Create a true “Green Spine” and 30km zone in the CBD
Part of the Greens’ Public and Active Transport platform for the March 2024 Brisbane City Council election. A map of the Albert St plan can be found here. If you're interested in some of the underlying philosophy and research behind this policy, you can read more at this link.
Brisbane’s city centre has a problem. Wide streets that should be the beating heart of our city are instead choked with speeding traffic.
Hundreds of thousands of people visit, work or live in Brisbane’s CBD, and most either walk, ride or take public transport. The CBD should be an easy, comfortable place to walk. It should be a destination to access services, catch a show, and see friends and family, but city streets aren’t designed for people.
Large sections of the CBD have very poor foot traffic, and many street-level shops and restaurants are struggling. The LNP Council is stuck in a “cars first” mindset, but even they have recognised this major problem. Unfortunately their proposed changes just make minor changes to landscaping without reducing car traffic.
The Greens would reimagine the heart of the city, creating a space for people first and cars second.
A Greens-led Brisbane City Council would:
- Pedestrianise Albert Street from the Queen Street Mall to the Botanic Gardens
- Lower speed limits to 30km/hr across the CBD between Adelaide, North Quay, Alice Street, Eagle St and Creek St.
- Create shade on the Victoria Bridge, reversing the LNP’s plan to cut this project
- Bring back more greenery and shade to King George Square
- Investigate the feasibility of installing an all-ages playground on Albert St in the reclaimed road space.
A car-free Green Spine for the CBD
Our plan would turn Albert St into a relaxed and lively “Green Spine” linking together the whole CBD. It would run from the entrance to Roma St Parklands at Turbot St, through King George Square, the Queen Street Mall, past the new Albert St train station all the way to the Botanic Gardens.
Wide walkways, plenty of shade trees and street benches would make crossing the CBD low-stress and pleasant. CBD businesses would benefit from more space for outdoor dining and more foot traffic.
We would retain traffic light-controlled crossings where Albert St crosses Adelaide, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Mary, Margaret and Alice Streets, but would explore creating a raised “shared zone” where pedestrians have priority at one or more of those intersections in future.
This wouldn’t be the first time that sections of Albert Street have been rebuilt for pedestrians.
- Under Clem Jones in 1969, the Council created King George Square by closing a block of Albert St to traffic.
- Under Sallyanne Atkinson in 1988, Queen Street Mall was extended across Albert Street.
- In 2008, the Queen Street Mall was extended along Albert St to Adelaide St.
Even today, the State government’s Cross River Rail construction has temporarily closed Albert Street between Queen Street Mall and Mary Street since 2020. Cross River Rail will permanently pedestrianise one block of Albert St (between Charlotte St and Mary St) and rebuild it as a public plaza to cater for the new train station.
A new 30km zone in the CBD
To make the CBD more pedestrian friendly overall, we want to lower speed limits between Adelaide St, North Quay, Alice St and Creek St, to 30kph.
By pedestrianising Albert Street and lowering speed limits, we can make the CBD a safe and easy space to walk around. With the Kangaroo Point green bridge and Albert Street train station under construction, the area will become easy to access without a car, and the last piece in the puzzle of reworking the CBD is prioritising pedestrians.
A new all-ages playground
Adding a large all-ages playground to Albert St near Queen St Mall would help reinforce its status as a public space rather than a mere thoroughfare. An all-ages playground could include climbing equipment for adults and older teenagers as well as fenced play equipment for smaller children. Further investigation and design work would be required to identify how much room is available for play equipment without blocking pedestrian thoroughfares and emergency vehicle access.
Maintaining access for residents
Just like the Albert St section of the Queen Street Mall, the redesign would ensure that residents and business owners can still access their own driveways, and that service vehicles can still make deliveries and drop-offs. Vehicles would be required to travel slowly, and give way to pedestrians in this space, similar to the existing section of Queen Street Mall on Albert St.