Footpath commuting - thoughts?

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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby Aushiker » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:35 pm

Zynster wrote:Riding on the footpath is legal in Queensland. I haven't seen or heard of any issues arising from this. Most people still ride on the road cause it's smoother and faster. You need to ride pretty slowly on the footpath so as to avoid pedestrians, but it's definitely safer. It seems inconsistent to let bikes mix with cars but not pedestrians. How many pedestrians die from being hit by a bike?


Hi

From the Australian Transport Safety Bureau report published in 2006 and titled, Deaths of cyclists due to road accidents.

The next [second] most common crash type was the cyclist riding from the footway into an intersection or onto a road and being hit by an oncoming motor vehicle.


and during the period 1997 - 2004 one death was caused by a collison with a pedestrian.

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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby Green Rider » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:22 am

Dragster girl - the simple answer is that you should not be cycling on any footpath unless it is a shared path for peds and cyclists.

There are very important reasons for this. I am very aware that our policy of providing for the car at the expense of our cities public realm, and facilities for those not in a car has almost forced cyclists off the road. However, we are slowly starting to address this issue and Sydney are taking a lead on the promotion and facilitation of cycling.

When some cyclists run red lights, cycle without helmets (and I don't believe helmets should be mandatory) and/or cycle on footpaths, they are firstly breaking the law and secondly (maybe more importantly) they are helping to build the negative image of cycling held by non-cyclists ie drivers and peds. Every time you cycle on the footpath you are reinforcing non-cyclists negative attitude towards us. The only way we will get respect from other road users is by following the rules of the road and always cycling courteously. This means having a bike fit for the road, with reflectors, bells etc, only cycling where permitted, and sticking to the rules. We also need to respect slower moving traffic on shared paths ie peds, similar to how we want to be respected by drivers when we are on the road.

One of the other posters is right - your argument was silly (sorry)! If you dont feel your bike is right for cycling on the road then you need to get one that is.

On the upside it is good that you are aware of the issue and decided to seek others advice rather than just arrogantly continuing to do cycle where you shouldn't. So for that, I applaud you. Most important - get a fit for purpose bike and keep cycling!!

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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby Mat_H » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:01 pm

In WA and in most states it is illegal to cycle on the footpath unless, like others have said it is a dual use path. A mate of mine saw the aftermath of a bicycle v old lady accident on a footpath some years ago and it was not nice. The lady received a broken leg and hip and as I heard later she had to move into a nursing home and died less than a year later. That will not go down in the statistics as a bicycle accident related death but clearly it was.

Given most of us ride for the exercise component and not just to commute you should look for an alternate route on quieter roads even if it is a bit further or in the very least if you must use the footpath and it is legal in your area please be careful...none of us want to see our grand parents go through what happened to this lady.
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby Zynster » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:43 pm

I find it interesting the different layers to this discussion. On one hand there is the legal layer, and then there is the the responsibility layer. If you are riding on the footpath in NSW, you are breaking the law, and by doing so you are giving cyclists a bad name. In Queensland it is legal and you are not giving cyclists a bad name. No one even blinks an eyelid. On an responsibility level, riding on the footpath can be both dangerous or perfectly safe depending on the attitude of the cyclist. I know that if I'm riding on the footpath (legally, I'm in Qld), I ride responsibly. I'm not going to hit anyone. Where as the guy who mowed down that poor old lady would most likely be a menace on the footpath, the road, the bike path, or especially in a car.

So while I encourage people to follow the law, I'd suggest that riding responsibly is far more important.
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby damhooligan » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:04 pm

Zynster wrote:
So while I encourage people to follow the law, I'd suggest that riding responsibly is far more important.


true, but wouldn't riding responsibly mean to follow the law ??
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby m@ » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:26 pm

IME in some circumstances, riding responsibly means not following the law... Not sure the applies to footpath riding though.

It seems to be one of those laws that is only enforced if you hit someone, IMO if you're riding slowly and cautiously and giving way to pedestrians no big deal.
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby damhooligan » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:34 pm

m@ wrote:IME in some circumstances, riding responsibly means not following the law... Not sure the applies to footpath riding though.

It seems to be one of those laws that is only enforced if you hit someone, IMO if you're riding slowly and cautiously and giving way to pedestrians no big deal.


Sure that logic could also apply to running a red light, if you do it carefully look both ways and stay out of the way of other traffic , then you could say you run a red light responsible.

