keep left on shared paths

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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby russellgarrard » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:03 pm

stryker84 wrote:(and in someone's previous example, if you drop something, it's not oncoming traffic's duty to avoid you, it's yours for causing an obstruction, albeit accidentally), and I just ignore bikes coming up behind, since even the most idiotic of bike path speed maniacs should be able to avoid a person walking in a straight line in their way.


Again, he was coming up from BEHIND me...irony? If I didn't pick up or snatch for what I was about to drop...he would of hit it and gone arse up anyway!
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby sogood » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:10 pm

m@ wrote:... on a shared path might be 30, 40 or 50% that of the cyclist.

That's far too optimistic. On Anzac Br shared path, it's easy to hit 40-50km/h on the down section and pedestrians will be walking at 4-6km/h unless they pick up a jog. Even at 30km/h for the cyclist, the speed differential is easily 5:1.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby il padrone » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:44 pm

Maybe we need it done like this

Image

However our shared use paths are rarely built anywhere like wide enough. In Melbourne many of our shared use paths have pretty clear symbols indicating what is good practice (what most cyclists expect)

(US picture, reverse it for what Melb has)
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby zero » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:51 am

brentono wrote:
Oxford wrote:just what we need even more confusion than we have already. the reason you walk against the flow of cars is only when there is no path way to use that would reasonably separate you safely.

the only conclusion I can make from this thread is that there is a distinct lack of education and compliance with current requirements out there.


As with most topics, here, this has been covered before.
I am with you all the way here Oxford, and as I have pointed out previously.

It was shown/instructed on every child's text book at my school...

On roads without a footpath (and shared paths) pedestrians may be advised to walk on the right

You face the traffic (pedestrians), you can see what is coming,
and when mixed with cyclists on shared paths, there can be no confusion,
and definately would decrease accidents, if this "simple rule" was followed.
(also you will not be snuck up on, by a speeding cyclists, from the rear,
and out of reaction, jump into their path, OK)

It's just common sense
(which means it will probably would be very difficult to implement these days)


Often, when not riding, I walk on shared paths, in this manner, and have never had
any problems with cyclists I have encountered. Just makes sense, TOO Much sense. :wink:
Just my 2cents worth
:mrgreen:


This is the dumbest thing I've ever read on this subject and had I not been able to halt altogether, I would have been bumped clear onto the western distributor by a walker like you.

Bicycles approach from both directions, if you face the traffic, the bicycle riders WILL expect you to get OUT of their lane (as they are obliged to keep left legally), and when you do, you will simply step into the path of another bicycle coming from behind - it doesn't matter which lane you stand in, there will be bicycles coming from behind. Facing traffic works for pedestrians on the road, because the expectation is the pedestrian will vacate the roadway altogether on approach of oncoming traffic -which is commonly impossible on shared paths, because they have fences / bridge abutments / roads other obstacles on both sides. The only place you can go is into the other lane. It doesn't work.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby blkmcs » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:04 pm

zero wrote:...This is the dumbest thing I've ever read on this subject and had I not been able to halt altogether, I would have been bumped clear onto the western distributor by a walker like you.

Bicycles approach from both directions, if you face the traffic, the bicycle riders WILL expect you to get OUT of their lane (as they are obliged to keep left legally), and when you do, you will simply step into the path of another bicycle coming from behind - it doesn't matter which lane you stand in, there will be bicycles coming from behind. Facing traffic works for pedestrians on the road, because the expectation is the pedestrian will vacate the roadway altogether on approach of oncoming traffic -which is commonly impossible on shared paths, because they have fences / bridge abutments / roads other obstacles on both sides. The only place you can go is into the other lane. It doesn't work.

Have you given any thought to what you just posted?
As a cyclist you must pull out to overtake a pedestrian that is in the same lane as you whether that pedestrian is walking towards you or in the same direction as you. The pedestrian should never have to change lanes, if passing the pedestrian is not a safe option then you must give way even if that means coming to a complete stop.
It will take the same amount of space to pass them whether they are facing you or have their back to you.
When I am a pedestrian I feel much safer walking on the left where I can see oncoming cyclists.
When I am a cyclist it doesn't bother me which side pedestrians use.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby sogood » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:27 pm

Problem is, without proper rule, people will walk, run, scoot, ride on both sides and take up the whole lane causing confusion and frontal collisions. Everyone keep left (or right) is a rule that clearly makes both safety and efficiency sense. Really don't see the point of further discussions.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby il padrone » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:35 pm

blkmcs wrote:As a cyclist you must pull out to overtake a pedestrian that is in the same lane as you whether that pedestrian is walking towards you or in the same direction as you. The pedestrian should never have to change lanes, if passing the pedestrian is not a safe option then you must give way even if that means coming to a complete stop.

