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Separate bike paths will save lives in the ACT

Anne Treasure 10 January 2017 64

Separated bike path on the Civic Cycle Loop

Pedal Power ACT is calling for a trial of infrastructure that separates bike riders from motor vehicles on roads, and pedestrians on paths.

Sharing the roads and paths around Canberra relies on the understanding and mutual respect of all users. Unfortunately there is a large amount of unpredictability inherent in human behaviour – and that applies to people driving, walking, riding bikes, roller-skating, skateboarding, walking dogs and children.

Accidents on shared infrastructure around Canberra in recent months have sparked discussion about how to make our roads and paths safer for all users. There is no doubt that infrastructure separating people riding bikes from people walking and driving cars will save lives in the ACT.

We should all keep left, slow down and give a wide berth to vulnerable users, keep control of children and dogs, and be vigilant and aware at all times – but even adult humans have a tough time maintaining focus and direction constantly, let alone expecting young children, dogs and ute drivers to obey the rules of polite society.

The Metre Matters trial in the ACT has so far demonstrated that motor vehicle drivers are willing to make room for people riding bikes on the road, and Pedal Power ACT members report feeling safer because of this rule. But only separated infrastructure can ensure the safety of vulnerable road users, with driver distraction or reduced vision most likely to cause an accident.

Should the ACT Government build more separated infrastructure for cyclists ie dedicated bike paths/lanes around Canberra?

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There have been calls to restrict speed to less than the current limit of 50km per hour on shared paths. This would limit their usefulness and reduce the number of bike riders who use the paths as a safe way to commute. Many people who ride bikes to and from work use the paths because they don’t feel safe on the roads. These people – including many women and parents riding with children – would not ride if roads were the only option.

The Government’s 2015 Active Travel Framework sets out a policy for separated cycle infrastructure. An initial trial in 2015 of low profile separators showed that they can change driver behaviour and help convince more people to use the commuter routes.

The ACT Government clearly recognises the importance of active travel in the creation of a sustainable city, and the role that urban planning needs to play. Separated infrastructure is a given to encourage as many people as possible to use bicycles as a primary form of transport.

Appropriate sites for the trials would need to be established through consultation with the ACT community. Proposed sites include heavily-populated roads around Civic and town centres like Belconnen, Woden and Tuggernong, and the paths connected with leisure areas around Lake Burley Griffin, Lake Tuggeranong and Lake Ginninderra.

Segregated bike paths along roads and footpaths are in use in the city on the Civic Cycle Loop, and this initiative should be extended into town centres across the ACT, with a long term view to joining up the separated infrastructure to make Canberra the best, safest city to ride a bike in Australia.


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Separate bike paths will save lives in the ACT
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markb 10:36 am 23 Jan 17

If we accept that there will never be a single option that suits all people and places then we can consider a range of options. The laudable city loop is great for dense urban cycling but by definition is probably not the answer for the suburban commuter. Shared paths have a long and successful history but may be unsuitable when user density goes up when, for example, population or bike use increases.
My pet topic? Develop an infrastructure of bike roads that service the longer distances and take into account mobility scooter and electric bikes. These roads would not be pedestrian suitable but could be runner friendly and provide routes for special events. I’m not scared to share the roads (or paths) but know that one day my number will be up! It would be nice to push that time out beyond my natural term.

JohnH 4:33 pm 19 Jan 17

What research has been done on the success of separating walkers and cyclists on separate paths?

My observations from Melbourne, where I lived until recently, was that they were a complete failure.
Mainly because walkers take no notice of any signage and just wander wherever they like. I don’t blame or criticise walkers for this – walking is such a natural activity that it just does not occur to walkers that there is any need to read signs or check where you should walk.

Cyclists are a little better, but not much.

