Lips and other hazards

Raised edges and lips on driveways and ramps are a nuisance and a danger to cyclists because of the risk of pinch flats when riding over them. Lips can also cause crashes if a cyclist gets their wheel trapped or deflected.

Ramps on bike paths and for disabled access are supposed to meet smoothness and slope standards (see RTA guide for Bicycles and Austroads vol 14 etc), but many private driveways and older ramps still have lips. Even some newer constructions at shopping centres and the like have lips on driveways or access ways. Some may be justified, but many are put in because they “look nice” or “that’s the way we have always done them”.

An example of a very rough ramp is the Darling St entry to Callan Park opposite Cecily St. Driveway ramps at the Ambulance HQ entrance on Balmain Rd and the car park entrance have high lips.

The entrance to Garden Way off Wharf Rd, a potential cycle route through Callan Park, has a high lip on the ramp.

There is a dangerous lip on an old driveway ramp across the Robert St shared path between Mullens St and Victoria Rd. Cyclists trying to leave the road to get onto the shared path could easily crash.

Driveways to the new Bus Depot have lips, which makes using these driveways to get onto the bike path along Balmain Rd dangerous if you aren’t prepared.

The lip on the driveway to the Council Office off Wetherill St is another example of a bumpy ride for cyclists! Plus the well placed drainage grate.

There is a lip on the driveway entrance to the Whites Creek cyclepath at Brenan St.

Council could assist by requiring, and checking to see if, all new projects have installed, smooth ramps and driveways, and undertake a program of remediation on old ramps at well known spots, like the rear exit to the Leichhardt Plaza shopping centre on Balmain Rd, where it is possible.

Hints for safe crossing of lips and edges:

1. Keep a good lookout for them and be prepared. 2. Keep your wheel close to a right angle to the lip when crossing. 3. Keep your tyres pumped up. 4. You can bunny hop the lip or edge if you know how, but not with a heavy load of shopping!

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