So when is riding responsible not following the law?
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby m@ » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:49 pm

Yep, and people make exactly that argument all the time to justify crossing against the lights - as a pedestrian. For some reason this doesn't make drivers hate all pedestrians as red-light-running scum who deserve to be run down - presumably because drivers are pedestrians themselves and do the same thing, and because pedestrians generally don't wear lycra... But I digress ;)

Actually the best example I can think of involves turning right from a major road against a red right-turn arrow that only turns green on a sensor. If there is no oncoming traffic IMO it is foolhardy and dangerous to sit in the middle of a high-speed, high-traffic road waiting for a car turning right to trigger the sensors when you are more likely to be cleaned up by a car going straight ahead first.
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby Pax » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:12 pm

m@ wrote:Actually the best example I can think of involves turning right from a major road against a red right-turn arrow that only turns green on a sensor. If there is no oncoming traffic IMO it is foolhardy and dangerous to sit in the middle of a high-speed, high-traffic road waiting for a car turning right to trigger the sensors when you are more likely to be cleaned up by a car going straight ahead first.


I will confess to this being the time that I go through Red lights too. ESPECIALLY on two particular intercections on my daily commute to work where the traffic going straight ahead (ie from behind me when I am in the dual turn right or go straight ahead lane) are driving into the sun that is low in the sky (early morning) so are even less likely to see me.

I'd keep doing it even if I got fined because it is patently more dangerous to wait for the light than to go through the red.
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby Zynster » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:25 pm

damhooligan wrote:
Zynster wrote:
So while I encourage people to follow the law, I'd suggest that riding responsibly is far more important.


true, but wouldn't riding responsibly mean to follow the law ??


Not necessarily. Riding responsibly means making your own decisions about what is safe and what is fair. Not blindly following rules made up by someone else in a different time and place. Mostly they will be the same. But sometimes you might refrain, even if you have a legal right to proceed. For example, riding slower than a stated speed limit, and giving way when you have right of way. Other times you break a law, that by your own judgement, is overridden by common sense. For example running a red light at 2am without a car in sight, and your bike isn't heavy enough to trigger the sensor.

Laws are guidelines. They need to be backed up by responsibility and good judgement.
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby Hazel » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:49 am

I find this discussion pretty interesting - as a recent convert to bicycle commuting myself. Here's my two cents:

The way I look at it, to be on the road in any form of vehicle (car, bus, motorbike, truck, tractor, forklift...) you need a licence. Getting that licence requires lots (especially in WA) of time, training, and education. Often this training is specific to the vehicle you wish to use... differing licences for motorbikes, large vehicles etc. Violation of road rules results in penalties, including loss of licence, which go on a permanent record of your road-use behaviour.

To legally ride a bike on the road you need zero training and no licence of any kind. Obviously knowledge of road rules will go a long way to keeping you alive, but theoretically a cyclist could have no idea of road rules... should they be riding on the road? If a cyclist is a menace on the road, besides fines, there is nothing the law can do to stop them from cycling, is there?

I don't have a drivers licence, have never sat for one, probably never will. Should someone like me be on the road? Avoiding the footpaths so I am seen to be playing by the rules and not 'giving cyclists a bad name'?

A roller-blader or skateboarder (with no brakes I might add) is permitted on the footpath. :|

I try to keep to shared paths as much as possible, but to me the footpath is a far safer and more logical option for areas where the cycle-legal path does not cater. As a pedestrian-cyclist rather than a vehicular one, you are afforded the option of travelling at speeds appropriate to the given situation (not having to keep up speeds of traffic around you to minimise inconvenience to motorists), talking to people on the path, saying 'excuse me' and 'thankyou' in addition to impersonal (and often irritating) belling. It is much easier to be a courteous and concientious cyclist on the footpath than to apologise to motorists in their steel bubbles who are gone again in an eyeblink.

Obviously it's illegal to be on the footpath, but in my eyes I'm more likely to cause an accident on the road than I am on the path going 10 kmh and paying attention. It also pays to pick your timing and your route - footpaths have rush hour too, often corresponding to school proximity.

(edit for clarity)
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby hannos » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:18 am

necro thread is bad.


On the topic of licenses.
You do not have a license to allow you on the roads.
You have a license to 'prove' you are capable of handling a very heavy vehicle that can go at great speed.

If you aren't capable of riding a bike, you wont be upright for very long. So needing a license for a bicycle is pointless.

Oh and virtually anyone in NSW can get a license without any trouble...



Now onto the next argument - registration.
This is in place to ensure the motor vehicle is roadworthy. That's it, nothing more.
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:43 am

Is this thread still going? At one post, I am calling DragsterGirl83 a troll. Let's see:

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Oh yeah! TROLL! :evil:
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:15 am

Hazel wrote:A roller-blader or skateboarder (with no brakes I might add) is permitted on the footpath.


So am I, sans brakes. Nyuk nyuk.

I find that skateboarders, though sometimes not as well behaved as a fuddy duddy (me) would like, never seem to have trouble stopping, a lot quicker than a cyclist, albeit from a slower speed. It's a matter of speed and mass and sharp bits hanging that give rise to a different level of likely damage.