Yes, that is the general principle, and the way the overtaking rules work on the road. Most cyclists can cope with this concept, whether as cyclists or as drivers. I know I certainly can.

blkmcs wrote:When I am a cyclist it doesn't bother me which side pedestrians use.

When I am cycling I do not want some pedestrian, walking in my direction on the right, going and blindly stepping in front of me to avoid an oncoming cyclist.

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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby BigPete » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:09 pm

Very interesting to see how some people validate their reasoning of their views then go and contradict themselves further on. Others are of the view that 'the rules are the rules' and if everyone followed them there would be no problem. Unfortunately we don't live in utopia, hence my original statement that pedestrians face cyclists on shared pathways.
As for pedestrians and vehicular traffic on roads where there are no separate footpaths for pedestrians, where pedestrians face the traffic, the same should apply on shared pathways. A bike is a vehicle and the pedestrians don’t have a separate path. So why have different rules?
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Oxford » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:23 pm

BigPete wrote:Very interesting to see how some people validate their reasoning of their views then go and contradict themselves further on. Others are of the view that 'the rules are the rules' and if everyone followed them there would be no problem. Unfortunately we don't live in utopia, hence my original statement that pedestrians face cyclists on shared pathways.
As for pedestrians and vehicular traffic on roads where there are no separate footpaths for pedestrians, where pedestrians face the traffic, the same should apply on shared pathways. A bike is a vehicle and the pedestrians don’t have a separate path. So why have different rules?
pedestrians facing traffic on a road where there is not a foot path is not a rule, it is a suggestion.

basically it goes like this, if a motorist falls asleep in their vehicle, it still proceeds and often on the road and sometimes not, but it is a danger to those around, check that video of the cop in the hunter valley catching that woman micro sleeping. however should you micro sleep on your bike you are more danger to yourself than any pedestrian as you will fall off very quick. that is why it is suggested pedestrians face traffic, cars will continue depsite the drivers lack of attention, so pedestrians need to be alert. it makes no sense on a pathway as it is usually the cyclist being alert and the pedestrian not. and since many bikes are very quiet it is highly likely the pedestrian will just step sideways into the path of a bike coming the other way.

sogood said it best:
sogood wrote:Problem is, without proper rule, people will walk, run, scoot, ride on both sides and take up the whole lane causing confusion and frontal collisions. Everyone keep left (or right) is a rule that clearly makes both safety and efficiency sense. Really don't see the point of further discussions.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby human909 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:27 pm

I don't really care as long a pedestrians act predictably. Have a look at road traffic overseas in places like vietnam. Pedestrians, bikes, motorbike, cars & bus all using the road in a seemingly random fashion. As long as you don't dart in front of other vehicles your should be fine.

It is a pity that some pedestrians in Australia don't get this concept. Most however are fine. Personally though it just makes sense, keep left whenever you are using road infrastructure.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby brentono » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:32 pm

BigPete,
I understood were you were coming from, right from the get-go.
Your new here, on the forum, and you will soon see, that logic might not cut it here.

I agree with you, "pedestrians face cyclists on shared pathways"... it seems too obvious. 8)

And your original point (as many here may realise, if they did it) in a car, or on a bike,
you said "dark dressed pedestrians on dimly lit, wet paths" ... and the point for the others is (!)
if they were facing you, you would see the reflection off their faces,
as against the darkness of the REAR, as you run into them... (as the opposition/others propose)

It's just common sense
(which means it will probably would be very difficult to implement these days)

... my earlier statement still stands :roll:
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby il padrone » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:35 pm

BigPete wrote:As for pedestrians and vehicular traffic on roads where there are no separate footpaths for pedestrians, where pedestrians face the traffic, the same should apply on shared pathways. A bike is a vehicle and the pedestrians don’t have a separate path. So why have different rules?

Very different situations. Pedestrians are users of shared use paths. Bikes are the 'guests' on shared paths. Cyclists, legally, must at all times yield to pedestrians no matter where they choose to walk.

