Advertisement

Footpath stoush with cyclist

By 27 March 2012 79

I was walking along a footpath in Ainslie this morning (Wise Street) and a cyclist coming up behind me shouted at me to get out of her way. I was a bit startled and jumped onto the grass verge when it occurred to me that I had right of way.

As she rode past me I shouted that she should be riding on the road and not the footpath.

She yelled back that she was allowed to and that I needed to learn the rules. I checked the TAMS website and cyclists are indeed permitted on footpaths but they must give way to pedestrians: http://www.tams.act.gov.au/move/cycling/cycling_and_walking_map/road_rules.

What do people think? Was she out of line? Am I being a princess?

Note that I have nothing against cyclists but feel it would have been easier for her to go around me (on the verge) than expect me to move.

Please login to post your comments
79 Responses to Footpath stoush with cyclist
#31
bloodnut12:56 pm, 27 Mar 12

You could both learn from this excellent Japanese experiment that shows how it is done properly…

But I guess in Japan it only works because pedestrians and cyclists have manners…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_MphtzCOEc

#32
Grail1:00 pm, 27 Mar 12

That was an exchange, more than a stoush. While it was rude of her to yell instead of use her bell, it was just as rude of you to insist that an obviously insecure cyclist should use the road.

Expecting the cyclist to go off the path to give you the entire path to walk on is not just rude, but dangerous. The gap between the concrete and the grass can trap wheels and cause the cyclist to come off, if they haven’t learned how to safely transition between grass and concrete (i.e.: approach from a wider angle).

A more polite approach from the cyclist would have been to ring her bell as she approached, then politely ask you to move aside. A more polite approach from you would have been to move aside and say, “G’day!”

Sadly, the combination of lack of confidence on a bike and facing a precarious situation while on said bike, leads most people to act emotionally rather than rationally. Patience is usually the better part of valour in this case. That person who is yelling at you is obviously upset about something, so it’s better for all if you act with understanding and patience and consider letting your rights slide for a moment while sorting things out.

Principles and ideology are fine things, until they control your behaviour. “Rules are for the guidance of the wise, and the blind obedience of fools,” and all that jazz.

Yes, you’re being a princess.

#33
geetee1:05 pm, 27 Mar 12

Ahhhhhhhhhh….

A rainy miserable Canberra day. Me, here at home with man-flu, trying to stay warm…

Was just thinking about some comfort food for lunch… Beans on Toast?? Boiled Eggs with Toast Soldiers??

And then I log in here to see the comfort food of Riot Act. Canberra Cyclists vs The World! :)

Feel better now…

#34
madamcholet1:10 pm, 27 Mar 12

In the spirit of sharing, shouldn’t it be thus….PEDESTRIANS: .if you see a bike coming towards you, ensure you are on the left hand side of the path. If you hear a bike coming along behind you – hopefully from the bell they have kindly rung to alert you – stay on the left hand side and they can then pass you easily on the right if it’s clear. BIKE RIDERS: If you see someone walking in the opposite direction to that in which you are heading, remain on the left, but perhaps be conscious of slowing down in case they have children, pram, dogs etc etc. If you are approaching someone from behind, please kindly ring your bell, and again, slow down until such time as you have safely passed them on their right hand side. No point in veering to their left as that’s a bit surprising and could end in all sorts of horror.

I know that I don’t really appreciate it when a bike rider just maintains their hair raising speed – it’s hard to know really what to do for the best if you have a dog or pram and the cyclist is not giving any ground in terms of extra care as they pass a pedestrian.

I have also been out on my bike, puttering along and still been passed at breakneck speed by serious cyclists which can cause you some surprise as those types mostly don’t signal their approach. They have to understand that sometimes they might just have to slow down a bit.

#35
Alderney1:14 pm, 27 Mar 12

carnardly said :

you used the word stoush – who threw the first punch? you or them?

or do you mean you just had words?

I too was dissappointed at the lack of a physical confrontation in this thread.

There could always be more contact councilling going on.

