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Cycling stupidity.

November 18, 2014

cyclists“Cyclists should be allowed to ride on footpaths when there is no safe alternative, a Citizens’ Jury has recommended to Premier Jay Weatherill”. The front page of the “Advertiser” a few days ago.

Now there’s a surprise…and a prize for stupidity.

While the majority of two-wheelers are sensible, all too many pedal pushers  don’t give a rat’s about walkers and pram pushers.

Take …as an example almost on Grumpy’s doorstep…Unley Council’s award-winning  linear park initiative, which in recent years has transformed Parkside’s Windsor Street footpath into a delightful rural haven. Council has had to erect frequent “No cycling” signs to stop yahoos using the winding beauty as a speedway.

So who will arbitrate on the suggested shared-path move, which the RAA supports?  Who will decide whether the sharing can be legitimised and what constitutes the lack of a “safe alternative” to riding on the road. It’s a legal nightmare and a confrontation waiting to happen.

Footpaths are precisely that. Footpaths. Not pedal speedways.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jo Hards permalink
    November 18, 2014 7:17 am

    A while ago I was on the footpath outside my house pruning a large overhanging shrub. I stepped back and was hit by a young guy riding along the footpath. He did not have a helmet. The outcome? I had scratches, grazes and bruises from his front wheel. The yahoo wobbled a bit then rode on, yelling abuse at me. I healed, but what if I had been elderly and seriously injured?

    Like

  2. Ian S permalink
    November 18, 2014 8:41 am

    Try changing the perspective a little bit and replace the cyclist with a car driver and the pedestrian with a cyclist and you’ll get the same issues. I’m not advocating riding on footpaths, in fact I encourage my seven year old daughter to ride on the road where it is safe to do so (i.e. arterial roads). My wife isn’t so confident.

    The problem is that a person on a bicycle is not a pedestrian and is not a motorised vehicle. The fact is that riding a bike is somewhere in between. For too long cyclists have been bullied off the road. Now, rather than complain about people riding bikes on the footpaths, pedestrians can ally with bike riders and get proper infrastructure installed and proper education so that parents consider it safe for their children to ride to school without riding on the footpath. When that happens you won’t need to have people ride bikes on the footpath.

    Save the helmet debate for another time because it is not bike riders that kill people, it’s cars.

    Like

    • cllrmikehudson permalink*
      November 18, 2014 8:52 am

      A VERY good point, roonik. The trouble is that when bike-only facilities are provided, the ratbag element continues to defy commonsense and ride three abreast.

      Like

      • Ian S permalink
        November 18, 2014 11:09 am

        The “ratbag component” exists in every sample group of whatever humans do. Car drivers, walkers, bike riders and footballers. It’s just that we’ve been conditioned not to see them and the dangers that many pose. Errant car drivers are often referred to as “silly” or “cheeky” rather than ignorant and inconsiderate people in charge of over 1000 kg of high speed metal.

        The group you mention is often referred to as the “Lycra Loonies” or MAMILs. A good network of infrastructure that goes to places of demand (schools, shops, recreational places and workplaces) induces regular riders that don’t ride 3-abreast and causes these groups to be less relevant/cavalier (btw even though it is legal to ride 2-abreast it may not be courteous to do so). You need both the carrot (i.e. infrastructure), the stick (i.e. police, more appropriate licensing tests) and the education components to make changes to slow everyone down, move to walking and riding and make our streets places where children can play again.

        Parkside is a great place that could be made greater without too much effort with a focus on reducing speeding louts and school vehicular traffic.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Don permalink
    November 18, 2014 12:42 pm

    Cyclists can be a real hazard.
    They take short-cuts and risks.
    At times it is horrifying to watch.
    They’re a law unto themselves.
    I don’t want them riding on the footpath.
    Unless they are very young kids.

    Like

    • Ian S permalink
      November 18, 2014 5:42 pm

      Granted, some cyclists are idiots. How about applying the first four lines to rat-runners instead of cyclists.

      Like

  4. November 18, 2014 11:06 pm

    I’m with Ian S; the rat-bag element exists in any group. Cyclist, drivers, pedestrians, skateboarders, whatever. Most behave perfectly well, some don’t, and we all end up arguing about it.

    C’est la vie?

    Like

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