Austroads Publications Online

Cycling on Higher Speed Roads

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Publication no: AP-R410-12 Pages: 65
Published: 25 July 2012

This report investigates the provision of facilities for bicycles on sealed roads with speed limits of 70 km/h or more. It outlines how to improve these roads for cyclists where off-road alternatives or on-road, lower speed, direct options are not available.

It is a challenging area because the differences in speed and mass of bicycles and high speed motor vehicles are very different. The greatest road safety benefit will be achieved by separating cyclists from high speed vehicles. However cyclists are lawful road users and they shouldn’t be restricted from roads unless alternatives are  good quality, lower speed, just as direct and do not present a higher overall risk to cyclists. Australian jurisdictions have adopted the safe systems approach which seeks to provide a road system which ensures no road user is killed or seriously injured.

International guidelines and practice in ‘cycling’ countries such as the Netherlands and the UK provide cyclists with paths separated from high speed traffic. In Australia and NZ, jurisdictions are providing more off-road paths along urban freeways and generally sealed shoulders along high speed rural roads.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
  • 1.1 Purpose
  • 1.2 Scope
  • 1.3 Methodology
  • 1.3.1 Research
  • 1.3.2 Consultation
  • 1.3.3 Review
  • 1.3.4 Reporting
2 Bicycles and high speed vehicles
  • 2.1 Crash severity
  • 2.2 Acceptable risk
  • 2.3 Variation in the cycling community
  • 2.4 Best practice
  • 2.4.1 Design guidelines
  • 2.4.2 Policies
  • 2.4.3 State and territory practice
3 How to provide for bicycles
  • 3.1 Summary of treatments
  • 3.2 Provide an alternative route
  • 3.3 Provide space on-road
  • 3.3.1 Midblock
  • 3.3.2 Shared bus/bicycle lanes are not appropriate on roads with a speed limit above 80km/h. At intersections
  • 3.3.3 Using delineation
  • 3.4 Reduce speed limits
4 What if the guidelines cannot be met?
  • 4.1 Practicalities and limitations
  • 4.1.1 Risk
  • 4.1.2 Physical limitations
  • 4.1.3 Funding
  • 4.1.4 Other road users
  • 4.1.5 Political will and community support
  • 4.2 Consider alternative solutions
  • Technology
  • Non infrastructure solutions
5 Maintenance
  • 5.1 Sweeping and repairs
  • 5.2 Resurfacing
  • 5.3 Australian and New Zealand Practice
6 Improving the Austroads Guidelines
7 Conclusions

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