Allow riding on footpaths

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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:51 am

wellington_street wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:Surely in most places the give way line is before the cycle lane..not after it!.No wonder there are so many accidents!.Poor planning.
I have 10kms of cycle lanes each way on my commute...velos always have right of way.


That's a path, not a cycle lane. In this situation the cyclist must give way to all vehicles, the same as crossing any road.


Oh Ok...well,yup, he/she should be on the road then if they want to get anywhere soon.
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by BNA » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:21 pm

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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby lt » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:21 pm

Has anyone considered that perhaps we should abnegate our own quasi-selfish preferences as a basis for policy, and instead just let people do what they want since it wouldn't substantially affect anyone else anyway?
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby il padrone » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:03 pm

toolonglegs wrote:
il padrone wrote:Significant safety risks on most roads, unless you're really just pootling and yielding at every cross-street. Going by a range of overseas experience of such systems.

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http://www.bikexprt.com/bikepol/facil/s ... dfc173.htm


Drivers don't look, driveways are always a hazard, then there's the problems of a confined path that will need to be two-way. Poor man's orange.



Surely in most places the give way line is before the cycle lane..not after it!..

Not at all clear here (Fitzroy St segregated two-way lanes, St Kilda)

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Didn't seem to matter to this guy either

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The Dutch do it differently of course. That row of triangles indicates that the road traffic must give way to path users (cyclists and some scooters)

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Last edited by il padrone on Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:20 pm

il padrone wrote: That row of triangles indicates that the road traffic must give way to path users (cyclists and some scooters)


They are nicknamed 'shark teeth', they can also apply to cars, depending on location.
They are an addition to the give way sign, as a sign on it's own, that is sometimes not enough..

They have become very recognisable, and turning out to be very efficient. 8)
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:29 pm

diggler wrote:People are discouraged from cycling because they are afraid of the traffic. What if we allow cycling on the footpath on one side of the road and have pedestrians on the footpath other side of the road. This works on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, why can't it be extended? You could do this on roads which have been identified as having high vehicular traffic and low pedestrian traffic. You might also need median strips and traffic islands to help pedestrians cross the road.

This might encourage some people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes.



What you are describing above sounds more to 'turning' a footpath into a bike path..
That sounds like a better plan then allowing bikes on to footpaths.

As it might get some people to start riding, it does not tackle the problem ; how to deal with traffic.
All you would do is to motivate them to ride on a footpath, nothing more and nothing less.
I do not consider this a good idea.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby trailgumby » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:06 pm

I'm generally against a blanket permission for cycists to ride on footpaths.

Firstly, it simply fuels the bias Sydney drivers seem to have that cyclists don't belong on "their" roads.

Secondly, those risk scenarios that il padrone has highlighed with that excellent illustration are very, very real. It is my view that cycling on the footpath actually increases risk, rather than reducing it and that the benefits of the strategy, are on the whole, illusory.

Thirdly, the risk to pedestrians and cyclists both of riders hurtling along narrow and unsuitable path surfaces at up to 40-50 km/hr ... do you really want to go there?
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby gdt » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:00 pm

You can ride on the footpath in the ACT (except near shops) and I miss having that option in some scenarios now that I live in Adelaide.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby diggler » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:21 pm

trailgumby wrote:I'm generally against a blanket permission for cycists to ride on footpaths.

Firstly, it simply fuels the bias Sydney drivers seem to have that cyclists don't belong on "their" roads.

Secondly, those risk scenarios that il padrone has highlighed with that excellent illustration are very, very real. It is my view that cycling on the footpath actually increases risk, rather than reducing it and that the benefits of the strategy, are on the whole, illusory.

Thirdly, the risk to pedestrians and cyclists both of riders hurtling along narrow and unsuitable path surfaces at up to 40-50 km/hr ... do you really want to go there?


I don't think riding on footpaths means you lose the right to ride on the road.

