Bicycle Infrastructure Design

This page contains information on standards and guidelines for the implementation of bicycle related infrastructure.

The following provides design guidance to practitioners involved in the development and implementation of bicycle related infrastructure. In this section you’ll find information relating to off- road bicycle facilities, on-road bicycle facilities, treatments at road intersections and crossings and signs and pavement markings.

Image of cyclist ricing along bike path.

Key documents

VicRoads uses national as well as state-based guidance as the primary technical reference for the design and implementation of bicycle infrastructure.

The key documents are:

The Austroads documents can be accessed via the Austroads website (External link).

The Australian Standards can be accessed via the Standards Australia website (External link) (subscription service).

VicRoads documents can be found in the 'Volume 2' and ‘Volume 3’ tabs on the VicRoads Traffic Engineering webpage.

The above national and VicRoads documents cover a wide range of topics for bicycle infrastructure. Practitioners should always aim to follow guidance material that provides ‘best practice’ outcomes for cyclists, from both a safety and mobility perspective.

Key Topics

The following are common topics in regards to bicycle infrastructure. Further guidance about each topic can generally be found in the guidance documents listed with each topic and in the above national and VicRoads documents.

Image of a protected bicycle lane.Protected bicycle lanes

Protected bicycle lanes position cyclists between the parking or traffic lane and the footpath, with physical separation from through traffic and/or parked vehicles.

Further guidance can be found in:

Image of an off road bike pathOff-road paths

Where an off-road bicycle facility is to be provided, usually this involves one of the following:
  • Separated path - where the path for cyclists is physically separated from the path for pedestrians, e.g. by a barrier or median.
  • Segregated path - the pedestrian path is adjoining to the bicycle path, usually separated by linemarking or visually through the use of different colour pavements.
  • Shared use path - a wide path where pedestrians and cyclists both use the same path.
Further guidance can be found in:

Image of a shared path at an intersectionLane sharing at intersections

This treatment refers to the positioning of cyclists in the centre of the traffic lane at individual intersections and encouraging cyclists to mix with through traffic in low speed environments. The objective of this treatment is to position cyclists in the most prominent position within the lane. Further guidance can be found in:

Image of an on road bicycle laneOn-road bicycle lanes

On-road bicycles lanes are generally located on the left side of the road, marked by signs and pavement markings. The provision of on-road bicycle lanes needs to be carefully assessed to ensure that cyclists have a safe route to ride. Other alternatives include off-road paths and protected bicycle lanes. Further guidance can be found in:

Image of an alternative cycling route pathProvision of alternative cycling routes

Relocating cyclists from busy streets onto local roads with lower volumes of traffic and lower parking turnover may increase the level of safety for cyclists. It reduces car dooring by encouraging cyclists to travel through lower risk routes. Further guidance can be found in:

Image of grade separation cycling treatmentsGrade separation

Grade separation is a junction design which allows cyclists and pedestrians to cross above (overpass) or below (underpass) the intersection. By separating the interaction between cyclists / pedestrians and motorists, all conflict points are effectively eliminated. Further guidance can be found in:

Annular roundaboutsAnnular roundabouts

In this treatment, a separated pedestrian and bicycle path is provided at the roundabout whereby cyclists can utilise this off-road facility, avoiding the need to navigate through the roundabout. It involves cyclists / pedestrians being placed on separated paths that begin prior to the roundabout and then on to a circular path around the roundabout. Further guidance can be found in:

Image of a raised platform across a roadRaised platforms

These treatments give cyclists priority over road traffic where bicycle paths intersect with low volume, low speed roads. The intention is to slow down motorists and for them to 'give way' to cyclist at bicycle crossing points. Further guidance can be found in:

Image of bicycle pavement markings along the side of a roadPavement markings

Bicycle lanes may be painted green to enhance the level of conspicuity on the road. Further guidance can be found in:
  • Section 6 of Austroads Guide to Traffic Management Part 10
  • Section 9.3 of Cycling Aspects of the Austroads Guides
  • VicRoads Standard Section 431 (pavement marking materials)  

Image of a bicycle activated warning sign post on the roadsideBicycle activated warning signs

Bicycle activated warning signs are flashing electronic signs that aim to reduce the risk of conflict by raising awareness of the presence of cyclists on the road. Additionally, the sign aims to enforce the legitimacy of cyclists operating on the road. Unlike traditional static signs, the cyclist activated warning sign only lights up in the presence of cyclists and should be placed in areas of high crash risk. Further guidance can be found in:


Bicycle Infrastructure Design References

This section lists bicycle infrastructure design topics (e.g. traffic signals, pavement markings, provision of off-road paths, signs, etc.) and provides references to where these particular topics can be located in the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management, Australian Standards relating to traffic management (AS), and Additional Network Standards and Guidelines (ANSG) from VicRoads. Particular aspects of traffic practice are given under the general topic headings.

Note references to Austroads Guide to Road Design are generally contained within the Cycling Aspects of Austroads Guides document.

All VicRoads Supplements shall be read in conjunction with the relevant parent document.

Bicycle Infrastructure Design References [PDF 153 Kb]

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