Allow riding on footpaths

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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:43 pm

GraemeL wrote: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.

When I see footpath riders (often adults, on road bikes or hybrids) zipping through strip-shopping areas at 20-25kmh, I know this is a fallacy.

This sort of behaviour is way too common in the suburbs, even with the laws. But of course that's because the law is rarely enforced and not socially frowned on.
Last edited by il padrone on Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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by BNA » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:48 pm

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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby GraemeL » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:48 pm

il padrone wrote:
GraemeL wrote: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.

When I see footpath riders (often adults, on road bikes or hybrids) zipping through strip-shopping areas at 20-25kmh, I know this is a fallacy.


Just like drivers, not all cyclists obey the rules. There will always be some that think they are above the law, until it catches up with them.

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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:22 pm

DamH, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this point then. I CANNOT support any initiative that defends vehicles doing 15kph that aren't actively seeking to give way to faster vehicles. Sometimes you're looking for a house number, sometimes you've got engine trouble, and your car does 15kph in the 70 zone... but you actively attempt to keep yourself out of the way in those situations. There is no other reasonable expectation to have. Saying the bike has a right to be there also implies that the bike has a right to be a pain in the bum - I know that I will enforce that right when it gets hairy on the road to claim the lane etc.

This is indeed the difficulty with many road rules. Indicating is virtually impossible to prove in court without witnesses. Without 3rd party evidence like eyewitnesses, a lot of laws are totally unenforceable and that's just dumb, because a crime without evidence in many situations is essentially pointless. There are many serious crimes like sexual assault which can have the same he said she said stalemate. Really, the appropriate action is to provide enough education and support to both parties to prevent the problem from happening in the first place.

All people really need to be told "cyclists communicate their intentions, and you need to respect their space, because they have limits on what they can do in some situations". We claim the lane when it is plain unsafe for a car to pass, we move over to let them past once it is safe. That is not understood by motorists or pedestrians. I'm shocked by the number of peds who think I must be some psycho carbon sniffer who demands to thunder down the path as I ding the bell... I'm just trying to make sure I don't make them brown their trousers by ducking through a gap (between prams for example!!!). Consideration has to go both ways, the problem is that cyclists taking control of a situation is not something that most people are ready for. (This could be a society generalist issue though, it might not be restricted to the footpath or the road)
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby DarrylH » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:44 pm

What many don't seem to realise is that not all foopaths are equal. I live in the ACT and can legally ride on footpaths. But there is a massive difference between CBD footpaths and outer suburb footpaths. The politicians only see the CBD footpaths and declare riding on footpaths to be dangerous, but driving through the outer suburbs of Sydney you will see kilometers of good footpath which is virtually unused by pedestrians. My wifes brother (and two mates) were killed riding on the road and there is no way she would ever ride on the road, so if we ever moved to Sydney her bike would immediately be up for sale.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:54 pm

Xplora wrote:I CANNOT support any initiative that defends vehicles doing 15kph that aren't actively seeking to give way to faster vehicles.

Give way? :?

I'll say it again - the rules are completely clear on this - regardless of speed, the contrary is the case. It is the obligation of overtaking vehicles to 'give way' to cyclists (really make their overtake move safely) at all times.

Any other claims that cyclists must somehow give way to vehicles overtaking from behind are totally spurious - both legally and morally incorrect!
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:08 pm

il padrone wrote:
Xplora wrote:I CANNOT support any initiative that defends vehicles doing 15kph that aren't actively seeking to give way to faster vehicles.

Give way? :?

