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Footpath stoush with cyclist

By JazzyJess - 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.

What’s Your opinion?


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79 Responses to
Footpath stoush with cyclist
16
bitzermaloney 11:48 am
27 Mar 12
#

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

Ever read “the Zax” by Dr Zeus?

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17
Tony 11:49 am
27 Mar 12
#

You are required to keep to the left of the path and allow the cyclist to pass on the right.
However, if they cannot pass on the right (in the case of oncoming traffic or obstructed path), cyclists are required to give way to foot traffic.

I just purchased a bike a couple of days ago. I appreciate you raising this issue which prompted me to read the rules :)

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18
JazzyJess 11:56 am
27 Mar 12
#

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?

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19
Henry82 12:06 pm
27 Mar 12
#

you’re both wrong. you said she needs to be on the road, she said “get out of my way” when she doesn’t have priority.

Just move on with your life :)

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20
Erg0 12:07 pm
27 Mar 12
#

I’ll step off the footpath 90% of the time, even knowing that I don’t have to. The exception being that if there’s wet grass or mud alongside then I’ll stay put. Better they have wet, dirty tyres than I have wet, dirty shoes.

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21
carnardly 12:08 pm
27 Mar 12
#

by the way – you were probably on a shared recreational path

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22
GardeningGirl 12:25 pm
27 Mar 12
#

Regardless of the rules I don’t mind stepping off the path for a cyclist, it seems to me to be easier for me to step off for a moment than for a cyclist to have to go crosscountry over somebody’s nature strip (some naturestrips worse than others). But not all cyclists have the sense or the manners to give adequate warning of their approach and to slow down especially if it’s not clear where either of us should best go. Some of them act like the rules are they have right of way everywhere and the rest of us should just be prepared to instantly jump out of the way (into shrubbery or puddles of water if necessary). I sort of agree with nescius but the fact that the cyclist indicated her belief that “she’s allowed to” and it was the pedestrian who should check the rules makes me wonder if she’s one of those.

Saintly, I don’t know anything about mountain biking except aren’t mountain bikes built for rough terrain, so I would have been surprised too. Perhaps the rider wasn’t very experienced or had noticed something coming loose on his bike and wanted to be extra cautious? Seems to me just stopping on the left and waiting for you to walk past would have been a reasonable thing to do?

Something occurs to me about both these cases. Is it possible sometimes cyclists sound more impatient than they mean to because they are out of breath? A gasped request to move aside comes out sounding like a rude demand? Perhaps if pedestrians didn’t have experience of jerks who assume you’ll be happy to leap for your life as they woosh up suddenly behind out of nowhere, they wouldn’t be so ready to jump to conclusions about all other cyclists? I don’t know. I just know these days I don’t even walk in some areas any more because I can’t relax and where I do walk I tense up as soon I become aware of bikes and every time one rings a bell or calls out at a safe and polite distance I feel like running home to post about it on RiotACT because it seems like such a noteworthy event instead of something that happens all the time because we are civilised people who know how to share. [/rant]

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23
schmeah 12:29 pm
27 Mar 12
#

Wow! Another anti-bicycle rant on the RiotAct, another day ending in ‘y’.

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24
GardeningGirl 12:30 pm
27 Mar 12
#

JazzyJess said :

Point taken, I definitely over-reacted and will graciously move aside next time. As several people have asked I can assure you she really did yell “get out of the way” but I shouldn’t have yelled back and escalated the situation.

Rude. What’s so hard about something like “coming through thanks” (at a polite distance and speed)?

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25
Gungahlin Al 12:35 pm
27 Mar 12
#

On the plus side: someone else now knows that it is perfectly OK for a cyclist to use the footpath.
On the minus side: a cyclist got rude over a misunderstanding with which they should well have been familiar, and thereby helped give the rest of us cyclists a poor rep.

You don’t need to get off the path. Just move carefully towards the left. Although sometimes if there is overgrowing veg on their left, which could snag their handlebars and cause an incident, or some other form of hazard, it will be appreciated if you do make a little more room – I certainly do appreciate such consideration and situational awareness. If you can’t, then it is perfectly reasonable to expect them to just slow up for a moment.

But it’s a two way street. My pet hate is that there are far too many cyclists I see who don’t even have a bell let alone use it. (Really are 4 grams going to slow you up that much?) When passing other cyclists too. Even if they do have mirrors, doesn’t mean they’ve seen you. And cyclists should be well aware that as a cyclist you can do a quick weave at any moment to dodge a screw or something. So why cut so close unannounced? You’ll get just as messed up in a tangle as they will. Get a bell. Use it politely for pedestrians and other cyclists, and we can all get through our days with a little less aggro.

Far too many people hung up with their own self-importance in this town…

Thanks.

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26
ShongRiChee 12:36 pm
27 Mar 12
#

OMG! I was nearly run over this morning by the same woman in Ainslie. When I suggested she use a bell next time, instead of yelling “Watch Out!” to me, she shouted back that people wouldn’t move for a bell. What’s the problem with riding around a pedestrian who is in front of you and obviously isn’t aware that you’re approaching? Lucky I didn’t have my headphones in my ears, otherwise I’m sure she would have just run me over!

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27
carnardly 12:41 pm
27 Mar 12
#

you used the word stoush – who threw the first punch? you or them? or do you mean you just had words?

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28
mouldy 12:46 pm
27 Mar 12
#

ShongRiChee said :

OMG! I was nearly run over this morning by the same woman in Ainslie. When I suggested she use a bell next time, instead of yelling “Watch Out!” to me, she shouted back that people wouldn’t move for a bell. What’s the problem with riding around a pedestrian who is in front of you and obviously isn’t aware that you’re approaching? Lucky I didn’t have my headphones in my ears, otherwise I’m sure she would have just run me over!

Step 1: remove headphones from ears whilst walking on a shared path
Step 2: give self uppercut
Step 3: carry on.

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29
JazzyJess 12:47 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 meant a verbal stoush – no fisticuffs

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30
Ben_Dover 12:50 pm
27 Mar 12
#

Carry a stout stick, stick it in their spokes.

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