Sunday, 14 June 2009

a 'new design' bike lane for Toowoomba

All over Queensland, when Government policy suggests there is a need for a 'bike lane' the local MRD office understands what that means and undertakes the work as required.

For months, TBUG has been asking the local office of MRD whether or not we will be getting bike lanes along Ruthven Street for the $40million of tax dollars that are being spent on the upgrade.

'Yes' they kept saying 'Don't you worry about that'.

But when TBUG asked to see the overall plans.... all went quiet.

So, we wrote to the Director General about our concerns.

Mr. Alan Tesch wrote back, the Assistant DG of MRD, assuring us 'Don't you worry about that'.

And, knowing what the policy actually said, we believed him.

But, when at a meeting with a wide range of Toowoomba cyclists at the TRC offices, we were staggered to hear a TRC officer inform us all that Ruthven Street was to be fitted with BAZ signs (see picture).

TBUG protested that neither MRD not QT supported BAZ signs on work they funded.

TBUG rang the MRD 'Bike Champion' and expressed our serious concerns and misgivings, after all, didn't we have a letter from Alan Tesch assuring us that MRD policy would be followed?

So, TBUG wrote to the Regional and District Directors of MRD asking why they were funding BAZ signs instead of bike lanes.

The response from MRD follows:

I refer to your email of 31 May 2009a about Bicycle Awareness Zone signs.

I understand your concerns about this issue; however, this is a complicated matter that requires further investigation including formal discussions with your group,the other cycling groups in Toowoomba as well as other local and state government entities.

Until that process is finalised,I will not be in a position to provide further advice about this matter.

Amazing! After all the assurances up and down the MRD line, after all our studying of MRD policy, after all the MRD 'newsletters' telling the taxpaying public.... this is a 'complicated matter' that needs to be renegotiated with all the cyclists in Toowoomba.

Hardly a credible response.

TBUG has written to the Director General for a response.

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