Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

uart
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Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby uart » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:18 pm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-20/n ... h/10018102

Teenagers up to the age of 16 will be able to ride their bicycles on footpaths under a NSW Government change to the Road Transport Act


Personally I find it interesting that this is now legal for teenagers, who in my experience are far more likely to ride carelessly around pedestrians than are mature adults.

Not that I want to ride extensively on footpaths, but I will admit that there are several places on my regular commutes where a I ride short distances on footpaths to avoid dangerous sections of road. At the moment I risk multiple hundreds of dollars of fines every day in order to maintain my own safety, and I ride slowly and are extremely respectful of the pedestrian's space when I do so.

Isn't it kind of ironic that it is legal *only* for the highest risk group.

Just wondering if there is some underlying bias here with the old "bicycles are really only for children - and adults should be driving a car or taking the bus" type of mentality (typically espoused by people who are strongly anti cyclist).
Last edited by uart on Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

human909
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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby human909 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:55 pm

uart wrote:Isn't it kind of ironic that it is legal *only* for the highest risk group.

Just wondering if there is some underlying bias here with the old "bicycles are really only for children - and adults should be driving a car of taking the bus" type of mentality (typically espoused by people who are strongly anti cyclist).

Absolutely.

But conceding 'ground' to adult cyclists is repugnant ot a large section of society and politicians even in the name of safety. But harming children isn't a vote winner, nor is giving lip sevice to getting kids active and then not following through.

One concern I have is this could mean even greater enforcement of the footpath rule and be worse for most cyclists. Here in Victoria I've never seen footpath laws riding enforced.

The whole thing stinks. Footpaths (especially busy ones) are poor cycling infrastructure. If cyclists are using them it because of un addressed safety issues on the roadway.

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby AdelaidePeter » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:02 pm

uart wrote:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-20/nsw-government-changes-bike-laws-so-children-can-ride-on-path/10018102

Teenagers up to the age of 16 will be able to ride their bicycles on footpaths under a NSW Government change to the Road Transport Act


Personally I find it interesting that this is now legal for teenagers, who in my experience are far more likely to ride carelessly around pedestrians than are mature adults.
...
Isn't it kind of ironic that it is legal *only* for the highest risk group.


Not *completely* - I suspect they're also the highest risk to ride carelessly on the road and get killed.

That said, it's ludicrous to change the law, but not do what every other state and territory (except Vic) has done, and allow adults as well. It works perfectly well in those other places, and I can only put it down to being blinkered (Australia doesn't exist outside NSW and Vic - we saw the same thing with bag ban hysteria), and an element of what you say:

uart wrote:Just wondering if there is some underlying bias here with the old "bicycles are really only for children - and adults should be driving a car of taking the bus" type of mentality (typically espoused by people who are strongly anti cyclist).

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby eldavo » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:24 am

This could be worse than Victoria, they've made a step and maintained the anti-cyclist fine enforcement agenda in operation pedroscam.

uart
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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby uart » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:18 am

human909 wrote:One concern I have is this could mean even greater enforcement of the footpath rule and be worse for most cyclists. Here in Victoria I've never seen footpath laws riding enforced.

Yeah that thought crossed my mind too. It does sometimes happen that when a law gets updated then it subsequently gets enforced more vigorously.

I'm in Newcastle, and fortunately the riding on the footpath law seems to be rarely enforced here. From what I've heard it tends to be more likely to be enforced around Sydney, especially during "blitzes" like operation Pedro.

diggler
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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby diggler » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:02 am

human909 wrote:
uart wrote:One concern I have is this could mean even greater enforcement of the footpath rule and be worse for most cyclists. Here in Victoria I've never seen footpath laws riding enforced.

The whole thing stinks. Footpaths (especially busy ones) are poor cycling infrastructure. If cyclists are using them it because of un addressed safety issues on the roadway.


I have no idea how you reach the conclusion there will be more enforcement on the footpath rule.

Footpaths are not always poor cycling infrastructure. They are poor if you want to travel at 30 km/h but for slow people like me they are often perfectly adequate. I travel on Wardell Road Dulwich Hill and the empty footpath on the bridge is ideal for me as opposed to riding on the narrow bridge.

Cyclists are not one homogenous group. A footpath may not be ideal for you, but in some cases, it is ideal for me.

Maybe in an ideal world there would be a bicycle lane across that bridge. How much would that cost to build? Are you going to pay for it? We can share the road and share the footpath. We don't need to build bike paths everywhere unless you are going to pay for them.
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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby diggler » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:05 am

uart wrote:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-20/nsw-government-changes-bike-laws-so-children-can-ride-on-path/10018102


Personally I find it interesting that this is now legal for teenagers, who in my experience are far more likely to ride carelessly around pedestrians than are mature adults.



