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Cyclists being careful

Hi and hello everyone.

First of all, I want everyone to understand I have no gripe against cyclists. 

However, locally there is a pedestrian/cycle path. The cyclists take delight in zooming past pedestrians as close and as fast as possible. So e weeks ago a cyclists ran into me, bruised my back, swore at me and accused me of " being all over the place". I asked why he did not warn me by using g his bell. Instead of replying g he rode off.

I have asked the local council to consider having demarcation lines one side for pedestrians, one side for cyclists. So far there has been no response.

What is youd view on this , I feel there will be more accidents, maybe even a fatality.

Car drivers have to give e cyclists a metre and a half passing room, how about the same for cyclists to give pedestrians?

Just out of interest, I was 69 last weekend, I have several health conditions including g a heart condition. I just want to have a short walk a couple of times a day without being scared of being the victim of an accident or being sworn at.

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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36 comments

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kil0ran | 1 year ago
4 likes

Shared space paths only really work where one user type dominates the volume of traffic. From my time commuting into Southampton most of the paths west of the city had few pedestrians and as such conflicts were minimised. Compare that with the area around West Quay and they're crap for pedestrians and cyclists alike. Whilst demarcated pedestrians tend to follow desire lines and don't stay in their "lane" - it's natural when walking to take the shortest route. And as walking speeds vary you end up with pedestrians overtaking others using the bike part of the path. Plus, just like cyclists, pedestrians like to walk side-by-side, particularly if its parents and children. Such paths are only safe for all users if cyclists keep to no more than 3x walking pace. Personally I hated the unpredictability of them and as an experienced/confident cyclist preferred to take my chances in the road.

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Mad1580 | 1 year ago
0 likes

I feel really saddened that relating an incident that happened to me has resulted in what appears to be negativity. I have been a cyclist, I am a driver who respects cyclists and pedestrians, giving a wide berth to both, in view of the fact that I drive an electric car. Very quiet. I hesitate to use double exclamation marks there. 

My purpose was to use this forum, where " the near miss of the day" is reported and read by me frequently. I just wondered if through this forum, maybe the kind of cyclist who doesn't mind riding fast and close to pedestrians would read what happened to me, and has been reported locally (Newcastle-underLyme) as happening to others. I cannot speak for others, only for myself.

So I ask, is there any way thar "we" as a human family can accommodate  walkers and cyclists respectfully, to the benefit of both. 

I am concerned. We read frequently of deaths of cyclists in collision with cars. I ask" is this something  that is to happen to a walker in collision with a cyclist.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be the cause of a fatality. 

Thank you to those who have given thought to what happened. Again, I am 69 years old, not a child.  Trying to have an adult conversation, not trying to insult anyone.

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Mungecrundle replied to Mad1580 | 1 year ago
11 likes

You have been met with empathy and reasoned explanation, on an Internet forum where contributors have anonymity. If you feel you have been disrespected then again and for some perspective, I would direct you to your local newspaper site and any story involving a cyclist being killed or injured and for you to read the comments thereunder.

Cyclists are not a hive mind organism. No-one here is responsible for the behaviour of others and are (checks posts)... universally in agreement that cyclists should look out for pedestrians.

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hawkinspeter replied to Mad1580 | 1 year ago
3 likes
Mad1580 wrote:

So I ask, is there any way thar "we" as a human family can accommodate  walkers and cyclists respectfully, to the benefit of both. 

The ultimate answer is decent segregated infrastructure in busy areas. There's plenty of examples in European countries where they realised the problems with designing purely for motorised vehicles and started to build segregated lanes with great success.

Some of the problems we have in this country are due to our almost non-existent cycle infrastructure and forcing cyclists and pedestrians together on the same narrow strips - this inevitably creates problems and the car lobby can smirk as the problems are often blamed on cyclists instead of people looking at the wider picture. I'm not saying that individual cyclists aren't to blame for their own behaviour, but there's a disturbing anti-cyclist theme going throughout the mainstream media which of course is hugely funded via car advertising.

So, we need to take space away from motorists and properly design separate places for pedestrians and cyclists. It's what works elsewhere.