Melbourne has separate paths along the bay foreshore in parts of Port Melbourne and St Kilda, and a little bit in Southbank. The cycling paths always have walkers on them, completely unaware of the presence of cyclists.
I was in Wollongong recently, and noticed separate cycling and waking paths down by the bay. I watched for several minutes and sure enough along came the walkers on the cycling path, then some cyclists on the walking path.
I have seen separate paths work in Europe – Vienna, Munich and Amsterdam – but these are places with a much much stronger culture of cycling awareness. They also use a colour code system that people seem to be aware of. If you walk on a cycle path (I have done it) you can expect to be told off in minutes.

I ride on the Canberra shared paths regularly, and I find that they work surprisingly well. Most cyclists are polite and considerate, but a small number just ride much too fast with little consideration for others. There are a small number of walkers who are completely unaware of their environment, but most do the right thing.

I think it would be a more effective use of money to make existing paths wider rather than spend money on separate paths.

Maya123 10:48 am 18 Jan 17

Chris Mordd Richards said :

Can we get onto the real issue now of ppl not standing to the left on escelators so others can walk up faster if they want to. We all know to stay left on the road, this piece shows many don’t know to do this on paths though, and virtually no-one these days has the courtesy to stand to the left on escalators anymore, which in many parts of Europe is considered shockingly bad behaviour. In Canberra the me-first, screw you attitude seems to be prevalent almost everywhere you look though, on the roads, on the bike paths, and especially in the shopping malls.

Escalators: LOL, I’m one of the few people who do stand on the left to let people pass. Unfortunately, if you have someone with you, that’s usually then an invitation for them to stand on the right to continue chatting to you. Most times though, I walk up the moving stairs and pass people, and generally I find people will move to the left when they hear me coming; otherwise, a polite, ‘excuse me’ usually works.. If there is no-one on the escalator though, I am likely to run up the stairs. I don’t get enough exercise, and every tiny bit helps; plus it gets my shopping done faster, so I can leave the mall.

tim_c 4:44 pm 17 Jan 17

wildturkeycanoe said :

tim_c said :

Really?! They were taking up both lanes (ie. blocking traffic in both directions) on Lady Denman Dr (as many groups of pedestrians do on cycleways, or supposedly ‘shared’ paths)?

No, they were taking up the one lane, blocking cars from passing [this was before the law was changed that allowed vehicles to cross double white lines]. Also, oncoming traffic prevented a safe overtake so all the vehicular traffic was slowed to the same pace as the cycle group. There is a bike path running along this road too, so why not use it? Oh, maybe the pedestrians will get in their way and slow them up. Can’t have that now, can we?

Oh, so really very different to what many pedestrians (sometimes with their dogs and long leads, if at all) do on cycleways/shared paths where they occupy the full width of all lanes in both directions, obstructing all traffic in both directions, and preventing other users from overtaking/passing even when there is no oncoming traffic.

I think it would be unreasonable to expect pedestrians to not take up a whole lane (ie. one direction) on a cycleway/shared path (and unwise for a cyclist to attempt to pass/overtake in the same lane as a pedestrian), but I object to pedestrians taking up both lanes in both directions (unless of course they are different pedestrians travelling in opposite directions – in which case, if others have to wait then that’s just part of using public/shared infrastructure). Is that what you were getting at?

Postalgeek 7:17 am 17 Jan 17

tim_c said :

Postalgeek said :

If this is the same story as http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/tuggeranong-womans-dog-run-over-and-killed-by-speeding-cyclist-on-shared-path-20161201-gt1o28.html and http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2587154 two people were at fault in this incident, not one. If this is the same story then there still doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement from the pet owner that they had their animal on a long lead on a shared path on the wrong side of the path and she still does not take any responsibility for the part she played in placing her unfortunate animal in a dangerous situation by allowing it to stray into oncoming traffic. Not only that, but she could’ve caused further injury by causing an accident. She just refers to the other party as a ‘mad cyclist’ and thinks cyclists are bullies.

This is part of the problem, that some people will not treat shared paths seriously and they do not seem to acknowledge that there is an onus on all users to stay left and generate space for other users.

