keep left on shared paths

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keep left on shared paths

Postby BigPete » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:56 pm

Should pedestrians walk on the same side & same direction of a shared path as cyclists ride or should they walk against the cyclist flow?
All shared paths I have used state that both pedestrians & cyclists are to keep left. Common sense would suggest that this is not safe practice. I was taught that when walking on a road you should face traffic so that should the driver not see you, you have a chance of ‘jumping’ out of harms way.
Not sure what the legality of not following this is but when I walk on shared paths I walk against the bike flow. I know it causes the blood pressure to increase for some cyclists but I feel much safer.
When riding a bike I would feel much safer knowing that dark dressed pedestrians on dimly lit, wet paths have an opportunity to get out of the way of me rather than having a rear end crash. Pedestrians often roam all over the left hand side of the path &/or stick their arms out or have dogs on a leash.
Am I missing something on the safety issues here or are the people who make these rules not looking out for our best interests?
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby russellgarrard » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:07 pm

In an ideal world and cycling utopia we'd have two paths, one for cyclists AND pedestrians, who want to dawdle along, smell the flowers etc, limited to about 10-15km/ph with absolute liability on the cyclists part.

Then we'd have the 'For serious commuting cycling', where you'd expect speeds of 20+, anywhere up to 45.

While legally you should be walking in the direction of traffic I can completely understand why you walk the opposite direction, there are so many dear friend cyclists out there who are hell bent on getting past pedestrians etc. I had an incident recently where a cyclist had to go into the dirt to get past me...I was walking and my woolworths bag broke (mmm, chocolate cake...bribe for someone else), in an attempt to grab it (which I did) before it hit the ground I had to duck onto the right hand side of the path...now, if the dropkick had been going walking pace and then sped up after he went past he wouldn't of had to go into the dirt.

I don't get it, so many cyclists complain about being buzzed by cars yet they are happy to do it to pedestrians :|

NYE's last night, I was on the footpath (too many UIL's on the road). I switched off front/rear lights and was riding AT walking pace, 3-4km/ph etc. Still had people try to get off the path to let me through, had to tell them repeatedly the footpath was for foot traffic tonight and not to worry about me. As soon as I would of gone past them I would of had to battle the other 50+ others on the path ahead. It was worth either risking the road or just going with the flow.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:08 pm

I couldn't agree more
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Oxford » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:33 pm

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.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby trailgumby » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:37 pm

bendertiger wrote:While legally you should be walking in the direction of traffic I can completely understand why you walk the opposite direction, there are so many d***h*** cyclists out there who are hell bent on getting past pedestrians etc. I had an incident recently where a cyclist had to go into the dirt to get past me...I was walking and my woolworths bag broke (mmm, chocolate cake...bribe for someone else), in an attempt to grab it (which I did) before it hit the ground I had to duck onto the right hand side of the path...now, if the dropkick had been going walking pace and then sped up after he went past he wouldn't of had to go into the dirt.

I don't get it, so many cyclists complain about being buzzed by cars yet they are happy to do it to pedestrians :|

Let's try an alternate scenario: you're on the road, walking along and your bag breaks. In order to catch it before it hits the ground, you have to duck into the right hand side of the road just as a car is passing you. He hits you. You are in hospital on life support in a vegetative state for the rest of your life.

Who is in the wrong?

On the road, the same rules apply as the bike path: if a pedestrian is already in the road, they have right of way.

However, in this instance you are probably in the wrong, as it is an offence to move into the path of a vehicle as you have done. You would probably get some small percentage of contributory negligence awarded in your favour against the motorist, but your family will wear the brunt of the cost of your care. My expectation is the same will apply in a bike path, and (unlike most peds, I agree) I treat walking on a bike path with the same degree of caution as walking on the road.

I would be grateful the cyclist was willing to risk a crash to avoid you.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby russellgarrard » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Sorry, I should of mentioned, if I was walking on a roadway and the bag split, my first reaction would be to walk immediately OFF the road as far as possible to assess the situation.

The 'path' I was on where my bag broke was in fact a footpath, not a bicycle path, not a designated shared path. A footpath, which, ironically, was slightly downhill at the time and used by various people, especially oldies and young kids. The amount of bicycle traffic along here is very few and far between, maybe 5 if that in a whole day.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Oxford » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:49 pm

bendertiger wrote:Sorry, I should of mentioned, if I was walking on a roadway and the bag split, my first reaction would be to walk immediately OFF the road as far as possible to assess the situation.

The 'path' I was on where my bag broke was in fact a footpath, not a bicycle path, not a designated shared path. A footpath, which, ironically, was slightly downhill at the time and used by various people, especially oldies and young kids. The amount of bicycle traffic along here is very few and far between, maybe 5 if that in a whole day.
unless its signed specifically no bicycles, it is by default a shared pathway in Queensland.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby BigPete » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:57 pm

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.