#36
aceofspades1:21 pm, 27 Mar 12

Ben_Dover said :

Carry a stout stick, stick it in their spokes.

But if you forget your stick I find a nice stiff arm applied to the neck as they go past just as effective as anything else for teaching cyclists some manners.

#37
bitzermaloney2:06 pm, 27 Mar 12

JazzyJess said :

bitzermaloney said :

Cyclists are allowed onthe footpath… What’s the issue? She was being as selfish and you were.

Ever read “the Zax” by Dr Zeus?

I have indeed. It’s one of my son’s favourites. As are the Hairy Maclary books which I’m guessing inspired your moniker?

Kid’s will do that to you.

#38
ShongRiChee2:07 pm, 27 Mar 12

You’re all nuts. I’ve ‘encountered’ this rogue footpath cyclist, walking to work, on a number of occasions now. She’s not right in the head and I don’t appreciate her attitude that, as a cyclist, the path should be hers. I WAS walking on the left hand side of the footpath … she wanted the WHOLE footpath. It’s just not right, I tells ya! If I she tries to run me over again tomorrow, I’m going to throw a fig at her@!

#39
Bussie2:11 pm, 27 Mar 12

madamcholet said :

In the spirit of sharing, shouldn’t it be thus….PEDESTRIANS: .if you see a bike coming towards you, ensure you are on the left hand side of the path. If you hear a bike coming along behind you – hopefully from the bell they have kindly rung to alert you – stay on the left hand side and they can then pass you easily on the right if it’s clear. BIKE RIDERS: If you see someone walking in the opposite direction to that in which you are heading, remain on the left, but perhaps be conscious of slowing down in case they have children, pram, dogs etc etc. If you are approaching someone from behind, please kindly ring your bell, and again, slow down until such time as you have safely passed them on their right hand side. No point in veering to their left as that’s a bit surprising and could end in all sorts of horror.

I know that I don’t really appreciate it when a bike rider just maintains their hair raising speed – it’s hard to know really what to do for the best if you have a dog or pram and the cyclist is not giving any ground in terms of extra care as they pass a pedestrian.

I have also been out on my bike, puttering along and still been passed at breakneck speed by serious cyclists which can cause you some surprise as those types mostly don’t signal their approach. They have to understand that sometimes they might just have to slow down a bit.

The problem with ringing the bell at pedestrians is that they all too often turn their head over their right shoulder to see what’s coming which usually leads to their body going to the right as well thus cutting the cyclists space even further rather than simply stepping to the left. Given this I tend not to ring the bell if I can squeeze through.
.

#40
Dork2:21 pm, 27 Mar 12

“I find it particularly annoying when pedestrians at intersections take up all the space around the gutter lip (which they don’t need to cross since they don’t have wheels) and then stare at you because you are riding so close to them but only so you don’t hit the curb. It’s not just cyclists but people with wheelchairs and strollers who need this space whereas pedestrians can simply take one step up the curb with no trouble and it saves them getting run over by a bike.”

Aren’t you meant to get off your bike to cross at intersections (without a cyclist light) anyway?

#41
Gungahlin Al2:35 pm, 27 Mar 12

Bussie said :

The problem with ringing the bell at pedestrians is that they all too often turn their head over their right shoulder to see what’s coming which usually leads to their body going to the right as well thus cutting the cyclists space even further rather than simply stepping to the left. Given this I tend not to ring the bell if I can squeeze through.
.

Bussie if ringing your bell causes such problems for you then you are not ringing it early enough to evade those problems in the event of inappropriate behaviour. It’s like complaining that you ran into the car in front when they stopped when every police officer will call you for not being far enough back.

And please consider whether using this as an excuse to stop ringing makes you part of the problem and helps get us all a bad name?

If everyone uses a bell politely and considerately, then pedestrians will quickly become familiar with what is the most appropriate/safe behaviour from them, as their part of the whole shared path deal.