So, who was the other party at fault? In the C.Times report, the dog owner acknowledged that her dog wandered into the other lane as the cyclist attempted to pass. I can’t see anything the cyclist had done wrong in that incident, but I’m happy to be corrected…

I’m being generous.

Chris Mordd Richards 1:10 am 17 Jan 17

Can we get onto the real issue now of ppl not standing to the left on escelators so others can walk up faster if they want to. We all know to stay left on the road, this piece shows many don’t know to do this on paths though, and virtually no-one these days has the courtesy to stand to the left on escalators anymore, which in many parts of Europe is considered shockingly bad behaviour. In Canberra the me-first, screw you attitude seems to be prevalent almost everywhere you look though, on the roads, on the bike paths, and especially in the shopping malls.

wildturkeycanoe 7:23 pm 16 Jan 17

tim_c said :

Really?! They were taking up both lanes (ie. blocking traffic in both directions) on Lady Denman Dr (as many groups of pedestrians do on cycleways, or supposedly ‘shared’ paths)?

No, they were taking up the one lane, blocking cars from passing [this was before the law was changed that allowed vehicles to cross double white lines]. Also, oncoming traffic prevented a safe overtake so all the vehicular traffic was slowed to the same pace as the cycle group. There is a bike path running along this road too, so why not use it? Oh, maybe the pedestrians will get in their way and slow them up. Can’t have that now, can we?

Maya123 3:34 pm 16 Jan 17

tim_c said :

Postalgeek said :

Maya123 said :

raveena said :

Bring on the separate bike paths. My puppy got run over by a cyclist on a Sunday night at 7 pm. I walk around lake Tuggeranong and have done so for last 25 yrs. I was quite shocked to hear that the speed on the shared path is 50 km. This time it was my poor puppy because of a mad cyclist who did not slow down. I am very sure it would be a elderly or a child next time. Many people feel threatened by the cyclists behaviour. I am always looking over my shoulder. Tuggeranong area has grown in the last few year with the new developments on the foreshore it is going to get busier. We really need a separate bike path around the lake so the pedestrians don’t feel bullied by the cyclists and enjoy the lake in peace.

I’m sorry about your puppy and it would have been distressing, but I have to ask, what was a puppy doing on a bike/shared path? Dogs need to be trained and on the left side of the owner, on a short lead, under control, before they are allowed near a path where bikes go, both for the dog’s safety and also the person on the bike’s safety, because not only can an inexperienced and untrained puppy be put in danger, which a (sorry it must be said) responsible owner wouldn’t have in the middle of the path, but because this could cause and injury very badly the person on the bike, and they don’t have to be going fast for this to happen either. A magpie stepped out in front of my bike once and I braked, the bike stopped too suddenly and I went over the handlebars. I wasn’t very good for weeks after that, but I did recover. I would be very surprised if the puppy was off the path walking on your left where it should have been on a short lead. A young, inexperienced dog should be taken to somewhere like an oval, far away from a shared path with other users.

I do agree separate paths would help, except it might not have helped in this case, as all the separated paths I have seen have been side by side, and a dog not properly constrained could still get in the road of a bike, often unexpectedly, so there may be little the person cycling can do to avoid it.

If this is the same story as http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/tuggeranong-womans-dog-run-over-and-killed-by-speeding-cyclist-on-shared-path-20161201-gt1o28.html and http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2587154 two people were at fault in this incident, not one. If this is the same story then there still doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement from the pet owner that they had their animal on a long lead on a shared path on the wrong side of the path and she still does not take any responsibility for the part she played in placing her unfortunate animal in a dangerous situation by allowing it to stray into oncoming traffic. Not only that, but she could’ve caused further injury by causing an accident. She just refers to the other party as a ‘mad cyclist’ and thinks cyclists are bullies.

This is part of the problem, that some people will not treat shared paths seriously and they do not seem to acknowledge that there is an onus on all users to stay left and generate space for other users.

So, who was the other party at fault? In the C.Times report, the dog owner acknowledged that her dog wandered into the other lane as the cyclist attempted to pass. I can’t see anything the cyclist had done wrong in that incident, but I’m happy to be corrected – if a dog jumps in front of a cyclist as he’s (or she’s) passing, the pedestrian should consider herself lucky she wasn’t hit by the cyclist swerving to avoid the dog – having your dog under control is not just about the dog’s safety, or the safety of other path users, it is also for the dog owner’s safety.

As for the lady’s suggestion that cyclists should get off and walk every time they want to overtake someone – it kind of defeats the whole purpose of riding a bike (ie. to get there quicker than you would if you walked) and is about as sensible as a suggestion that car drivers should do the same every time they want to pass a cyclist on the road.

Fearful sight. On a bike, coming down the steep hill from the ANU towards the tunnel and as you reach there two people and their off the lead dog step into the tunnel, obviously without looking. Screaming brakes; pedestrians frozen in the middle of the path. The dog though was the cool one, flattening itself against the wall. Good dog 🙂

Holden Caulfield 3:11 pm 16 Jan 17

Postalgeek said :

…there is an onus on all users to stay left and generate space for other users.

I could not agree more with this.

Holden Caulfield 2:47 pm 16 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

I am sure Raveena would be grateful for you sympathy regarding the loss of her puppy but lecturing her about puppy discipline and relating your near-death experience with a magpie may not have been well received.

The “puppy” was almost 12-years-old, according to the Canberra Times piece, so I dare say any chance of effective training had either been taken or (more likely it would appear) was long gone.

I get that the OP is upset her dog died, but if the dog was on the wrong side of the path, as stated elsewhere, then at the very least it sounds like a case of shared responsibility between dog owner and cyclist, or, potentially, completely the OP’s fault.

There could just as easily be a thread on a cycling forum with claims from the cyclist of almost being injured by the crazy dog owner who let her dog stray into oncoming traffic.

If you want to have your suggestion about making cyclists walk through the narrow underpass because it’s dangerous, then keep your pets under control and close to you at all times. Failing to do so has limits on any sympathy I am able to muster in this instance.

tim_c 10:26 am 16 Jan 17

Postalgeek said :

Maya123 said :

raveena said :

Bring on the separate bike paths. My puppy got run over by a cyclist on a Sunday night at 7 pm. I walk around lake Tuggeranong and have done so for last 25 yrs. I was quite shocked to hear that the speed on the shared path is 50 km. This time it was my poor puppy because of a mad cyclist who did not slow down. I am very sure it would be a elderly or a child next time. Many people feel threatened by the cyclists behaviour. I am always looking over my shoulder. Tuggeranong area has grown in the last few year with the new developments on the foreshore it is going to get busier. We really need a separate bike path around the lake so the pedestrians don’t feel bullied by the cyclists and enjoy the lake in peace.

I’m sorry about your puppy and it would have been distressing, but I have to ask, what was a puppy doing on a bike/shared path? Dogs need to be trained and on the left side of the owner, on a short lead, under control, before they are allowed near a path where bikes go, both for the dog’s safety and also the person on the bike’s safety, because not only can an inexperienced and untrained puppy be put in danger, which a (sorry it must be said) responsible owner wouldn’t have in the middle of the path, but because this could cause and injury very badly the person on the bike, and they don’t have to be going fast for this to happen either. A magpie stepped out in front of my bike once and I braked, the bike stopped too suddenly and I went over the handlebars. I wasn’t very good for weeks after that, but I did recover. I would be very surprised if the puppy was off the path walking on your left where it should have been on a short lead. A young, inexperienced dog should be taken to somewhere like an oval, far away from a shared path with other users.

I do agree separate paths would help, except it might not have helped in this case, as all the separated paths I have seen have been side by side, and a dog not properly constrained could still get in the road of a bike, often unexpectedly, so there may be little the person cycling can do to avoid it.

If this is the same story as http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/tuggeranong-womans-dog-run-over-and-killed-by-speeding-cyclist-on-shared-path-20161201-gt1o28.html and http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2587154 two people were at fault in this incident, not one. If this is the same story then there still doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement from the pet owner that they had their animal on a long lead on a shared path on the wrong side of the path and she still does not take any responsibility for the part she played in placing her unfortunate animal in a dangerous situation by allowing it to stray into oncoming traffic. Not only that, but she could’ve caused further injury by causing an accident. She just refers to the other party as a ‘mad cyclist’ and thinks cyclists are bullies.

This is part of the problem, that some people will not treat shared paths seriously and they do not seem to acknowledge that there is an onus on all users to stay left and generate space for other users.

So, who was the other party at fault? In the C.Times report, the dog owner acknowledged that her dog wandered into the other lane as the cyclist attempted to pass. I can’t see anything the cyclist had done wrong in that incident, but I’m happy to be corrected – if a dog jumps in front of a cyclist as he’s (or she’s) passing, the pedestrian should consider herself lucky she wasn’t hit by the cyclist swerving to avoid the dog – having your dog under control is not just about the dog’s safety, or the safety of other path users, it is also for the dog owner’s safety.

As for the lady’s suggestion that cyclists should get off and walk every time they want to overtake someone – it kind of defeats the whole purpose of riding a bike (ie. to get there quicker than you would if you walked) and is about as sensible as a suggestion that car drivers should do the same every time they want to pass a cyclist on the road.

Leon Arundell 10:22 am 16 Jan 17

Maya123 said :

Leon Arundell said :

More than two in five ride on the footpaths.

Really; then why do I rarely see people people on ‘footpaths’ (such as past my house and other houses), or are you referring to the paths that were originally built for bikes, and continued later as shared paths? I see lots of people cycling on them.

I was specifically referring to the footpaths along Rudd Street. When I counted, 42% of cyclists used the footpaths in preference to the adjacent $600,000 combination of on-road cycle lanes and off-road cycle paths.

tim_c 9:49 am 16 Jan 17

wildturkeycanoe said :

tim_c said :

you’d have good reason to be upset if your morning commute was interrupted by a bunch of cyclists taking up both lanes of a single-carriageway road (as many pedestrians do on cycleways/shared paths), or if your afternoon commute was interrupted by a person with a dog that ran out in front of your car just as you were about to pass, and I’m pretty sure you don’t toot your horn before overtaking slower traffic, to “warn” them that your driving a car along the road, afterall, that’s what roads are for!

I used to have to put up with this on Lady Denman Drive every morning on my way to work and it never occurred to the cyclists to form a single line instead of riding three abreast and block me from passing. Now cyclists are infuriated by pedestrians getting in the way on “their” paths? Talk about double standards.

Really?! They were taking up both lanes (ie. blocking traffic in both directions) on Lady Denman Dr (as many groups of pedestrians do on cycleways, or supposedly ‘shared’ paths)?

Chris Mordd Richards 2:07 am 15 Jan 17

wildturkeycanoe said :

As more people take up the option of cycling instead of driving, we are seeing cyclists suffer the same issues that Canberra drivers have. Fast riding cyclists want pedestrians out of their way so they can go full speed. What if there are slow cyclists on the path ahead of them? What if these slow cyclists are riding two abreast? I have a feeling these elite cyclists who want pathways to themselves are becoming just like those drivers who feel road rage when slower vehicles use up all the lanes and prevent them going at the legal limit. Funny that as more people take the advice of Pedal Power to get on their bikes, the more cyclists encounter the same issues that drivers have dealt with for decades.
How about people who want to ride fast do the same thing that drivers do if they want to speed. Get onto a race track where it is safe to do so. In public spaces they can just suck it up, have some patience and deal with slow people in a considerate manner. If they keep up with this campaign for super fast cycle-ways, it’ll only create problems that new laws will have to be introduced to address, such as speed limits and penalties for dangerous behavior. You reap what you sow.

