Driveway lips a trip

You know the feeling.

You are about to move from the road up a driveway and realise too late that the angle of your wheels is nowhere near 90 degrees.

If you are lucky you are not going too fast and can stop yourself falling. If not, you can come off your bike and it’s all down to infrastructure that doesn’t accommodate  bikes, skateboards, scooters, prams, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.

Of course, if you are in Victoria and New South Wales you don’t know the feeling, but for the rest of us driveways up onto the footpath are escape routes for obstacles in the road and entries onto footpaths to navigate one-way streets.

Footpath riding is legal in Tasmania for all ages but infrastructure in most places doesn’t reflect this.

There is a movement in some local governments to replace lipped driveways with driveways flush with the road surface, but not too many in Tasmania have taken this up.

The impetus behind the changes is usually disability access rather than easier transitions for bicycle riders.

Tasmanian local councils can follow the Local Government of Tasmania (LGAT) and Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) standard drawings for street infrastructure or set their own requirements.

The IPWEA standard is for a rounded 10mm lip, which we’d like to see changed so driveways have no lip and are flush with the road surface.

Bicycle Network has made a submission to an IPWEA and LGAT review of standard drawings requesting the 10mm lip be removed as the standard.

In some situations a lip may improve drainage for water runoff but those can be treated as exceptions to the standard.

In the meantime, many councils are not following the 10mm lip standard, with some still allowing the much higher 20-30mm lips.

And those councils that do follow the standard don’t necessarily police it, so driveway crossovers are being built with the higher lip despite being directed to use 10mm lips.

If driveway lips pose a danger to you or you notice new driveways going in with higher than 10mm lips, please: