Thursday, 17 July 2008 10:00
Our community has endured years of neglect of our steadily worsening transport problems and it has taken this long fight just to get the Government to commit to studying what can be done.
I think that many people have lost sight of the fact that no decision has been made in relation to the Kenmore Bypass, it is just a study and community consultation into what potentially could be done.
The study is the first time in many years that the State Government have even looked into fixing some of the long neglected traffic problems in our community. I think that examining possible solutions to the chaos and asking people what they think can only be a good thing, and I support it.
If indeed the study and consultation finds that a bypass of Kenmore is not a practical solution to the problem or that the level of community support is not strong enough, it will not proceed.
As I have said before, it is ultimately not my decision to make, but I do want is something done to fix local transport. At the end of the day it is Government engineers and Main Roads departmental officials who will determine whether proposals, such as the Kenmore bypass, have sufficient merit to have additional study and consultation put into them.
I am in no doubt whatsoever that the Government, particularly in its current financial situation, is in no hurry to lavish large sums of money on the Western Suburbs of Brisbane. What I do know is that something needs to be done about the chaos and I fear that some of the tactics being used will simply give the Government an excuse to continue to further ignore and neglect local transport.
The Kenmore Bypass is largely about improving public transport.
Our current road corridor through Kenmore lacks the capacity for any fast, dedicated public transport.
The Government study has made it clear only increasing road capacity will allow that extra capacity to be used for the provision of better, more reliable dedicated public transport. Additional lanes added building a bypass will allow a public transport/ transit lane to be created.
I vigorously advocated the construction of the community’s first two Park and Rides over the last couple of the years and will continue to call for improvements to public transport in our area. Read more below about Park and Rides in our area.
Not all trips are suitable to undertake on public transport, but for those that can feasibly be completed on public transport we need fast, reliable, safe and comfortable services.
The State Government’s long-term infrastructure plan, has no provision locally for rail or light rail - it stipulates that public transport planning for our area, as well as much of Brisbane, is for bus transport.
I believe that rail and light rail should be examined as long-term public transport solutions for our area.
If we want to improve public transport under present arrangements, that means improving dedicated bus infrastructure. This requires more road capacity.
The bypass study is also about cycling.
Locally, we have some of the highest rates of cycle use in Brisbane, yet we still have no safe connection between our community and the growing bikeway network within Brisbane.
Specifically, the study is examining the construction of a bikeway connecting the Western Freeway bikeway to Kenmore. This would provide a sound alternative for some people to using their car and would also significantly enhance the lifestyle of many local people.
At the end of the day, there are three outcomes that I want to see from this process:
1. An effective solution to the long neglected and unacceptable traffic conditions that plague our local community.
2. Greatly upgraded public transport that will offer a genuine alternative for local residents. I want to see this area have dedicated public transport infrastructure to provide a reliable link to the major destinations in Brisbane, especially schools and universities.
3. A safe cycle connection between our area and Brisbane’s growing cycle network.
Thursday, 19 June 2008 10:00
I did not receive an invitation to speak at the Greens Political Rally at Kenmore High School on the 12th June.
The only email I received was unable to confirm a date.
However it is unlikely I would have chosen to attend anyway given that resolving our critical transport issues is a vital issue for every local resident and the scoring of cheap political points will not help us resolve something that I know and understand is very difficult for many people.
The meeting was held 12 days after the close of submissions to Western Brisbane Transport Network Investigation on local public transport issues
Local people were misled given submissions on public transport had already closed!
Submissions to that $17 million State Government study were the avenue to examine local public transport.
This wasn’t about public transport. They had months to make submissions on it.
This was just a political rally against the Kenmore Bypass.
I have been contacted by at least one angry local resident who attended the meeting believing that it would be an information meeting but finding they were at a protest meeting and political rally.
I note Main Roads did not attend.
It is important to understand that there has been no decision made to build any transport infrastructure locally.
What is occurring is that proposals have been considered and one of those proposals has been put out for community consultation.
The community should be allowed to make its submissions and have this debate without it becoming a political point scoring exercise for the Greens or the Labor member for Indooroopilly.
The most likely outcome of this sort of political interference in what at this stage is only a community consultation process is the possibility they will give the Government an excuse to continue to do nothing about the deteriorating state of transport infrastructure.
In fact one of the key drivers in the Government choosing to put the Kenmore Bypass out to community consultation is that it is the only option currently under consideration that allows sufficient transport corridor space to give our local area dedicated public transport and a safe cycle link to the growing cycle network within Brisbane.
