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Bicycle NSW is beginning a series of articles and graphics to explain road and cycleway principles that apply to bike riding. We encourage members, BUGs, Councils, road managers and anyone interested in bike riding to share our work.

Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail

Principles: Designing Drainage for Bike Paths

We begin with drainage.  Cycleways, bike lanes, shared paths and road related areas should be designed to drain water and avoid it forming deep pools.

The Austroads Guide to Traffic Engineering Part 14 and the NSW Bicycle Guidelines 8.4 require this because deep pools can cause crashes.  They can also contribute to dirt, debris and obstructions piling up on surfaces riders need to travel on.

If drainage grates are installed designs that trap tyres, in gaps running parallel to the direction of travel, must be avoided.  Often these types of grates were installed towards the left hand side of roads, exactly where bicycle riders travel.

Riders and drivers may see a bike rider ahead of them swerve to avoid this type of grate, pooled water or debris deposited after storms.

“Austroads and Transport for NSW have developed guidelines to ensure road related areas are safe for everyone to use,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

“We hope making these clear for everyone will help people understand and raise issues, preventing injuries and saving the cost of future repairs,” said Bastien.

Over the coming weeks, Bicycle NSW will continue to develop content to help explain design guidelines that affect bike riding.  We encourage you to share it to help make the areas you ride in safer for everyone.

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