Australian council gives cyclists full road rights

Posted on July 1, 2024Comments Off on Australian council gives cyclists full road rights

Motorists and cyclists will share the road as equals for the first time in Queensland, after Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) opened the state’s first ‘Safe Active Street’ last Friday.

Pierce Street in South Toowoomba has been redesigned to give cyclists equal priority on the road as cars, motorcycles and other common forms of registration-paying transport.

The Safe Active Street overhaul includes a lower 30km/h speed limit, a terracotta coloured ‘shared travel zone’ for bicycles and motor vehicles, speed bumps, marked street parking, and new signage.

With the changes now in effect, the below instructions have been issue to road users:

  • The speed limit is now 30km/h. This applies to all road users.
  • People riding bikes are to ride near the centre of the shared travel lane (the terracotta painted zone).
  • People driving cars are to maintain 30km/h or less behind the person on a bike until safe to overtake, ensuring a distance of one metre from the rider. You are allowed to drive over the outside lines of the terracotta zone to overtake safely or to pass an oncoming vehicle.
  • Standard road rules apply along this street and at intersections 

The project was jointly funded by the Toowoomba Regional Council and Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads through the Cycle Network Local Government Grants Program.

“Based on the design of a successful West Australian project, we are excited to introduce this new street treatment to Toowoomba and keen for it to be a benchmark for others to follow in our region and across Queensland,” Toowoomba councillor Trevor Manteufel said.

“As our region grows, we are looking for more ways to encourage residents to be more active, whether by walking or cycling, and less reliant on private vehicle trips.”

The Government of Western Australia defines safe active streets as ‘specifically treated local streets designed with local government authorities to create a safer shared space for people walking, wheeling, riding or driving.’

Safe active streets were introduced to WA last year and are widespread around the world. They are also known as neighbourhood greenways, bike boulevards and quiet streets.

On a Safe Active Street, cyclists are permitted to ride two abreast in the centre of the lane, the cars can only overtake via the side overrun areas when the road is clear.