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How can cycleway barriers promote better bicycle safety?

Dec 14, 2016, 07:19 AM by Corby Bender

Bicycles are picking up speed in Australia - there are over 1.5 million more cyclists on the country's roadways now than there were a decade ago, according to findings from Roy Morgan Research. While this is great news for many - particularly with the health and environmental benefits of travelling by bike - it poses an issue for transportation. 

This raises the question: Where do bicycles belong? There are significant safety concerns for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians when they share the same path of travel - whether it's the road or footpaths. Those worried about these issues have no need to fret - establishing separate, protected cycleways is a key strategy for promoting safe and sustainable transportation by bicycle.

More cyclists, more risks

Whether for commuting, fitness or leisure, there's no surprise that bicyclists are hitting the road in bigger numbers than in 2005.

Bicyclists make up 15 per cent of road hospitalisations.

Roy Morgan notes that 19 per cent of Australians now ride their bikes regularly or on occasion. Among the states, Western Australia and Victoria lead the pack with 23 and 20 per cent, respectively - a fact easily attributable to the regional climate and a mature cycling infrastructure.

Measures such as bicycle paths and lanes are particularly important when it comes to safety concerns, especially when considering the dangers inherent with drivers and cyclists sharing the road. According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), bike riders make up 15 per cent of all cases where hospitalisation was required after an incident on the road and 3 per cent of road fatalities.

Building barriers for safety

Addressing these troubling rates can be accomplished through a number of measures, but one of the surest ways to create a safe environment for cyclists is by establishing pathways protected by effective barriers. While biking lanes are important parts of infrastructure, a barrier goes one step further in keeping drivers and cyclists from harmful interactions.

Separating bicycles and vehicles is a major step forward for cyclist safety.Separating bicycles and vehicles is a major step forward for cyclist safety.

Velocity Cycleway Barriers from Webforge are an ideal choice for such applications. A major consideration for these barriers - one reflected in Austroads guidelines for bicycle fences - is that riders should be able to brush up against a barrier while travelling at speed without catching or snagging. Thanks to its welded construction, the Velocity barrier system addresses these concerns.

With over 20 years of proven quality in Australia, Webforge equipment is an attractive and functional addition to projects across a range of fields. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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