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Old 04-17-08, 10:08 AM   #1
Raleigh Chopper
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Altercation on shared pedestrian/cycle path.

Hi all,

Before I recount today's little gem, I feel I need to point out that I have more problems with pedestrians than cars!

Anyway, where I live (Hampshire, UK) there are a lot of cycle lanes which are either (a) on the road, at the side of the road (I like these) or (b) on the pavement ("sidewalk" if you are from the US). Those that are on the pavement are clearly marked with big round blue signs at regular intervals showing a picture of a bicycle in white. In addition, they paint bloody great pictures of bicycles at regular intervals in road marker paint actually on the pavement. In other words, it is very very clear to a pedestrian that cyclists are allowed on that particular stretch of pavement.

Now to today's little gem ... I was riding along a stretch of dual use pavement (cyclists/pedestrians), which I ride along quite often with no problems at all. The pavement is a good eight feet wide, in excellent condition and is clearly marked out for dual use as described above. Today I saw a group of three people, walking slowly side-by-side towards me and taking up the entire width of the pavement. No matter, I though, I will ride as close to the edge as possible, occupying the last foot of the pavement and giving them fully seven feet in which to move in the opposite direction. They looked directly at me from a good distance - and did not move. So I continued hurtling towards them. Still they didn't move. The closer I got, the more they didn't move. At the last minute, the one I was heading towards stepped to the side and swore at me loudly, despite the fact that I had given her fully seven feet in which to move. I ignored her and carried on.

Now my question is this - under UK law, was I right or was she? Should I have got off the bike and stood in the mud on the verge like a gimp while this group of cretins ambled past, taking up all eight feet of the pavement? Or did I have the right to use the tiny amount of pavement that I did in order to force her to move?
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Old 04-17-08, 10:25 AM   #2
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You should have been looking at your derailler or your pedals so when you hit her you could say "Sorry I didnt see you"
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Old 04-17-08, 10:27 AM   #3
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I don't know about the law, but if on a path like this I always say 'Hello' in friendly way when approaching such a situation. Proactive communication melts such issues.

Al
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Old 04-17-08, 10:46 AM   #4
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I do usually do that - or smile at least - I did smile on this occasion, but I don't think it would have made the slightest difference! She had an expression on her face like she had a bad smell under her nose, despite my smile. Perhaps she is the kind of person who doesn't move for anybody, whether on wheels or feet and perhaps she's the kind of person who would ignore you and walk on through if you held a door open for her ... yep, they do exist! (I usually say "thank you!" in a loud voice to people who ignore me when I hold a door open for them!).
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Old 04-17-08, 10:55 AM   #5
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I had a similar incident last week with a man and woman peds out for a walk. The man was walking the wrong way in the bike lane and the woman was walking along side him on the sidewalk. The man had no intention to give any ground when I approached him, but luckily there was a break in the line of traffic and I was able to move into the lane and pass him, otherwise I probably would have had no other option but to stop or track stand in front of him until one of us would be able to move aside.
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Old 04-17-08, 11:47 AM   #6
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On the MUP's you will encounter a lot of very angry people who have issues. There will be those who want to prove how much more important than you, those who disapprove of cyclists being allowed to use "their" path and even those who are completely clueless about how wide a bicycle is. As with the rest of the world, the other 97% will be nice friendly people.

I've been angry and broken my bar end mirror on their arms............doesn't seem to help their attitude. I've been polite at other times and for many it also doesn't seem to make a difference. But for some, the latter seems to bring a smile to their face. When the peds holler after me "thankyou for telling us you were going to pass" I wonder................
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Old 04-17-08, 11:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I don't know about the law, but if on a path like this I always say 'Hello' in friendly way when approaching such a situation. Proactive communication melts such issues.

Al
I really agree with this... I find a friendly hello is far more useful then "on your left" or any other typical cycling "chant." I try to not come off as a "rude cyclist" to pedestrians... we seem to have so few "friends" out there.

Ultimately however, I do have both a loud voice, and on one bike, an AirZound... for those folks who seem to have their heads planted firmly where the sun does not shine. (very very rare on my MUPs... I used it last in the presence of a roller blader that went from side to side with his ipod no doubt on "disco..." )
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Old 04-17-08, 01:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I don't know about the law, but if on a path like this I always say 'Hello' in friendly way when approaching such a situation. Proactive communication melts such issues.

Al
I just give them the "move the 4uck over" signal (right hand making a sweeping motiion to the left).
I've yet to have a group not get the message.
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Old 04-17-08, 01:23 PM   #9
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I think proper trail etiquette would be to make sure that there's room for each side to pass. In this instance they should have moved over for you since they were occupying more than half the width of the path.
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Old 04-17-08, 01:31 PM   #10
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I think proper trail etiquette would be to make sure that there's room for each side to pass. In this instance they should have moved over for you since they were occupying more than half the width of the path.
Of course they should move over and, yes, it would be nice if they also would when one is approaching giving no other communication.

But instead of barreling at the three abreast (or what ever other face to face approaching scenario) and expecting them to because its the right thing to do with the mindset "they should know better", say something, even at 20mph slowing to 15mph to 10mph there is plenty of time for friendly share the path verbal communication. Be nice about it (even if others are not perfect) and on average interactions with other peds and cyclists on the MUP will end up positive and safer. In the end you will feel better too.

Al
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Old 04-17-08, 03:51 PM   #11
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There is also confusion as to which side walkers and cyclists should use.

On a road cyclist ride with traffic (the right), peds against. (the left)

On a MUP most cyclists ride on the right as if on a road.