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HoarseMann replied to Mad1580 | 1 year ago
5 likes

I only see positivity:

- Sympathy for your injuries and predicament
- Empathy for the effect a scary close pass can have
- Solidarity in taking a stand against the idiots, whether they be on a bicycle or in a motorised vehicle

There was some constructive feedback that painted lines are probably not worth pursuing, as they are rarely adhered to by both pedestrians and cyclists. A tip to keep to one side of a shared path and walk in a predictable manner. To keep looking back for approaching bikes and maintain good situational awareness.

Some reassuring that you should not feel bullied off the path, as whilst it was a frightening incident for you, the statistics show that you are far more likely to be injured by a motorised vehicle on the pavement than a bicyclist. That a cyclist is at as much risk of injury as you in a collision, so they're likely to do all they can to avoid one.

Finally, a tip to do what a lot of cyclists do, use a camera and record these incidents. You would have far more sway with the council if you could build up some evidence to support your complaint. You don't need to come up with the solution, just document and evidence the problem, then make it the councils job to fix it.

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Sriracha replied to Mad1580 | 1 year ago
2 likes

There are definitely idiots on bicycles. They think that the way to pass pedestrians is to shout "on your right" moments before they whiz by, and swap stories with their mates of the pedestrians they so nearly collided with as they jumped out of their skin into the cyclist's chosen path.

I'm not sure what the answer is beyond education (eg get your story in the news), and better infrastructure. The (mostly) young strava knobs who behave in this way probably never go for a leisurely walk, so they will not understand your perspective, not for another 40 years or more.

On reflection, maybe the answer is to walk with a pair of trekking poles, deployed at a jaunty angle.

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Jimmy Ray Will replied to Mad1580 | 1 year ago
5 likes

To avoid confusion, I'll start by confirmng that I won't be responding with much empathy. 

Here is the little I will give... 

I don't believe in shared access paths, I think its a recipe for disaster as its all too easy for any party to feel they have a sense of right to be there and use the path as they see fit. 

The 'rub' with this is that what one person see's as fit behaviour, others will find abhorrent / frightening. Now, don't get me wrong, there will be outliers, the occasional idiot that is behaving in a clearly anti-social, intolerant, unsafe manner, but the vast majority - and I can't stress this enough - the vast majority of friction is caused by an imblance of perceptions.

What you think is unreasonable, is more than likely not considered unreasonable by - by your accounts - a fairly large percentage of cyclists using the path you walk on. 

I know a lot of cyclists, and none of the cyclists that I know of would want to intimidate, 'buzz', or deliberately jeopardise the safety of a pedestrian. As already mentioned here, cyclists literally have 'too much skin in the game' to be taking liberties with other peoples safety. 

I recently did some gravel adventuring that included time riding on shared use paths. During this time, it did strike me that when I slowed for pedestrians and made, what I felt was, perfectly adequate space to pass, I only had my perception of what a safe space and speed to pass was.

I knew how quickly I could stop, how much I could change course should pedestrians change course, dogs run out etc. etc. I managed my speed accordingly. 

I can appreciate that a pedestrian will not know these parameters or that I have considered them when I pass. I can appreciate that this will, to some be unnerving. 

I guess its the same as to say the only way a woman can truly feel safe walking at night is by getting rid of all men... the only way to ensure all pedestrians feel safe is to remove cyclists from the space they frequent. 

If that's not going to happen, then both sides need to show some tolerance and trust.  

To sign off, I'd want to reassure you as a cyclist that knows many cyclists, cylists really aren't trying to give you a scare, they are just trying to get to where they are going. I'd encourage you to see the one collision experienced as being the exception, and not the rule and get back out there. 

 

 

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Flintshire Boy replied to Mad1580 | 1 year ago
1 like

.

'I feel really saddened that relating an incident that happened to me has resulted in what appears to be negativity.'

.

I'm afraid that that's what you get from the bike fascists on R.cc

.

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Hirsute replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
9 likes

Still no advice for the OP from you.

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Simon E replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
8 likes
Flintshire Boy wrote:

.

'I feel really saddened that relating an incident that happened to me has resulted in what appears to be negativity.'

.

I'm afraid that that's what you get from the bike fascists on R.cc

.

Yet you keep coming back for more. Other websites are available but it seems that posting insults on this forum must be more fun for you and your trolling mates.