Give way was a loaded choice of words... perhaps a better choice would be "get out of the way/make way". Trucks are not legally obliged to stay in the slow lane, but they do to improve traffic flows for everyone. This is particularly pertinent in the bumper to bumper traffic where a truck trying to climb a hill is going to cause enormous delays for all. A bike in traffic is like a manual car that only has one gear. Some situations they create a disaster, others they do not. I hazard a guess that many of the commuters using this forum are pretty quick, but they do not form the whole population of riders. The pootlers would benefit from legal support for their footpath riding... I think that's the important thing to me - you can't say something is acceptable if it is illegal according to the law. The fact that MHL isn't really policed anymore doesn't change the fact that extremely few serious commuters would go without, because it's asking for trouble.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Oxford » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:33 pm

so who and how do we decide are the pootlers and not? and I mean any form of transport, not just cyclists? the driver who is doing less than the speed limit in the right lane but is legally allowed to be there, should they have to get out of my way because I can and want to do the speed limit (no matter my choice of transport)? should all the non fast accelerating traffic get out of my way when I'm riding the moto because I can hit the 60km/h speed limit in first gear in seconds?

its simple, the laws are already there, the vehicles that wish to pass must do so safely no matter what type of vehicle is ahead of them.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:02 pm

DarrylH wrote: My wifes brother (and two mates) were killed riding on the road and there is no way she would ever ride on the road, so if we ever moved to Sydney her bike would immediately be up for sale.

One of the major causes of cyclist collisions and deaths in urban areas - entering the roadway.

You do this much more frequently when riding footpaths, at every minor side street. This is arguably much more dangerous than the risk of being hit from behind, but so many people don't (or can't) conceptualise this.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:19 pm

Oxford wrote:so who and how do we decide are the pootlers and not? and I mean any form of transport, not just cyclists? the driver who is doing less than the speed limit in the right lane but is legally allowed to be there, should they have to get out of my way because I can and want to do the speed limit (no matter my choice of transport)? should all the non fast accelerating traffic get out of my way when I'm riding the moto because I can hit the 60km/h speed limit in first gear in seconds?

its simple, the laws are already there, the vehicles that wish to pass must do so safely no matter what type of vehicle is ahead of them.

I think the presence of a "reasonable speed" in the road rules would suffice. Then the courts can have a chance to fail us again :lol:

Honestly, if you are riding the same speed as a pedestrian walking/jogging, you should be allowed to use the footpath. You are no greater risk to the public than a ped. Once you are at running speed, 20+ kph you should be on the road.

A lot of the frustration directed at cyclists is simply venting because asserting your right to ride and making everyone's else's life miserable doesn't help. There are many occasions where a driver fails to appreciate just how slow they actually are - we need to educate these people. I'd imagine that most of your "fast commuters" would not be hogging the road without cause.

I think it would definitely be reasonable to say "if you demand a 70kph limit, we have to put in a PSP/bike path to reduce cyclist impact on the road". This kind of idea has actually been remarkably successful in the Hills area with the Tway/M7 and linking paths. My little patch of the world has tons of really good paths. Very little cyclist impact on these roads. But these were also associated with remarkable infrastructure changes.... the bike paths were an afterthought, not the primary objective.

I know the rules are there, but the rules can be changed, and they currently suck hard, because they have not mitigated driver angst or reinforced cyclist rights on the road very much at all. I don't want to be "dead right".
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Oxford » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:56 am

you've hit the nail on the head, it is education and as I have long held, I think all license holders should have to graduate to holding a license through stages such as log book hours on a bicycle (from age of 16), then hold a motorcycle/scooter license, then a car license then they can get a heavy vehicle license. when every road user has experienced every form of transport, they will appreciate it more.

plus we need better enforcement in the courts and loss of license means starting the process described above from the beginning.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:39 pm

Makes for an interesting proposal. Would lead to dramatic increases in the numbers of cyclists and motorbikes/scooters, because MANY people will never progress through the ranks. Might be worthwhile introducing such a licencing system from age 12 though - Allow kids to build their time when they are little, and it doesn't cost their parents anything. If you made it mandatory to pass a road test on the pushie before going to the moto licence, you might not even need to bother with logbooks (which don't work IMO because it is easy to lie, and you don't need honest people doing the time, you need the dodgy people doing the time). The kid shows confidence and dexterity on the bike, they might be able to handle the motor. If they show confidence and dexterity on the moto, they will be able to handle a car easily. I would be in favour of accelerating people through the moto stage until cars, leaving a longer period for the pushy. Maybe 4 years for the pushy, starting at 12, then allow moto Ls at 16, and moto Ps at 17, car Ls at 17 and Ps at 18. Anything beyond using that.

