CTC Forum - On the road

Syndicate content
Discussion boards hosted by CTC, the national cycling charity
Updated: 1 hour 50 min ago

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

27 June 2014 - 9:37am
Yes, ultimately, I agree with AlanInWales and it's up to the rider to give way, but it all works better with a bit of give and take to keep things moving.

Also, if we are talking about cycle paths and cycle lanes (as in part of the Original Post) then arguably the pedestrians should not behave like obstructive swines because they have footways nearby which we're not intended to use. Any obstructive walkers deliberately hijacking cycle paths/lanes really need to think about what they're doing - will it really make walking much nicer if cycling becomes so awful that some riders switch to motor vehicles? I think not.

I'd prefer people to walk on the right and above all to keep looking and listening and be aware of other users on roads and paths, but if they don't, I deal with it. Still beats driving IMO.

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

27 June 2014 - 9:35am
AlaninWales wrote:TBH I think all this "pedestrians should keep right/left" is beside the point. On a shared path, pedestrians will walk where they will (obviously deliberately blocking the path is anti-social). When cycling along shared paths, it's my responsibility as the vehicle operator to take any avoiding action necessary to be safe - whichever side they walk on (or even if they walk down the middle as many do). If this slows me unacceptably, then I will need to choose a different route/leave earlier etc.
+1

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

27 June 2014 - 9:22am
TBH I think all this "pedestrians should keep right/left" is beside the point. On a shared path, pedestrians will walk where they will (obviously deliberately blocking the path is anti-social). When cycling along shared paths, it's my responsibility as the vehicle operator to take any avoiding action necessary to be safe - whichever side they walk on (or even if they walk down the middle as many do). If this slows me unacceptably, then I will need to choose a different route/leave earlier etc.

Re: Nice lady,

27 June 2014 - 7:03am
661-Pete wrote:
There is the general feeling in our (quiet, residential) area, that there are far too many L-drivers anyway. Not just from us, I've heard such comments from our neighbours too. We live on a corner and have a continual stream of cars rolling up to do the 'reverse-around-a-corner' trick, noisily revving up and spewing exhaust fumes into our garden in the process. Yes it does get tedious, when it's been going on (in our case) for the past 30 years.

That must be incredibly annoying. I've heard of this happening to other people too - where people live on a road that happens to be good for students to learn some sort of basic/specific skill. Now, is there not some sort of way to talk to these pesky driving instructors and appeal to them to stop having lessons in the same place all the time, or at least try to vary the location of lessons? Or am I dreaming?

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

27 June 2014 - 12:12am
Edinburgh's paths stand accused of manufactured conflict by many articles like http://mccraw.co.uk/barnton-cycle-path- ... -conflict/ - not having ridden them myself, I'm wary of taking them as examples of good practice.

Not having ridden the paths yourself, you probably wouldn't realize that the Barnton path referred to is not actually a connected part of the main network. Compared to the the main part, this section features a relatively high speed descent from a road into a short 200m semi-rural section which sees relatively little pedestrian traffic. Compared to the main section, which is flat and features a high level of people on foot and no hills(being ex railway), this is highly atypical. So quoting Dave's blog (who I know well,) doesn't really convince me as an argument. I''me not really sure what the installation of these gated chicanes have to do with this discussion.

edit: more to the point. Yes,these paths in general are indeed a potential source of pedestrian/cyclist conflict. That is why I'm suggesting that there is a preferable way of using them.-based on my experience of both walking & riding them every day.

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 11:34pm
Your safety is simply not endangered by cyclists in the same way that it is by motorists.
The speeds are inherently lower, the mass vastly so.

As a cyclist I can happily slow behind someone who is walking away from me, and wait for some time until an overtaking opportunity approaches. If the pedestrian is walking towards me then I MUST either stop (and force them to stop) or overtake in the time it takes us to converge.
And as I'm approaching there is a tendency for the pedestrian to try and move out of the path of the vehicle he can see - that would be inevitably into the path of the vehicle he can't see/hear coming from behind.