Oxford. Not sure what you are conveying here. Your first sentence seems to suggest you agree with me in that walkers should face cyclists yet you then go onto say people should follow the rules which is not to face the traffic.
My original statement was not whether we should/should not follow rules but whether the rule in this case is in the best safety interests of users of shared paths.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Aushiker » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:58 pm

BigPete wrote:Should pedestrians walk on the same side & same direction of a shared path as cyclists ride or should they walk against the cyclist flow?
All shared paths I have used state that both pedestrians & cyclists are to keep left. Common sense would suggest that this is not safe practice. I was taught that when walking on a road you should face traffic so that should the driver not see you, you have a chance of ‘jumping’ out of harms way.
Not sure what the legality of not following this is but when I walk on shared paths I walk against the bike flow. I know it causes the blood pressure to increase for some cyclists but I feel much safer.
When riding a bike I would feel much safer knowing that dark dressed pedestrians on dimly lit, wet paths have an opportunity to get out of the way of me rather than having a rear end crash. Pedestrians often roam all over the left hand side of the path &/or stick their arms out or have dogs on a leash.
Am I missing something on the safety issues here or are the people who make these rules not looking out for our best interests?


Hi

In most states if not all that have adopted the National Road Code you will find that pedestrians on dual use paths have the right of way and can work on the left or right as they see fit. YOU as the cyclist has to give way/be prepared to stop etc.

A review of your State's Road Code should clarify matters for you. To illustrate the point, Section 216 from the WA Road Code is the relevant section:

216. Shared paths and separated footpaths

(1) The rider of a bicycle who is 12 years of age or older shall not ride on a footpath, that is not a shared path or a separated footpath.
(2) The rider of a bicycle who is on a separated footpath or a shared path shall give way to a pedestrian who is on, or is crossing, the separated footpath or shared path.
(3) The rider of a bicycle riding on a separated footpath or shared path shall keep to the left of the separated footpath or shared path unless it is impracticable to do so.
(4) A person shall not ride a bicycle on a separated footpath or a shared path so that the bicycle is travelling abreast of any other bicycle on the path.
(5) Subregulation (4) does not prevent a cyclist from overtaking or passing other persons riding bicycles on the path.
(6) For the purposes of this regulation, a bicycle is abreast of another bicycle if any part of it is by the side of any part of the other.

217. Riding to the left of oncoming bicycle riders on a path The rider of a bicycle riding on a path shall keep to the left of any oncoming bicycle rider on the path.


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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Oxford » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:19 pm

BigPete 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.


Oxford. Not sure what you are conveying here. Your first sentence seems to suggest you agree with me in that walkers should face cyclists yet you then go onto say people should follow the rules which is not to face the traffic.
My original statement was not whether we should/should not follow rules but whether the rule in this case is in the best safety interests of users of shared paths.
its bad enough that there is already confusion out there with the current arrangements without encouraging further confusion by trying to change pedestrian behaviour that flies in the face of what many would call common sense. would we suggest different types of users proceed against the normal flow of traffic on the roads, off course not, its just not sensible, so why would we encourage it anywhere else? I'm sure if this was even a halfway credible solution, legislators would consider it. the fact that it is not considered speaks volumes about it as a solution to a problem which IMO only exists because of a lack of education and compliance.

the first point of my post was to clarify why a person would consider travelling against the flow of traffic. I would only do it under the circumstances I mentioned, not as a normal thing.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby russellgarrard » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:16 pm

Oxford wrote:
bendertiger wrote:Sorry, I should of mentioned, if I was walking on a roadway and the bag split, my first reaction would be to walk immediately OFF the road as far as possible to assess the situation.

The 'path' I was on where my bag broke was in fact a footpath, not a bicycle path, not a designated shared path. A footpath, which, ironically, was slightly downhill at the time and used by various people, especially oldies and young kids. The amount of bicycle traffic along here is very few and far between, maybe 5 if that in a whole day.
unless its signed specifically no bicycles, it is by default a shared pathway in Queensland.


I understand that, but they still have differences between footpaths and 'shared' paths in qld...it's screwed up, it really is, but my beef is the fact that he should of slowed right down near a pedestrian...it's not too hard, I do it all the time
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Nate » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:42 am

Best they dont face you - otherwise confusion will happen!
you're coming up to a pedestrian & are on track to eventually collide...
they go to move left... and so do you...
then they move right... and so do you...
left again... and you as well...

it happens every now & then when you walk through the city!
Best they have their back to you & walk in a predictable straight line :)

As noted above with cars & walking head on - there's a huge difference in speeds & energy, thus risks are higher & a different approach is required, i.e. awareness of the situation by both parties.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby russellgarrard » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:19 am

I'd also like to mention under TORUM in qld a pedestrian on a roadway where no footpath is provided or a reasonably safe area to walk that is forced to walk on the roadway MUST walk opposite (face on) to traffic.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby BigPete » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:45 pm

What is the difference between pedestrians on a road to pedestrians on a bike path? Why is it safer for walkers to face wheeled traffic on a road but not to face wheeled traffic on a bike path?
Granted, the resultant injuries on a road are potentially greater but the principals are the same. The idea is to avoid accidents not just avoid deaths.
Pedestrians can change direction in a perpendicular manner in one step, wheeled vehicles can’t do that.
On a dark & wet night a cyclists may not see walkers until it too late to avoid a collision but chances are that if a walker was facing the cyclist he would move out of the bikes way.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Nate » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:49 pm

BigPete wrote:What is the difference between pedestrians on a road to pedestrians on a bike path? Why is it safer for walkers to face wheeled traffic on a road but not to face wheeled traffic on a bike path?