If you want some real negativity then feel you could pop over to the Daily Mail website. I'm sure you'll also find some fellow cyclist-haters on there, you could be supported in indulging whatever fantasies you might have.

As for the OP, I really don't understand why he/she thinks we should all apologise for some alleged shitty behaviour they've experienced on a shared use path.

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ChrisB200SX replied to Mad1580 | 1 year ago
7 likes
Mad1580 wrote:

I feel really saddened that relating an incident that happened to me has resulted in what appears to be negativity.

The negativity appears to have started with your generalisation that all cyclists ride in the dangerous manner you stated. Starting the conversation negatively like that will have that effect.

"Why can't pedestrians stay out of my way when I ride" similarly, would have provoked a negative reaction from anyone that walks anywhere.

Mad1580 wrote:

I just wondered if through this forum, maybe the kind of cyclist who doesn't mind riding fast and close to pedestrians would read what happened to me, and has been reported locally (Newcastle-underLyme) as happening to others. I cannot speak for others, only for myself.

So I ask, is there any way thar "we" as a human family can accommodate  walkers and cyclists respectfully, to the benefit of both. 

Unfortunately, I don't think you are likely to reach your target audience here. It also seems unlikely that your target audience will take much notice given that you claim they already don't care and are seemingly doing this for kicks?

I think you may be attempting to preach to the converted, given that cyclists are vulnerable road users who do often experience danger forced upon them by others. 

Mad1580 wrote:

We read frequently of deaths of cyclists in collision with cars hit by drivers of motor vehicles. I ask" is this something  that is to happen to a walker in collision with a cyclist.

It's very rare. Cyclists are, in my opinion, more vulnerable in pedestrian and cyclist collisions.

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Simon_MacMichael | 1 year ago
7 likes

Thanks for posting the thread, and I'm sorry you no longer feel able to use that path safely, it shouldn't be like that.

There may be some cyclists who on such a path won't slow down under any circumstances or deviate from their line (canal towpaths here in London had a big issue with some riders - a very small minority, it should be stressed) trying to beat the fastest times posted on the Strava app, and that is clearly not an environment where you should be seeking to do that.

https://road.cc/content/news/147537-strava-users-told-cut-speed-canal-to...

Most people on bikes do ride considerately around pedestrians in my experience, though we can all be guilty at times of doing something unthinkingly ... years ago, arriving at the office where I worked in Oxford, I was berated by a (Danish) colleague because she'd seen me cycle past a couple on my way in and thought I was too close to them and she reckoned they were a bit shaken up ... I couldn't even remember it and there's no way I'd have got too close on purpose.

Personally, I always have a bell on my bike, so when I'm on a shared use path I can let people know I'm coming towards them, and I'll slow down and give plenty of room when needed (use of the bell can, of course, provoke an angry reaction from some).

One thing seldom mentioned in this type of discussion is it's never in a cyclist's interests to collide with a pedestrian in the first place - for the pure and simple fact that there's every chance the rider will come off their bike and hit the pavement hard.

Equally, all of us are pedestrians at some point in the day too, and are likely to have experienced something similar to what you have with someone cycling inconsiderately (or increasingly, on an electric scooter) zooming past from behind ... it may happen to me once or twice a month on my local high street.

As others have said, it's nothing compared to the danger posed by motorists, and everyone here, on foot or on a bike, will have experienced that, though in the context of this discussion it's perhaps a bit of a red herring.

I'm not sure what the answer is ... some people will cycle inconsiderately or unthinkingly, just as some pedestrians will step out onto a cycle path while staring at their phones; it's human nature.

It's worth mentioning too that on this site, we ran a poll a few years ago asking readers what annoyed them most about other cyclists, and the top responses were linked to just that - people who ride through red lights, or who go too fast/too close on shared-use paths etc.

Anyway, do please let us know what the council's response is.

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Simon E | 1 year ago
5 likes

"Car drivers have to give e cyclists a metre and a half passing room, how about the same for cyclists to give pedestrians?"

Too many of them do not, as everyone on this website knows only too well! They don't give way, they don't give a toss about speed limits etc etc. 1.5 metres is almost the full width of a shared path.

The plain fact is that many, many more pedestrians are killed and injured by drivers - even on the pavement - than cyclists. They are your biggest danger.

