Qld Govt Cycle Infrastructure Maintenance


Queensland Government's  -  Cycling Infrastructure Maintenance Guidelines

Queensland Transport's "Maintaining cycling facilities" dated June 2006 -

(i)         is "a useful synopsis to assists local government planners, engineers (and their consultants) to establish and operate an appropriate maintenance program for bicycle facilities";

(ii)        may "also be a tool to reduce the risk of potential legal cases being brought against a public authority held liable in litigation due to negligence";

(iii)       asserts that "proactive maintenance programs are more effective than reactive ones";

(iv)       asserts that "recent legal cases highlight the need for local authorities to be forthright in their approach to hazard identification and assessment in relation to public infrastructure.  The latest rulings adopt the commonsense approach that pedestrians are expected to exercise sufficient care. However, the courts have not diminished responsibility on the part of the local or road authority in relation to maintenance.  In fact, these authorities now have a heightened duty of care to the general public. They need to ensure inspections of the road network are conducted, including all elements of the road reserve (i.e. footpaths, bike paths, carriageways etc).";

(v)        "The critical issue is how the authority identifies, assesses and prioritises the works required in relation to maintaining its public infrastructure (including footpaths and bicycle facilities)."; and

(vi)       in the case of "Timber bridges:

-           identify where there are gaps between any longitudinal planks and fill the gaps. Also consider an asphalt overlay over the deck for 1.0m at either end of the bridge

-           identify those bridges which are located in wet/shady areas and apply a non-slip finish to these surfaces."

Queensland Government "Timber Bridge Maintenance Manual" 'inter alia' provides a wealth of valuable knowledge on repairing or replacing timber bridges.  The 11 detailed PDF files, which are dedicated to the late timber bridge expert, Kevin Legett, ostensibly focus on ensuring bridges will take large traffic volumes and the weight of heavy vehicles.  They do not seem to address cyclists getting a wheel caught in a gap between two timber planks on a bridge. 

Due to health and climate change agencies within government now beseeching Australians to try road cycling for short commuter trips, more wheels are likely to get caught resulting in more fatalities, paraplegia etc, particularly unless cyclists are informed of the folly of endeavouring to pick-a-plank.  Even then, it seems to take a nasty fall before many cyclists opt to dismount and walk their bike over a timber bridge.