The road doesn't function well for pedestrians, I think we can probably all agree on that. But one of the reasons for that is the ridiculous discrepancy in mass and energy between a pedestrian and a motor-vehicle. That issue simply doesn't exist on a shared use facility (here I am assuming away from other traffic).

If the path is narrow enough for this to be an issue at all then having half the people stay right whilst the other half stay left is a recipe for, at least, serious inconvenience to all. If everyone stays to the left (which, aside from on water, is the convention in this country) then the paths are a much easier place to navigate - overtaking can be done by the normal methods, rather than by everyone coming to a standstill.

Of course sensible width paths would be preferable - and looking at the blog post (although not yet the videos) I'd be visiting with a bunch of lads to move the stones into the fenced cage.

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 9:02pm
[XAP]Bob wrote:The HC does suggest that "stay right" is to allow peds on a shared use highway to see the motorised traffic approaching for their own safety. Without the huge discrepancy in mass and velocity that logic is no longer needed - so revert to the default "keep left"
To be fair it mentions oncoming traffic I cannae see any suggestion of 'motorised'. There has never been a default "keep left" for pedestrians to revert to. The convention that pedestrians should keep right not only predated motorised traffic but it predated the convention of left driving vehicles. It is likely that the Highway code rule originally just described the existing convention rather than any conscious attempt to improve safety. My pedantry aside, I'm sure you are right in saying that it has been left in the Highway code because it does improve pedestrian safety. Given the narrow widths, poor sightlines and pinch points of many uk cycle paths and the poor standards of cycling I witness on a regular basis both through a lack of competence and a lack of patience I cannot share your faith that I do not need to be able to see the non-motorised traffic approaching for my own safety.

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 7:49pm
7mph? I rarely limit myself to two wheel, but I can still do 2-3 happily.

The difference between doing 2mph and being stopped is huge - if HGBs drove on the right and everyone else on the left we'd have chaos.

The HC does suggest that "stay right" is to allow peds on a shared use highway to see the motorised traffic approaching for their own safety. Without the huge discrepancy in mass and velocity that logic is no longer needed - so revert to the default "keep left"

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 7:14pm
Ellieb wrote:I'm a bit disturbed at the number of people who find it difficult to ride at walking speed.......
I'm sorry to hear that. It's been established for years in things like LTN 2/08 Cycle Infrastructure Design page 16 which says "At low speeds, cyclists are prone to wobble and deviate from a straight line" and suggests 7mph as the cut-off. (That book goes downhill after that ) How many people walk at 7mph?
However, in practice you often don't have to. If you have any sense of anticipation at all you can slow up behind the pedestrian and wait for the gap to appear. If you are able to go at, say 6mph, you will have a closing speed of 3mph or less and therefore plenty of time. If you are going towards the Ped, the closing seed is 9mph = less time to decide what to do.
But in practice, still plenty of time if everyone's being considerate. See the video I linked earlier (post at the top of this page atm).
The answer, quite simply is that overtaking on a cyclepath is completely different to doing so in a car on the road. For a start, you are suggesting that two people in the same 'lane' should be going in opposite directions, if this happened on the road, tell me what the result would be.
(Emphasis mine.) It does happen on the road, every time someone walks along a road without a footway and follow Highway Code Rule 2. People can cope with this. It's the safest possible approach for all involved.

Edinburgh's paths stand accused of manufactured conflict by many articles like http://mccraw.co.uk/barnton-cycle-path- ... -conflict/ - not having ridden them myself, I'm wary of taking them as examples of good practice.

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 6:24pm
All I can say is that I live next to a very busy cycle path which I use every day. (The North Edinburgh path) My daily experience of using this path, when you might easily have over a dozen walkers/cyclist in sight during the rush hour, is that most walkers keep left, and I find it much, much easier when they do. Everyone else using the path, appears to find it the same, there are far more problems with an oncoming person on 'my' side of the path than if we are all going in the same direction.
EDIT For the simple reason that you can slot in behind a walker, match your speed to theirs and then choose when to overtake. You simple cannot do that if you are heading towards each other.

