Moving around campus

Moving around campus

Riding a bicycle, push scooter, skateboard or roller blading can be fun and a nice way to keep healthy and fit whilst on the way to work or University but we do encourage you to do this as safely as possible. This is especially true whilst on any campus of UNSW.

Let’s look at some of the hazards on campus that will affect you and how we expect you to help prevent injuries to yourself and to others:

Protective clothing and equipment:

UNSW encourages you to wear a standards approved safety helmet when riding or scooting on campus. As our internal roads are affected by the National road rules then so too is the legal obligation to wear your helmet on campus whilst on a bicycle.

Bright clothing or reflective vests help make you more visible to vehicle drivers and pedestrians so please consider adding these to your riding gear.

Speed:

There is a speed limit on campus for all vehicles which is 10kph. This is equivalent to about a jogging pace. This also applies to bicycles, scooters etc. The reason for having such a low speed limit is due to the fact that pedestrians can be in your way, there are blind corners, parked cars, delivery vehicles, traffic, people with trolleys, disabilities, children etc. which may all be where you want to ride so it pays to ride or scoot with care and at a reasonable speed.

Slopes:

There a number of slopes or ramps on campus and some of these allow you to get up quite a bit of speed (but you shouldn’t) which makes it harder to avoid cars and pedestrians who share the space. There may be changes to the surface as you exit these ramps or slopes and this may increase your chance of losing traction and control. Some ramps have been assessed as higher risk of collision and you should not ride down them at all. These will be clearly marked. Please obey the signs.

Scooter riders are advised to avoid riding down any slopes, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, as they are harder to stop and control under these conditions.

Bollards and poles:

These are a hazard when you don’t see them and are usually placed in your path of travel so keep an eye out for them, especially when they are hidden by lots of pedestrians or vehicles. You’ll keep to a safe speed anyway (hint hint) so should you hit one there will be less serious consequences at a lower speed.

Vehicles:

 

You will often be sharing the paths with vehicles so give them a wide berth as they may not see you coming. The roads on campus are usually narrow and don’t have much of a margin for error.

Parking stations on campus must be avoided with bicycles, skateboards, roller blades and scooters. It is dangerous to use these in the parking station due to limited visibility, tight spaces, narrow paths, changing surfaces and just plain common sense.

Rough surfaces and paving:

Push scooters with their small wheels are particularly susceptible to having their front wheel lock up on uneven or rough surfaces and send you flying, so they need to be avoided at all times.

Bicycles can also suffer from “tramlining” when passing over grates or drains which means you cannot easily change direction on them. Some of the drain covers can be especially slippery in the wet.

Smooth surfaces:

There are quite a few areas where the surface is a large expanse of smooth tiles such as the mall. These areas need extra caution, especially in the wet. Please ride and scoot much slower in these areas to avoid hitting pedestrians as you will slide instead of stopping when braking or changing direction suddenly.

Blind corners:

Pedestrians like to take the shortest route between places so will usually walk close to corners of buildings or cut across roads and paths. Please take a slow, wide path around corners to give yourself a good view and ample time to avoid things that suddenly appear from out of sight. Remember that pedestrians always have right of way at UNSW.

Inside buildings:

The corridors within buildings are mostly designed for foot traffic with the exception of loading docks which also cater for delivery vehicles and forklifts (but to the exclusion of general pedestrian traffic). Corridors with rooms running off them have poor visibility for people entering the corridor from the rooms so this creates a hazard. Walking pace reduces the risk of collisions and we actively discourage running in corridors for this reason. We have documented cases of people walking out of a room and colliding with persons running in corridors and causing serious injuries. So it follows that bicycles, scooters, skateboards and roller blades etc. must not be used inside buildings as it is clearly unsafe to do so.