But that doesn't mean people on bicycles can behave as they like and I try to be considerate on shared facilities (unlike some of the dog walkers, pram-pushers and runners I encounter). But I can only speak for myself, not all the cyclists wherever you live.

"I have no gripe against cyclists"

But you posted your complaint on a general cycling website. What will that achieve?

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Sriracha | 1 year ago
13 likes

My view is that people don't change their spots all that much just because they are on a bicycle or in a car - selfish nobs will reveal themselves regardless of their mode of transport.

The less selfish will of course improve by experiencing the other's perspective first hand, whereas the selfish will continue to put their needs first whichever way they travel.

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chrisonabike | 1 year ago
4 likes

Sorry you're feeling squeezed out of a space. As others have said the issue is partly "people are selfish sometimes / a few are most of the time". Another part is that we make space for drivers first, then cyclists and pedestrians are left fighting over the left-overs. Finally there aren't many cyclists in some places so their presence can surprise.

Cycling and walking don't have to be at odds - it's a choice we've made over the decades in the UK. I would like my neighbourhood to look more like this - note the pedestrian paths and cycle paths are very obvious and there is a small kerb between:

https://youtu.be/3hwDUcHgspo

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Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
8 likes

Hi, thanks for posting. I am afraid the problem is down to a few individuals who either try to frighten pedestrians or who have too high an opinion of their own abilities on a bike. It's the same for us cyclists on the roads. The only thing I can suggest is that you do what we are doing, arm yourself with a camera and report to police. I hope you get more satisfactory responses from the police than we do.

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Mungecrundle | 1 year ago
5 likes

Shared use paths can be a pain in the arse to both cyclists and pedestrians but as long as they get cyclists off the road then drivers are happy, and often enraged when some cyclists eschew using them. In theory, in a world without arseholes, they would work just fine but unfortunately there are enough arseholes who shouldn't be allowed out in shoes without supervision and sometimes they get access to a bicycle, escooter, mini moto or other mode of transport which allows them to become even more irritating to everyone else.

As a pedestrian using shared use infrastructure and assuming you don't habitually wander about in the road, it is likely that you will have many more close proximity interactions with cyclists than with cars. Yet a quick browse of your local newspaper website will show you just how much more risk you are at from the drivers of motorised vehicles.

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Jimwill | 1 year ago
7 likes

Imo this is the biggest problem with shared use paths. And why I try to avoid them as much as possible. They seem to be a cheap way of local councils pretending they've put some infra in, bang up a couple of signs maybe a dividing line and a few markings on the floor and claim all that work cost thousands.
They're never wide enough, are often full of groups of peds, taking up the entire width, walking allover the place with headphones in.

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
11 likes

It's a general problem with shared infrastructure. You get pedestrians that don't realise that they may be on the bike side or even walk two/three across and block both sides. You also get cyclists that think that they should be able to go full speed as it's "cycle" infrastructure and maybe even "buzz" pedestrians that are on the "bike" side. I don't think that a painted line will do much to help anyone.

The law is very much on the side of pedestrians (no matter which side of the path that they're on) and as cyclists are the ones with the greater speed and/or mass, they should be mindful of the increased danger that they pose. However, at least 5% of people are inconsiderate assholes and it sounds like you encountered one of them - I'm thankful that they were just on a bike and not using something faster and heavier.

Usually, cyclists are more than capable of slipping past obstacles with much less than 1.50m room and as cyclists have skin-in-the-game, they're typically much more careful than motorists (or at least they tend to be more careful after misjudging distances). Also, if an asshole cyclist is going to close-pass people, then they're likely to ignore any minimum distance laws, so I don't think legislation is going to make any difference at all.

Anyhow, I hope you get over your fear of close-passes (they can certainly be very scary for cyclists) and continue with your exercise. Don't let one incident bully you from getting a few walks in.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes

This is very nice seperated infra. Unfortunately, as shown in the picture, the really nice cycle path is smooth and the pavement is bumpy. So lots of peds decide to walk down the cycle path. Not really a problem for me as I will slow and ring the bell if on my hybrid, or use the road bus lane if on my road bike and want to go faster. The only ones that irk me are the ones who walk across the full width, or who walk on the travelling direction side rather then non travelling one.