Has a couple useful implications. Many won't bother going to the car because their need for transportation and freedom is completely met at 16. Remember, the moto L plater doesn't have supervision next to them! Plus, we don't let the car driver have sole control until 18, when they are legally an adult. Parents still control the process, and it does introduce a lot more potential riders into the system. I can't imagine having to drive to work anymore. I drive now because my baby son can't sit up in the babyseat yet ;)

I think this could help suppress a lot of angst throughout the system. The added benefit that you could start stealing away class time for the year 9-10 students to teach them road rules as part of a civics course. Everyone uses the road. If the public education system doesn't have time to train citizens, they need to cut out some BS like PE or one of the many peripheral subjects that isn't going to prepare the kid for real life.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Oxford » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:03 pm

exactly, people will learn that there are alternatives and as you say not move on because their needs are satisfied.

now what politician is brave enough to propose it?Image
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby myforwik » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:22 pm

David_G wrote:I think you'll find the stop signs and lights apply to the boundaries of the carriageway, whic inludes the footpaths. Sorry to spoil you fun on that one.


You have to take into account the definition of "intersection" which is: " the area where 2 or more roads (except
any road-related area) meet".

A road-related area of course includes a footpath and the shoulder of the road. So any regulation that involves an intersection does not apply to someone in the shoulder or on the footpath. For a stop and giveway signs (which only exist at intersections) they are specifically worded to only apply to intersections. So you can ride straight past a stop sign in the shoulder of the road (of course you still have to give way if you enter/cross the road - as any vehicle enterting the road from a road related area is required to do.)

The question of traffic lights is a little more complicated. Consider a T intersection where you want to go straight through. if you are on the foot path no one would claim you should have to stop in line with the red light. But a footpath and the shoulder of the road are the same thing, both road related areas. So if it applies to one it applies to the other.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:56 pm

Oxford wrote:exactly, people will learn that there are alternatives and as you say not move on because their needs are satisfied.

now what politician is brave enough to propose it?Image

Oxford, you ARE the politician... just not a professional one ;) You think this proposal is refined enough to go on my "list of proposed changes"?

Funnily enough, more than MHL removal, I think 10 years of this particular proposal would have dramatic impacts on our roads. Increasing numbers of young cyclists would have a distinct cohort effect that would change the approach to bikes, as people realised that they were mowing down their relative's and neighbour's kids. I would imagine a lot more interest in protecting vulnerable cyclists if we push a bunch of 13 year olds onto the road.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby damhooligan » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:00 pm

Oxford wrote:you've hit the nail on the head, it is education and as I have long held, I think all license holders should have to graduate to holding a license through stages such as log book hours on a bicycle (from age of 16), then hold a motorcycle/scooter license, then a car license then they can get a heavy vehicle license. when every road user has experienced every form of transport, they will appreciate it more.

plus we need better enforcement in the courts and loss of license means starting the process described above from the beginning.



Forcing education on people is already present as 'driving tests'.
These test are not suficient and need to improve, as it clearly is not sufficient.
But giving the goverment permission to dictate wich mode of transport you have to use is ridiculous and wil never happen.
Forcing people to do things, wil teach them nothing, especially if the education that goes with it is not sufficient.
And seeing that the latter is the current issue, I suggest working on that first before trying anything else...

People already ride on the footpaths where they need to/want to,some legally ,some not.
That on it's own is not a problem, and I have nothing against this.

The problem by making it legal is , it wil become another way of the goverment saying; you do not belong on the road.
I consider this a major step in the wrong direction.
It wil only add to confusion...
What is a cyclist?, is it a 'fast pedestrian?, a slow car?
where am i 'supposed to ride' ?, footpath? road?
Do I have to ride on the footpath ? (wil become a common question...)

