Why these cyclists will no longer have to stick to the road
CYCLISTS will soon be able to ride on footpaths in Somerset town CBD areas after council approved a change to its legislation.
The new changes will allow bike riders to use town footpaths instead of roads - ending a rule that’s been in place for more than 20 years.
Since May 1998, CBD areas in Lowood, Fernvale, Esk, and Toogoolawah have had signage prohibiting the use of bicycles on footpaths.
Much has changed since then.
“With the adoption of the Principal Cycle Network and the development of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, Council has encouraged more people to cycle through our region, with this growth expected to continue,” Director of Operations Andrew Johnson said.
Current laws allow cyclists to use footpaths and shared paths (except where signs say they can’t) provided they keep left and give way to pedestrians.
To further encourage cyclists in the area, council agreed to take down the outdated ‘no cycling’ signs, allowing riders to make use of footpaths.
They also approved the installation of new “Cyclist Dismount” signs in areas where riding would be unsafe due to restricted space, such as footpath displays at shopfronts, outdoor dining areas in front of restaurants, or street sections with an abundance of awnings, posts, and signs.
Several councillors expressed their concerns as to whether the signs would be effective.
“Some people will follow them, some won’t. It’s a hard thing to enforce,” Mr Johnson said.
“It’s better to have some signs up, so that people know what they should be doing.”
Councillor Robert Whalley said he trusted locals to help enforce the changes.
“I totally endorse this approach,” he said.
“The signs will be effective enough to spread awareness, and then residents will be able to peer pressure cyclists who don’t follow the rules.”
The council is also pursuing funding through the Cycle Network Local Governments Grants Program to install more high-quality cycling infrastructure throughout the Somerset.
Since 2016, fourteen projects have already been completed or planned using these funds, in Kilcoy, Toogoolawah, Fernvale, and Lowood:
- Prospect Street from Park Street to Peregrine Drive, Lowood (Completed)
- Brisbane Valley Highway from Clive Street to Brouff Road, Fernvale (Completed)
- William Street (Kilcoy) Cycle Facilities Design (Completed)
- Prospect Street (Lowood) Shared Use Bridge Design and Construction (Completed)
- D’Aguilar Highway (Kilcoy) Shared Path Design and Construction (Completed)
- Esk Shared Path Design and Construction (Completed)
- Toogoolawah High School Shared Path Design and Construction (Completed)
- Forest Hill Fernvale Road (Lowood) Shared Path Design and Construction Peregrine to Sea Eagle Dr (Completed) –
- Somerset- Bicycle Parking Installation (Completed)
- Fernvale Data Counter (Completed)
- Clive Street Shared Path (Fernvale) Design and Construction
- Prospect Street (Lowood) Shared Path Design and Construction – Park to Main St
- Shared path on rail trail (Lowood) from Main Street to Walter Street gully
- William Street (Kilcoy) Separated Cycle Facilities from Kennedy to Carseldine Street
Council are looking to secure funding for two further projects:
- Shared path on rail trail (Lowood) from Walter Street gully to Patrick Street, Stage 2.
- William Street (Kilcoy) Separated Cycle Facilities from KennedyStreet to Kilcoy Creek