Pavement Cycling

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Just Zis Guy, Jun 14, 2003.

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  1. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    I've been on my soap box again...

    <http://www.chapmancentral.com/Web/public.nsf/Documents/Pavement_Cycling>

    ======================================================================

    Cyclists have been known to ride on the pavement and this occasionally brings them into conflict
    with pedestrians. This conflict has been known to cause injury and even, in very rare cases, death.
    Pavement cycling is therefore another of the motorist's list of cyclist infractions, used to
    self-justify a lack of care towards cyclists on the road.

    So let's have a look at pavement cycling and the real danger it poses, starting by quantifying how
    dangerous bikes are to pedestrians.

    Per mile travelled a car driver is five times as likely to injure or kill a pedestrian as a cyclist
    (RAGB). And over half of all car mileage is on major roads which have negligible levels of
    pedestrian traffic, so the real level of danger per unit exposure is probably more like ten times
    that of cycling. Now factor in the fact that annual UK bike mileage is about 1% of the mileage for
    cars (Transtat - caution, sampling errors).

    Putting it in perspective, then, cyclists pose some danger to pedestrians, but it is at least two
    and probably nearer three orders of magnitude lower than that posed by cars. In statistical terms,
    allowing for sampling errors and the confidence levels of the figures, cyclist danger to pedestrians
    is negligible.

    OK, that's clearly unacceptable - we know it's dangerous because Common Sense tells us so. So let's
    look at the specific issue of cyclists on pavements. Here, surely, the figures show that there is
    dangerous and irresponsible behaviour going on. Beware the Cyclist Menace.

    Er, not quite. During the 3-year period 1998-2000 out of a total of 2,630 pedestrians killed on the
    roads, 185 were killed by vehicles on footways. Of these 185, one was killed by a bicycle and the
    remaining 184 were killed by motor vehicles. So you are nearly 200 times more likely to be killed on
    the pavement by a motor vehicle as by a bicycle. You are nearly 3,000 times more likely to die as a
    result of some other road traffic incident, such as a driver failing to yield right of way on a
    crossing. There are, in short, much bigger things to worry about.

    But surely Common Sense can't be wrong? Surely pavement cycling is a menace?

    Granted, it certainly has some nuisance value, and it does cause a degree of alarm particularly in
    older pedestrians who tend not to hear the bikes coming. But then, you have to ask yourself why the
    cyclists are on the pavement in the first place. What is it about the road which persuades cyclists
    to ride on the pavement, despite the attendant inconveniences of having to yield at every side
    turning, coming into conflict with pedestrians and street furniture and so on? What could be scaring
    these cyclists off the roads?

    It couldn't possibly be the way cars are driven, could it?

    Guy
    ===
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  2. Pavement cycling is like speeding. It is dangerous, unnecessary and is against the law. It is
    that simple.

    Obviously more resources need to be put into preventing more dangerous breaches of traffic law, but
    that does not and cannot justify pavement cycling.
     
  3. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jun 2003 19:11:37 +0100, "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Pavement cycling is like speeding. It is dangerous, unnecessary and is against the law. It is
    >that simple.

    Except when misguided councils paint a picture of a bicycle on the footway (which is the closest
    most of them have apparently come to a real bicycle). Or where the rider is a child.

    >Obviously more resources need to be put into preventing more dangerous breaches of traffic law, but
    >that does not and cannot justify pavement cycling.

    Sure. But as a motorists' pet peeve it scores fairly high on the "who do you think causes the
    problem in the first place" scale.

    Guy
    ===
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  4. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I've been on my soap box again...
    >
    > <http://www.chapmancentral.com/Web/public.nsf/Documents/Pavement_Cycling>
    >

    The argument against pavement cycling are, IMO, four-fold:

    1. Its illegal -- no dispute there except for small children.

    2. Its inconsiderate -- the pavement is for pedestrians. OK, cyclists may not kill and maim many
    pedestrians but that is not a sufficient reason to allow pavement cycling. The tradition in
    Britain is that cyclists are vehicles that belong on the road.

    3. It increases the danger to the cyclist. Counterintuitive maybe, but statistics bear out the
    contention that cyclists are at greater risk when cycling on an off road shared or single use
    roadside path -- so it seems likely the same applies to pavement cyclists. The reasons are
    clear -- the cyclist experiences many more 'junctions' off of the roadway than on it and these
    are the primary source of accidents.