An interesting take. So you would rather take the careless riders and leave them with the cars and the trucks?
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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:02 am

Time to cue Scruby and the 'angry pedestrians' to target every single person who rides a bike.

I didn't hear anything about consultation by the NSW government with any bike groups on this... because it makes sense to support this law with education and infrastructure... but both of these probably wont happen.

Educational programs which start from year 2 or 3 (like swimming) and help give the kids the basics to ride safely to school. This is the foundation for future generations and shouldn't be a complicated legal nightmare... but an enjoyable and reward based format.

Secondly, the government can't solve all problems by just changing the law... they need to also invest in smart infrastructure and in high traffic areas it may be smarter to create separate bike ways for more convenient, harmonious and safer travel for the different transport modes.


It's a good step... well over due but significantly lacking without genuine commitment. Let's go NSW... time to make transport safe, convenient and sustainable... and all this for less than it costs today with benefits from all directions.

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby Thoglette » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:55 am

I thought Scruby had moved to QLD?

Anyway, more discussion over in the NSW forum here
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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby RobertL » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:07 pm

Thoglette wrote:I thought Scruby had moved to QLD?

Anyway, more discussion over in the NSW forum here


And, of course, here in Qld it is legal for any cyclist to ride on footpaths. Yet, the sky has not fallen in.
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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby uart » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:27 pm

diggler wrote: I travel on Wardell Road Dulwich Hill and the empty footpath on the bridge is ideal for me as opposed to riding on the narrow bridge.


diggler wrote:An interesting take. So you would rather take the careless riders and leave them with the cars and the trucks?


An interesting take. So you would rather break the law than see a sensible take on cycling on the footpath - where adult cyclists were permitted to do so safely.

And btw, no I wasn't not talking about disallowing under 16 year olds from riding on the footpath. I was talking about not having an upper age limit.

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby diggler » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:17 am

uart wrote:
diggler wrote:
An interesting take. So you would rather break the law than see a sensible take on cycling on the footpath - where adult cyclists were permitted to do so safely.

And btw, no I wasn't not talking about disallowing under 16 year olds from riding on the footpath. I was talking about not having an upper age limit.


I would rather that anyone can ride on the footpath like all of Australia except for NSW and Vic. I think we agree on that.

Yes I do break the law now.
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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby Jmuzz » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:15 am

uart wrote:Just wondering if there is some underlying bias here with the old "bicycles are really only for children - and adults should be driving a car or taking the bus" type of mentality (typically espoused by people who are strongly anti cyclist).


The higher age concession has been won on "think of the children" grounds, government has been lobbied to improve safety of kids riding to school so they agreed to upgrade the age to under 16.

A crazy part of the law is that 16 and 17 are not allowed to supervise younger siblings on the footpath, even though 16 can drive on L plates and 17 is responsible enough to have full P plates.

In practice the police have no grounds to demand a 16 or 17 produce ID to prove they are 15 though, provided they aren't doing anything else illegal.

The whole blanket footpath ban should be removed and simply replaced with a requirement to ride at walking pace, full responsibility for pedestrian collisions, only overtake to the right, pass oncoming to the left (with that applied to pedestrians too), give an audible overtaking warning (voice ok).
If someone is misbehaving on footpath then police can catch them misbehaving rather than simply being on footpath.
"Walking pace" is a very unscientific measurement, but if there is video evidence it should be pretty clear when someone is far in excess and being a hazard.
Certain zones can still be signed as no cycling.

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby AdelaidePeter » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:30 am

Jmuzz wrote:
uart wrote:The whole blanket footpath ban should be removed and simply replaced with a requirement to ride at walking pace, full responsibility for pedestrian collisions, only overtake to the right, pass oncoming to the left (with that applied to pedestrians too), give an audible overtaking warning (voice ok).
If someone is misbehaving on footpath then police can catch them misbehaving rather than simply being on footpath.
"Walking pace" is a very unscientific measurement, but if there is video evidence it should be pretty clear when someone is far in excess and being a hazard.
Certain zones can still be signed as no cycling.


I agree with all of that except the "walking pace" and "applied to pedestrians too" parts:

If there is a "cyclists always give way to pedestrians" rule (as there is in states which allow it, certainly in SA), there is no need for a speed limit. In practice that means pretty well going at a fast walking pace anyway when pedestrians are present. But sometimes the coast is clear and it's very safe to go a little faster. In fact in some ways it is safer than being restricted to walking pace: I do it for one block in the city of Adelaide every morning, and it lets me put space between myself and the "wave" of pedestrians behind me.