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mdavidford | 1 year ago
3 likes

If there is sufficient cycle traffic that you regularly feel intimidated by its proximity, then probably adding separation lines isn't really enough. They're of limited use, given that neither cyclists or pedestrians can be relied upon to remain on 'their side', and typically there isn't enough room to pass another path user without crossing the line. There would be a good case for campaigning for the council to provide dedicated cycle facilities that would separate both modes entirely and likely make both lots of people happier.

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Mad1580 replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
1 like

Thank you for your sensible reply. I assure you j have taken the matter to the council, in view of the fact that another path to our local Morrisons has the demarcation and is respected by cyclists and pedestrians. 

I think I was hoping that using g this website, with its " near pass of thd day" video would meet with a response showing concern and a " what can we do to get along together" attitude. I don't want cyclists to be castigated, but pedestrians have rights too. Why can't that be respected. Now I drive to a different location ,walking around d a beautiful lake,where cyclists are not allowed!!

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hawkinspeter replied to Mad1580 | 1 year ago
6 likes
Mad1580 wrote:

I think I was hoping that using g this website, with its " near pass of thd day" video would meet with a response showing concern and a " what can we do to get along together" attitude. I don't want cyclists to be castigated, but pedestrians have rights too. Why can't that be respected. Now I drive to a different location ,walking around d a beautiful lake,where cyclists are not allowed!!

Cyclists aren't a collective, so there's very little "we" can do to get along as there is no "we". It's similar to asking what you can do to stop other motorists from speeding/using phones etc.

It's a shame that you need to drive to get your exercise now.

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Mad1580 replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

It is a shame, the path I was using is less than 4 mins walk from my home.

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brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

Cyclists aren't a collective, so there's very little "we" can do to get along as there is no "we". It's similar to asking what you can do to stop other motorists from speeding/using phones etc.

We are all individuals!

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
6 likes
brooksby wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

Cyclists aren't a collective, so there's very little "we" can do to get along as there is no "we". It's similar to asking what you can do to stop other motorists from speeding/using phones etc.

We are all individuals!

I'm not!

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Mad1580 replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
3 likes

I totally agree, a.though bearing in mind I was walking alone at 7:00 . Just trying to grab a 30 minute walk before getting back to care for my invalided husband.   I will take your kind advice, and thank you for your u derstanding. I hope my experience will help other users of this website to give their fellow cyclists a good reputation.  Thanks again

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andystow | 1 year ago
4 likes

"The cyclists take delight in zooming past pedestrians as close and as fast as possible."

This seems unlikely unless they're teenagers trying to impress their friends. Do you have some insight into their mental state that most people wouldn't, or do they laugh maniacally as they pass?

In any case, yes separation might help if the path is wide enough, and yes cyclists should ride relatively slowly around pedestrians and give them a wide berth, even if it means waiting to pass. The vast majority of us do so.

A map link to the path might help if you really want fruitful discussion.

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Mad1580 replied to andystow | 1 year ago
1 like

Hi there, your comment about cyclists  zooming past. 

If only they were just teenagers,but unfortunately not. And no I do not have insight into their mental state, just a knowledge of the hand signals they make when I ask them why they didn't warn me of their presence. I havnt put this thread on to cause disrespect,just to state facts as they are happening to me. The bruising g was not pleasant, very painful  and im not sure of your age, maybe you are not a teenager, so maybe you wouldn't like to find  that your Mum had been a collision with a cyclist who refused to warn me he was there and ran I to me!

The person who ran I to me was I  his 50's. All I heard behind me was " oh,oh,oh" then the impact.  This is all so disappointing. I was a cyclist who took, the Cycling Profficiency test while at school in the '50's.  We had to have a working bell to alert pedestrians. 

What's wrong with the cyclists then In our area who do cycle past really fast and as close as possible. 

 

 

 

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ktache replied to Mad1580 | 1 year ago
7 likes

It's very difficult to tell whether the pedestrian is the sort that appreciates a bell to be sounded or one that is deeply offended by it. It runs about 50:50.

On shared use paths I always try and stick to one side, mainly the left, wether a pedestrian or cyclist, and will try and check behind me if moving across.

Just like walking and cycling on a road.

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