Centre for Road Safety

Shared paths are marked with signs that have graphics of a pedestrian at the top and a bicycle at the bottom.

What is a shared path?

A shared path is an area open to the public that is designated for the use of both bicycle riders and pedestrians.  Shared paths can be identified by signs and/or pavement markings showing a pedestrian and a bike.

A shared path ends at the nearest of the following signs:

No bikes; Bikes Only; Shared path ends

Look out for each other

Shared paths are provided for the use of both bicycle riders and pedestrians (including riders of wheeled recreational devices and wheeled toys). There are some rules to follow and behaviours that will allow bicycle riders and pedestrians to stay safe and share the path.

Bicycle riders

When riding on a shared path, the road rules require bicycle riders to:

  • Keep to the left (unless it is impractical to do so)
  • Give way to pedestrians including wheeled recreational devices/toys. You should always slow down, stopping if necessary to avoid a collision
  • Keep to the left of any oncoming bicycle rider.

You can also make paths safer for everyone by:

  • Providing pedestrians with a metre of space when passing
  • Using your bell to warn others when you are approaching
  • If there is room, moving off the path to the left if you wish to stop riding
  • Being careful around young children and dogs, as they are often unpredictable in their movements, and older pedestrians who may be more vulnerable
  • Travelling at a safe speed so you can stop within a safe distance of pedestrians on the path.

Pedestrians

When walking on a shared path, to share the path safely, it is recommended that pedestrians:

  • Keep to the left
  • If there is room, move off to the path to the left if you wish to stop walking
  • Keep animals on short leads and under control
  • Be aware of bicycle riders sharing the path - to improve your safety we recommend riders use their bell to let you know they are approaching from the behind. We also recommend you focus on the path ahead when approaching corners.

Wheeled recreational devices

A person using a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy on a shared path is required to:

  • Keep to the left (unless it is impractical to do so)
  • Give way to all other pedestrians. You should always slow down, stopping if necessary to avoid a collision.

More information

We commissioned research into different aspects of shared path safety in NSW. Our Shared paths document (PDF, 122Kb) has more information on the research findings and summarises the safety issues. For a copy of the full research reports, please use our Contact us form.