian safety … prioritised, not network performance,” she said.

Councillor for Bracken Ridge Amanda Cooper said the report was “not just words, it is actions in direct proportions to the commitments we have made”.

Cr Cooper said the council had taken “direct action” in response to pedestrian safety and the actions spanned not just the CBD but the whole of the city.

The lord mayor said the report represented a balanced approach to transport around the city.

“We should not be force-feeding people in some sort of engineering way to dominate over them what they should do,” Cr Quirk said.

“There is … within this report some guide posts in terms of a way forward, some action we can take to provide some safer outcomes but also retain a balanced, functional approach.”