As i noted above...
Car vs Ped - only the ped can change direction
Bike vs Ped - both can change direction

too confusing with Peds walking oncoming as both will instinctively move to avoid collision
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Oxford » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:59 pm

BigPete wrote:......On a dark & wet night a cyclists may not see walkers until it too late to avoid a collision but chances are that if a walker was facing the cyclist he would move out of the bikes way.
that would suggest to me that the cyclist is not riding to the conditions ie they are riding too fast.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby BigPete » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:02 pm

Nate wrote:
BigPete wrote:What is the difference between pedestrians on a road to pedestrians on a bike path? Why is it safer for walkers to face wheeled traffic on a road but not to face wheeled traffic on a bike path?


As i noted above...
Car vs Ped - only the ped can change direction
Bike vs Ped - both can change direction

too confusing with Peds walking oncoming as both will instinctively move to avoid collision


The is not true. When I am driving & I see someone walking on the road facing me & on the same side I move to the right to go around. Surely you are not suggesting that you make no effort to go around the person?
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby BigPete » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:05 pm

Oxford wrote:
BigPete wrote:......On a dark & wet night a cyclists may not see walkers until it too late to avoid a collision but chances are that if a walker was facing the cyclist he would move out of the bikes way.
that would suggest to me that the cyclist is not riding to the conditions ie they are riding too fast.



That may well be true, however the idea is to make it safer for everyone. You will never stop people speeding or not taking appropriate care so things should be changed to cater for these people who don't take care.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby m@ » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:09 pm

As well as the reasons Nate mentioned - the speed differential is higher on the road (to the point where the pedestrian may as well be stationary) while on a shared path might be 30, 40 or 50% that of the cyclist. This means that walking toward oncoming traffic increases the closing speed and reduces reaction times. It's also a different situation because any cyclist on a shared path should be riding to the conditions and expecting to encounter and avoid pedestrians. While this applies equally to drivers, relatively few roads that would ever have pedestrian traffic don't have a footpath - so for drivers encountering a pedestrian walking along a roadway is unusual. For a cyclist on a shared path avoiding a pedestrian is much, much easier if they walk on the left and in a straight line - almost every time I've encountered pedestrians walking toward me on the right they've done exactly as Nate described.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Oxford » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:13 pm

BigPete wrote:
Oxford wrote:
BigPete wrote:......On a dark & wet night a cyclists may not see walkers until it too late to avoid a collision but chances are that if a walker was facing the cyclist he would move out of the bikes way.
that would suggest to me that the cyclist is not riding to the conditions ie they are riding too fast.



That may well be true, however the idea is to make it safer for everyone. You will never stop people speeding or not taking appropriate care so things should be changed to cater for these people who don't take care.
yes you are right things should be changed, people should be educated to ride to the conditions. that to me would be a better spend than trying to change which side of a path people should walk on. it seems simple to me, the current system works if used correctly. it is simple and easy and needs no further complication other than people to use it.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby jet-ski » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:15 pm

If you are walking facing traffic you increase closing speed.... which is also dangerous. I think the facing traffic rule applies to country roads or other roads where there is no footpath to walk on. It does not apply in urban areas or on shared paths.

Also in the scenario that its dark and rainy, cyclists should slow down (and I just ordered some Ayups so I can see better), and if peds are aware of the conditions maybe they should have some blinkies? especially people walking dogs... if i walk on the psp with my black dog, I put a blinkie on her collar and it helps!

In closing, some people are a**hats.... some drive cars, some ride bikes and some are pedestrians.... it's just the way it is!
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Oxford » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:32 pm

yep agree with the dog idea. actually have a couple of good dog walkers on one of the pathways I traverse who have blinkies on the dog collar and also midway on the fixed lead. makes it so easy to see them and anticipate their actions, but then they are also responsible enough to walk predictably and appreciate when you give them a ding on approach with the bell.
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby Nate » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:39 pm

BigPete wrote:The is not true. When I am driving & I see someone walking on the road facing me & on the same side I move to the right to go around. Surely you are not suggesting that you make no effort to go around the person?


change of direction for a pedestrian is much higher than that of a car...
a car wont change that much compared to a pedestrian - so its primarily the ped that moves & if the car is about to hit the ped they're not paying attention & going to move
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby brentono » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:05 pm

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:
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Re: keep left on shared paths

Postby stryker84 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:20 am

I just walk on the left with the traffic, unless it's on a road shoulder, then its on the right into incoming traffic.

Why? Cos I know I, and most cyclists with an ounce of common sense ride on the left (and slow down on paths). If that's the case, then oncoming bikes aren't a problem (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.

Sure, every now and then you get the idiot dinging the bell furiously from behind you, or screaming at you to move out. I take those with a pinch of salt, I move off the path ONLY IF I CAN, but else 99.999% of times they'll swerve past at the last moment (and I say it's good karma if that causes them to spill :twisted: ), and sometimes fire off some choice words back at them.
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