It is the well crafted ones that I would not like to see painted in a corner or out of the picture because we all bundle them into the same basket as the "loose associations". As peds that I speak to seem to do.
Yes, even the good ones find it difficult however to moderate speed quickly and my response to them is to accommodate them by doing the slowing myself and moving across. Regardless of the legal bits and bobs.
Totally agree that there is a clear distiction between "well crafted" groups and loose associations. I too move across to accommodate them too - to avoid being hit but the point of the OP, whether they be loose associations or well crafted groups, by riding two abreast, they are creating danger for other riders and themselves. The path is not wide enough, to accommodate any contingency when things go wrong. On 99% of occasions nothing does go wrong but on the 1% when there is a problem, that is when people get hurt. It takes some time and distance for groups riding in pairs to move into single file. If the intention was to to do so when an oncoming rider is sighted, it would be too late to accommodate this action.
I would argue that if a group is riding two abreast on a PSP then by virtue of their actions (and ignorance of the law/danger) they are not "well crafted".
I think something many experienced cyclists may not realise is just how intimidating a group of cyclists travelling in the oposite direction can be. One Saturday my regular shop group rode to Mandurah on the Kwinana PSP, we rode in single file and on a straight quiet section quite a way south of Perth we encounted a couple of 'recreational cyclists' coming the other way. For no logical reason, one of these two riders panicked and moved into the path of our group. The result was that both she and one of my riders were hospitalised with nasty, deep lacerations and shock. My point is that groups on PSPs do not know for certain what the oncoming (or overtaken) cyclists will do and there is no opportunity to react if you are in a bunch.
This question may be better in it's own thread if it is highly complex or contentious but here goes - As you have identified yourself as a group rider you may be able to give me an idea of how people *should* get into riding in a group as I have always understood that do do a good job, especially at speed, requires a lot more than just learning the hand signals. How does a group accommodate different capacity riders and for example. I think of group rides a little like a flight of ducks - Each one mirrors the actions in front a moment later so you would not a more powerful duck or one that corners differently in the group. And do riders in a proper (not loosley associated) have very similar configurations? Does a flat bar rider could respond differently timing wise and if so should they be riding only with similar bikes?
Colin, you are right, I will start a new thread to respond to this.