I don't think there should be any direction or passing rules for pedestrians, except on designated shared paths. Pedestrians should be free to wander where they want on the footpath to get to their destination, to walk on the less busy part of the footpath, or just wander across to smell the flowers.

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby Jmuzz » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:49 am

AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't think there should be any direction or passing rules for pedestrians, except on designated shared paths. Pedestrians should be free to wander where they want on the footpath to get to their destination, to walk on the less busy part of the footpath, or just wander across to smell the flowers.


I think it is fairly necessary in Sydney CBD where there is genuine pedestrian congestion and you can't even walk at walking pace and if you don't actively dodge you will be walked into by a phone zombie every 30 seconds.

That is the environment where NSW parliament and RMS head office exists so you ask them to make footpath riding legal after they have just come into the office through that mess right out the front door and they are just going to laugh at adding bikes into the chaos.
That is the reason why the two most crowded city states are the two resisting footpath riding.

A rule doesn't need any penalty attached, it just provides guidance and is enforced by peer pressure. Locals quickly learn, tourists have the masses to follow and will catch on quickly enough when informed that a law exists.

It means bikes can stick to overtaking on the right, which means pedestrians know to only move left when they hear a bell and are aware that left=safe, right=look over shoulder first.

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby AdelaidePeter » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:26 pm

Jmuzz wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't think there should be any direction or passing rules for pedestrians, except on designated shared paths. Pedestrians should be free to wander where they want on the footpath to get to their destination, to walk on the less busy part of the footpath, or just wander across to smell the flowers.


I think it is fairly necessary in Sydney CBD where there is genuine pedestrian congestion and you can't even walk at walking pace and if you don't actively dodge you will be walked into by a phone zombie every 30 seconds.

That is the environment where NSW parliament and RMS head office exists so you ask them to make footpath riding legal after they have just come into the office through that mess right out the front door and they are just going to laugh at adding bikes into the chaos.
That is the reason why the two most crowded city states are the two resisting footpath riding.


No, it's just stubborn legislators.

It's a while since I've been in the city of Sydney, but I don't think the busiest Melbourne city footpaths are significantly busier than the busiest Adelaide city footpaths. It's just that Adelaide has a much smaller busy area. Again, the "cyclists must always give way to pedestrians, no exceptions" rule sorts this out - when it's wall to wall pedestrians you're pretty well forced to walk your bike, or go very slow (or get on the road).

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby Thoglette » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:09 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:No, it's just stubborn legislators.

Hear, hear!
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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby Jmuzz » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:04 pm

Getting the topic into the news

https://www.news.com.au/technology/inno ... SocialFlow

Though of course comments explode into the usual "only if they pay rego and have a license!" Which only makes even less sense than usual.

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby g-boaf » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:44 pm

Jmuzz wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't think there should be any direction or passing rules for pedestrians, except on designated shared paths. Pedestrians should be free to wander where they want on the footpath to get to their destination, to walk on the less busy part of the footpath, or just wander across to smell the flowers.


I think it is fairly necessary in Sydney CBD where there is genuine pedestrian congestion and you can't even walk at walking pace and if you don't actively dodge you will be walked into by a phone zombie every 30 seconds.


Mobile phone zombies are a real pain. They make walking in the CBD absolutely infuriating, everyone else not using a mobile phone must make way for these types who absolutely must not be diverted from their telephone screens. Getting their facebook or twitter update is more important than watching where they are walking.

Considering also the construction mess that was along George Street and those narrow footpaths, it would help. As for smelling the flowers, what flowers? None in that concrete canyon. Just metal scaffolding, fences, concrete and a huge number of pedestrians crowding along. Less busy part of the footpath? There isn't one.

Fortunately I don't have to face that anymore.

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Re: Riding on footpath - NSW law changes.

Postby human909 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:43 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:No, it's just stubborn legislators.

It's a while since I've been in the city of Sydney, but I don't think the busiest Melbourne city footpaths are significantly busier than the busiest Adelaide city footpaths. It's just that Adelaide has a much smaller busy area. Again, the "cyclists must always give way to pedestrians, no exceptions" rule sorts this out - when it's wall to wall pedestrians you're pretty well forced to walk your bike, or go very slow (or get on the road).


Pretty much this. In Japan most cyclists ride on the footpaths and Japan is hardly known for its sparse cities with few pedestrians!

Besides if it is risk of dangerous collision that people are worried about I would suggest that the risk is greater on where there are less pedestrians because cyclists can get up to greater speeds.

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