From the information provided online, this event is a proactive, peaceful and family-friendly reminder from all manner of Brisbane cyclists to policy-makers for cycling to be featured prominently in Brisbane policy and infrastructure development.
What is The Big Push for Road Safety ?
The Big Push for Road Safety Facebook page describes the event as: “Speaking up for road safety’ and riding for Queensland Road Safety Week. Join us as we once again take a ride through the CBD asking for safe streets for people on bikes. Meet at Kurilpa Point Park under the Kurilpa Bridge at 2.00pm for a 2.30pm roll, we will ride over Victoria Bridge and complete a loop around the city before returning to our start point. Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your neighbours who haven’t taken their bike out of the garage for years….the more people who ride the stronger the message.”
Space for Cycling is an international organization with chapters in many major cities and is a non-for profit cycling advocacy group. This means that the organisation is where ‘Brisbane’s bicycle user groups and community cycling organisations have come together to create and work toward a vision for Brisbane where it is easy, convenient, and safe for people of all ages and abilities to ride a bicycle to their destination’. Activities undertaken by the Brisbane chapter include campaigns such as writing to your local councillor, attending local council meetings, keeping the general public informed of developments and organising community bike events.
They have also been tracking key cycling measures and progress on locations such as the Sylvan Road trial, Ipswich motorway connection and the Boggo Road Station – all of which are high-volume, high-interest developments for Brisbane cyclists.
Space for Cycling Brisbane held a similar event (of the same name) earlier this year in April. This ride was held on a glorious sunny day and drew a good turn out as seen in the pictures below and more here.
It makes good sense for this event to happen now also to capitalize on the current media interest and publicity surrounding recent road planning, shared road infrastructure and access and the urban cycling agenda.
Queensland Police marketing the Queensland Road Safety Week
It is interesting to see the Queensland Police marketing for the Queensland Road Safety Week. This week is posited on the offical Police website as begin a ‘chance for all Queenslanders to get involved in making our roads safer’ and that the initiative is ‘encouraging active participation’ for the weeks central theme of “Speaking up for road safety”. To this end, the police state that they are ‘encouraging the whole community to have their say on road safety. Communities, schools and workplaces are encouraged to support the week by hosting local events or sharing road safety information among staff, students, colleagues, family and friends’.
There are lots of official police and government sanctioned modes to ‘have your say and get involved’ on the offical website, so it makes me wonder just how ‘encouraging of the WHOLE community’ outside of participating int he competitions this week really is-and to what degree ‘alternative views’ of transportation and those of critics are ‘encouraged to participate’.
I say this as I am still embarrassed about how Queensland authorities/police have previously handled other progressive community cycling events – such as the WNBR, or the Super Sunday Count or even the Ride-to-school Day. In each of these three cases, the police ended up clamping down and responding with such putative measures (Ride-to School) or just flat out refused to even let the event happen in the first place (WNBR – only city in the world that was scheduled to, but did not participate – shame!!.. or in the case of the Super Sunday Count no mainland Brisbane council has even bothered to be register (only Whitsundays of goodness sake!) that the message for other thriving community driven bike events is loud and clear ….you can have your bikes, but don’t get too vocal, creative, organised or public about it. I am sure nothing of the sort will happen for next weekend’s The Big Push for Road Safety. I mention this here merely to justify my suspicion when faced with the hyperbolic use of marketing catch-phrase expressions such as the Police saying ‘we want EVERYONE to have their SAY’ and that they are ‘encouraging of the WHOLE community to GET INVOLVED’ …..I think……..mmmmm, REALLY??
Why will this event be great to go to?
I also like that this is a repeat event. It is a great way to piggy-back on the last event and get some of the same people returning- as well as inviting some new people to get involved as well.
With this in mind, I think next week’s event is a wonderful forum to get the pro-cycling agenda out and into the wider public experience.. It is so obviously non-threatening given the normalcy, fun, family, and overall localised and relaxed vibe for the ride. It will also be a great snapshot of Brisbane’s range of riders and a great showcase for the diversity in bikes, ages, skills, confidence, abilities, purposes and approaches to riding in and around Brisbane.
I’ve always been a big proponent for community ‘protests’ that include colour, fun, kids, dogs, bikes and music. It is hard to get angry, argumentative and putative with little kids in rainbow jumpers sitting happily in bike trolleys, listening to ‘Dancing in the Street’ while holding fluffy white puppies! (Aww bless. Viva la revolution!!)
For these reasons and more, I am very much looking forward to attending this ride with Leki.
If you happen to be in Brisbane – see you there!!