It is not simply a road and car proposal as painted by those holding the political rally.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008 10:00
Quite a number of unattributed flyers are being circulated throughout local suburbs.
Some of these flyers are pro-bypass, some are anti-bypass.
Some are designed to look as tough they have come from the Department of Main roads and most do not make it clear who has put them out or why. I am concerned that there is inaccurate information in a number of flyers.
Information from Main Roads bears the Government logo.
For clarity again I stress that the State Government have put forward the issue of a bypass to give the local community to have a say. No decision or recommendation has been made to build a bypass.
It is appropriate that local communities are given the opportunity to have a say prior to such decisions being made. However, people are entitled to have their say based on accurate information. The study group’s website is www.mainroads.qld.gov.au
“Secret” Study documents reveal Kenmore Bypass Alternative - Major Moggill Road Redevelopment through Kenmore and Chapel Hill
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 10:00
I have finally obtained the GHD study of the Kenmore Bypass under Freedom of Information laws.
The study shows that two options were considered for dealing with the traffic bottleneck through central Kenmore.
The study compared major road upgrades through central Kenmore with the advantages and disadvantages of building a bypass of Kenmore on the existing road reserve between Moggill Road and the Western Freeway. The study concluded the Kenmore Bypass would be the better option.
The proposal to do a major road redevelopment at Kenmore to deal with the ever increasing volume of through traffic along Moggill Road is sobering indeed and referred to in the study as being an “unenviable” task.
This is important information for our community which I believe should have been public knowledge and has only come to light because of documents I have obtained under Freedom of Information.
The study found that to upgrade Moggill Road through Kenmore and Chapel Hill would require some $45 million worth of property resumptions including numerous homes and much of the commercial property through central Kenmore and part of the Kenmore State School.
The study found that it would be a more expensive option but more particularly that its impact on the community would be far greater than building a bypass road. As a result the Bypass was the preferred option put out for community consultation.
A decision to resume large quantities of property and do major roadworks through central Kenmore and Chapel Hill would subject local residents to years of disruptive major roadworks as these constructions are done under traffic flow.
Given the confined road space in Kenmore, detours may be needed and traffic disruption would be severe and prolonged
Even when completed the end result would be that central Kenmore and Chapel Hill would in effect be a “highway” and would have little amenity for local residents.
The traffic flowing through the redeveloped road would still be stopped at over a dozen sets of lights and many of the streets currently used by motorists for access in and around Kenmore would have their access curtailed.
Years ago there was a similar debate in Nundah with ever increasing volumes of traffic flowing through along Sandgate Road.
The option was chosen to bypass Nundah with a tunnel. This allowed central Nundah to become more of a village. Its amenity for residents was greatly enhanced.
Whilst numerous proposals in relation to local traffic are discussed, some proposals have been examined and found not to be workable. The only proposals under serious consideration are the bypass of Kenmore or a major upgrade of Moggill Road to try and get traffic through Kenmore and Chapel Hill.
Some residents are being misled that the alternative is a bridge at Bellbowrie. The alternative is in fact major dislocation in central Kenmore to widen Moggill Road.
It is clear that whatever decision is made (doing absolutely nothing is not an option) some people will be unhappy with the outcome.
I know that this is a long and difficult process but it is important that we try to get the best outcome for the long term future of the local area.
I do not believe taking amenity away from Kenmore and Chapel Hill with years of disruptive roadworks would be in the best interest of anyone who lives in the western suburbs.
And on the positive side of the coin there could be a significant opportunity to create much more of a village atmosphere if through traffic were to use a different route.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 10:00
The State Government are so concerned about disinformation contained in “anti-bypass” flyers they are circulating a flyer of their own to try and ensure local residents are not misled.
Three areas I am concerned people may be misled:
That the alternative to a “Kenmore Bypass” is a bridge at Bellbowrie.
This is wrong (already dismissed by the government). The alternative to a bypass is years of roadwork and massive land resumptions to widen the existing Moggill Road through kenmore and Chapel Hill.
That the 3 kilometre Kenmore Bypass study is stage one of the 17 kilometre Moggill Pocket Sub Arterial.
This is wrong, the Kenmore Bypass study has been instigated to look at local traffic and is only examining the 3 kilometres from Moggill Road to the Western Freeway.
That a Kenmore Bypass would create traffic chaos on the Western Freeway.
The fact is the problem on the Western Freeway is the Toowong roundabout.
The Kenmore Bypass study is actually also considering major improvements to the Western Freeway that may benefit users
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