Tell us what you think of the City's Shared Path markings

The City of Sydney is currently trialling a scheme of surface markings for its shared paths at Redfern St, Redfern.  (A “Shared Path” – a path that is designated for use by both pedestrians AND cyclists, as distinct from a footpath, on which cyclists (above the age of 12 years) are not permitted to ride.)

It’s known that the Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) is keeping an eye on the trial with a view to potentially rolling out any successful components to the wider Sydney area.  BIKESydney thinks its important that we get the marking scheme right.

BIKESydney will be making a submission to the City. What are your thoughts, observations, suggested improvements?

15 Responses to “Tell us what you think of the City's Shared Path markings”
  1. Ros Prichard says:

    BikeSydney has it absolutely right that the quality and visibility of the signage will be vital. Those dots round the bus shelter…what exactly do they mean?

  2. Ros Prichard says:

    Great comments, I am swayed by each one and now don’t know what I think. The Danes banning shared paths is pretty persuasive, (as is the description of idiot cyclists on shared pathways treating pedestrians the way some idiot drivers treat us on the road!).
    I think in Sydney carefully planned, low speed shared pathways have to be part of the solution, because our chaotic, narrow, hilly convict wagon path road network, will not lend itself to unbroken utopian separated cycleways in all areas.

  3. Ka says:

    I really don’t think sharing a footpath with cyclists are a good idea. This is because they are simply much faster than the pedestrians. Not to mention the potential of faster cyclist trying to overtake slower cyclists and riding on the pedestrian side. This creates a dangerous situation. Just today when I commute to work on a riverside walk where there is a shared pathway, a group of high speed cyclists were abusing a woman who was walking on the pedestrian side and force her out of the way to walk so close to the water that she almost tripped over and fall into the water. I had countless experiences of rude cyclists, both on roads and on footpaths I don’t even want to mention it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love cycling, but if cycling is a must, a wider, specially designed designated lane on the road where they cannot swirl in and out of car traffic as well as on pedestrian footpath should be more ideal. This may make it worst for driving, but if look at differently, it will encourage people not to drive in certain areas. If this is not possible and pathways has to shared, then the footpaths should be widen, and a fence or barrier that is at least to waist height should be erected to make sure cyclists are kept out of the pedestrian side of the footpath.

  4. Jacqui says:

    As a cyclist it is important to me to see that attitudes towards cyclists are changing. I have always until recently felt unwelcome both on the road (where drivers are aggressive), and the footpath (when pedestrians are unhappy that you are there regardless of how slow you are travelling). It has made my journey to and from work and university much safer, or at least I feel much safer. I think this is because the new bicycle lanes on roads in the city, as well as these share paths are making non-cyclists more aware of our existence, and more respectful.

    The new share paths have made it clear to me that it is possible, when everyone has a little respect for each other, to co-exist peacefully.

  5. Cate says:

    You need signs telling bicycles to give way to pedestrians. Some people don’t understand that unless you spell it out.

  6. Paul says:

    The signage is an improvement on the dehumanised outline of a bicycle sans rider. The issue of bikes, cars and pedestrians would be less heated if we acknowledge that at times most of us use all three forms of transport. I am surprised that the belief is that shared paths don’t work as all footpaths in the ACT (except those outside open shops) are in effect shared paths. I don’t believe any movement to designate shared paths would preclude cyclists from choosing to stay on the road in preference to using the shared path if they wish. I am of the belief that if this were to encourage more people to ride i.e. those too nervous initially to ride the streets, then it bears merit.

  7. Clint says:

    These NEVER work. Shared paths are a dangerous idea for cyclists and especially pedestrians. It just shifts the danger from being hit by a car to being hit by a bike. From the RTA perspective it just makes the road more efficient to car users by removing ‘friction’ (that is the term used by traffic modelers for cyclists, pedestrians and others).
    Why do our authorities persist with these cheap infrastructure cheats. In Denmark these paths are ILLEGAL! Literally and legislatively ILLEGAL. Amsterdam has up to 40% of all trips made by bicycle because they provide appropriate separated lanes. Whole areas of the city are being zones ‘car lite’ restricting car access, to allow pedestrians and cyclists safe movement, and
    Look at numerous other parts of Northern Europe (not the UK) for examples of how it should be done with separate lanes for cars, bicycles and pedestrians. Its been done hundreds of times before, it just takes the political guts to provide proper cycle lanes by taking space away from cars. We will never get improved cycling participation rates unless we provide appropriate infrastructure.

