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Shared Use Paths

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by RPM, 9 Sep 2007.

  1. RPM

    RPM Well-Known Member

    When given a shared use path, with a cycle lane and pedestrian walkway, separated by a white line and with clear pedestrian/cycle markings, pedestrians will always, without exception, choose to walk in the marked cycle lane.

    I wonder why?

    there's some fantastic examples of this in London's parks and commons
    and a wonderful one in Sutton town centre (huge pavements and pedestrianised areas, with a tiny two lane cycle route through it, where all the peds congregate) green tarmac softer on the soles?

    Of course, we are all pedestrians once off the bike..
  2. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Yup, it seems to be human nature. Don't forget that the pedestrians are allowed to walk in the cycle lane as well as on "their" side, it's only us cyclists that are only allowed to ride in the cycle lane bit.
  3. RPM

    RPM Well-Known Member

    I know, but given the choice, it's the bike lane every time.
    Gotta love it
  4. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Not according to the HC, they aren't, strictly speaking:
    But of course, pedestrians can't be expected to adhere to any 'rules' at all, everyone becomes a pedestrian as soon as they're able to walk. We're not about to insist that toddlers stick to 'their side' now, are we?

    One reason why these paths should be avoided like the plague unless you really have no alternative. I use such a stretch on my commute: fortunately it's only about 20 yards distance. I have to, because it's an alley between houses, not alongside a highway, and it's on my direct route. I expect, and experience, just about anything from any pedestrians I happen to encounter. I slow to walking pace and make allowance. But that's a special case. In most situations - AVOID!
  5. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Not quite, Pete, there's no MUST if I'm not mistaken.
  6. piedwagtail91

    piedwagtail91 Über Member

    they're an accident waiting to happen , especially if you get some pratt with an extendable dog lead.:blush:
  7. bianco

    bianco New Member

    Talking about toddlers,

    I was going down a one way street on the way to my in laws this weekend, and this toddler stepped out in front of me.

    Didn't expect it as he was with his parents so had to hit the brakes hard, front wheel locked, so released front brake to stop skidding and went into a a wall and the drop on my drop bars punded me knee really hard and I haven't been able to cycle since.

    I've been cursing toddlers all weekend (I know it's the parents fault really) but I just think what if it had been a car.

    Back onto the point, peds should see us as vehicles, more than pedestrian with wheels, and they should see cycle-only lanes as that, not extended pathways.

    All this is perfect worldy though and is never going to happen, in fact in a perfect world everybody would travel from A to B on an eco friendly, effortless, safe as a bed, cheap as chips, fast as fast thing vehicle.

    Rant over
  8. Cunobelin

    Cunobelin Legendary Member

    It's because of the shoulders!

    Shoulders have a force like magnets that repel.

    A single person will have both shoulders repel from the sides and the person walks down the middle

    With two people they will walk so that they are equidistant between the edges, and from each other.

    Unfortunately there is no cure for this.
  9. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    I witness a LOT of cyclist vs pedestrian interactions in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Almost without exception the cyclists are speeding along and don't want to take the appropriate amount of care around pedestrians.

    That's not to say there aren't muppet pedestrians, but shared paths are a place to take care of others, not to make progress. If I want to go that fast, then I'll use the road.
  10. RPM

    RPM Well-Known Member

    I use them when I've had enough of the road on the odd occasion.

    it's silly to expect to be able to go fast, there's even signs saying "Cyclists, ride slowly and give way to pedestrians"

    which is what I do, because it's a park.

    there are some riders who seem to blast through a bit carelessly from what I've seen.
  11. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Totally, I use the greenway between Lower Sydenham and Catford because it's pretty, but I chill out and enjoy it.
  12. Road Fiddler

    Road Fiddler New Member

    I find sheared paths quite enjoyable, i find i become more focused on whats happening around me, i cycle at close to normal speed unless its busy, i sit up a bit more and get nice and relaxed, i cover the brakes and i give plenty of room and the best bit is i do nice long sweeping weaves around the peds.

    Adults are fairly predictable but the younger the person is and dog the more aware you need to be. I look for the most unpredictable person and dogs within the next group i am about to pass and give them most of my attention. As i pass i actually keep and eye on them until i know i am clear then put a little stamp on the pedals to give a little acceleration to clear the group so i can concentrate on the next group and on it goes. I ride as the conditions dictate the busyer it is the slower i ride.

    I am lucky though i dont ride any sheared paths that are in shopping areas, the two i mainly ride are both out of the city, one is used for a lot of leisure activities such as dog walking, walk with the family, runners, cyclists and there is even some chap that commutes to and from work on his blades. The other is mainly dominated by cyclists on the stretch i use but further into the city it becomes busyer with kids and dog walkers.
  13. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Thats the key point. We're on a shared use 'path', we have cycle 'paths', and where specific provision is made for bikes its usually squeezed in next to the pedestrians (i.e. in the gutter). We're treated like pedestrians, so many people see us as being like pedestrians. Hardly surprising they get shirty when we ring our bell because they're sprawled all over the cycle lane an the pedestrian side too.
  14. Cab

    Cab New Member

    While thats true, for these shared use paths to work you need consideration from everyone involved. Its all very well asking cyclists to be considerate, but if they're faced with pedestrians who will intentionally bar your way (and it happens; once or twice in Cambridge I've given up and overtaken on the grass, leading to yells of abuse from pedestrians looking for aggro and now deprived of it) or who just don't see why a cyclist might want past, then the system falls down every bit as much as if a cyclist is needlessly impatient.
  15. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Very true! I rarely see intentional obstruction from peds in the park though, it's usually the cyclists who're acting like impatient car drivers.

    Not all though, there's all the good cyclists who're rendered invisible by their good manners and consideration.