A shared path is used by people walking and cycling, and is identified by the image of a pedestrian and a bike on the pavement or street sign.
On shared paths, bike riders need to give way to pedestrians and ride slowly. Please note that riding on the footpath is not permitted unless it is a shared path or the rider is under the age of 12 or accompanying someone aged under 12.
Courteous behaviour from all path users is important. On shared paths:
- Pedestrians always have right of way;
- If riding, please slow down, ring your bell early and give a wave, smile or thank you;
- If walking, please move to the left when you hear a bell and control your pets
Shared paths in the city of Sydney
Shared paths are widely used across the country. In fact, in five out of eight Australia states and territories, bike riders are legally allowed to use any footpath – not just those designated as shared paths (as in Sydney).
In the City of Sydney, there are currently more than 50 kilometres of shared paths, many of which have existed for more than a decade, such as the shared path that runs along Anzac Parade. Most paths in parks are also shared paths.
We will be adding a further ten kilometres of shared paths to the existing shared path network over the next few years.
Shared paths are important because they provide an option where there is insufficient space to build a separated bicycle path; they also allow families and other slower cyclists to access local shops and facilities safely.
These paths will support safe cycling along some of our busiest streets – streets where it is not possible to provide an on-road bicycle facility.
Safety and awareness
Shared paths are already in extensive use throughout the council area. According to RMS data there were three reported collisions between a pedestrian and a bike rider on any footpath in 2011 (the latest year that figures are available for), in our council area.
We aim to make shared paths even safer with the introduction of a new line-marking system that will be used in addition to current regulatory signage for shared paths.
The line-markings use a new colour (blue) and are a highly visible sign to all footpath users that they are on a shared path and are expected to display sensible and courteous behaviour. This treatment is already in use on shared paths in Redfern, Prince Alfred Park and other areas and will be rolled out at more shared paths in coming months.
We also run ongoing on-the-ground activities aimed at bike riders and pedestrians on shared paths. These face-to-face initiatives are aimed at delivering safety and awareness messages directly to shared path users.