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Footpath closure at Gabba sparks pedestrian and cycling safety fears

“It creates an environment where there’s no footpaths that are easily and safely accessible, which is pretty concerning when East Brisbane State School is right there,” Cr Sri said.

“This is an area that has pretty high volumes of pedestrians.”

Space For Cycling said Stanley Street was identified as part of the principal cycle network and the closure should have been assessed by the council with that in mind.

Space For Cycling said Stanley Street was identified as part of the principal cycle network and the closure should have been assessed by the council with that in mind.Credit:Space For Cycling Brisbane

Cr Sri said Stanley Street was a key commuter link for cyclists to the Woolloongabba Bikeway, allowing safe access into the city, and the closure made the route to access the bikeway more complex.

A Brisbane City Council spokeswoman said the council had been working with police to ensure public safety while the footpath was closed.

“This footpath closure is necessary to ensure public safety and alternative controlled crossing points have been provided at the safest locations,” she said.

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“This footpath is near the Gabba [and] on event days when there is increased foot traffic, council, police and security are on site to ensure safety is maintained and residents can find the safest way to the stadium and transport pick-up and drop-off points.

“Council issued a footpath closure certificate to ensure public safety and we thank residents for their patience while the works are completed.”

The council fielded one complaint about the footpath closure.

Space For Cycling spokeswoman Belinda Ward said Stanley Street was identified as part of the principal cycle network and the closure should have been assessed by the council with that in mind.

“We’ve previously petitioned council to extend the Woolloongabba Bikeway east along Stanley Street, and recommended that a lane of general traffic should have been reclaimed here to allow more room for people walking and cycling in response to COVID,” she said.

“To now discover that the opposite has occurred – space has been closed off – is very frustrating. The current arrangements are unsafe.”

In development application documents lodged with the council addressing the Silk One development’s traffic management, a council officer noted the closure of the pedestrian crossing was a “very important issue here”.

The developers needed an additional certificate from the council’s construction education unit to approve the closure and divert pedestrians before the construction management plan was approved.

Documents lodged by a traffic management company on behalf of the development said the footpath would be closed “for the duration of the project”, and all construction traffic required to give way to pedestrians and cyclists.

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