Arthur Davies said :

As pointed out above, the paths were originally designed & built as separate cycle paths by the NCDC, however the legal administration were too lazy & gazetted the cycle paths as footpaths & made it legal to ride on all footpaths. They could not be bothered to create a new transport corridor “cycle path”, & there has been confusion & frustration ever since. There is still administrative laziness galore. Rather than have speed limits for bikes under certain conditions, they have limited the power of the motors on electric bikes to 200/250W totally ignoring the fact that AIS people have measured top cyclists at 2000W! Top cyclists can do 80kph on the flat let alone down hill, makes my electric bike a real wimp.

There should be several classes of paths:-

Separated paths for cyclists only with no speed limit as originally intended. Where such paths exist bikes must use them, not the road or footpath.

Shared paths for bikes, pedestrians, Segways, gofers etc with a sensible speed limit of say 20kph (50 is far too fast for this situation).

Where there is no bike path, bikes could be able to use the road but only in single file & only keeping well over to the left.

Cars are required to keep at least one metre from a bike, sensible. However bikes should be required to keep at least Im from cars & not come past at round abouts & lights & stop in front of cars leaving no clearance, especially when the car has its left hand turn blinkers on (as has happened to me), sooner or later Darwin’s theory will take its toll.

I both ride & drive so I see the best/worst of both worlds. While I am at it thank you to all the motorists who, when held up at a crossing or round abouts wave bikes through. I return the complement by holding back enough so I can wave cars through when they are having difficulty getting through at a crossing. Mutual kindness & common sense makes life so much more pleasant as well as safer.

Maya123 said :

I’m sorry about your puppy and it would have been distressing, but I have to ask, what was a puppy doing on a bike/shared path? Dogs need to be trained and on the left side of the owner, on a short lead, under control, before they are allowed near a path where bikes go, both for the dog’s safety and also the person on the bike’s safety, because not only can an inexperienced and untrained puppy be put in danger, which a (sorry it must be said) responsible owner wouldn’t have in the middle of the path, but because this could cause and injury very badly the person on the bike, and they don’t have to be going fast for this to happen either. A magpie stepped out in front of my bike once and I braked, the bike stopped too suddenly and I went over the handlebars. I wasn’t very good for weeks after that, but I did recover. I would be very surprised if the puppy was off the path walking on your left where it should have been on a short lead. A young, inexperienced dog should be taken to somewhere like an oval, far away from a shared path with other users.

I do agree separate paths would help, except it might not have helped in this case, as all the separated paths I have seen have been side by side, and a dog not properly constrained could still get in the road of a bike, often unexpectedly, so there may be little the person cycling can do to avoid it.

These 3 comments pretty well cover my thoughts on this topic and the related comments on here. So I won’t add a lengthy post of my own since these 3 have saved me the trouble, except to say my recumbent is better than your bike any day (and I can’t go anywhere near 80K+ on mine – it’s not a racer, not to say there aren’t ones that do, but they cost a mint lol). 😛 #joking #sarcasm #bikerivalry #recumbents #teasing

octagonalman 4:43 pm 14 Jan 17

A few months ago at Tuggeranong Parkrun (which uses the lakeside path), someone fell and was treated by paramedics after an incident with another participant’s dog. Ever since, there’s been increased emphasis on controlling dogs closely with a short leash and to the left of the owner. We humans just need to take a bit of responsibility in our preferred way of getting about, otherwise we’ll end up with a multiple parallel paths and a huge municipal rates bill.

dungfungus 3:05 pm 14 Jan 17

Maya123 said :

raveena said :

Bring on the separate bike paths. My puppy got run over by a cyclist on a Sunday night at 7 pm. I walk around lake Tuggeranong and have done so for last 25 yrs. I was quite shocked to hear that the speed on the shared path is 50 km. This time it was my poor puppy because of a mad cyclist who did not slow down. I am very sure it would be a elderly or a child next time. Many people feel threatened by the cyclists behaviour. I am always looking over my shoulder. Tuggeranong area has grown in the last few year with the new developments on the foreshore it is going to get busier. We really need a separate bike path around the lake so the pedestrians don’t feel bullied by the cyclists and enjoy the lake in peace.

