Cycling rules, signs and safety tips | Brisbane City Council

Cycling rules, signs and safety tips

Find information on cycling rules, signs and safety tips to ride safely in Brisbane.

Cycling rules

Cycling on bikeways and shared paths

Different street signs have been strategically placed to help pedestrians and cyclists understand the rules when using Brisbane's bikeways and shared pathways. Unless otherwise signed, bikeways and shared paths can be used by:

  • cyclists 
  • pedestrians 
  • skate boards, foot scooters and roller blades (wheeled recreational devices)
  • electric bikes or scooters with a maximum of 200 watts (not petrol-driven mopeds)

Types of pathways

There are three different types of paths for pedestrians and cyclists or other wheeled recreational devices.  Footpaths may be used by all, however pedestrians have right of way. 

Pathway guidelines
Shared pathway - see page text for details.

Shared pathway

  • keep left
  • pedestrians are not to block the path
  • cyclists give way to pedestrians
  • people on roller blades or skates, skate boards or electric bicycles (maximum 200 watts) give way to both cyclists and pedestrians
  • cyclists must slow down and sound bell when approaching pedestrians
Separated pathway - see page text for details

Separated pathway

  • one side is for cyclists, skate boards, roller blades and electric bicycles. The other side for pedestrians
  • wheelchairs can use either side, however, if you are travelling slow Brisbane City Council suggests using the pedestrian side of the path
  • pedestrians crossing the bicycle path must do so as quickly as possible
  • cyclists should be wary of pedestrians
Bicycle only - see page text for details

Bicycle only pathway

  • cater for high speed commuter cycling
  • pedestrians are not allowed on bike only paths
  • wheeled recreational devices and electric bikes can also use bike paths

Cycling on roads and in malls

Bicycles are legal vehicles and have the right to use the road as cars do.

This means that cyclists must also obey the road rules for cyclists. In addition, cyclists should always travel with the flow of traffic when in a bicycle lane, not against the flow of car traffic, unless cycling on a path.

Bicycles should not be ridden in public squares and malls such as Reddacliff Place, Queen Street Mall and any other public areas with a 'no bicycles' sign.  Cyclists must dismount and walk their bicycles through these areas.

Cycling safety tips

When cycling be sure to:

  • wear an Australian standards approved helmet
  • wear appropriate footwear, such as enclosed shoes
  • stay hydrated
  • know your fitness level and riding skills
  • obey all road rules (including when on bike paths)
  • be seen by using reflectors, lights and bright clothing, especially at night or during rain.  Reflective vests will also maximise your presence
  • find a bikeway or shared pathway to plan your route

Queensland Transport also provides good tips on cycling safely in the wet, at night, in traffic and in the sun and heat and on potential hazards such as magpies and dogs.  

Cycle responsibly

Our roads and shared pathways are safer and more enjoyable for everyone when all users obey the rules and treat others with respect.

The following behaviours should be adopted by all cyclist and path users: 

  • slow down if the path is crowded
  • cycle at appropriate speeds by slowing down when passing or overtaking
  • sound your bell to warn others
  • keep as far left as possible
  • be considerate to others
  • cycle in a predictable manner to reassure others around you
  • expect the unexpected
  • create a safe and friendly environment by saying a quick 'hello' or 'thank you' when passing 

Cycling signs 

Bicycle lane - see page text for details

Bicycle lane (on-road cycling facility)

Bike lanes are dedicated on-road cycling facilities. The green surface improves bicycle awareness and traction for cyclists in wet conditions. The same road rules apply for on-road bike lanes without the green surface treatment.

Bicycle lane - see page text for details

Bike boxes

A bike box, also known as a bicycle storage area, is a section of the road for cyclists to wait at a red light in front of motor vehicles. The main purpose of a bike box is to prevent collisions between cyclists and motorists.

Bicycle Awareness Zone - see page text for details

Bicycle awareness zone

Bicycle Awareness Zones have been installed when space for bicycle lanes is restricted. They are indicated by yellow bicycle symbols painted on the road. To reduce confusion, BAZ markings are being removed as part of Council's road resurfacing program. Cyclists need to share the road with vehicles, but should keep to the left as far as possible. Normal road rules apply.

No bicycles - see page text for details

No bicycles

Riding is not permitted beyond this point. You must dismount and walk your bicycle through.

This sign may appear on a sign or painted on the ground.

Bicycle route - see page text for details

Bicycle route

Street has less vehicle traffic and is suitable for cycling. No specific facilities are provided.

Road ahead - see page text for details

Road ahead

Bikeway crosses a road up ahead. Cyclists are required to give way to vehicles.

Shared pathway - see page text for details

Shared pathway general information

This sign indicates the basic shared pathway rules which are:

  • all users to keep left
  • pedestrians don’t block the path
  • cyclists give way to pedestrians, and
  • cyclists sound their bell to warn pedestrians

Pedestrain crossing ahead - see page text for details

Pedestrian crossing ahead

This warning sign indicated that pedestrians are likely to be crossing the bike path ahead.

Useful links


20 February 2019