Campaign for cyclists' rights: riding on pavement

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by generalxue, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. generalxue

    generalxue New Member

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    Ok, here it is:

    I know I'm not the only one who rides my bike on the pavement and is fed up with people shouting at me in the street. I used to feel guilty for riding on the pavement, but now I have changed my mind. I got hit by a car pulling out of a car park, at slow speed, and it buckled my wheel and badly hurt my leg. That's at about 5mph - imagine what would have happened had the car been doing 30mph! We all know the answer to that. I saw a boy get hospitalised outside my house when he was knocked off his bike.

    So, nowadays, I take the pavement as the place to ride, and when people shout at me, I ask them politely if they have ever been hit by a car..

    As far as I'm concerned, it contradicts my rights to be forced (by the law) to ride in the road, and that includes those ridiculous 'cycle lanes' which are just lines painted by the side of the road (How do they make any difference?). It contradicts my right to a safe journey, and to keep myself alive.

    People say that is dangerous to pedestrians to ride on the pavement. Fair enough, it can be dangerous if some nutter runs over your little kid, but how many people have been killed (or even seriously injured) by a bike on the pavement. Not many, I should think, whereas the death toll for cyclists on the road is much higher.

    Therefore, it makes no sense that cyclists should have to be shoved into the road and even fined for simply doing what is right (riding where the least death can be caused).

    I propose that the law be changed so that cyclists are allowed to ride on the pavement wherever there is one, unless, in the same road, there is a cycle lane that is separate from the road.

    Thank you for listening,

    Dean Wybrow


    If you agree with what I have said, post a reply and/or sen me an email ([email protected]) and let me know, and perhaps we can get the law changed. It is possible! If we get enough people, I should be able to organise a protest or something.

    Please feel free to use what I have written in a letter to your local MP or to a newspaper, just put it in quotation marks and put my name after it. Thanks.

    Please join the fight for your rights. This affects you all. You do not want to wake up one day under the wheels of car..
     
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  2. rek

    rek New Member

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    I understand your point of view (I'm guessing that the area in which you live is not very cyclist-friendly), but it's specious to consider footpaths as a safe-haven for domestic cycling. (There have been a few papers written about this subject, a summary of a couple of them is available here )

    The typical pavement/sidewalk is one of the most hazardous places to ride a bicycle (at anything over walking pace, anyway.)

    You simply can't anticipate might be ahead of you for anything more than a second in advance; pedestrians, backing out vehicles, etc. can (and will) come out of nowhere with little to no warning. They simply don't expect bicycles to go whizzing past at 20+ kph. At least on the road, you have the full entitlements as a vehicle, and a well defined set of rules and regulations that all follow, to keep things predictable.

    The painted cycle lanes on the road do have their drawbacks, but they are at least a clearly marked area in which bicycle traffic is to be expected.. and car drivers are used to having lines marking lane boundaries
     
  3. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    IMO, you are off base.Sidewalks are for kiddies on tricycles.
     
  4. TeleJohn

    TeleJohn New Member

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    He's full of ****.
     
  5. juliebeanpie

    juliebeanpie New Member

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    Too bad you're not pushing for bike paths instead. We have many in my town, and except for where they intersect roads, it's just you and other cyclists. I know how you feel, I have been hit as well. But boudreaux is right, you should not ride your bike down the sidewalk. People are not expecting you there. As for saftey on the road, try getting an airhorn. They are the size and shape of a water bottle, fit into your bottle cage, and people inside cars will hear it CLEARLY. We gave one to our elderly neighbor after he got hit, and he loves it.
     
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