Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pavements are for Pedestrians

Since Anne has raised the subject and the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian have done the same let’s have a debate about people cycling on the pavement. From Anne’s comments and those in the Guardian it seems that the problem is not the actual cycling on pavements but speeding and aggressive cycling. We allow mobility buggies on the pavements which can only do about 5mph, just above brisk walking pace, so what’s wrong with bicycles being used responsibly? I have to admit to cycling on the pavement, but only when there are no pedestrians [which is most of the time, nobody round here walks anymore – they all use cars] and certainly not where there is a crowd. So do you think we should be applying some common sense to this issue instead of going down the knee jerk ‘Elf ‘n Safety route?

Of course, when cars are not allowed to park in cycle lanes, cyclists might just be more inclined to use the roadway allocated to them; and when irresponsible drivers don’t block the pavements by parking on them pedestrians and cyclists may just find there is room for both?
Pictures courtesy of Freewheeler.


  1. Completely agree, and well said. I will be delighted when the police give jay walkers spot fines and tow vehicles blocking cycle lanes.

    Those making the most noise about cyclists are doubtless the same people who ignore "don't cross" lights at pedestrian crossings, walking in front of cyclists, then remonstrating us for daring to ring a bell.

    Many of us cycle, walk and drive; if we do it all with courtesy and respect their will be fewer accidents, a better community atmosphere and eventually free cup cakes.

    Our challenge is to make cycling safe and encourage more people to cycle, a tough call when the new "Cabinet" has a public friendly cycle face ad a deep and not too secret private loathing of cyclists, demming them road fund tax dodging lycra louts.

  2. I think the subject of safe efficient cycling is very neglected now. For instance, a cyclist can move very quickly at traffic lights and, allowing the cyclist a band of road ahead of the cars, is very useful but hardly ever seen.
    A problem which might be specific to my tricycle is that I cannot turn sharply, hence I must negotiate a left turn with caution. Even if I start my turn before the amber light, by the time I reach the actual junction, the green light has been given to the other flow of traffic. No way can I guess when the lights will change. Luckily cars do notice me. I don't know why!
    What I am saying is that the sequence green/amber/ red can be extremely swift, no doubt to avoid stationary cars but I doubt if any thinking has gone into it as far as cyclists are concerned.