It seems that it is legal in Queensland and ACT and there don't seem to be any problems with it.

Kids under 12 already ride on footpaths as do motorised scooters and I haven't heard of any calls to ban that.

I don't envisage people doing 40 - 50 km/h or scabby Sydney footpaths. I would imagine rules such as 10 km/h speed limit, pedestrian right of way, and no cycling within 50m of shops.

It appears that cops aren't enforcing the laws anyway so effectively you can ride on footpaths now.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Oxford » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:25 am

the only problem I've found is that allowing riding on footpaths gives the ignorant fools in motor vehicles fodder to abuse you when you're on the roads. similarly when you are on the foot path you have ignorant ped's abusing you telling you to get on the roads. damned if you do, damned if you don't.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby trailgumby » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:08 am

diggler wrote:I don't think riding on footpaths means you lose the right to ride on the road.

Legally, of course you would be correct. But I'm talking about that Twilight Zone of drivers' minds.

diggler wrote:I don't envisage people doing 40 - 50 km/h on scabby Sydney footpaths.
You have a much more optimistic view of peoples' behaviour than I. :lol:

However, it is the safety issue that concerns me most. There would need to be a rule change giving cyclists right of way over turning cars when crossing the road on the through-route to even consider it.

it is worth noting that the overseas evidence clearly shows accident rates go up, not down, when this type of off-road facility is introduced and it is collisions at intersections with cars that are responsible.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby wellington_street » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:39 am

trailgumby wrote:However, it is the safety issue that concerns me most. There would need to be a rule change giving cyclists right of way over turning cars when crossing the road on the through-route to even consider it.


I don't think that is necessary at this stage - as others have said, cyclists already legally ride on footpaths in ACT and QLD (and in WA there is some debate as to whether all footpaths are actually shared paths under the law) and in every state cyclists already illegally ride on footpaths. All of this occurs without any change to the road rules at intersections.

The footpath is not a substitute for the road, it serves an entirely different purpose. It serves beginner, low confidence or low speed cyclists. If you want to ride faster than about 15-20km/h then you're gonna have to get on the road.

it is worth noting that the overseas evidence clearly shows accident rates go up, not down, when this type of off-road facility is introduced and it is collisions at intersections with cars that are responsible.


With the onus on cyclists to give way in these situations, I don't know how you can blame anything other than idiots on bikes for causing their own crashes. I am more than happy to leave it up to cyclists to take responsibility for their riding.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby il padrone » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:50 pm

wellington_street wrote:The footpath is not a substitute for the road

Not the attitude of many of our motoring brethren :|


wellington_street wrote:
trailgumby wrote:it is worth noting that the overseas evidence clearly shows accident rates go up, not down, when this type of off-road facility is introduced and it is collisions at intersections with cars that are responsible.


With the onus on cyclists to give way in these situations, I don't know how you can blame anything other than idiots on bikes for causing their own crashes. I am more than happy to leave it up to cyclists to take responsibility for their riding.

In the overseas situations, it is often the case that the cyclist on the segregated bike path has priority. But the collisions still occur. With no priority given, the outcome would only be worse :(
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:31 pm

For commuting I found most paths dangerous. Firstly drivers exiting their drive would commonly miss seeing the rider. And then there are those inner suburban suburbs that are subject to increased housing density by subdividing blocks - on signicant roads they tend to have high fences that come right to the property line.

And on paths there is an element of danger at EVERY intersection.

The only safe way to use most paths was then to ride at a speed that is unacceptable for comuting. Pretty much the speed that I do now and that is not a viable transport alternative. imo.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby notwal » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:32 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:For commuting I found most paths dangerous. Firstly drivers exiting their drive would commonly miss seeing the rider. And then there are those inner suburban suburbs that are subject to increased housing density by subdividing blocks - on significant roads they tend to have high fences that come right to the property line.

And on paths there is an element of danger at EVERY intersection.

