Barriers to cycling: not meant figuratively

Swing gate, Canberra. Photo by Maxwell Ingham on Unsplash

As a cyclist, you will quickly notice the number of obstacles that are thrown in your path. The older areas of Canberra were not built for the cyclist. As a cyclist, we are accustomed to being careful, and we know that many motorists and pedestrians do not seem to notice us. A bike is either too fast or too quiet for many people. This is one of the reasons why we need to be seen – as we cannot be heard. We need to keep our eyes open crossing roads and travelling along community paths. The barriers are an extra burden and sometimes it gets a little too much. 🙂

Below in the table are photos of barrier types found in Canberra. Some are more common than others. Some are safer than others. Some can be hard to see in the dark, particularly when the paths are unlit.

Common hazards

Gates

Locked gate on Sunshine Road, Ingledene Forest, ACT.
Gate barrier are very common in the ACT. Locked gate on Sunshine Road, Ingledene Forest, ACT.

Gates: On Pipe Flat (along the Molonglo River) there are quite a few. Gates are often chained, even when there is a step through.

Gates: On Pipe Flat there are quite a few. Gates are often changed, even when there is a step through. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap
Gates: On Pipe Flat (along the Molonglo River) there are quite a few. Gates are often chained, even when there is a step through. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap

Cycle barrier

Cycle barrier, adjacent to Cycle Route C5, Aranda, Belconnen
Cycle barriers are found in OpenStreetMap. Cycle barrier, adjacent to Cycle Route C5, Aranda, Belconnen

Cycle barrier: Melba is an absolute cycle barrier paradise. They can be hard to see at night.

Cycle barrier: Melba is the cycle barrier paradise. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap
Cycle barrier: Melba is an absolute cycle barrier paradise. They can be hard to see at night. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap

Cattle grid

Cattle gird on the ANU Ionospheric Trail management trail, western slopes of Mount Stromlo, Mount Stromlo Forest, Canberra
Cattle grid barrier. Cattle gird on the ANU Ionospheric Trail management trail, western slopes of Mount Stromlo, Mount Stromlo Forest, Canberra

Cattle grid: Mulligans Flat Road has three cattle grid crossings close together.

Cattle grid: Mulligans Flat Road has three close together. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap
Cattle grid: Mulligans Flat Road has three cattle grid crossings close together. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap

Horse stile

Horse stile on management trail, Majura Pines, Blue Metal Road, Mount Ainslie, Canberra
Horse stile barrier. Horse stile on management trail, Majura Pines, Blue Metal Road, Mount Ainslie, Canberra

Horse stile: Common along the Bicentennial National Trail.

Horse stile: Are common along the Bicentennial National Trail. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap
Horse stile: Common along the Bicentennial National Trail. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap

Stile (pedestrian)

Pedestrian access, gate on Uriarra Road, Stromlo Forest, Molonglo Valley
Pedestrian access, gate on Uriarra Road, Stromlo Forest, Molonglo Valley

Stile are often found beside gates or along a fence line (Hawker): Common in Canberra Nature Park.

Stile: Common in Canberra Nature Park. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap
Stile: Common in Canberra Nature Park. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap

Swing gate

Locked swing gate, Mount Stromlo Observatory from a management trail on the west slopes of Mount Stromlo, Canberra
Swing (car) gate barrier. Locked swing gate, Mount Stromlo Observatory from a management trail on the west slopes of Mount Stromlo, Canberra

Swing gate: A swing gate can be hard to get around, particularly if there is stones or drainage ditches on either side. Common in the National Arboretum.

Swing gate: Can be hard to get around and be hazard for cyclists. Common in the National Arboretum. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap
Swing gate: A swing gate can be hard to get around, particularly if there is stones or drainage ditches on either side. Common in the National Arboretum. Source overpass-turbo and OpenStreetMap

Other common Canberra barrier types

A cyclist will find barriers everywhere.

Main Community Route (MCR), Belconnen Bikeway, Belconnen, Canberra
Fence barrier. Fence adjacent to the Main Community Route (MCR), Belconnen Bikeway, Belconnen, Canberra
Bollard barrier. Path off Morell Close, Belconnen Bikeway, Belconnen.
Banana bars vehicle restriction DS13-02 18 June 2007
A motorcycle barrier in OpenStreetMap are called “banana bars” in the ACT. See ACT Standard Drawing: vehicle restriction DS13-02, 18 June 2007
Flood damage, Coppins Crossing, Molonglo River, 28 March 2021
Jersey barrier block roads or the road edge. Flood damage, Coppins Crossing, Molonglo River, 28 March 2021
Walking only, open me please gate on ANU Ionospheric Trail management trail, western slopes of Mount Stromlo, Mount Stromlo Forest, Canberra
Wicket (pedestrian) gate barrier (OpenStreetMap) are found in the ACT but not all that common .ANU Ionospheric Trail management trail, western slopes of Mount Stromlo, Mount Stromlo Forest, Canberra
Pedestrian stile, The Pinnacle Offset Area, The Pinnacle, Belconnen
Pedestrian stile, The Pinnacle Offset Area, The Pinnacle, Belconnen
Log across a path. Photo Flickr, Jessie Hey (CC BY 2.0)
Log barrier. Log across a path. Photo Flickr, Jessie Hey (CC BY 2.0)

Barrier types also found in OpenStreetMap

Other barrier types found in OpenSteetMap. The add photos of ACT designs.

  • Guard rail
  • Handrail
  • Kerb
  • Retaining wall
  • Chain barrier
  • Ditch
  • Lift gate
  • Debris
  • Cable barrier
"Open me" car park gate at the southern entrance to The Pinnacle Offset Area, The Pinnacle, Belconnen
“Open me” car park gate at the southern entrance to The Pinnacle Offset Area, The Pinnacle, Belconnen

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