I understood that the legalilty of riding on footpaths is largely up to council bylaws, which makes it difficult if they do not post the paths accordingly. It was certainly the case twenty or thirty years ago when cycling started on the up-and-up. Or am I well out of date?
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby martinjs » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:49 am

Hey and lets not forget in this debate that horses are ridden on the road and you don't need a license for one of them. :lol:
Perhaps we should force all horse riders to ride on the footpath? :wink:

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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:33 am

martinjs wrote:Hey and lets not forget in this debate that horses are ridden on the road and you don't need a license for one of them. :lol:
Perhaps we should force all horse riders to ride on the footpath? :wink:

Martin

But are helmets compulsory for horse riding? I think we should definitely debate the merits of compulsory helmet wearing for horse riders who ride their horses on the road. They don't pay registration you know. Maybe all horses should be registered so the rider can be fined if they break the law. Would horse riding decrease if the govt brought in compulsory helmets and registration for horse riding? And what about the children? Won't somebody please think about the children! :wink: :twisted: :lol: :mrgreen:
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:57 pm

Horses are fine on teh road. But if they are allowed to share the marked bike lanes or the PSP and RSP then avoid the nasty steamers! Otherwise we will all need knobblies fitted to give us some hope of maintaining grip! :mrgreen:
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby martinjs » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:35 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:Horses are fine on teh road. But if they are allowed to share the marked bike lanes or the PSP and RSP then avoid the nasty steamers! Otherwise we will all need knobblies fitted to give us some hope of maintaining grip! :mrgreen:



:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby Baldy » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:36 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:Is this thread still going? At one post, I am calling DragsterGirl83 a troll. Let's see:

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Oh yeah! TROLL! :evil:


I dont blame her for not coming back, with responses like yours. And the others, if she was fair dinkum then its no wonder.

What a bunch of legends :roll:
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:22 pm

Baldy wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:Is this thread still going? At one post, I am calling DragsterGirl83 a troll. Let's see:

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Oh yeah! TROLL! :evil:


I dont blame her for not coming back, with responses like yours. And the others, if she was fair dinkum then its no wonder.

What a bunch of legends :roll:



Hi

Causal cyclist a legend ... sure is, well in the Audax world anyway :).

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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:42 pm

Baldy wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:Is this thread still going? At one post, I am calling DragsterGirl83 a troll. Let's see:

Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:43 am
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Oh yeah! TROLL! :evil:


I dont blame her for not coming back, with responses like yours. And the others, if she was fair dinkum then its no wonder.

What a bunch of legends :roll:

Hugs and kisses to you too sweetie :D

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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby madrapper » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:42 pm

Having recently visited Tokyo, all this hoo-ha about riding on footpaths is laughable.
They allow bikes on the footpath which are packed with people and right in the middle of the city. No problems at all.

And yet here we even have issues riding on PSP's let alone footpaths.

Having said that I rarely need to go the footpath option these days. Be a different story if i still lived in Sydney though. My commute regularly used footpaths then.
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby martinjs » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:54 pm

madrapper wrote:Having recently visited Tokyo, all this hoo-ha about riding on footpaths is laughable.
They allow bikes on the footpath which are packed with people and right in the middle of the city. No problems at all.

And yet here we even have issues riding on PSP's let alone footpaths.

Having said that I rarely need to go the footpath option these days. Be a different story if i still lived in Sydney though. My commute regularly used footpaths then.

I don't think the ra ra, is just about people riding on the footpath. No one here that I know of would ever argue that kids shouldn't ride on the footpath. The first point is that in most areas it illegal for Adults unless with kids which again no one has argued against. The average Australian bike rider seems to ride a lot faster then some other countries that people use to demonstrate certain points of view.
I truly believe that going more than 10k's an hour is to fast for any footpath and the stats cleanly show a very high accident rate by cyclist who use footpaths while entering main roads.
Finally, here we are fighting to be taken seriously on the roads and we get people rambling on about how it ok to ride on footpaths and ignore the laws. :roll:

If you don't like the laws, fight to change them otherwise sorry you have know right to judge others for following the law. Read the first post again and really tell me they are completely serious.
The people of try and justify breaking the rules drive me crazy.
In case you wish to judge me without checking out some of my posts, I have been involved in both a work place environment and a Motor Cycle Action group to Change both working conditions and road laws so I can judge. 8)

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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:50 pm

hook. line. sinker.
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Re: Footpath commuting - thoughts?

Postby madrapper » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:11 am

Ahhhh. I feel a bit like the guy that left his bag on the keyboard and inadvertantly <insert Real Bad Thing here>.

And fair call on one point - I've been about the place long enough to know that I should've read the whole thread from the start.

Geniunely sorry.

In the meantime my priorities will continue to be; ride safely, sensibly & legally. In that order.
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