Currently by law, a bicycle is a vehicle, allowing vehicles on a footpath is really not a good idea..
I don't believe doing this wil create an opportunity for new cyclist to start riding.
And if they do, then that is where thy stay.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:49 pm

After seeing the "bike paths" near the Iron Cove bridge (essentially footpaths with a line down the middle), really the lesson needs to be that we need to specifically restrict riders from some paths for safety reasons, and let them choose otherwise... but the flipside is yes, some idiots in cars don't understand how to share and would force riders to the paths. Maybe their mummy didn't teach them when they were little? :roll:

I think a discussion about defining the bicycle would be very helpful. I honestly don't feel like a fast pedestrian, I feel like a highly maneuverable car who can duck in and out of traffic. I like being nimble. On a rat run, I'm only slower than the cars when we're on a long uphill run. Slower vehicle is a better definition for me.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby damhooligan » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:17 pm

Xplora wrote:some idiots in cars don't understand how to share and would force riders to the paths


Would ...
I would like to think of it as they would try... :D

Oh, they would suceed if we listen and and go back to the footpaths...
I would rather look at it as they try to get us off the roads, and they FAIL. !!! :mrgreen:

P.s., interesting read here..

http://theconversation.edu.au/wide-open ... ities-3944
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:50 pm

damhooligan wrote:
Xplora wrote:some idiots in cars don't understand how to share and would force riders to the paths


Would ...
I would like to think of it as they would try... :D

Oh, they would suceed if we listen and and go back to the footpaths...
I would rather look at it as they try to get us off the roads, and they FAIL. !!! :mrgreen:

P.s., interesting read here..

http://theconversation.edu.au/wide-open ... ities-3944

I should add that they have definitely succeeded. Biking to work is an activity for an extreme few. I work in one of the largest buildings in western Sydney, and there are a couple hundred full car spots, compared to a dozen bikes on a busy day - the bike rack is free, and secure. The car spots are probably 5-10 grand a year to hire each. There is no way that we are winning the war. The main excuse for people not riding is danger - that means most people think we're not on the road. Either way... I will have a read of the link.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby diggler » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:37 pm

il padrone wrote:
DarrylH wrote: My wifes brother (and two mates) were killed riding on the road and there is no way she would ever ride on the road, so if we ever moved to Sydney her bike would immediately be up for sale.

One of the major causes of cyclist collisions and deaths in urban areas - entering the roadway.

You do this much more frequently when riding footpaths, at every minor side street. This is arguably much more dangerous than the risk of being hit from behind, but so many people don't (or can't) conceptualise this.


Postmen ride footpaths and you don't hear about a lot of them being hit. As long as you ride slow i.e. under 15 km/h it is pretty safe.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby ruscook » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:46 pm

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.

Image

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.

Spot on! Lverpool council recently completed a shared bike path along Elizabeth Drive (basically from opposite Bonnyrig H.S. to Liverpool Rd North). Totally inappropriate for commuting. It has a driveway for EVERY house, and they are all normal 1960's building blocks, and MANY side streets. The pic il padrone has posted sums up the dangers of this shared path perfectly.

It's really frustrating as Fairfield council had built a great on road cycleway AND an off road cycleway on the rest of Elizabeth Drive, but you can't 8e it to get rom the M7 into Liverpool due to the inadequacies of the Liverpool council section (7km into the CBD)....
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:06 pm

diggler wrote:
il padrone wrote:
DarrylH wrote: My wifes brother (and two mates) were killed riding on the road and there is no way she would ever ride on the road, so if we ever moved to Sydney her bike would immediately be up for sale.

One of the major causes of cyclist collisions and deaths in urban areas - entering the roadway.

You do this much more frequently when riding footpaths, at every minor side street. This is arguably much more dangerous than the risk of being hit from behind, but so many people don't (or can't) conceptualise this.


Postmen ride footpaths and you don't hear about a lot of them being hit. As long as you ride slow i.e. under 15 km/h it is pretty safe.

You realise this is a stupid comparison? Seriously? Cyclists are almost silent unless they have a seriously clacky rear hub. Postie bikes are revved over and over again in between houses, so the noise is loud, really hard to ignore or get used to because it is so unusual. They are about the easiest thing you can possibly imagine to put on a footpath and have no concern they will be hit. They also don't go very fast. I would go about twice the peak speed of a postie bike as they go between houses. The postie bike also has the benefit of enormous acceleration as they cross the street compared to a cyclist. I can't beat a motorbike's horsepower at any speed. They can adapt to an emergency situation better.

