Ask Your Mates Open Forum

  • 1.  Shared Path Signing

    Posted 25-10-2012 00:03
    Hi All,

    MPSC has developed a substantial shared path network over the past decade, which has largely been unsigned. The lack of signing has been recently been queried WRT road rules and the definition of a shared path.

    The Road Rules relating to shared paths imply that signs are required at every junction with a road way, although one possible interpretation is that they are not needed at all so long as the path is intended to be used as a shared path. Is this the way others interpret this? How do other Councils go about signing their shared paths?

    Ross Gregory
    Mornington Peninsula Shire Council


  • 2.  RE:Shared Path Signing

    Posted 25-10-2012 11:23
    Hi Ross

    My Council's Road Reserve Policy states this:

    In compliance with the Australian Road Rules, Queensland cyclists and other wheeled recreational 
    devices can legally use a footpath unless it is prohibited by signage which specifically bans bicycles or
    other wheeled recreational devices from path use.
    Cyclists and other wheeled recreational devices, including skateboards, scooters and rollerblades,
    must stay left and give right of way to pedestrians on footpaths and shared-use paths. 

    This states that unless a footpath has a "pedestrian only" sign, it is assumed that the footpath is shared. We do have a few signs around indicating a shared footpath but the majority are unsigned.

    Hope this helps

    Kind regards,
    Geraldine Hollyman
    Mount Isa City Council
    Mount Isa QLD



  • 3.  RE:Shared Path Signing

    Posted 26-10-2012 18:38

    Hi All,

    NSW has incorporated the Australian Road Rules local rules into a single set of NSW road rules:

    For shared paths;

    Rule 242 states that a shared path should have a beginning designated with a shared path sign. An "end shared path" sign is required if the end is not clear.

    I interpret this as signs at side entries are not mandatory. Only one sign is required to "designate" a shared path.

    We have recently received requests from pedestrians to sign post some rules of engagement with bicycles.

    Guidelines for "Code of Conduct" signs are outlined in Austroads Information Note 8: Minimizing Pedestrian-Cyclist Conflict on Paths.

    This reference covers a lot of these issues:

    Note also that for Footpaths:

    Rule 250 states that the rider of a bicycle who is 12 years old or older must not ride on a footpath unless the rider is accompanying a child, or is a postal worker

    Regards , Garry
    Garry THOMPSON
    Bankstown City Council



  • 4.  RE:Shared Path Signing

    Posted 29-10-2012 16:19
    We have a Council resolution to designate all our footpaths as shared user paths.
    However, the RMS via Traffic Committee will not agree to the signs or markings until the physical path meets their exacting gold plated standards.
    section by section.
    Since the offence of adults riding on the path is traffic, it is for NSW Police not Council Rangers to enforce
    meaning we can't waive away the legality even if we ignore the lack of signs/markings

    it would be interesting if an infringement was challenged in court

    Anthony Ogle
    City of Ryde



  • 5.  RE:Shared Path Signing

    Posted 26-10-2012 18:42
    In Victoria bicyclists are not allowed on footpaths unless they are under 12 years of age or are accompanying a rider under 12 years of age, so the shared paths need to be signed.

    Janet Kaylock
    Traffic Engineer
    Yarra Ranges Council
    Lilydale VIC



  • 6.  RE:Shared Path Signing

    Posted 29-10-2012 16:16
    In Qld not signing the shared paths would be a sensible solution in most cases since it saves signage clutter and cost. As Geraldine points out cycling on any "footpath" is legal in Qld since Qld followed the recommended Australian Road Rules on this issue. (We don't sign roads to say "cars allowed" so why do we need signs to state the obvious on paths?) Unfortunately NSW & VIC have not followed ARR and still bans cyclists over 12 years of age from using "footpaths" which is a shame as it allows people who are too scared of traffic to cycle more. It's also very handy when you don't know your way around a different city and need to double back on a large arterial road with few U-turn locations. (As I found trying to find my way around Melbourne once. The cycling ban on empty, large pathways there was frustrating!) Most of our suburban footpaths are not so busy that it leads to cyclist / pedestrian clashes or complaints. The pedestrian complaints we get are on our very busy shared paths & many of those complaints are probably due more to people's misconceptions than real risk.

    Technically under Qld's MUTCD, signs (500m max spacing) are required and pavement symbols (200m max spacing) are recommended (I think it followed the old Austroads Part 14) so GCCC does install them. It also helps to educate people, especially tourists & newcomers, that bicycles are allowed there. Victoria probably has different requirements & you would need to check VicRoads documents.

    I would say that the old Austroads Part 14 & MUTCD were a little over the top requiring signage at every intersection. The new Austroads Part 6A is a little silent on signage and I'm not sure if it's now located somewhere else within all the other parts of Austroads. Where there are frequent cross streets it makes little sense, adds to signage clutter and costs money to install signage on every street corner. It would be better for the states to modify the signage requirement to avoid having to install signs on every corner. Just installing the pavement symbols at the intersections with the signage only located 200m min - 500m max  spacing would probably be sufficient for most cases. But I don't think the law recognises the symbols and does require the signs.

    Iain Cummings
    Senior Transport Futures Technical Officer
    Gold Coast City Council
    Gold Coast QLD



  • 7.  RE:Shared Path Signing

    Posted 25-10-2012 18:43

    Hi Ross,
    HDS Australia has been doing Road Safety Audits on shared path / bicycle path networks for some Victorian Councils as well as undertaking inventories.  We have been covering all the paths in the municipalities, as well as locating the 'missing links'. 

    Our understanding is that every junction should be signed with a "Start" sign for the shared path.  "End" signs for the shared path should also be used where there is a constructed footpath on the side road.  We are aware this results in a lot of signs, but this level of signing seems to be the way to go.

    Hugh Dixon
    Senior Traffic Engineer
    HDS Australia
    Dulwich SA

    T 08 8333 3760

    T 03 9550 1858

    F 08 8333 3079