#42
AKT2:48 pm, 27 Mar 12

I’m currently teaching my 5 year old on how to ride a bike, and one of the lessons I want to drum into her is that the path is a shared resource. So I am drumming into her to use the bell to notify oncoming pedestrians that she is heading towards them…more for their safety at this stage :)

#43
Diggety3:01 pm, 27 Mar 12

Note that I have nothing against cyclists but…. -JazzyJess

Well, there is your problem. You should have kicked ten types of sh*t out of here.

#44
john87_no13:07 pm, 27 Mar 12

What if the lady in the post was pregnant or elderly or physically disabled is she still expected to “get out of the way”?

True it is shared, but when I drive my car down a road I give way to pedestrians/bikes as im heavier and going faster. I would have thought this would have carried over to the shared path.

From TAMS:

Please respect all users and be prepared to give way to cyclists and pedestrians as necessary. When cycling, warn of your approach by sounding your bell; if you are cycling or walking, keep to the left. Cyclists should pass pedestrians on the right. Cyclists should give way to pedestrians and other users at all times. If you are a pedestrian, keep a look out for cyclists and give them room to pass. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

#45
patrick_keogh3:23 pm, 27 Mar 12

The debate about the value of ringing your bell versus a verbal warning will probably never be finally resolved, however, FWIW here is my experience. I have been riding on Canberra’s roads and paths since the early 1970s. Sometimes I am riding fast, sometimes slow. I find that a verbal warning, normally “bike behind you” from as far back as I think it can be heard is most reliably acted on. As someone else observed, a significant fraction of pedestrians will veer to the right when you ring a bell behind them. My guess is that the little “ting” of a bell when heard from behind is hard to place in terms of direction, distance and speed, hence the turning around to identify the hazard.

There is no safe distance, especially for pedestrians in groups. They can take up to about five seconds to process the sound of the bell and to react so they are like little time bombs. Many times I have warned two people walking together and have the one on the right leap to the left, and the one on the left leap to the right.

In terms of dealing with cyclists and pedestrians as hazards on shared paths, I have developed my own system based on trial and error, and it mostly depends on who I am warning:

- single pedestrians already keeping left a small warning that is not too alarming. This group (regular walkers and joggers mostly) are fairly reliable. Especially if they have headphones and may not hear me I look for body language that might indicate a change in direction but in general I’m not too afraid to pass them even if they didn’t hear.

- single cyclists similar, but probably “passing on your right” in case they have a higher level of comprehension. My closing speed is less anyway because they are mostly travelling a little faster than the pedestrians.

- groups of pedestrians with increasing hazard levels: level of distraction (groups talking, headphones), lack of maneuverability (prams, elderly), lack of discipline (dogs, children, especially on scooters etc.) get louder warnings from further back and I typically don’t try to pass unless I’m fairly certain that I have been heard.

Groups of cyclists I tend to move into the group and slowly pick my way through it as they each in turn become aware of me.

Examples of a worst case are:
- two mothers with prams side by side chatting, with a dog
- groups of young joggers with Apple thingies

Most places as a last resort I take to the bush, but that is not possible in all cases and if I am riding one of my more road-specific bikes it could destroy two $50 tyres and perhaps do even more expensive damage so it really is a last resort.

As to dogs which can be problematic: two requests to dog owners.

1. Please don’t use shared paths with a dog off the lead unless your training and control produces equivalent discipline. This is particularly annoying in places like Lake Ginninderra when the off-lead area is only 50 meters away.

2. Please walk with your dog on your left. Pretty obvious why. The same goes for small children.

#46
john87_no13:56 pm, 27 Mar 12

patrick_keogh said :

As to dogs which can be problematic: two requests to dog owners.

1. Please don’t use shared paths with a dog off the lead unless your training and control produces equivalent discipline. This is particularly annoying in places like Lake Ginninderra when the off-lead area is only 50 meters away.

Ahhh the irony in your request. Cyclists who use congested roads when a bike path is much less than 50 meters away could use that message too.

