I have often wondered if there is a protocol laid down in law for the all those who use shared used paths. In some council areas they have a sign indicating to horse riders, walkers and bike riders who gives way to whom. We all know that common courtesy dictates that if you are approaching walkers from behind on a bike, the cyclist is expected to ring their bell as a warning.
When I was a kid growing up we where told if we had to walk on a busy road, we should walk toward the oncoming traffic to see what was happening. When I took this series of photos (below) yesterday you can see that the walkers had to take cover from the opproaching cyclists and would have been startled. Wouldn't it be better if the walkers faced the oncoming traffic and moved off the path?
As I approached Sheidow Park on the same trail, a middle aged couple walking a dog where doing just what I described, walking toward the oncoming riders. We saw each other, where able to make eye contact and carefully moved around each other. It left me to ponder, "I wonder if they went to the same school as me".
Pedestrians are supposed to keep to the left on a shared path. There are shared paths in ACC where portions have arrows painted on the path surface. If pedestrians kept to the left (often don't), then would be easy for a cyclist to overtake on the right. Pedestrians are not obliged to move off the path. In some circumstances they would not want to move off the path (long grass, muddy ground) or be unable to (wooden sections of River Torrens Linear Park). In fact cyclists must give way to pedestrians, even predict when a pedestrian will make an obstructive move (e.g. suddenly move into cyclist's path).
I am a regular runner along the linear path and rate it's dual use capacity as exceptionally poor. The path is narrow, and getting narrower due to mud slides and grass over growth, cracking and in poor general condition. Walking with my wife and 2 children a couple of days ago near Pinky Flat was challenging as it is only two people wide and the speed that some of the cyclists ride doesn't give you much time to move. It really needs to be twice as wide.
Oh and I've never been a big advocate for bells but....GET A BELL PEOPLE.....the number of times I have nearly been cleaned up by a cyclist with no warning is ridiculous. Rant over.
.the number of times I have nearly been cleaned up by a pedestrian after giving a warning is ridiculous. Rant over.
I must be from the same vintage Trevor .... walking toward the oncomming traffic (irrespective of what the traffic might be) was what I was taught as a young fella.
I'm also not really clear on what the common understanding is regarding rules on shared paths or at least I haven't been able to pick any consistent patterns in either pedestrians or cyclists behaviours.
I keep to the left, ring my bell as I approach people and say thank you when they move to the side a little.
People walking facing toward oncomming traffic would certainly be safer all round.
Torwards traffic only counts on roads. On paths you're the car king.
You don't need a license ( or have insurance , familiar argument? ) to be a pedestrian so most people are uninformed & untrained about where they should walk. In my experience a lot of them don't see, hear or even care about you approaching particularly when they have dogs with them. I gave up riding along the Torrens a long time ago as it was safer on the road.
Darryl, the Brisbane Bicentennial Path is much better designed: a pedestrian path, next to a cycle path, next to a second cycle path (for 2 directions). My limited experience of cycling there was that pedestrians did not use the cycle path or create cycling hazards. Last year Adelaide authorities vetoed upgrading the Torrens Linear Park shared path to the current standard.
My pet hate is dual-use pathways. I use the road where ever possible. WA has seperated cycles and pedestrians around some of the Swan River.
Darwin has a sign posted 25 kmp/h speed limit on shared use paths.
Bugger!! I wanted to run faster than that.....
Yea, jogging is so overated