The only safe way to use most paths was then to ride at a speed that is unacceptable for commuting. Pretty much the speed that I do now and that is not a viable transport alternative. imo.


Well you get that in places but certainly not everywhere. Footpaths are nearly always slower than roads but they often offer a safe alternative to unacceptably dangerous roads, and often just a more convenient route.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby russellgarrard » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:32 am

I think it comes down to speed. If I'm fully loaded and doing a grocery run, I'm generally on the path with my trailer doing up to about 8km/ph. Dawdle past pedestrians etc, I am pretty well lit up, I can't see the problem. Wait...yes I can...

We are a weird vehicle, a few motorists (getting better at least where I live) think we are slow...pedestrians think we are fast and blast around.

The amount of pedestrians who jump a mile when I SLOWLY pull past them at 1-2km/ph+ their speed is astounding. Then I just trundle off down the footpath doing no great speed at all.

If I'm on the road, generally doing about 25km/ph+

Why not just a 10km/ph limit on footpaths, problem solved
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby trailgumby » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:58 am

bendertiger wrote:I think it comes down to speed. If I'm fully loaded and doing a grocery run, I'm generally on the path with my trailer doing up to about 8km/ph. Dawdle past pedestrians etc, I am pretty well lit up, I can't see the problem. Wait...yes I can...

We are a weird vehicle, a few motorists (getting better at least where I live) think we are slow...pedestrians think we are fast and blast around.

The amount of pedestrians who jump a mile when I SLOWLY pull past them at 1-2km/ph+ their speed is astounding. Then I just trundle off down the footpath doing no great speed at all.

If I'm on the road, generally doing about 25km/ph+

Why not just a 10km/ph limit on footpaths, problem solved


When you have the trailer I think you need one of those deep bass air horns like they use on B-doubles. "BWOARRRR!" Then they'll jump :lol: :mrgreen:
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:26 pm

bendertiger wrote:I think it comes down to speed. If I'm fully loaded and doing a grocery run, I'm generally on the path with my trailer doing up to about 8km/ph. Dawdle past pedestrians etc, I am pretty well lit up, I can't see the problem. Wait...yes I can...

We are a weird vehicle, a few motorists (getting better at least where I live) think we are slow...pedestrians think we are fast and blast around.

The amount of pedestrians who jump a mile when I SLOWLY pull past them at 1-2km/ph+ their speed is astounding. Then I just trundle off down the footpath doing no great speed at all.

If I'm on the road, generally doing about 25km/ph+

Why not just a 10km/ph limit on footpaths, problem solved

Worthwhile thought there... a speedlimit of 15kmh on the footpath is worthwhile to consider, because we all have to exit driveways and I think it is reasonable to say that someone should be able to jog down the path. It creates an interesting conflict though - runners should be able to use the footpath, shouldn't they? But they are a considerable risk because they can't stop quickly, just like a bike. Many driveways are blind.

I don't see a problem with riding on the footpath, if it is SLOW. I definitely don't think it is always good law to have riders who cannot maintain a solid speed (super granny gear style!) on the road who clearly are operating at pedestrian speeds on the road, when I think the expectation of bikes off footpaths was to prevent fast riders interacting with pedestrians and driveways. I think the law does not really take into account the valid exceptions, and society seems unable to cope with the blanket assertions without exception that the law makes. Problem is - law must serve the people, not the other way around.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby il padrone » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:36 pm

bendertiger wrote:Why not just a 10km/ph limit on footpaths, problem solved

Who's going to man the speed cameras?? :lol: :lol:


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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:00 pm

Xplora wrote:I definitely don't think it is always good law to have riders who cannot maintain a solid speed (super granny gear style!) on the road who clearly are operating at pedestrian speeds on the road,


Nothing wrong with slow riders on the road.
the problem lies with the other users that have no clue how to deal with slow riders...
Moving the location of the slow riders wil not help/solve the problem


Xplora wrote: when I think the expectation of bikes off footpaths was to prevent fast riders interacting with pedestrians and driveways.