#47
Mysteryman4:09 pm, 27 Mar 12

The lady on the bike was in the wrong. It’s that simple. She was required to give way and didn’t. She also sounds like a serial offender. Would be a shame if someone didn’t give way to her next time and knocked her off the bike.

#48
phenderson4:34 pm, 27 Mar 12

Cyclists… Beware i’m about to stereotype. They all wear lycra for no particualr reason. (If you are going to correct me by saying it’s to make them more streamline, please….) They clomp around the cafes and move all the tables together so the rest of us are forced to navigate our way through the maze of helmets and sweaty lycra!

Bike riders should have more respect to other users on the walk/ride raths. They dont pay tax, they are unlicenced and in my opinion, should have to pay a small registration fee. It’s only fair! I have no time for Cyclists. Get the f*#k outta my way….

That is all…..

#49
xman4:42 pm, 27 Mar 12

patrick_keogh said :

The debate about the value of ringing your bell versus a verbal warning will probably never be finally resolved, however, FWIW here is my experience. I have been riding on Canberra’s roads and paths since the early 1970s. Sometimes I am riding fast, sometimes slow. I find that a verbal warning, normally “bike behind you” from as far back as I think it can be heard is most reliably acted on. As someone else observed, a significant fraction of pedestrians will veer to the right when you ring a bell behind them. My guess is that the little “ting” of a bell when heard from behind is hard to place in terms of direction, distance and speed, hence the turning around to identify the hazard…….

+1

A simple “Bike behind, passing on your right” always works for me. Even works for the iPod-people. Bells, not so much.

#50
carnardly4:43 pm, 27 Mar 12

john87_no1 said :

Ahhh the irony in your request. Cyclists who use congested roads when a bike path is much less than 50 meters away could use that message too.

except it’s not illegal for a cyclist to ride on a road while it is illegal for dogs to be off lead in a not-off-the-lead area.

#51
Darkfalz6:00 pm, 27 Mar 12

I dunno if you can win as a cyclist. I don’t yell at people, I ring my bell if the terrain is such that I can’t really ride around pedestrians – but I’ve had two people go off at me for surprising them by riding around them from behind. If they are nice enough to move for me I say thank you.

#52
keepitup6:16 pm, 27 Mar 12

Ainslie. Cyclist. That says it all.

#53
GardeningGirl7:45 pm, 27 Mar 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Bussie said :

The problem with ringing the bell at pedestrians is that they all too often turn their head over their right shoulder to see what’s coming which usually leads to their body going to the right as well thus cutting the cyclists space even further rather than simply stepping to the left. Given this I tend not to ring the bell if I can squeeze through.
.

Bussie if ringing your bell causes such problems for you then you are not ringing it early enough to evade those problems in the event of inappropriate behaviour. It’s like complaining that you ran into the car in front when they stopped when every police officer will call you for not being far enough back.

And please consider whether using this as an excuse to stop ringing makes you part of the problem and helps get us all a bad name?

If everyone uses a bell politely and considerately, then pedestrians will quickly become familiar with what is the most appropriate/safe behaviour from them, as their part of the whole shared path deal.

Was that really supposed to be a legitimate explanation for why whooshing past out of nowhere with no warning is preferable?

patrick_keogh said :

I find that a verbal warning, normally “bike behind you” from as far back as I think it can be heard is most reliably acted on. As someone else observed, a significant fraction of pedestrians will veer to the right when you ring a bell behind them. My guess is that the little “ting” of a bell when heard from behind is hard to place in terms of direction, distance and speed, hence the turning around to identify the hazard.

Thank you, I appreciate riders like yourself letting me know you’re there.
I don’t know if I veer when I glance back but I try to move across promptly.

#54
KB19719:15 pm, 27 Mar 12

phenderson said :

Cyclists… Beware i’m about to stereotype. They all wear lycra for no particualr reason. (If you are going to correct me by saying it’s to make them more streamline, please….) They clomp around the cafes and move all the tables together so the rest of us are forced to navigate our way through the maze of helmets and sweaty lycra!