You have to compare apples with apples. Postie motor bikes and cyclists aren't even close to the same league (and the road rules reflect this very well).

Either way, 15kmh is too slow for my bike. I'd be genuinely worried about riding that slow along a path with cleats, because you aren't really going quick enough to allow enough distance to unclip for emergencies. You need to go quick to mess with cars, and that doesn't work well on footpaths in many situations.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Oxford » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:17 pm

posties will travel along the footpath a any particular location typically just once a day, 5 days a week (twice a day during Xmas peak). any number of cyclists will use the footpath at all hours of the day, everyday of the week.
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby wombatK » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:33 pm

Oxford wrote:I think all license holders should have to graduate to holding a license through stages such as log book hours on a bicycle (from age of 16), then hold a motorcycle/scooter license, then...

There is absolutely no way you will convince anyone who's visited the orthopaedic ward of their local hospital of this.
Per distance travelled, the Australian rate of motorcyclist deaths is approximately 30 times the rate for car occupants.
The corresponding rate for a serious injury is approximately 41 times higher.
Similar elevated rates are also found in other developed countries.

http://www.carrsq.qut.edu.au/publicatio ... ety_fs.pdf

Log book hours can and are easily fudged. Training isn't the issue - because you can't train attitude or respect for others.
Well, strictly, good parents can and do achieve this - but its a process that takes 15 to 20 years.

FWIW, I'm with Il Padrone - the collision risks at driveway exits and intersections are unacceptable. Footpaths are for pedestrians and kiddies riding under appropriate adult supervision, and no place for other cyclists.

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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby Xplora » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:35 pm

wombatK wrote:
Oxford wrote:I think all license holders should have to graduate to holding a license through stages such as log book hours on a bicycle (from age of 16), then hold a motorcycle/scooter license, then...

There is absolutely no way you will convince anyone who's visited the orthopaedic ward of their local hospital of this.

FWIW, I'm with Il Padrone - the collision risks at driveway exits and intersections are unacceptable. Footpaths are for pedestrians and kiddies riding under appropriate adult supervision, and no place for other cyclists.

Cheers

Funnily enough, the raised levels of danger on a motorbike is exactly WHY you force them to do it. It is high because it is presumed that motorbikes are ridden by rebels, hoons and drug dealers. The culture feeds into the attitude and it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. You need people on bikes because it IS a scary thing to do. You can switch off and be a murder machine with wheels with very little personal physical consequence in a SUV soccermum special. You can't do that on a motorbike. Your appreciation of that difference feeds into your driving, and you learn to deal with differences on the road better. Somehow millions of people manage to share roads in Asia. Why not here?

I think it would be helpful to designate certain footpaths as share paths. They aren't all littered with driveways, and sometimes it is helpful to move the bike off the road. The RTA thinks it can designate speed limits effectively, they could easily designate share paths. LOL
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Re: Allow riding on footpaths

Postby human909 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:59 pm

Xplora wrote:
wombatK wrote:
Oxford wrote:I think all license holders should have to graduate to holding a license through stages such as log book hours on a bicycle (from age of 16), then hold a motorcycle/scooter license, then...

There is absolutely no way you will convince anyone who's visited the orthopaedic ward of their local hospital of this.
Cheers

Funnily enough, the raised levels of danger on a motorbike is exactly WHY you force them to do it.


I completely agree with Xplora here. There are three reasons why motorcyclists have such terrible safety records in Australia.

-Terrible awareness of car drivers due to poor skills and lack of understanding

-Selection bias.
Most people who ride motorcycles in Australia are bigger risk takers than the average person. Thus their behaviour doesn't help. Yesterday I was shaking my head at a motorcyclist lane splitting at 80kph on a busy road with many cars changing lanes.

-Lower levels of protection
Sure motorcyclists have less protection than cars, but not to the degree that the stats show in Australia
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