On roads with no footpath pedestrians are to walk on the shoulder rather than the road pavement, and are expected to keep to the left, or right, as the case may be. There is no requirement for pedestrians to walk towards oncoming traffic.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby brentono » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:45 pm

There is no requirement for pedestrians to walk towards oncoming traffic.


No, It's just common sense :wink:

If, and it's a BIG "IF" ... we COULD make it a requirement, and educate the public, accordingly
(as they did here 40 years ago)... it may be helpful, and solve any confusion.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby BigPete » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:10 pm

brentono, I have quickly learnt there is not necessarily logic to many statements made, but that is how a free country operates.
As for rules:-
In Queensland it is a rule that pedestrians face traffic where no footpath is available, but only when they are going forward. So I guess if you walk backwards the rule does not apply (sections 238 part 2).
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby RosscoG » Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:49 pm

This is all very amusing. I do not know which is better, correct, law, etc.... but.
I opened this thread for a look as this happened to me today and I don't know if I have ever seen it or realized before. I knew of the walk to oncoming theory/rule but only that it applied in some limited situations regarding a road with cars and no shoulder/footpath. I would never expect it in on a shared path.
To me, I find it very disconcerting with people walking toward me on a bike. It is confusing and creates that last second decision to disaster, hesitant kind of situation.
Have they just wandered to their right, walking on the right, or just not caring/concentrating at all?

Q. If two peds are coming toward you on either side of the road, do you assume that one is walking to oncoming and the other is going with the flow and just dive right through between them? even if they are holding hands? ;) *sarcasm/satire*

Situation today. Bike path (actually dedicated bike only so this doesn't really count, just an example), came over a crest and there was a sporty runner type walking towards me on "my side" clearly looking right at me. I slowed to watch what he was going to do and then moved right to ride around him as he was very set on his line. 20m further and another one stepped out from behind a pylon to walk on his left side past me and then ducked over and walked on his right side past the bike behind me!???

Everyone I normally pass walking on a shared path here, Brisbane walks with the flow and generally holds their line if you call "passing right" or "on your right".
I had no idea there was any confusion or inconsistency at all?
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby wombatK » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:42 pm

BigPete wrote:What is the difference between pedestrians on a road to pedestrians on a bike path? .

Firstly, to be pedantic, it is illegal for a pedestrian to walk along a road where a footpath is provided unless it is impractical to do so. The rules relating to how a pedestrian should do are meant to apply in where there isn't a footpath and are really trying to make the best of what is fundamentally a bad and unsafe situation.

It is not illegal for a pedestrian to walk on a shared bicycle path. So, at least officially, we are not trying to make the best of a bad and unsafe situation. Looking at some arithmetic will show why...

Pedestrian walks towards car at 5 kph, car moves at 50 kph. Closing speed is 55 kph. If pedestrian is walking in same direction as car, closing speed is 45 kph. Car ways 1500 kg or more, so there's a huge force in a collision even at 45 kph. It might be 20% less than at 55 kph, but pedestrian still gets killed.

If pedestrian walks towards car, he may have some small chance of taking avoidance action. Whatever very slim chance the pedestrian might have is better than nothing, so that tips the balance in favour of the legal requirement to walk towards the traffic.

For a cyclist moving at say 25 kph, closing speed is 30 kph v's 20 kph. That's a 30% difference in the forces involved in any collision. Cyclist and bicycle ways less than 120 kg, and with the lower speed & masses involved, there is much better chance the pedestrian would survive the collision at 20 kph. The chances are even better against less capable cyclists. And things get much worse for the pedestrian if they are one of the running species traveling at 15 kph towards a cyclist v's 15 kph away from the cyclist.

So it makes no sense to advise the pedestrian to give himself a 30% or more greater chance of injury by walking or running towards the cyclist.

My experience with pedestrians walking towards me on the right of shared paths is that they are much harder to deal with - you don't know whether they will jump left, right or freeze where they are, whereas those who walk on the left never jump right i.e. will move left off the path, or at least freeze.

Any campaign to suggest to pedestrians that they walk or run on the right of shared paths will only introduce greater uncertainty and confusion, and will be detrimental to everyone's safety.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby zero » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:13 am

blkmcs wrote:
zero wrote:...This is the dumbest thing I've ever read on this subject and had I not been able to halt altogether, I would have been bumped clear onto the western distributor by a walker like you.

