Cycling in Brisbane is booming, so Brisbane City Council is working with the community to find locations for a range of new facilities across the suburbs as part of its Off-road Cycling Strategy.
Environment, Parks and Sustainability Chair Fiona Cunningham said the strategy would guide future investment in off-road cycling facilities in a way that was both economically and environmentally sustainable.
“There is a growing demand for off-road cycling in Brisbane, like mountain biking, but we must balance this need in a way that protects our city’s natural environment,” Cr Cunningham said.
“We’re lucky to have nature on our doorstep and a climate that’s made for being outdoors, so it’s no surprise that thousands of people each year already use the off-road cycling tracks at Mt Coot-tha.
“Currently Brisbane has more than 23 kilometres of specialised mountain bike tracks and 31 kilometres of multi-use tracks at Mt Coot-tha Reserve and these tracks are extremely popular.
“It’s clear there is demand for off-road cycling and we want to ensure residents have an appropriate network of well-planned facilities, where people of all ages and abilities can cycle safely.”
Outdoors Queensland Executive Officer Dom Courtney welcomed the launch of the draft strategy.
“We expect that Brisbane residents and visitors to the city will appreciate the changes that are proposed to be made,” Mr Courtney said.
“Outdoors Queensland believes that appropriate outdoor activities should be allowed to take place in appropriate places.
“In addition to Mt Coot-tha Reserve, Brisbane has some wonderful natural places that have been officially unavailable for cycling. Off-road cycling, including mountain biking, allows people to appreciate and value our natural areas.
“With this draft strategy, Brisbane City Council is moving towards allowing more people to get outdoors and active on their bikes, in ways that are sensitive to the city’s natural environment.
“Outdoors Queensland encourages all interested community members to have their say on the draft strategy.”
Cr Cunningham said Council had received a significant amount of feedback from the community when the concept of increased off-road cycling opportunities was first put to residents in 2019.
“We had more than 1400 people have their say through an online survey, alongside workshops and drop-in information sessions for key stakeholders,” she said.
“We have been working through this valuable feedback to inform the creation of the draft strategy while also reviewing bushland reserves and parks across the city for suitable facilities and identifying low impact locations.
“We have considered existing fire trails and shared use of other tracks, as well as establishing tracks in unvegetated areas.
“Now we are asking residents to share their thoughts on the draft off-road cycling strategy, which will be evaluated with consideration of community feedback.
“The primary focus of this strategy is to create a variety of safe, recreational off-road cycling opportunities that meet the needs of a rapidly growing off-road cycling community, and offers better protection for bushland reserves and habitat areas within parks.
“The protection of significant habitat and wildlife corridors is a very important component of this project – Council bushland reserves are protected primarily for nature conservation purposes.
“I look forward to hearing the feedback from residents on this important strategy and encourage everyone in the community to have their say.”
Consultation on the draft off-road cycling concept plans will open on Thursday December 10 and close on 28 February 2021.