Good Design Guides

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the previous design guidelines for bicycles - the Austroads Guide to Traffic Engineering Practice: Part 14 Bicycles was superceded by the new Austroads guides to Road Design and Traffic Management. In March 2011 Austroads published a separate guide that collates much of the design aspects for bicycle facilities: Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides.

As of 2014, Austroads has released an updated version of Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides which contains summarised and consolidated information related to the planning, design and traffic management of cycling facilities that were previously seen in the Austroads Guide to Road Design, the Guide to Traffic Management and the Guide to Road Safety.

Much of the design (and traffic management) advice for bicycles will remain the same or with minor changes. The new guide provides a central point of reference for all the consolidated information, providing cross-referenced tables with links to other Austroads Guides and texts for further detailed reading.

Federal Guides

There are also several state guides for good design:

International Guides

On some design topics, the Australian guides are lacking in detail or are 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:

  • The Presto fact sheets on cycling infrastructure provide excellent guidance on the how cities can be adapted to make cycling a daily transport mode
  • In the United States, NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) has an up to date (March 2011) Urban Bikeway Design Guide that showcases numerous treatments currently used in US cities
  • The Cycling Embassy of Denmark’s Collection of Cycle Concepts 2012 provides advice not just on facility design but the needs and potential of cycling and the role of urban planning.
  • Portland recently published a guide to Bikeway Design Survey of Best Practice (as an appendix to their bike plan, published 2010, 2.86Mb file) which has some newer concepts.
  • Chicago has a Guide to Bike Lane Design (Oct 2002, 1.18Mb file) which has some good road geometry templates for roads of differing widths and road use (e.g. with bike lanes with buses).
  • And the United Kingdom's Department of Transport published in 2008 a comprehensive Cycle Infrastructure Design Guide (3.27Mb file).