Which side do peds walk on? Many on right because they are not on a road and pedestrian facilities generally have right side walking (think double doors on a building entrance)

Al
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Old 04-17-08, 04:07 PM   #12
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http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/ - stop using cycle lanes?

http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.c...y-of-the-month
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Old 04-17-08, 04:14 PM   #13
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Who needs MUP's for this type of conflict?

I once had a case wherein I was stopped at a 4-way intersection - at the same time a wrong-way cycling doofus on his Electra Townie (w/a cigar in his mouth, if I recall right) came up to do the same thing.

I did not venture to cross, knowing that he'd nail me with some stupid maneuver. It did not particularly matter, as he crossed anyway, and came to a wobbling crawl about 10 feet in front of my wheel, still sitting halfway in the intersection he was crossing.

Guess he expected me to move. Fat chance - I froze like a stone wall, glared at him, and said nothing. He ultimately passed around my left about 5 seconds later.

I wouldn't have had such a sour attitude towards him if it wasn't for the fact that I had seen him earlier, causing various road edge-changing havoc that even had the other leisure cyclists upset (too bad they didn't realize that they were just as bad).

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Old 04-17-08, 04:31 PM   #14
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Being from the UK, I'm familiar with the pavement (sidewalk) bike facilities to which Raleigh Chopper refers. I do not like them as they blur the distinction between roadway and pedestrian space. Moreover, many pedestrians forget that there is a right of way for bikes, despite markings and signs. They also invite trouble at side road junctions. The cyclist technically has right of way, in some cases - but you'd be foolish to chance it.

Really, they are a cop out by councils who can then say "We created XYZ miles of safe cycling routes in this county" I see kids and some slower cyclists on these paths very infreqently. They are unusable at even moderate speeds. Most opt for the road instead - you know where you stand there. In a few places in Oxford there are pavements marked with bike paths AND bike lanes marked on the road... Not what I'd term joined-up thinking... and thoroughly inconsistent where they are implemented.


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Old 04-17-08, 05:30 PM   #15
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Being erratic and difficult to predict sometimes works. Weave a little, pull out your cell phone. Stop about 50ft away, and then suddenly do a wheelie charging straight at them yelling "Death to the proletariat!" or something equally random.

People rarely screw with unpredictable crazy people.

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Old 04-17-08, 05:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
There is also confusion as to which side walkers and cyclists should use.

On a road cyclist ride with traffic (the right), peds against. (the left)

On a MUP most cyclists ride on the right as if on a road.

Which side do peds walk on? Many on right because they are not on a road and pedestrian facilities generally have right side walking (think double doors on a building entrance)

Al
Uh, that should work... as long as slower traffic stays to the far right and faster traffic moves left to pass... just like the situation of bikes on the right and cars passing on the left.
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Old 04-17-08, 05:32 PM   #17
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Some people are just pigs. Not your fault.
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Old 04-17-08, 05:44 PM   #18
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Perhaps those three pedestrians were royalty?
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Old 04-17-08, 05:54 PM   #19
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You can't ram pedestrians just because they are being jerks. Sometimes when some idiot is jogging toward me on the left side of the path (my right), I'll keep my line and slow to a crawl, or even a stop if needed to avoid an accident. Eventually, they either get off the path to their left or move to their right.

Some people just insist on being in the wrong place, but if you intentionally caused an accident to prove a point, I'd blame you as much, and probably more, than the peds.
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Old 04-17-08, 05:58 PM   #20
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Here in the U.S. we have the Second Amendment to the Constitution .. also known as the right to bear arms. We have our ways of dealing with such situations, but then we must deal with speed bumps. Cyclist problems never seem to end.
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Old 04-17-08, 06:00 PM   #21
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I just 'love it' when people look right at me and purposely ignore my existence. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, y'know...?

If something bellowed, like "Pick a side!" doesn't work, just stop in the middle, turning your bike sideways so they HAVE to split to go around you...then have a nice 'adult' exchange with the miscreants. Works better for folks like me, 'cause I'm kinda big and mean-looking, so I've been told....
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Old 04-17-08, 06:15 PM   #22
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i got 5 feet of fork hanging out the front of my bike most people see it and realize it means business so they step aside i usually smile or chuck a deuce(peace sign) their way
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Old 04-17-08, 06:43 PM   #23
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Multi-use means MULTIPLE USE. Around here, horses have right of way over peds & bikes, peds have right of way over bikes. Bicycles are at the bottom of the totem pole. I've seen roadies on M-U trails that are primarily recreational bellowing for the way to be cleared as they clip along at 20mph+. That's asking for it. While walking the dogs, my wife & myself have been crowded by impatient bike riders. If my dogs (big greyhounds) get loose, they will catch you & you will hurt.

Yes, I ride the same trails that I walk.

Tailor your speed & aggression to the trail. You don't go 120 on the freeway just because you can.
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Old 04-17-08, 06:59 PM   #24
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'Right of way' doesn't mean that pedestrians have the right to act like d!cks though. Not sure about the UK, but here there's a rule about not pedestrians not causing a traffic hazard, and to keep left on shared paths. It works both ways.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:56 PM   #25
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On a local hiking trail used by both MTB riders & hikers, things work out great. Bikes have bells to announce their whereabouts, and the riders give notice & slow down for hikers. In return, hikers step off the trail for bikes. Common sense has found a solution. This is a steep singletrack where a high speed collision will have serious or fatal consequences for all. When serious riders meet serious walkers, the result is compromise not confrontation.

A M-U trail in a crowded urban setting seems to bring out territorialism. Bad. Horse people were the worst until the sheer weight of numbers overwhelmed them.

Side note on dogs: owners should keep them on a short leash- not a 6' or 20' (!). Our guys weigh in at 80 & 90 lbs., not something you'd want to hit. Doesn't do the doggie any good either.
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