Issues and Findings of Shared Path Line Marking Discussed

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Sharing roads and footpaths should be strategic and well planned. There should be different areas marked for the cyclists, motorists and footpaths for pedestrians. For this, most of the road and traffic departments use shared path line marking.

The rules for cyclists include:

  • They can ride both ways within 1.5 m between riders.
  • They are not allowed to ride less than 2 m behind a vehicle
  • .Not allowed to pass through left side of vehicle turning left.
  • They are not permitted to ride on freeways or in pedestrian malls.
  • They can use the left lane of a roundabout while turning right provided that they give way to the vehicles exiting it.

As for sharing the footpaths, the rules include:

  • Cyclists of all ages can ride on it unless otherwise signed
  • They must ride in single file
  • Pedestrians, mobility scooters and motorized wheelchair users have right of way always
  • Cyclists must use bell to alert other users of the shared path about their approach
  • Drivers must allow cyclists to pass at driveways but the cyclists must slow down so that they are seen
  • No animals should be tied to a bike and
  • They must slow down and cycle according to conditions when they see animals and children on footpaths that are unpredictable.

As for the motorists, the rules are:

  • They must maintain safe distance while overtaking cyclists.
  • They must leave a gap of at least 1 m while passing a cyclist when the speed limit is 60 km/h or less and 1.5 m when it is more
  • They must slow down and wait until it is safe to overtake
  • They must check the blind spots before moving to right or left of a carriageway
  • They can drive in a bicycle lane to stop or park in a designated area but only for 50 m and
  • Buses and taxis can do the same only to drop off or pick up passengers.

The shared path line marking allows safe passing distance. The law allows the drivers to cross the centre line markings only when it is safe and the driver has a clear view of traffic oncoming.

Discussion of major findings

There has been lots of surveys and researches conducted on shared path line marking and the major findings of these surveys indicate that there are two local field that are broadly consistent. It is due to the complexity of using a shared path that the authorities should consider the designs of these paths. They are:

  • The guidelines address the path width ensuring that it is adequate as well as the mode of separation.
  • The intersection treatments and the other elements used in the construction are also considered.

Maintenance and lighting factors are also considered according to the government guidelines of shared path line marking.

To ensure appropriate path width the operational characteristics including:

  • Usage type
  • Speed and
  • Gradient are also considered.

This will ensure increased user capacity to use these shared paths especially in high traffic conditions.

Few key recommendations

Authorities that supervise shared path line marking ensure that the Cycle Notes are revised. For this they recommend a few steps that the road management agencies to take such as:

  • They must lower the vehicle speed limits on the non-arterial roads having a lot of pedestrians and cyclists
  • They must adopt a grading of cycling provision as per the guidelines
  • They must construct shared path instead of footpath and
  • They must convert existing footpaths to shared paths with shared path line marking.

However, constructing a shared path along the street in place of a footpath must be avoided in activity centres or routes on the PPN or Principal Pedestrian Network.

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