Bicycles approach from both directions, if you face the traffic, the bicycle riders WILL expect you to get OUT of their lane (as they are obliged to keep left legally), and when you do, you will simply step into the path of another bicycle coming from behind - it doesn't matter which lane you stand in, there will be bicycles coming from behind. Facing traffic works for pedestrians on the road, because the expectation is the pedestrian will vacate the roadway altogether on approach of oncoming traffic -which is commonly impossible on shared paths, because they have fences / bridge abutments / roads other obstacles on both sides. The only place you can go is into the other lane. It doesn't work.

Have you given any thought to what you just posted?
As a cyclist you must pull out to overtake a pedestrian that is in the same lane as you whether that pedestrian is walking towards you or in the same direction as you. The pedestrian should never have to change lanes, if passing the pedestrian is not a safe option then you must give way even if that means coming to a complete stop.
It will take the same amount of space to pass them whether they are facing you or have their back to you.
When I am a pedestrian I feel much safer walking on the left where I can see oncoming cyclists.
When I am a cyclist it doesn't bother me which side pedestrians use.


It doesn't matter what you think pedestrians are or aren't required to do - the ones that walk on the wrong side are notorious for changing lanes on approach of oncoming cycles without looking behind them - the cycles are required by law to attempt to pass oncoming things on the left - so even if they will pass on the right, many of them will start out on the left and that reliably starts unnecessary games of chicken. You can't even bell or voice them from behind, because they look up see the cycle and presume thats where the sound is coming from...

When you walk on the wrong side of a road - you gain 3 - 4m side clearance from cars behind you - that is the fundamental safety improvement. When you walk on the wrong side of a marked share path, you gain no extra clearance from bicycles coming from behind you at all - which means you don't gain any safety benefit at all. ie the bike coming closely from behind, is still coming closely from behind, and imo - more likely to go through even faster - because you no longer impede their path.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby brentono » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:45 am

BigPete wrote:brentono, I have quickly learnt there is not necessarily logic to many statements made, but that is how a free country operates.


+1 Some of the statements here, with isolated examples, almost leave you wondering, if they are real. :roll:

While out walking, on the right side of the path, cyclists (travelling on the left)
pass me and we don't even notice each other.
As I walk, and a cyclist approaches me, I can clearly see them coming, I maintain my line.
If they are the moron type, so engrossed, and they don't move to the centre,
and pass me comfortably (as would be normal), and continue straight at me,
I have the ability, to jump to my right, away from the path, and danger.
Seems quite simple for me, and works.
And as an added bonus, if the approaching cyclist, is a normal type,
I have eye-to-eye contact, and can exchange a greeting (and cement cyclist/peds relations :) )
"IF" they are that type of social person, (on or off the bike and some won't even do it, bike-bike)
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby zero » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:49 am

brentono wrote:I have the ability, to jump to my right, away from the path, and danger.


All of the shared paths I ride on, have a road on one side, and a wall/fence/bridge abutment on the other, and the only place you can jump is onto the road, or into the potential path of another cyclist.

Some of the statements here, with isolated examples, almost leave you wondering, if they are real


You could always try engaging the replies made instead of making trite dismissals.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby brentono » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:12 am

zero wrote:
brentono wrote:I have the ability, to jump to my right, away from the path, and danger.


All of the shared paths I ride on, have a road on one side, and a wall/fence/bridge abutment on the other, and the only place you can jump is onto the road, or into the potential path of another cyclist.

Some of the statements here, with isolated examples, almost leave you wondering, if they are real


You could always try engaging the replies made instead of making trite dismissals.


I am not here to engage with you (as you put it) ...
And you hardline, almost mimicks, and envokes my thoughts, of cyclists who have
put me in danger, while walking... do you visit W.A. much :|
I have made my point of view, with respect to the OP, and will do what works for me.
There seems to be little commonsense being shown here, and when terms like
"closing speeds" and "laws" and "rights" are used, it's easy to see there is going to
be little consesus, which is probably why "the powers that be" have little interest
in the subject.
My opinion, my thoughts, and I will leave it at that.
(been in most cycling situations, in my time,
and know with the new era of cycling participants, it's going to get pedantic)
I'll just stick with commonsense.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby thomashouseman » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:31 am

I like what they do in Parramatta Park.