I think the expactation is to prevent cyclists riding on the road, because the road is dangerous...

When you allow cyclist on the footpath, I wil expect that all riders wil use it, fast riders wil also ride the footpaths and they wil do it way to fast...

Xplora wrote:I think the law does not really take into account the valid exceptions, and society seems unable to cope with the blanket assertions without exception that the law makes. Problem is - law must serve the people, not the other way around.


I don't see any valid exeptions.
I can see how it can be convienent for cyclists to ride on the footpath, but that is not enough to change a law..

The problem I have with people wanting to allow cyclists to ride the footpath is based on ; That the roads are 'not suited' for cyclist.
Well, the funny thing is neither are footpaths.
They may appear 'safer, but they are not.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:02 pm

bendertiger wrote:Why not just a 10km/ph limit on footpaths, problem solved


Why not build more bike paths... :lol:

Then we don't need to ride on the footpath, problem solved.. :wink:
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:59 pm

<Mod Says: No, personal attacks or attempted degradation of a personals character is not ok, hence this bit is removed>

Context is the main thing here. Bike paths simply cannot be built in a lot of places. They cannot be safely inserted into the current infrastructure, because there is no space for it. I grew up in a quiet leafy suburb, where there were no bike paths. They couldn't be installed, because there was no space. It would be unreasonable to expect the road users to sit behind the pootlers on the main roads going through the suburb either. There is no space for the bike, unless the rider shows a bit of interest in getting from A to B.

All of our ideas have to mesh with the culture, which is naturally opposed to cycling. Bikes provide an alternative to improve the overall picture, but unless you force all car drivers down to 30kph, you cannot make all the roads cyclist friendly.

I wish this wasn't so specific, but a lot of the Amsterdam cyclists I see in Sydney's west are Chinese descent. They aren't dressed up for riding, they are the epitome of the utilitarian cyclist... but these people simply cannot exist on the main roads, because they are too slow. If they are no faster than a jogger, why are they on the road? Our rules about pedestrians and obstructions are there because a road is supposed to be somewhere where the speed is faster than walking. If you honestly can't see a problem with cyclists being well under 20kph on peak hour rat runs, perhaps this is why cyclists can have such a hard time on the road?

Context is vital. Some roads are suicide, despite any legal right to be there. Don't get me wrong... I take on the big main roads. I've ridden down Windsor Rd/Church St in peak hour. Go hard... but I also go fairly quick. It's clear that I'm not taking a casual ride on a major thoroughfare. Not all riders have a place in that context. I wouldn't take my sons in a bike trailer down the same road.... maybe. :mrgreen: I think the pootlers should be allowed on the footpath. They aren't presenting any further danger to the public than a jogger. At the end of it all, legislation exists to cover all situations - negligence. The courts will get involved even in a simple case if something serious happens :idea: so there isn't much point trying to deny context in the situation which is the focus of many road rules. Joggers bump and kill little old ladies... it doesn't happen often, but a road rule isn't going to help much except to say "such and such should have taken more care". Maybe the lawyers will see a problem with that.
This blends in with my chaos driven vision of the road rules. The fewer rules, the better. Common sense has to be the central order of the day and cyclists know that self preservation is best left to the individual. We've got enough rules to protect us - it's a shame that they aren't enforced unless there is a hospital visit involved.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby il padrone » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:03 pm

Xplora wrote:Our rules about pedestrians and obstructions are there because a road is supposed to be somewhere where the speed is faster than walking.

I think you perhaps need to review the road rules. It would be very unusual for a cyclist to be deemed an obstruction by police or the courts, simply because speeds of 10-15 kmh are not abnormally slow for a cyclist - Rule 125(2). Motor vehicle drivers are the ones who need to get it out of their minds that there is some god-given right to plough on down the roads at 60-80kmh ignoring all other road users. If there is a cyclist in front of you, it may constitute dangerous driving to fail to drive at an appropriate speed and slow to overtake with a safe margin.

