The six basic requirements for all bike riders, wherever they ride, are: ● Space to ride ● Smooth riding surfaces ● Speed maintenance ● Clear sight lines ● Connectivity ● Information
In the Good Design Guides pages we are gathering the advice that is available to guide the construction, maintenance and auditing of bicycle facilities.
This section will draw on work by government, researchers and engineering consultants to provide practical answers to the questions faced by those responsible for bicycle infrastructure.
The primary guides to designing bicycle facilities in Australia are published by Austroads.
In Dec 2009 the previous design guidelines for bicycles - the Austroads Guide to Traffic Engineering - Part 14, Bicycles was superceded by the new Austroads guides to Road Design and Traffic Management.
Part 14 (and other parts) have been "remapped" into these new Road Design and Traffic Management guides - see (file/mapping P14 bicycle sections into new guidelines.pdf). The primary guide for bicycles is the Austroads Guide to Road Design 6A: Pedestrians and Cyclist Paths which deals with aspects particular to bicycles and pedestrians - see description at right. Other Guides deal with bicycles as part of the road and transport network, for instance the Guide to Traffic Management Part 6 – Interchanges, Intersections and Crossings deals with bicycles in crossings and intersections. In March 2011 Austroads published a separate guide that collates much of the on-road design aspects for bicycle facilities. Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides is available from the Austroads website.
Much of the design (and traffic management) advice for bicycles will remain the same or with minor changes. But, some advice specific for bicycles will be harder to find as it is now spread over many guides. One advantage may be that bicycles may be better integrated with other traffic modes.
We are updating the good design guide pages to incorporate the new guides as they come to hand.
There are also several state guides - in NSW , QLD, WA and the ACT for example. VicRoads produces parallel advice in the Cycle Notes series. City of Brisbane has a series of standard drawings for bicycle paths and furniture (under Roads starting at UMS 249 and Traffic from UMS 861)). The Australian Cycling Resource Centre, which is maintained by the Australian Bicycle Council is another good source of cycling information and design material.
On some design topics though, the Australian guides are lacking in detail or not clear (for instance slip resistance for bike path surfaces and recommended lengths of slope of differing grades). In these cases reference to overseas guides is useful. Amongst the most useful available in english on the internet are:
On this site we will provide a summary of the most important differences between the advice offered by the different guidelines.
Please send us your comments and suggestions.
(Above photo is Commonwealth Ave in Boston, MA, USA at University Rd. Google map it. Below is a street view map of the intersection before the bike lanes went in. Which would you rather ride?).
NACTO - National Association of City Transportation Officials - Urban Bicycle Design Guide
NYC Bicycle Master Plan - Design Guidelines
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) - Guide for the Planning, Design and Operation of Bicycle Facilities (DRAFT, February 2010)