  8. John says:

    Not a fan of “shared” paths. Pedestrians treat it like a footpath and grudgingly give way only when a formal request for passage (bell or shout) is expressed. Neither party is particularly thrilled with the encounter.

  9. Lezter says:

    I think it needs to dotted line down the middle of the footpath.

    Otherwise pedestrians won’t know to keep left.

  10. Elaena says:

    At close to $1500 for the AS 1742 Set-2010 and with no option to purchase the individual sections it’s not something BIKESydney has access to either. (It does seem bizarre that something as basic as an Australian Standard needs to be purchased and at such expense – but I digress). The Australian Standards seem to relate to ‘regulatory signage’. The shared path markings are different in that they are ‘advisory signage’. Your comments though made me think about the issue of visibility at night. I wonder if anyone has taken a look at the path markings at night? If you have please post a comment about how visible they are.

    Thank you for you other comments – I think many of us share your concerns about shared paths and the other issues you have raised. Many of them were raised as issues in our StaySafe submission and will be continued to be raised in different forums.

    But I would add that we believe all level of bike riders need to be catered for in the city – people who are currently confident on their bikes have different needs to those people who are anxious about sharing space on roads with high traffic levels and speeds. Shared paths are one way of allowing less confident riders connect with quiet residential streets and separated infrastructure.

  11. centurion48 says:

    Does the signage comply with AS1742 – Manual of Uniform Traffic Control devices? I suspect not but don’t have access to the Australian Standard and am not inclined to pay an exorbitant fee just to check.
    My main concerns with shared paths are:
    1. Pedestrians (probably correctly) see bicycles as infringing on their space and are not inclined to modify their walking behaviour to accommodate these refugees from the roadway;
    2. Cyclists must reduce normal road speed to cater for pedestrians, narrow & winding pathways, usually poorer surface conditions and poorer lighting at night (which often leads to dangerous pedestrian/cyclist near misses or worse);
    3. Road traffic authorities are more than happy to see cyclists moved off roadways onto footpaths as they don’t care much for either cyclists or pedestrians so to accede to increased shared paths weakens cyclists rights as equal road users;
    4. Cyclists are prohibited from cycling on a pedestrian crossing so every time the cyclist reaches a pedestrian crossing they must dismount and walk their bicycle across the pedstrian crossing before remounting;
    5. Pedestrian crossings over roads allow about one third of the time than the road users get (eg King Street in the CBD) so cyclists are penalised for using bike paths and shared pathways. Half of the idea of commuting by bike is we believe that we can still maintain a reasonable average speed but shared pathways will make this impossible; and
    6. There is an ever-present danger of people walking out of shops/houses and vehicles turning into and reversing out of premises plus bus shelters and power poles all intended to impede progress.
    I am firmly against shared pathways at the expense of my rights as a legitimate road user.

  12. Greg says:

    Looks good. I like the idea. However I share the above concern for the pedestrians. I ride across Pyrmont Bridge (a shared pedestrian and cycleway) most days and the number of rude, dangerous and insane cyclists never ceases to amaze me. I understand that there are proportionally just as many rude, dangerous and insane drivers on the roads. But I suspect rude and insane people also understand that on a bicycle it is very difficult to get caught or be recognized. In summary; bring it on… but lets be safe and share.

  13. Elaena says:

    Hope not Richard – imagine how older people, people with sight impairments or people in wheelchairs would cope with speed humps. Everyone needs to learn to share the space. When you’re on your bike that means giving way to people on foot, alerting them to your presence with your bell and riding at a suitable pace; when you’re walking that means being aware of other users and moving left when you hear a bell ring behind you.

  14. Richard says:

    What about the poor pedestrians?

    Maybe we need speed bumps on footpaths to slow speeding cyclists down 😉

  15. Clancy says:

    I think it is a safer and more efficient way of getting around on the foot paths then having to compete with all the negligent driver on the road. I hope this idea expands to all the region around the eastern suburbs.


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