In late 2021, The Department of Education selected the old Toowong Bowls Club as the location of the new primary school in the inner west. Residents have raised the need for pedestrian, cycling and public transport upgrades in the new school precinct alongside other issues like flooding, ecology and impacts on green space.
To better understand the problem and possible solutions, my Electorate Office conducted the New School Safe Streets Survey. The survey included two sections, one for prospective school families at the new school, and one for all local residents.
My priority is to make it simple, safe and pleasant for families and students to walk, ride or get the bus to school. Any school generates some localised congestion at pick up and drop off time, so my priority is to minimise the number of families who are forced to drive.
- Data on how prospective parents would like their children to travel to the new school
- Suggestions from locals for improvements to active and public transport infrastructure
- Twenty nine high priority pedestrian safety projects
- Fourteen high priority cycling safety projects
Key findings from my report:
- Over 90% of parents intending to send their children to the new school said safety upgrades would make them more likely to allow their kids to walk, cycle, scoot, or catch the bus to school.
- New or safer pedestrian crossings were the most popular suggestion from respondents. Respondents also recommended widening and completing footpaths around the school site
- The majority of respondents supported a permanent 40km/h zone in the new school precinct.
- Dedicated bike lanes were by far the most popular suggestion for cycling safety upgrades. Respondents also recommended wider footpaths and separation between pedestrians and bikes/scooters.
- A dedicated school bus was the most popular public transport suggestion. Respondents also called for more frequent mainstream buses and recommended large and/or shaded bus stops
Key asks from my report:
The State Government should, either via the Ministerial Infrastructure Designation process or otherwise:
- Support and jointly fund the twenty nine pedestrian safety improvements described in the report on page 4.
- Contribute State funding for the fourteen cycling safety improvements described in the report on page 5.
- Improve bus services around the new school location, in line with recommendations from the report.
- Support the creation of a permanent 40km/h safe speed zone around the school
Brisbane City Council should:
- Coordinate and jointly fund twenty nine pedestrian safety improvements described in the report on page 4.
- Create the safe separated bike lanes that are outlined in the report on page 5.
- Create a permanent 40km safe speed zone for the whole precinct
- Consider restrictions on parking in the local area, to encourage active travel.
I’ve coordinated a meeting with the Building Future Schools team to discuss how the State Government can make these plans a reality. I’ll also seeking a meeting with the local Councillor to pass along this local feedback.
If you have further thoughts about what measures would help, please get in touch with my office.