If you find Sydney drivers behaving like this, that is even more reason to get more cyclists out on the roads, claim your road space and ride bikes where they belong - on the roads!
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby high_tea » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:10 pm

Xplora wrote:damhooli, you're smoking a lot of weed if you don't see a problem with people riding a bike at 15kph in a suburban context where most of the traffic is doing 60-70kph.

Context is the main thing here. Bike paths simply cannot be built in a lot of places. They cannot be safely inserted into the current infrastructure, because there is no space for it. I grew up in a quiet leafy suburb, where there were no bike paths. They couldn't be installed, because there was no space. It would be unreasonable to expect the road users to sit behind the pootlers on the main roads going through the suburb either. There is no space for the bike, unless the rider shows a bit of interest in getting from A to B.

All of our ideas have to mesh with the culture, which is naturally opposed to cycling. Bikes provide an alternative to improve the overall picture, but unless you force all car drivers down to 30kph, you cannot make all the roads cyclist friendly.


Changing the law to pander to motorists' sense of entitlement is a bad idea. This whole "cyclists-hold-up-traffic" meme is nonsense. People overreacting, in ways ranging from petulant to borderline sociopathic, to trifling inconveniences is a social problem, not something to predicate a transport policy on. This idea that other road users should just get of out their way has to go. I've cycled, briefly, around the Sydney CBD. Brisbane motorists are far nastier for mine. I don't know if cycling-on-footpath-laws are to blame for this, but they don't seem to have helped.

FWIW I do expect motorists to sit beind the pootlers until it's safe to overtake. It's not that hard. Very few drivers can legitimately claim that something Really Bad will happen if they don't get somewhere as fast as possible. Those that can drive vehicles with flashing lights and sirens and things like "AMBULANCE" written on the side. They seem pretty well catered for at present. I don't think allowing cycling on footpaths will impact them at all.

Living in Queensland, I have experience of such a law. Funny thing, it doesn't help much when the footpaths aren't fit to walk on to begin with, as is often the case where I live. Riding on footpaths for any length of time, even if they're pedestrian-friendly, is tiresome and risky. It's a band-aid solution at best. Motorists still gripe about cyclists holding up traffic, so they don't seem to have helped there. Leastway, they haven't kept the plucky motorist happy, so I fail to see who this law really benefits.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby damhooligan » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:58 pm

Xplora wrote:damhooli, you're smoking a lot of weed if ...


I am personally not amused by implying i use drugs :evil:
I find this offensive :evil:


I tried to figure out why you would say such a offensive statement;

Xplora wrote:...... if you don't see a problem with people riding a bike at 15kph in a suburban context where most of the traffic is doing 60-70kph.



No.
I do not see a problem with that.
Simply because I too have my days where I ride slowly; ie 15km/h, and this is not a problem...

I honestly have lost interest in the rest of your post.
I do not consider calling someone a drug user just because you dissagree with someone appropiate.
So I could not be bothered to read the rest.. :evil:
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby GraemeL » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:28 pm

I think we should be allowed to ride on the footpath, just the same as we are allowed to ride on the road. I don't agree that a slow cyclist doing 15kph should not be on the road, drivers need to be aware that there are slow riders on the road and drive accordingly, just the same as any other slow moving vehicle.

I think we should have the option, there are times when a rider considers it better to move onto the footpath rather than ride on the road. I realise that riding on the footpath has its drawbacks, but riders would be aware of that and just like drivers, they need to take care and expect, pedestrians cars exiting driveways etc and ride accordingly.
I don't think it would be sending a message to drivers that we belong on the footpath. Education is the key and until that happens they will always think we belong on the footpath.

Does anyone here know how many serious accidents or fatalities have occurred with a rider riding on a footpath? Kids have been doing it for years and there hasn't really been a problem.

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