    4. It is faster, safer, better and easier to cycle on the road. We can use the road AS OF RIGHT
    so it is foolish to allow cyclists to be driven off of the road by an unholy alliance between
    rude, ignorant and aggressive drivers and highway engineers for whom cycling is only ever an
    afterthought in any design -- 'oh shit, forgot them, paint the gutter green!!'

    A cyclist travelling at 12 mph (not, I think you will agree, an excessive speed (on the road)) is
    going about 4 times the speed of an average pedestrian and perhaps 6 to 8 times the speed of the
    frailer pavement users. On the road the same cyclist may travel at 15 mph -- in town, somewhere
    between 1/3 and 1.5 times the speed of the motorised traffic he is sharing the road with. Given that
    we are more compatible with motor vehicles than with little old ladies.

    T
     
  5. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > It couldn't possibly be the way cars are driven, could it?

    You are not safe in your own home from motor vehicles. A couple of weeks ago a milk tanker ended
    up embedded in a bungalow near to where a couple had been sitting a few moments earlier, the
    bungalow now needs demolishing. There are regular accounts of vehicles mounting pavements and
    killing and injuring people, I can recall 2 such events in Leicester resulting in death and I'm
    sure there are others I can't recall. I once tried to point this out on uk.tosspot but as is their
    way they denied such things occur and went back to admiring their pictures of a flat Earth held
    aloft by demons or whatever.

    However Guy, none of this mollifies me when some bozo whizzes past me on the pavement when the
    adjacent road is quite safe, I often feel like calling: "What's up, is the road broken?". And I can
    hopefully survive being struck by a bicycle, elderly people with osteoporosis might not.

    Pete
     
  6. "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Pavement cycling is like speeding. It is dangerous, unnecessary and is against the law. It is
    > that simple.
    >

    Not really, no. As Guy points out, it isn't illegal for children, and on sections of pavement
    designated as "shared use". There are also other areas, apart from pavement, designated for shared
    use such as canal towpaths and other off-road leisure routes. The fact that it is apparently
    considered by TPTB that cycles and peds can safely share these areas - and I think they are
    generally right - they can, provided appropriate care is taken by all concerned - means that there
    is no reason to assert that cycling on undesignated pavement is automatically and inevitably
    "dangerous".

    Although I don't do it, for various reasons mostly to do with my own convenience, it isn't always
    illegal, isn't necessarily dangerous (depends how it is done), and isn't always unnecessary either -
    on the rare occasions that I've done it for a short distance, it has been the only way of getting
    round an obstruction in the road. Ok I could have got off and pushed, but I think it would actually
    have been more inconvenient to any peds - a cyclist on a cycle occupies about the same width as a
    ped, a cyclist pushing a bike occupies about two body-widths of space with hard metal and oily bits
    sticking out from the side in places that are less noticeable for the fact that they are dismounted.

    I'm not justifying habitual pavement cycling - I think it's silly, mostly unnecessary, time wasting,
    anti-social and the like. But as for 'dangerous', yes, it can be, but it all depends on how and
    where and when.

    Rich
     
  7. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jun 2003 20:11:52 +0100, "Tony W" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >1. Its illegal -- no dispute there except for small children.

    Except where it's not, obviously :)

    >2. Its inconsiderate -- the pavement is for pedestrians. OK, cyclists may not kill and maim many
    > pedestrians but that is not a sufficient reason to allow pavement cycling. The tradition in
    > Britain is that cyclists are vehicles that belong on the road.

    And would probably be there is the cars hadn't intimidated them onto the pavement...

    >3. It increases the danger to the cyclist.

    Well-documented.

    >4. It is faster, safer, better and easier to cycle on the road. We can use the road AS OF RIGHT
    > so it is foolish to allow cyclists to be driven off of the road by an unholy alliance between
    > rude, ignorant and aggressive drivers and highway engineers for whom cycling is only ever an
    > afterthought in any design

    Which was pretty much my point :)

    Guy
    ===
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  8. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > >1. Its illegal -- no dispute there except for small children.
    >
    > Except where it's not, obviously :)

    Then it is not a pavement but a cycle 'track' (in Highway Engineer speak) or shared use. The trouble
    is that the terminally stupid seem to have problems telling a pavement from a cycle track or shared
    use path. Not really their fault -- after all they look much the same :(

    >
    > >2. Its inconsiderate -- the pavement is for pedestrians. OK, cyclists may not kill and maim
    > > many pedestrians but that is not a sufficient
    reason
    > >to allow pavement cycling. The tradition in Britain is that cyclists are vehicles that belong on
    > >the road.
    >
    > And would probably be there is the cars hadn't intimidated them onto the pavement...

