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'Stop SMIDSY' campaign sparks pedestrian vs cyclist debate

How cyclists feel about drivers is how pedestrians feel about us, it seems

It’s a given that cyclists feel threatened by the behaviour of some drivers – understandably so, given their vulnerability when faced with half a tonne of metal box being driven by someone who may not even have registered their presence – but it seems that pedestrians increasingly feel the same way about those of us on two wheels.

The issue has generated a lot of traffic on the social networking site Twitter, when user @LDN tweeted about the CTC’s “Stop SMIDSY” campaign, urging fellow users to report bad drivers. What @LDN probably didn’t anticipate was the heated response that ensued from pedestrians complaining about cyclists’ behaviour, with riding on the pavement top of the list of concerns.

That, of course, is an issue that has been very much in the spotlight in recent weeks, whether through MP David Curry’s remarks before a House of Commons committee, or through initiatives on the part of police forces in various parts of the country to clamp down on so-called anti-social cycling often at the request of local communities who cite anti social cyclists, usually riding on the pavements, as one of their chief concerns.

The debate has prompted one reader, blogger London Cyclist, to write a post about the issue called ‘Can we share the road in London?’ and he tells us that it is clearly a topic that people are interested in, given that his post has received hundreds of views and many comments.

The essential issue is, at a time when we as cyclists are seeking to gain greater protection for ourselves through initiatives such as the 3 feet rule petition, are the actions of a minority  damaging our case?

What do you think?

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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