I’m sorry about your puppy and it would have been distressing, but I have to ask, what was a puppy doing on a bike/shared path? Dogs need to be trained and on the left side of the owner, on a short lead, under control, before they are allowed near a path where bikes go, both for the dog’s safety and also the person on the bike’s safety, because not only can an inexperienced and untrained puppy be put in danger, which a (sorry it must be said) responsible owner wouldn’t have in the middle of the path, but because this could cause and injury very badly the person on the bike, and they don’t have to be going fast for this to happen either. A magpie stepped out in front of my bike once and I braked, the bike stopped too suddenly and I went over the handlebars. I wasn’t very good for weeks after that, but I did recover. I would be very surprised if the puppy was off the path walking on your left where it should have been on a short lead. A young, inexperienced dog should be taken to somewhere like an oval, far away from a shared path with other users.

I do agree separate paths would help, except it might not have helped in this case, as all the separated paths I have seen have been side by side, and a dog not properly constrained could still get in the road of a bike, often unexpectedly, so there may be little the person cycling can do to avoid it.

I am sure Raveena would be grateful for you sympathy regarding the loss of her puppy but lecturing her about puppy discipline and relating your near-death experience with a magpie may not have been well received.

Postalgeek 2:28 pm 14 Jan 17

Based on my personal experience less than 1% of people I encounter cause the grief on the path and there is a lot of generalisations surrounding all parties.

As a cyclist I rarely have issue with pedestrians who stay left, and the minority of pedestrians who wander into the middle tend to veer left on the sound of a bell, if they give me an opportunity to warn them. There are some cyclists who claim they never bother with a bell because walkers are either deaf due to headphones or scatter. I find this to be rarely the case. As for pedestrians rearing up due to the ringing of a bell on approach, it has never happened to me in the hundreds of loops of LBG. If anything I get a wave from pedestrians thanking me for the advanced warning. Not saying it doesn’t happen to some riders, but it would be rare. The biggest problem regarding bells as a rider is that they fail regularly. Many times I go to ring a bell and get a muffled clunk, or the hammer doesn’t strike at all. I’ve been through a number of bells trying to find one that is reliable and loud.

As a walker, often with young children, I rarely have trouble with bicycles on shared paths around LBG because I Stay Left. I understand the need for it and I comply. I wouldn’t meander with my head in the clouds on a road and nor would I do it on a shared path. If I want to meander I do it on the grass; the shared path is a transit zone. Other people may have stayed left but still had problems, but I’ve never experienced it in many circuits; again it would be a minuscule percentage of riders who would cause grief to anyone staying left.

There is much cognitive bias surrounding this issue.

Postalgeek 2:20 pm 14 Jan 17

Maya123 said :

raveena said :

Bring on the separate bike paths. My puppy got run over by a cyclist on a Sunday night at 7 pm. I walk around lake Tuggeranong and have done so for last 25 yrs. I was quite shocked to hear that the speed on the shared path is 50 km. This time it was my poor puppy because of a mad cyclist who did not slow down. I am very sure it would be a elderly or a child next time. Many people feel threatened by the cyclists behaviour. I am always looking over my shoulder. Tuggeranong area has grown in the last few year with the new developments on the foreshore it is going to get busier. We really need a separate bike path around the lake so the pedestrians don’t feel bullied by the cyclists and enjoy the lake in peace.