    :( The solution is either to make the roads safer (better design, more
    considerate drivers, better enforcement) -- or the pavements more dangerous (machine gun nests up
    the street lamps??)
    >
    > >3. It increases the danger to the cyclist.
    >
    > Well-documented.

    Yes. I was being cautious.

    > >4. It is faster, safer, better and easier to cycle on the road. We
    can
    > >use the road AS OF RIGHT so it is foolish to allow cyclists to be driven
    off
    > >of the road by an unholy alliance between rude, ignorant and aggressive drivers and highway
    > >engineers for whom cycling is only ever an
    afterthought
    > >in any design
    >
    > Which was pretty much my point :)

    Yes.
     
  9. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Guest

    On Sat, 14 Jun 2003 19:55:53, Peter B <[email protected]> wrote:

    > And I can hopefully survive being struck by a bicycle, elderly people with osteoporosis
    > might not.

    I have been struck by a pavement cyclist. He fell down, I didn't. We both survived, but it wasn't
    particularly pleasant.

    regards, Ian SMith
    --
    |\ /| no .sig
    |o o|
    |/ \|
     
  10. Stephen \

    Stephen \ Guest

    "Nathaniel Porter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Pavement cycling is like speeding. It is dangerous, unnecessary and is against the law. It is
    > that simple.
    >
    > Obviously more resources need to be put into preventing more dangerous breaches of traffic law,
    > but that does not and cannot justify pavement cycling.
    >
    Not dangerous when I do it. It is necessary to get round obstructions, to avoid dangerous
    junctions/roads and when decent cycle paths aren't provided. It may well be illegal but that doesn't
    mean it's unjustified. A slow moving bike (at walking pace) poses no more threat to pedestrians when
    ridden courteously and with the intent to give way than pushing a bike or a wheelchair or a child on
    a bike - simple as that. I'd rather ride on the road of course as it's faster but there are simply
    some stretches on my commute where I feel much safer on the pavement, some sections where congestion
    forces me on to the pavement, some traffic lights I like to skip round and Hyde Park, which I like
    to go through rather than the awful road next to it. I've been stopped once in there by the police
    but if ever stoped and fined, whilst annoyed, I'd consider it a fair price for my safety with
    minimal to no risk to pedestrians.

    There's plenty of room for everyone but it's the idiots on the roads that spoil it for us (and other
    motorists) and the idiot cyclists (not the sensible ones) on the pavemets that spoil it for us
    there. We can all get along.
     
  11. Andymorris

    Andymorris Guest

    Ian Smith wrote:
    > On Sat, 14 Jun 2003 19:55:53, Peter B <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> And I can hopefully survive being struck by a bicycle, elderly people with osteoporosis
    >> might not.
    >
    > I have been struck by a pavement cyclist. He fell down, I didn't. We both survived, but it wasn't
    > particularly pleasant.
    >
    > regards, Ian SMith

    I once hit a jay walking pedestrian, he walked, I left on a stretcher, unconscious.

    Pedestrians (mis)perception of pavement cyclists is partly down the surprise they feel after being
    passed by a cyclist. The cyclist is in control of the bike, can estimate the speed and position of
    the ped and can pass fairly closely with very low risk, as born out by the stats.

    However the ped feels that the cyclist is barely in control (because the ped was last time they were
    on a bike) and experiences a heart stopping fright as the cyclist appears from nowhere, passes very
    close and then shoots off at speed

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this: Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
  12. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    "AndyMorris" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Pedestrians (mis)perception of pavement cyclists is partly down the
    surprise
    > they feel after being passed by a cyclist. The cyclist is in control of
    the
    > bike, can estimate the speed and position of the ped and can pass fairly closely with very low
    > risk, as born out by the stats.
    >
    > However the ped feels that the cyclist is barely in control (because the
    ped
    > was last time they were on a bike) and experiences a heart stopping fright as the cyclist appears
    > from nowhere, passes very close and then shoots off at speed

    IME peds wander all over the place at the best of times (me included on a ped only paths). Ally
    this to the fact they don't usually expect cyclists on the pavement, which as far as I'm concerned
    is the peds domain to wander about in, and you are bound to irritate or shock if not injure. Sure,
    I see loads of underused pavement where a slow and careful cyclist would not create a hazard but if
    you are going to leave it to cyclists to do the risk assesment then you may as well abolish speed
    limits and let motorists do likewise. I want motorists to respect my right to cycle on the road in
    safety so therefore must respect peds rights to safety on pavements.

