The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
Why there’s strife in the no-go lane
Cycle of frustration as wide bikeways take over Brisbane CBD (Construction) has probabl y cost us tens of thousands of dollars in b usiness
GIANT cycleways have eaten up roadways and parking in Brisbane’s CBD adding to pain for businesses after the toughest year many have ever faced.
Traders told The Sunday Mail tens of thousands of dollars were lost during the construction of the cycleways, while the loss of parks had also hit cafes and small retail shops hard.
Many are frustrated that cyclists are not even using the lanes, with delivery food drivers and cyclists the main traffic on the wide lanes.
In a 12-month trial, 71 car parks, 12 motorcycle parks and one disability parking space were removed from Elizabeth, Edward, Albert and William streets and replaced with dedicated cycling lanes. The lanes opened across Elizabeth and Edward streets in late February.
Mr Edward’s Alehouse & Kitchen owner Adam Weston said his business lost a significant amount of money while the new paths were under construction.
“They spent about threeand-a-half months digging up all the concrete,” he said. “It’s probably cost us tens of thousands of dollars in business and noise and bookings and everything they’ve done.”
But now the construction was complete along Edward St, he said the bike lanes solved the issue of overcrowded footpaths.
“It is ridiculous on one of the busiest streets in the city, seeing small cafes that are doing footpath service being bowled over by people on the orange scooters,” he said. “It now means all the UberEats and Menulogs with their gigantic carry boxes are also not getting in everybody’s way.”
General manager Patrick Ivison said the most significantly impacted were patrons who used the parking along Edward St.
“We had the whole street filled with (car) parks,” he said.
“A lot of people complained when the parks left and I think Uber drivers and people trying to pick up food, there’s no space for them.”
On Elizabeth St, Perry House News’ Matt Casey said the loading zone for the store’s deliveries was moved across the road, leaving only one lane for commuters turning right onto Edward St.
“The bike lanes used to be the stopping lane for all of the trucks, where they’d unload,” he said. “All the stores here, now they’ve moved them to the other side of the street and now there’s one less lane causing congestion. On the righthand-side turning up to Edward St there used to be two lanes you could turn right, it’s only now one lane and it gets backed up at peak hour.”
He said he hadn’t noticed the dedicated bike lanes being used to their potential, often noticing them empty.
Michael Makras, who owned and worked at several businesses in the CBD including Marchetti Cafe and
Optiko, said the benefits of the new lanes outweighed the negatives.
“Most of our clients either work in the city or when they come in they just go to a car park, I don’t know anyone who looks for a park on the street now under the age of 70,” he said. “I use them and I notice people on them.” Maybe the occasional delivery driver complains about supplies, but there’s still loading zones.”