Bike riders should have more respect to other users on the walk/ride raths. They dont pay tax, they are unlicenced and in my opinion, should have to pay a small registration fee. It’s only fair! I have no time for Cyclists. Get the f*#k outta my way….

That is all…..

Someone kick you out from under the bridge?

#55
toriness9:17 pm, 27 Mar 12

johnboy said :

As a cyclist and pedestrian if I see someone coming I’m happy to step off the path to make life easier for everyone.

but that’s a choice I make.

+1000000000

#56
I-filed9:30 pm, 27 Mar 12

Rawhide Kid Part3 said :

Ho Hum……. Here we go again. Pushbikes, pedestrians, cars, roads and paths.

Au contraire. Take a stick with you and shove it between her spokes next time you see her.

thy_dungeonman said :

“Note that I have nothing against cyclists but feel it would have been easier for her to go around me (on the verge) than expect me to move.”

Bloody cyclists can give way like they’re supposed to. End of story. Nothing to do with it whether a pedestrian “could” move over easily. It’s entirely up to the pedestrian. I have had enough grief from rude and aggressive cyclists that I will NEVER accommodate a cyclist waiting for the crossing lights to change (as if they ever do that in any case). They can dismount. Or wait. Like cars have to at the lights.

Not to excuse her rude behavior in this case but I think you are wrong here if a pedestrian can see bicycle all they have to take one step to the side whereas a bike has to veer off over rough terrain for a long stretch. I find it particularly annoying when pedestrians at intersections take up all the space around the gutter lip (which they don’t need to cross since they don’t have wheels) and then stare at you because you are riding so close to them but only so you don’t hit the curb. It’s not just cyclists but people with wheelchairs and strollers who need this space whereas pedestrians can simply take one step up the curb with no trouble and it saves them getting run over by a bike.

#57
Jono11:12 pm, 27 Mar 12

toriness said :

johnboy said :

As a cyclist and pedestrian if I see someone coming I’m happy to step off the path to make life easier for everyone.

but that’s a choice I make.

+1000000000

+1 more from me. Common sense and good manners actually work pretty well in my experience.

#58
Bussie12:04 am, 28 Mar 12

GardeningGirl said :

Was that really supposed to be a legitimate explanation for why whooshing past out of nowhere with no warning is preferable?

Yes, it’s a damn good explanation and I’ve never hit anyone on my pushie even with regular rides around Lake Burley Griffin at mum o’clock.

#59
Jethro6:53 am, 28 Mar 12

A lot of the people arguing that cyclists must give way (which they indeed must do so) forget that the signs on the shared paths also say that pedestrians must not block the path. So, no, its not a pedestrian’s choice whether or not they move to the left – when there is a bike, a pedestrian should be moving to provide space on the path. That is what the signs on the path indicate is expected of them.

Essentially, pedestrians must keep to the left when there is a cyclist, and cyclists mustn’t ram their way through and must always give way at times such as when pedestrians going both ways on the path, or pedestrians crossing over the path at a path intersection.

I always try to be polite. Ring my bell from a distance I think people should hear from but is far enough away for them to react, slow right down to pass, etc, but I would say more than 50% of the time pedestrians simply do not respond to the bell. Quite a few turn around, see you and continue walking in the very middle of the path, seemingly because they believe they have a right to do this, when they would in fact appear to be breaking the rule not to block the path. As I said on a previous thread last week, courtesy works both ways. The paths are to be shared and no one user group has more of a right to them than others.

#60
Innovation8:01 am, 28 Mar 12

patrick_keogh said :

2. Please walk with your dog on your left. Pretty obvious why. The same goes for small children.

I walk with children on the left and dogs on the right (but on a short leash). Not sure why it’s obvious that dogs should be on the left. I like my dog but I would rather a cyclist or car hit them before me.

Follow
Follow The RiotACT
Advertisement
GET PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP

Are you in favour of Light Rail for Canberra?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

IMAGES OF CANBERRA

Advertisement
Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.