Attitudes to pedestrians need to change?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by HJ, 11 Apr 2010.

  1. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    Reading though the Sunday paper today I came across this (please read the whole thing before commenting), once I had read it all the way though, I saw that she has a point. There is a very real problem with the attitudes to pedestrians of some cyclist, they behave just as if they where driving cars, everyone else is expected to get out of their way. Sadly Ms Blythman suggest no solutions to this problem, but maybe, we as cyclist should.

    OK so part of the problem is over crowding due to the fact that our roads are often less than cycle friendly and people feeling forced to use off-road routes. However, there is also the issue of cycling be seen as primarily as a sport, so speed become more important, and this leads to rude and aggressive behaviour.

    How do we solve this problem? Make the roads more cycle friendly to relieve pressure on the off roads routes? Less aggressive and more friendly Dutch style bikes? Better education and training?
  2. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    I think it's quite easy for people to read London things into other areas. Funnily enough I've been told that sort of thing about that particular canal. If they are anything like other canals some of them I don't see how they can do the speed claimed, someone is going to end up in the canal.

    More generally us cyclists are quite funny because although we're a bit more aware having several different forms of transport we like to pretend that the sort of hatred and bickering doesn't go on in other groups - it does, we just pretend otherwise. The other thing is that I've observed that peds will often pick on what they perceive as the weakest cyclists and then rationalise it as them being hyper aggressive.

    For canal towpaths where there is a problem I don't think there will be a resolution. Cycling is very popular in some areas and they will naturally draw some people onto them.
  3. Apeman

    Apeman Über Member

    Good manners are something we are taught from an early age(well,some of us). These should be applied to all aspects of life but unfortunately this happens less and less these days. Cyclists can be forgiven(I hope) for getting a "bit cross" with some blind,arrogant and unforgiving motorists! However with pedestrains on towpaths and the like it has to be a case of sharing the space whether we like it or not! After all when you approach someone from behind on a towpath or whatever they will not hear you unless you make your presence felt by calling out and giving people time to move aside and thanking them as you pass! It is that simple! My wife and I were out on forest tracks and kept meeting horse riders on some competion. Each time a horse came in sight we stopped and let the rider pass and were thanked each time.Basic good manners will always be appreciated!
  4. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    P.S. I'm not just commenting for the hell of it, I did consider cycling the grand union into central London but decided against it.

    To an extent I can see why newbies would be attracted to it because once you decide to go off the main roads in that bit of london you get navigational problems which you don't get by the canal and once you get thinking about the canal there's not much traffic and no traffic lights.

    Can't see a resolution to it because the optical pictures when I considered going along it, space is pretty tight in places.
  5. Mark_Robson

    Mark_Robson Senior Member

    When I cycle on shared paths I am always aware of pedestrians and give them right of way even if that means stopping for them. That said, there are a minority of people on foot who for whatever reason will not compromise and then there is the dog walker with the ipod who is totally oblivious to everything going on around him.
    But cyclists need to be aware that pedestrians have right of way and behave accordingly.
    Maybe more signs might help to get the message across.
  6. GrasB

    GrasB Veteran

    Nr Cambridge
    You get 2 dynamically different forms of transport (cars, busses, lorries, pedestrians, cyclists, moped riders, etc.) in close proximity using the same space & there's conflict. This is just another example of the same old, same old with the use of emotive language to push the point home. I'd guess that there's another slightly different side of the story told by the cyclist which involves a pedestrian 'wandering all over the place'.

    The solution is social education for pedestrians, cyclists & motorists. People doing barely more than walking pace I don't feel should be on the roads but it's also inappropriate for a rider like my self to be cycling in close proximity to pedestrians at high speed. This means you have to educate the 3 groups on how to behave around each other & what's expected where.

    As for your "cycling being seen primarily as a sport" I think that's a big red hearing I've watched a man in a suit on a BSO town bike & a pedestrian nearly come to blows after the ped was asked to move out of the way (quite politely at first). Clearly the rider wasn't looking at it as a sport he was looking at it as a form of transport but just found the wrong person getting in his way. I think that also puts to rest the dutch style bikes as well.
  7. gaz

    gaz Cycle Camera TV

    South Croydon
    The cyclists that act like that towards pedestrians, probably act like monkeys around cyclists whilst in their car.

    There are d!cks in all lines of transportation. And the bad ones are far easier to remember than the good ones.
  8. OP

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    Just a quick clarification the was writing about Edinburgh, but am sure the same problem is found else where.
  9. mercurykev

    mercurykev Well-Known Member

    I agree, just because someone rides a bike doesn't meant that they are nice and courteous. I often encounter my local cycling club on my commute home and the group have atrocious road manners: RLJ, cycling on the pavement, filtering up the both sides of cars en mass... They do say that cycling is the new golf so maybe we're attracting more peanuts :tongue:

    I personally hate riding on shared paths and use the roads where ever possible. It's much faster, there are no dogs and best of all it makes you better at cycling in traffic - just need to remember to stay zen.
  10. mcshroom

    mcshroom Bionic Subsonic

    Egremont, Cumbria
    I hate to think how wound up that father would have been on my ride today. I went up the Whitehaven to Ennerdale C2C cycle path and I lost count of the number of times I had to slow down for pedestrians, dogs, pushchairs, horses and just about anything else.

    In my case though I expected it to be busy, and instead of getting wound up I enjoyed just being pleasant, saying hello and thank you and commenting on the weather and looking around at the scenery.The speed could wait for the road section.

    What some people seem to forget is that pedestrians are allowed to be there, and getting angry and shouting at them is going to ruin their walk, your ride, and probably make them less likely to let you through.

    On a different note, it was really nice to see lots of people, especially children, out on bikes today. The sun seems to have brought them all out and hopefully at least some of them will carry on riding. :tongue:
  11. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    An easy mistake to make due to the word "chav" being included in the text.:tongue:

    I think it is just a problem we may have to deal with in the overcrowded UK.;) As a pedestrian it could get quite irritating having to frequently break stride and move aside to allow cyclist to pass, It certainly spoils a good walk. I can understand why some peds may become a bit bolshie.
  12. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Apologies, I've not heard the union canal in Edinburgh. What's that like then?

    Bits of it look like there's a lot of space to play with, other bits look pretty tight. On paper looks a lot more pleasant than many canals here with all those trees.

    Can't say I've hardly ever even seen a ped on the canals I've been on. You'd need a MTB/tourer/city bike to do many of them it was so variable and rough.
  13. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    No need for apologies, it's all quite confusing.:tongue:
    The Forth & Clyde canal links the Firths of Forth and Clyde and passes through Falkirk. There is a junction at Falkirk with the Union Canal which extends along to Edinburgh.(I think!)
    I have cycled most of the Forth & Clyde, and enjoyed the experience but could see the potential for conflict during busy periods. The surface was quite acceptable for my laden tourer.
  14. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Cycling in Blackburn at night:

  15. OP

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    Yes, No need for apologies :laugh:

    And Yes the Union Canal meets the Forth & Clyde Canal at Falkirk where there is now a big wheel joining to two. The Union Canal starts (or ends) in the centre of Edinburgh, it is very popular with both pedestrians and cyclists. The length of the tow path inwith the city has been tarmaced, and outwith the city the surface is over a fairly high standard overall, but it is narrow for most of it length.

    But there is a bigger issue here, if cycling is to become main stream then cyclists have to break out of their current sub culture mentality. Cycling on shared paths (and share road space) should be Dull, Not an Extreme Sport, sadly not a message some want to hear.
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