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 6:19pm
Not overtakes but vehicle operators travelling in opposite directions still have to factor in each other's behaviour and even without the other vehicle a driver at the national speed limit is still approaching every static object and road hazard at a closing speed of 60. The eyes and brain which are used to make those judgements are the same ones which allegedly have so much trouble with the jump from 6 to 9. If the road comparison isn't close enough for you how about two walkers (closing speed 6mp) or joggers (10mph) on a pavement. Do we really think that the latter situation is significantly harder for humans to judge? Also, if cycling at walking pace is no problem, couldn't the 6mph cyclist just slow to 3mph, neutralising the effect of the pedestrian's speed whilst still allowing the cyclist to pass more quickly than if the pedestrian was walking in the same direction?

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 6:04pm
The answer, quite simply is that overtaking on a cyclepath is completely different to doing so in a car on the road. For a start, you are suggesting that two people in the same 'lane' should be going in opposite directions, if this happened on the road, tell me what the result would be. If I was driving at 30, there was someone coming towards me at 15 mph on my side of the road, with someone on the other side doing 30 , do you think that would be a good idea or an easy situation to judge?

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 5:59pm
Ellieb wrote:I'm a bit disturbed at the number of people who find it difficult to ride at walking speed....... However, in practice you often don't have to. If you have any sense of anticipation at all you can slow up behind the pedestrian and wait for the gap to appear. If you are able to go at, say 6mph, you will have a closing speed of 3mph or less and therefore plenty of time. If you are going towards the Ped, the closing seed is 9mph = less time to decide what to do.
I'm glad you brought up the anticipation aspect that means you don't often have to stop or slow to walking pace. Now to put that extra 3mph into perspective we license car drivers with the (in my view unreasonable) expectation that they can make judgements with closing speeds of 120mph. Average urban road situations may involve closing speeds of 60mph and the utopian ideal 20mph speed limits produce closing speeds of 40mph. Now is it unsafe for humans to make judgements at speed or is 3mph really not significant?

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 5:53pm
I suggest that the walker doesn't come to a complete halt in the other case, but possibly both cyclists have to stop if they misjudge the timing, but that's a good thing for low-speed stability and therefore for safety.

So as a walker, I'm going along and a bike is coming straight towards me, which then stops in front of me. I then have to turn around, hope the bike coming the other way knows I'm going to step into the path, walk around the stopped bike and continue on my way. If there is another bike coming, I am going to have to guess whether he is going to stop, keep to his left or assume I'm going to move to my right.Alternatively. As a cyclist, I approach a walker. Move into the centre of the path, in the way of a bike coming the other way and stop dead.? Sorry, that isn't a sensible way to handle things on a busy cycle way. In fact it is a recipe for an accident. I can see if there isn't much in the way of foot/bike traffic it might work, but if you have half a dozen people involved it would just be chaos.

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 5:43pm
I'm a bit disturbed at the number of people who find it difficult to ride at walking speed....... However, in practice you often don't have to. If you have any sense of anticipation at all you can slow up behind the pedestrian and wait for the gap to appear. If you are able to go at, say 6mph, you will have a closing speed of 3mph or less and therefore plenty of time. If you are going towards the Ped, the closing seed is 9mph = less time to decide what to do.

Re: Another cyclist killed by lorry in London

26 June 2014 - 5:27pm
I haven't really got a clue what my licence covers me to drive, but as long as it includes a car it'll do. When is a licence deemed to be issued? I passed my test in 1976, had paper licences issued in 1976 and 1994, and now have a photocard which runs from 2005 to 2015. On the back of the photocard the list of categories all run from 1976 to 2028. The biggest things I've ever driven are a Bedford CF, and a CF Luton.

