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Queensland's peak cycling lobby group has developed a detailed proposal for separated pop-up bike lanes throughout the Brisbane CBD.
The proposal, presented to Brisbane City Council and the state government, follows numerous cities globally setting up temporary bike lanes on formerly busy streets to help people get around during the pandemic.
The proposal would create separated bike ways on George and Mary streets to keep cyclists away from heavy vehicles and cars, which cyclists have frequently identified as a safety risk that keeps them from riding into the CBD.
Along George Street, existing bike lanes would be extended to create three-metre wide bi-directional lanes, using pop-up barriers and line dividers on the road.
The Mary Street bikeway would run from George Street down to Edward Street. The proposal would require some on-street parking spaces to be removed, but would be targeting mostly roads already affected by major construction works, the lobby group said.
Bicycle Queensland chief executive Rebecca Randazzo said public transport was a "difficult proposition" for people returning to work amid social distancing concerns.
"People who work in the CBD need incentives to leave the car at home, and get to work by bicycle and walking," she said.
"Improving safety and convenience in the CBD itself takes away one more major barrier for people who want to return to their workplaces, but don’t want to be stuck in traffic for hours."
Public and active transport committee chairman Ryan Murphy on Tuesday said council had not missed the window to implement pop-up structures as other cities had during the height of the pandemic.
"It's not that we've missed the boat, that wouldn't be true to say at all," Cr Murphy said.
"We were in caretaker [mode] when COVID was at its peak, and now as we come out it's important that we look at opportunities to expand active transport around our city, whether that's walking, cycling or e-scooters."
Cr Murphy said the council was looking at "opportunities" in the CBD to "accelerate" work that "might otherwise have been years into the future".
Some cyclists who had returned to their bikes during the pandemic had previously told Brisbane Times they would happily ride to work if not for the hazards of navigating busy inner-city roads without safe bike lanes.
On Tuesday, the council also announced a joint committee with the state government's transport department to tackle the "missing links" between cycling tracks and roads and improve connectivity.