Riding rules, signs and safety tips

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

Riding rules

Riding on bikeways and shared paths

Brisbane City Council installs signs to help people walking and people riding a bike understand the rules when using Brisbane's bikeways and shared pathways. Unless otherwise signed, the following can use bikeways, shared paths and footpaths:

  • people riding bikes
  • people walking
  • people riding skateboards, foot scooters and roller blades (wheeled recreational devices)
  • people riding electric bikes, electric scooters or electric skateboards (speed limited to a maximum of 25 km/h).

Types of pathways

There are three different types of paths for people walking, riding a bike, using a wheeled recreational device or an electric device. 

Footpaths can be used by everyone, unless signed restrictions apply. People walking have right of way and other footpath users are required to give way.

Shared pathway

  • Keep left.
  • People walking are not to block the path.
  • Bike and scooter riders give way to pedestrians.
  • People on roller blades or skates, skateboards or electric bicycles and scooters (speed limited to 25 km/h) give way to bike riders and people walking.
  • Bike riders must slow down and sound bell when approaching pedestrians.

Separated pathway

  • One side is for bike riders, skateboards, roller blades, electric bicycles and scooters. The other side is for pedestrians.
  • Wheelchairs can use either side. However, if travelling slowly, Council suggests using the pedestrian side of the path.
  • Pedestrians crossing the bicycle path must do so as quickly as possible.
  • Bike riders should look out for people walking.

Bicycle only pathway

  • Cater for commuter and recreational bike riding.
  • Do not allow pedestrians
  • Wheeled recreational devices, electric bikes and scooters can also use bicycle only paths.

Riding in malls and on roads

Bicycles, wheeled recreational devices, electric bikes and scooters are not permitted to be ridden in public squares and malls where a prohibition sign, such as a “No Bicycles” sign, is in place. This includes such areas as Reddacliff Place and the Queen Street Mall. People must dismount and walk through these areas.

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

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

Riding safety tips

When riding be sure to:

  • wear an Australian Standards approved helmet
  • wear appropriate footwear, such as enclosed shoes
  • stay hydrated
  • obey all road rules (including when on bike paths)
  • use reflectors, lights and bright clothing, especially at night or during rain. 

The Queensland Government also provides good tips on riding a bike safely

Rider responsibility

Our roads and shared pathways are safer and more enjoyable when everyone obeys the rules and treat others with respect.

When riding remember to: 

  • slow down on crowded paths
  • ride at appropriate speeds by slowing down when passing or overtaking
  • sound your bell to let other people know that you are approaching
  • keep as far left as possible
  • be considerate to others
  • ride in a predictable manner
  • expect the unexpected
  • create a safe and friendly environment by saying a quick 'hello' or 'thank you' when passing. 

Riding signs 


Bicycle lane (on-road bike riding facility)

Bicycle lanes are dedicated on-road bike riding facilities. The green surface improves bicycle awareness and traction for riders in wet conditions. The same road rules apply for on-road bike lanes without the green surface treatment. Electric scooters are not allowed to use on-road bicycle lanes. 


Bike rider boxes

A bike box (or bicycle storage area) is a section of the road for riders to wait at a red light in front of motor vehicles. The main purpose of a bike box is to provide a space where people riding a bike are clearly seen by all users at junctions.


No bicycles

You cannot ride a bicycle beyond this point. You must dismount and walk with your bicycle.

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


Road ahead

Bikeway crosses a road ahead. People riding bikes must give way to vehicles.


Shared pathway general information

This sign indicates the basic shared pathway rules which are:

  • all users to keep left
  • people walking don’t block the path
  • bike and scooter riders give way to people walking, and
  • bike riders sound their bell to warn pedestrians.


Pedestrian crossing ahead

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

Last updated:3 May 2019
Topics: cycling