    Pete
     
  13. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    In news:[email protected], AndyMorris <[email protected]> typed:
    >
    > Pedestrians (mis)perception of pavement cyclists is partly down the surprise they feel after being
    > passed by a cyclist. The cyclist is in control of the bike, can estimate the speed and position of
    > the ped and can pass fairly closely with very low risk, as born out by the stats.
    >
    > However the ped feels that the cyclist is barely in control (because the ped was last time they
    > were on a bike) and experiences a heart stopping fright as the cyclist appears from nowhere,
    > passes very close and then shoots off at speed

    You can substitute "cyclists" for "pedestrians" and "drivers" for "cyclists" and "car" for "bike" in
    the above and it remains equally valid.

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "All truth goes through three steps: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
    Finally, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer
     
  14. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Sun, 15 Jun 2003 06:08:58 +0000 (UTC) someone who may be "Peter B" <[email protected]>
    wrote this:-

    >IME peds wander all over the place at the best of times (me included on a ped only paths). Ally
    >this to the fact they don't usually expect cyclists on the pavement, which as far as I'm concerned
    >is the peds domain to wander about in, and you are bound to irritate or shock if not injure.

    They behave and react in this way on cycle paths, where the little blue signs with cycles on them
    might just give them a clue to expect cyclists.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  15. Ivor Cave

    Ivor Cave Guest

    David Hansen wrote:

    > They behave and react in this way on cycle paths, where the little blue signs with cycles on them
    > might just give them a clue to expect cyclists.
    >
    >
    > --
    > David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    > keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.

    I got sworn at by people walking their dogs in the park I cycle through on route to work. They are
    walking in the bike lane the clues are a white line and pictures of bikes on the tarmac :)

    Was also stopped by a policeman who told me to get on the road. I just told him its a cycle lane and
    carried on going. This bike lane passes a busy bus stop where the people just stand in the bike lane
    or worse still walk backwards into it.

    Ivor Cave
     
  16. Simon

    Simon Guest

    > Was also stopped by a policeman who told me to get on the road. I just told him its a cycle lane
    > and carried on going. This bike lane passes a busy bus stop where the people just stand in the
    > bike lane or worse still walk backwards into it.

    I've given up with shared paths. Unless they really are proper routes, I just stick to the road.

    Simonb
     
  17. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    In news:p[email protected], Ivor Cave <[email protected]> typed:
    >
    > They are walking in the bike lane the clues are a white line and pictures of bikes on the
    > tarmac :)
    >

    No, they are walking on the part of the pavement that bikes are permitted to use

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "All truth goes through three steps: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
    Finally, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer
     
  18. John B

    John B Guest

    Simon wrote:

    > > Was also stopped by a policeman who told me to get on the road. I just told him its a cycle lane
    > > and carried on going. This bike lane passes a busy bus stop where the people just stand in the
    > > bike lane or worse still walk backwards into it.
    >
    > I've given up with shared paths. Unless they really are proper routes, I just stick to the road.

    As do I.

    Riding home from the Winchester Bike Fair yesterday a van driver overtook yelling abuse and pointing
    that I should ride on the cycle path (shared use, poorly maintained, on opposite side of road, and
    facing traffic).

    Two miles later on another road (no cycle path) the same van driver came from the opposite direction
    with more obscenities being shouted.

    Didn't get the number, but County Landscapes will not get any business from
    me.

    John B
     
  19. Ivor Cave

    Ivor Cave Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    > No, they are walking on the part of the pavement that bikes are permitted to use
    >
    > Tony
    >

    I don't walk in the road and swear at cars that are trying to drive along the road. I use the
    pavement. These shared paths have a wide section for peds about a lane of a normal road. The cycle
    path is only enough for two cycles to pass. Why walk in it?

    Ivor Cave
     
  20. "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In news:p[email protected], Ivor Cave <[email protected]> typed:
    > >
    > > They are walking in the bike lane the clues are a white line and pictures of bikes on the
    > > tarmac :)
    > >
    >
    > No, they are walking on the part of the pavement that bikes are permitted
    to
    > use
    >

    Doesn't alter the fact that there are clues which indicate the possible presence of bikes on that
    part of the pavement, so they shouldn't be surprised if they find a cyclist there and ought to give
    reasonable consideration for the fact that is other, more suitable space for their exclusive use.
    For that matter they also walk in segrated bike lanes on the road, which clearly are "bike lanes"
    for bikes. To some peds though, it seems, anywhere where cars can't go is for them, irrespective of
    any concerns for their own safety or the danger or inconvenience it may pose for others.

    Rich
     
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