I’m sorry about your puppy and it would have been distressing, but I have to ask, what was a puppy doing on a bike/shared path? Dogs need to be trained and on the left side of the owner, on a short lead, under control, before they are allowed near a path where bikes go, both for the dog’s safety and also the person on the bike’s safety, because not only can an inexperienced and untrained puppy be put in danger, which a (sorry it must be said) responsible owner wouldn’t have in the middle of the path, but because this could cause and injury very badly the person on the bike, and they don’t have to be going fast for this to happen either. A magpie stepped out in front of my bike once and I braked, the bike stopped too suddenly and I went over the handlebars. I wasn’t very good for weeks after that, but I did recover. I would be very surprised if the puppy was off the path walking on your left where it should have been on a short lead. A young, inexperienced dog should be taken to somewhere like an oval, far away from a shared path with other users.

I do agree separate paths would help, except it might not have helped in this case, as all the separated paths I have seen have been side by side, and a dog not properly constrained could still get in the road of a bike, often unexpectedly, so there may be little the person cycling can do to avoid it.

If this is the same story as http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/tuggeranong-womans-dog-run-over-and-killed-by-speeding-cyclist-on-shared-path-20161201-gt1o28.html and http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2587154 two people were at fault in this incident, not one. If this is the same story then there still doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement from the pet owner that they had their animal on a long lead on a shared path on the wrong side of the path and she still does not take any responsibility for the part she played in placing her unfortunate animal in a dangerous situation by allowing it to stray into oncoming traffic. Not only that, but she could’ve caused further injury by causing an accident. She just refers to the other party as a ‘mad cyclist’ and thinks cyclists are bullies. This is part of the problem, that some people will not treat shared paths seriously and they do not seem to acknowledge that there is an onus on all users to stay left and generate space for other users.

Maya123 11:15 am 14 Jan 17

raveena said :

Bring on the separate bike paths. My puppy got run over by a cyclist on a Sunday night at 7 pm. I walk around lake Tuggeranong and have done so for last 25 yrs. I was quite shocked to hear that the speed on the shared path is 50 km. This time it was my poor puppy because of a mad cyclist who did not slow down. I am very sure it would be a elderly or a child next time. Many people feel threatened by the cyclists behaviour. I am always looking over my shoulder. Tuggeranong area has grown in the last few year with the new developments on the foreshore it is going to get busier. We really need a separate bike path around the lake so the pedestrians don’t feel bullied by the cyclists and enjoy the lake in peace.

I’m sorry about your puppy and it would have been distressing, but I have to ask, what was a puppy doing on a bike/shared path? Dogs need to be trained and on the left side of the owner, on a short lead, under control, before they are allowed near a path where bikes go, both for the dog’s safety and also the person on the bike’s safety, because not only can an inexperienced and untrained puppy be put in danger, which a (sorry it must be said) responsible owner wouldn’t have in the middle of the path, but because this could cause and injury very badly the person on the bike, and they don’t have to be going fast for this to happen either. A magpie stepped out in front of my bike once and I braked, the bike stopped too suddenly and I went over the handlebars. I wasn’t very good for weeks after that, but I did recover. I would be very surprised if the puppy was off the path walking on your left where it should have been on a short lead. A young, inexperienced dog should be taken to somewhere like an oval, far away from a shared path with other users.

I do agree separate paths would help, except it might not have helped in this case, as all the separated paths I have seen have been side by side, and a dog not properly constrained could still get in the road of a bike, often unexpectedly, so there may be little the person cycling can do to avoid it.

raveena 1:12 am 14 Jan 17

Bring on the separate bike paths. My puppy got run over by a cyclist on a Sunday night at 7 pm. I walk around lake Tuggeranong and have done so for last 25 yrs. I was quite shocked to hear that the speed on the shared path is 50 km. This time it was my poor puppy because of a mad cyclist who did not slow down. I am very sure it would be a elderly or a child next time. Many people feel threatened by the cyclists behavior. I am always looking over my shoulder. Tuggeranong area has grown in the last few year with the new developments on the foreshore it is going to get busier. We really need a separate bike path around the lake so the pedestrians don’t feel bullied by the cyclists and enjoy the lake in peace.

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