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Brisbane council trials bikeway speed monitors to slow cyclists, scooters at Kangaroo Point

Brisbane City Council will trial two speed monitors on the Kangaroo Point Bikeway to slow cyclists and e-scooter riders. (Supplied: Space for Cycling Brisbane)

A new council trial of flashing awareness signs on one of Brisbane's busiest shared pathways has been met with mixed responses from cyclists and pro-pedestrian groups.

Brisbane City Council has installed two signs which measure the speed of passing bicycles, e-scooter and e-skateboards along the Kangaroo Point Bikeway 

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the Bicycle Awareness Monitors (BAMs) would work the same way as the popular smiling Speed Awareness Monitors (SAMs).

He said these had proven extremely effective in improving driver safety and behaviour on suburban roads.

"[The Kangaroo Point] pathway is used by about 3,000 people cycling, walking, or riding a day and these new signs will alert approaching riders of their speed and indicate if their speed is below or above 15km/h," Mr Schrinner said.

Bicycle Awareness Monitors are being trialled on the Kangaroo Point Bikeway in Brisbane. (Supplied: Brisbane City Council)

"Brisbane is an incredible city to walk and ride around, but it's important everyone uses our shared paths considerately and safely. Travelling at the correct speed is an important part of this.

"I encourage everyone to keep an eye out for these new signs. Know that if you're travelling at a safe speed you'll be rewarded with a smile and a thank you message.

"If you trigger a slowdown message, please do so as it's important for your own safety and those travelling around you."

About 3,000 pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders used the Kangaroo Point Bikeway every day. (Supplied: Space for Cycling Brisbane)

Monitor should not be city-wide solution

Brisbane West Bicycle User Group co-convenor Chris Cox said while he welcomed any means of reminding cyclists and scooter and skateboard riders to ride to conditions, there was "a bigger problem" along the Kangaroo Point Bikeway.

For years, the group had drawn attention to parts of the path which were regularly blocked by cars and goods from nearby businesses.

"It seems like this has come a bit out of nowhere," Mr Cox said.

"I agree it is important for cyclists and e-scooters to ride to conditions and shared paths they need to be able to stop and move quickly.

"It will be interesting to see if these BAMs, which is a cool name for it, adjust people's behaviour.

"For us though, it suggests if a shared path is getting so busy pedestrians and cyclists are coming into conflict, there is a bigger problem."

Mr Cox says all bikeway users need to be responsible for their behaviour. (Supplied: Space for Cycling Brisbane)

While Mr Cox conceded the Kangaroo Point Bikeway was "really difficult", making it a perfect place to trial the new monitors, he also said he did not want to see them become a standard solution everywhere in the city.

Mr Cox, right, pictured with Greens MP Michael Berkman says he does not want the monitors to be a solution to bikeway woes. (Supplied: Chris Cox)

"There have been attempts before to make markings clearer, and while it is annoying to have people walking on bike side, you just have to suck it up," he said.

"There a saying that goes, 'If you need a sign the design is wrong', and I think that applies a little bit here.

"I'm not fighting the idea, people need to be responsible for their behaviour, but we hope BAMs don't become an excuse to not do anything else."

Mr Cox described the widening of Amazons Place Bikeway at Jindalee from 2.5m to 5m was "heaven" and said infrastructure like CityLink, which took cyclists and scooters off city streets, was a "real benefit" to the community.

Speed Awareness Monitors are installed in many Brisbane streets and aim to slow traffic. (Supplied: Greg Adermann)

Call to share data from BAMs

Queensland Walks president Anna Campbell agreed with Mr Cox that the introduction of the signs meant there was an issue along Kangaroo Point Bikeway.

Ms Campbell says Queensland Walks encourages all residents to walk, ride and use an e-bike or e-scooter. (Supplied: Anna Campbell)

"Whenever there's a pinch point and you're bringing bikes and pedestrians into one area, there is a concern," she said.

"We always encourage separate pathways, because it is important for cyclists and e-scooters to go faster, so we need to separate them from recreational walkers like mums and bubs in prams.

"If there are these speed awareness monitors, there is an issue and it suggests Brisbane City Council needs to spend more time looking at that separation."

Ms Campbell hoped the council would share data collected from the BAMs with the transport community to find a way everyone could enjoy bikeways.

"It's a mode of transport and we want to make sure we're encouraging more residents to walk, ride and use an e-bike or e-scooter," she said.

"The fewer cars we have, the more pleasant and liveable a city we have."

Mr Schrinner said the two signs could be found near the Kangaroo Point Cliff stairs and near the Riverlife Adventure Centre along the shared Kangaroo Point Cliffs path.

Mr Schrinner says the signs will be solar powered. (ABC News: Alicia Nally)

"These signs operate entirely via solar power, which means these signs are not only better for the environment but reduce ongoing costs," he said.

"If these signs prove to deliver a positive change in behaviour during this trial, we will explore options to install them on other pathways across Brisbane."

RACQ's Safer Pathways survey closes at midnight tonight and aims to pinpoint unsafe or deficient pathways.

Ms Campbell said another survey being conducted by the Department of Transport and Main Roads was part of a review and update of the Principal Cycle Network for Queensland and suggested "greater investment was needed" in Queensland's bikeways.

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