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 5:22pm
mjr wrote:Sadly not true. All the other usual path dangers are still there: out of control animals, unsafe hedgecutting, roadworks being undertaken without proper signage, motor vehicles used by various maintenance and utility providers...
Can't say I have any issues with any of them. Even cyclists in the main aren't an issue - most are courteous. But sadly like everything there are a few.

I've been jogging along on the right side of a path (in excess of 12 feet wide) only to have a cyclist shoot past in the 18 inches to my right shouting "keep left". Sadly I didn't see or hear him coming otherwise he'd have ended up in the bushes after colliding with my arm.

One guy I did see coming shot around a blind bend on a narrow footpath with no chance of avoiding me or stopping. I managed to sidestep and simultaneously smack the top of his head with my hand - he was wearing a helmet although it somehow managed to leave his head and land on the floor next to me. He shouted abuse from about 20m away but made no attempt to come and collect his helmet.

Several times I've had groups of cyclists barrel along the full width of a path whilst heading towards me and show no signs of moving over, although in these cases simply holding one's arms out is usually enough to force them to slow down and bunch up.

It's not rocket science, if you can't share a path then don't use a shared path.

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 5:12pm
kwackers wrote:Pedestrians are only in any danger on shared paths if inconsiderate cyclists are present.
Sadly not true. All the other usual path dangers are still there: out of control animals, unsafe hedgecutting, roadworks being undertaken without proper warning signage, motor vehicles used by various maintenance and utility providers... these are a few of the other dangers I've faced over the years. Actually, I was behind a maintenance truck today and it did a left turn at a T junction between paths, no indicators - but at least it was moving slowly, slower than cycles.

Inconsiderate riders are actually a fairly minor danger compared to the others: you'll probably hurt a cyclist too if you collide, so they're usually interested in not picking that fight... but if too many people walk like prats, they might not get where they're going efficiently, give up and use a car instead and cars still kill far far far more walkers than cyclists... so hey, everyone keep looking around, keep it all moving along and it's nice to be nice, eh?

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 5:03pm
[XAP]Bob wrote:The point being that someone has to come to a complete halt, and probably more than one person (the cyclist and pedestrian in this example. If pedestrians and cyclists (who are similar massed objects, travelling at relatively low speeds) both keep to the left then no-one needs to come to a complete halt - the cyclist (assuming they are the faster moving party) can simply slow behind the pedestrian until it is safe to overtake.
As Bicycler explained a few posts ago, this is far worse because it's rather difficult to ride at a slow walking speed, while the walker knows nothing about a conflicting cyclist approaching and misjudging it until it's too late - it only takes one person to get it wrong, compared to two if people walk on the right.

I suggest that the walker doesn't come to a complete halt in the other case, but possibly both cyclists have to stop if they misjudge the timing, but that's a good thing for low-speed stability and therefore for safety.
Moreover the pedestrian could easily see the oncoming cyclist and step across out of their way - only to get hit from the rear.
Only if all three are idiots - the walker is an idiot for moving left without looking, the oncoming rider is an idiot and doesn't overtake correctly and the rider approaching from behind the walker is an idiot and neither rings a bell nor slows for the congestion - and in a situation with that many idiots, there's not much rules will do to avoid a collision and all bets are off!
Source for that claim, please! And again, should walkers bow to Mr Toad while in the hedge or should Mr Toad be prosecuted for some driving offence?
On the road the advice allows the pedestrian to be aware of oncoming vehicles - that allows all sorts of things - less surprise is one, and the ability to get out of the way of an illegally driven vehicle is one other.
Is that your opinion or is that why it was put in the highway code?

And why doesn't that same logic apply to shared paths? Would you prefer walkers to be surprised by cycles on shared paths more often and less able to get out of the way of wanton and furious cyclists?

Re: Hello and a question about cycle path etiquette

26 June 2014 - 4:56pm
Pedestrians are only in any danger on shared paths if inconsiderate cyclists are present.

Archive

  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Carol McKinley (Acting)
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

 

Terms and Conditions