Brisbane cyclists’ “Die-In”

Peak hour traffic came to a standstill in South Brisbane on Wednesday morning as cyclists staged what they called a “die-in” to protest what they say are road conditions that are hazardous to bike riders.

Brisbane die-in protest cyclists

The protest, held at the intersection between Stanley and Vulture streets, was organised after Shelley Cheng, a 19-year-old Brisbane cyclist was hit from behind by a car two weeks earlier. The driver stopped briefly, but drove off without exchanging personal details with Cheng.

Protesters, led by councilor for Woolloongabba Jonathan Sri, claim Brisbane City Council has failed to address shortcomings in the infrastructure that puts drivers and cyclists at odds with each other.

Brisbane die-in protest cyclists

Cyclists bow their heads for one minute’s silence in honour of those who have been involved in traffic incidents before starting the “die-in”.

Not all cyclists support the group’s actions, however. Bicycle Queensland’s chief executive Anne Savage believes the protest will only serve to damage cyclists’ image and intensify existing tensions between motorists and cyclists.

Brisbane die-in protest cyclists

The protest gained widespread media coverage

Brisbane die-in protest cyclists

While the exact location of the die-in was selected to ensure minimal disruption to ambulance access to nearby Lady Cilento children’s hospital – the state’s largest – some reported traffic queues of up to 2 kilometres for the 10 minutes during which city-bound cars could not move.

Brisbane die-in protest cyclists Jonathan Sri

Woolloongabba councilor Jonathan Sri addresses the cyclists at the end of the protest.

Councilor Sri says that the protest was only organised due to the failure of more diplomatic approaches to convince the city council to install bicycle lanes, and that this was “…basically an act of desperation”. He said similar protests would be staged every time a cyclist was involved in an incident, but that he hoped there would not be the need for any more.

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