Regardless of where the new school is built, I am committed to working with Council and the State government to improve pedestrian safety and improve public and active transport in the Lambert Rd precinct.
The precinct already hosts more than 5,600 students at Indooroopilly State High (ISHS), St Peter Lutheran College (St Peters), Brigidine College and Holy Family Primary School. Some but not all of those students currently catch public transport, walk or cycle to school.
My team spent a few months running a big survey of parents and families at the existing four schools. We asked about what would help them switch away from driving to school and towards walking, cycling and public transport. I believe this is the most detailed survey ever conducted about school traffic on the west side.
- Data on where and which schools the traffic comes from
- Information about what would help students and families switch away from driving
- Sixteen high-priority pedestrian safety projects
- Six important public transport improvements
- Five things that schools could do to help cut traffic
Key findings from my report:
- Right now many students already use public and active transport. Around half of all students travel to school by car, especially primary-aged students. ISHS had the lowest mode share for car journeys and Holy Family the highest.
- Almost half of all car journeys were made by students and families at St Peters, one third were from ISHS with smaller numbers from Brigidine and Holy Family.
- The three non-government schools together accounted for two-thirds of all car journeys
- There are more than 2,000 high school students from three schools who currently drive, but encouragingly, at least 50% of families who drive indicated they would be willing to switch to public or active transport if improvements were made.
- Better and more frequent public transport was the most popular suggestion which would encourage people to switch away from driving.
- Our survey results show a detailed list of sixteen pedestrian and cycling safety improvements and six public transport improvements which Council and the State government could fund.
- Our results also show a list of five steps schools could take to help ease congestion.
Key asks from my report
Brisbane City Council should:
- Coordinate and fund the sixteen pedestrian safety improvements including raised “wombat” crossings and traffic lights described in the report on page 4.
- Create a permanent Active School Travel program at every school in the precinct to help students and families shift away from private vehicles, funded jointly by Council, the State government and the non-government schools.
- Create a safe, separated bikeway linking the Indooroopilly Riverwalk with the St Lucia Esplanade Bikeway and the Gailey Fiveways via Lambert Rd and Indooroopilly Rd (Indooroopilly Bikeway Stages 3 and 4)
- Build the Witton Rd bikeway in Fig Tree Pocket to link the Western Freeway bikeway with the new Indooroopilly Riverwalk.
- Create a large 40km safe speed zone for the whole precinct including all streets between Clarence Rd, York St, Swann Rd, Indooroopilly Rd and the Brisbane River. This could apply all the time, or just on school days subject to local feedback.
The State Government should:
- Support and jointly fund our sixteen pedestrian safety improvements described in the report on page 4.
- Fund Translink to create more bus services, targeting high school students and local residents living in Fig Tree Pocket, Bardon, Toowong, Taringa, Long Pocket, Chapel Hill, Kenmore and the southside as described in the report on page 5. I’m already active on this issue in relation to Fig Tree Pocket (more info here)
- Contribute State funding to build the Indooroopilly Bikeway Stages 3 and 4.
- Contribute State funding to build the Witton Rd bikeway.
- Support the creation of a 40km safe speed zone.
- Fund and coordinate an Integrated Traffic Management Plan for all schools in the precinct, including mode share targets for all schools in the precinct.
- Introduce free public transport for children under 18. Right now public transport is free for children under 4 and under 14 on the weekend.
Local schools can play a role as well, by:
- Exploring programs to incentivise carpooling, and taking public or active transport to school including school “house” points bonuses.
- Ensuring uniform policies enable students to walk/cycle to school if they choose. This could include allowing students to wear their sports uniforms and ensuring any gender-based uniform policies are fair for all students.
- Consider reviewing how “drop and go” zones function, including extending drop-off windows in the morning and delay the opening of drop and go zones until the end of the school day in the afternoon.
- For non-government schools with significant resources, consider jointly funding pedestrian infrastructure and active school travel programs with Brisbane City Council.
- Consider reviewing school finish times to stagger the afternoon peak across more than one hour.
If you have further thoughts about what measures would help, please get in touch with my office.