1 narrowish lane on the very left for pedestrians, 1 slightly wider lane in the middle for cyclists and a wide car lane on the right for cars.

T.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby zero » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:34 am

brentono wrote:
zero wrote:
You could always try engaging the replies made instead of making trite dismissals.


I am not here to engage with you (as you put it) ...
And you hardline, almost mimicks, and envokes my thoughts, of cyclists who have
put me in danger, while walking... do you visit W.A. much :|


Its a pretty poor point you are making - insinuating that I am a danger instead of addressing the actual point of the debate. My riding behavior is always recorded and occasionally on show on youtube - and the first thing you'll notice is that under any circumstances on a shared path, I reduce speed to the extent that I can stop to avoid a pedestrian when near them - also something I've advocated often enough in posts. Pretty much an ad hominem argument really.

In the particular circumstance we are discussing, the practice of slowing considerably around pedestrians probably saved my life, as I would have been bumped by someone walking as you advocate - onto the city west link into oncoming 70km/hr traffic. Walking on the wrong side causes confusion, and the outlet you require - (space to the right) doesn't always exist. Walking on the left - always works, and passing by bicycles around you will be smoother and less dangerous.

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=&sll=-33.868906,151.176738&sspn=0.001534,0.003017&ie=UTF8&t=h&rq=1&ev=zi&split=1&filter=0&radius=0.1&hq=victoria+road,+white+bay&hnear=&ll=-33.868899,151.176676&spn=0.001534,0.003017&z=19

That is one of the most heavily frequented share path systems in NSW - and its all fence on one side, road on the other or fence both sides - can't tell me that walking on the right is appropriate or safer there.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby human909 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:51 am

zero wrote:You could always try engaging the replies made instead of making trite dismissals.

zero wrote:Its a pretty poor point you are making - insinuating that I am a danger instead of addressing the actual point of the debate.


That his typical tactics I'm afraid. Personally I would rather be rudely insulted or destroyed via argument than deal with his irrelevant dismissals and illogical retorts. It adds nothing to the discussion.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby brentono » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:58 am

zero wrote:Its a pretty poor point you are making.


Its a pretty poor point you are making, siteing one situation, and trying
to build your whole debate/case/arguement around it.

All situations vary, all people react differently, one policy would help,
in any situation... commonsense should prevail in any situation,
if it was common.

I am not here to debate you, and have only refered to suggestions of
a common practice that has been used and taught historically in Australia.

It works for me, and seems commonsense. You may have your opinion and
do as you please, that is your right. And I will, also.
(That is- Until some concensus is reached, and enforcable laws,
are put in place, which is doubtful)
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby BigPete » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:59 am

zero wrote:All of the shared paths I ride on, have a road on one side, and a wall/fence/bridge abutment on the other, and the only place you can jump is onto the road, or into the potential path of another cyclist.



Not all shared paths are like this.
Haven’t you have just supported the view that it is safer to walk facing traffic? Even if there were no place to jump, you have a chance of yelling or squeezing up to the fence. You don't have that option if you travel with the traffic! If you did jump to the middle of the pathway you are still reducing the chance of being hit from 100% to a smaller amount. The chance of another cyclist coming the other way at he same time and actually hitting you is less than the 100% collision that was going to occur in the first place.
Now if you were walking with the traffic you would have been hit anyway.

Another point of view others have made is about pedestrians facing traffic are ‘often inconsistent and all over the place’. That occurs in either situation but granted, it may happen more when they face you but that could be due to the fact they know they should be (according to the current requirements) walking on the other side.

Also others have pointed out that a pedestrian being hit by a cyclist head on as opposed to from behind may result in higher injuries. This may well be the case but that was not what my original post was about. My post is about what is safer.

I have been riding/commuting for 19 years. In that time I have hit 2 pedestrians, 1 cyclist and run over 1 dog. Both pedestrians were hit from behind. One was when a group of 4 decided to change from walking 2 abreast to 4 abreast. No amount of yelling stopped them until it was too late. Perhaps too much other noise around them to hear me. No, I did not use the bell as I had 2 hands on the brakes. The other hit from behind was when a walker decided to point something out (to his right) to his mate. I hit his arm. Both these may not have occurred had they been facing me.
As for the dog, it appeared to be okay to both myself and its owner.

I am not suggesting for one moment that facing traffic when walking will stop accidents but IMO it is safer.
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