Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

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jgurney
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby jgurney » 26 May 2018, 6:18pm

Ellieb wrote:if the pedestrian had been walking on the left then the other rider could have kept behind him whilst keeping left


The problem with that practice is it would place vehicles coming up behind pedestrians on the same side of the road. This is unpleasant for pedestrians, who can be alarmed by the sudden appearance of a vehicle behind them, especially in the case of a bike as they may well not have heard it either. It can also be dangerous as pedestrians seem to be less likely to be noticed in poor visibility when seen from behind. That was why the rule about pedestrians walking facing vehicular traffic developed. It means the traffic they cannot see is on the far side of the road and so of less consequence to them.

As things are, much the same should happen. The cyclist facing the pedestrian slows down in front of them them passes them when the oncoming cyclist had passed.

Ellieb
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby Ellieb » 26 May 2018, 10:22pm

The problem with that practice is it would place vehicles coming up behind pedestrians on the same side of the road. This is unpleasant for pedestrians, who can be alarmed by the sudden appearance of a vehicle behind them

Hmm. But the bike will still be coming up behind them, just on the other side of the path. I doubt that the ensuing lateral separation would be enough not to scare your hypotheically petrified pedestrian. It is a lot more unpleaseant to have a bike coming straight towards you, & as the OP points out he was concerned that the pedestrian was going to move across as they closed head on & into the path of the other bike. In any case, in these situations the bike will be overtaking on the other side of the path when they reach the appropriate point.
It can also be dangerous as pedestrians seem to be less likely to be noticed in poor visibility when seen from behind. That was why the rule about pedestrians walking facing vehicular traffic developed.

The chances of this happening on a cycle path are small enough to be outweighed by the benefits of everyone keeping left.
Out of interest, just how much riding on busy shared use cycle paths do you do?

thirdcrank
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby thirdcrank » 26 May 2018, 10:38pm

Being able to anticipate with some confidence what others will do makes life simpler. In ordinary road use, keeping to the correct side of the carriageway, depending on local law, keeps the world moving. AFAIK, there's no rule or even convention saying that pedestrians should walk on one side or the other of a footway. On that basis I cannot see how any cyclist meeting a pedestrian can safely anticipate how they will act, even less if they are approaching from behind. This view is reinforced by the range of opinions expressed on here. There's also been mention of some riders believing that the keep left rule is reversed on cycle paths.

A time for caution.

jgurney
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby jgurney » 27 May 2018, 1:12pm

Ellieb wrote:But the bike will still be coming up behind them, just on the other side of the path.


Quite - on the other side.

I doubt that the ensuing lateral separation would be enough


Then that route is probably too narrow for the purpose, unless traffic levels are very low.

It is a lot more unpleasant to have a bike coming straight towards you


Not at all. I frequently encounter such as a pedestrian. It is perfectly normal. They either move over to pass, or if oncoming traffic prevents then they slow down until they can move over and pass. Same applies when it is a general-purpose road and it is a car, etc, coming towards me.

If high traffic levels mean that vehicles are frequently having to slow down significantly before they can pass pedestrians, then the traffic levels are too high for the route to be a shared use road or path, and it needs a footway added.

as the OP points out he was concerned that the pedestrian was going to move across as they closed head on & into the path of the other bike.


Which illustrates the importance of everyone following the rules, so their movements are predictable.

It can also be dangerous as pedestrians seem to be less likely to be noticed in poor visibility when seen from behind. That was why the rule about pedestrians walking facing vehicular traffic developed.

The chances of this happening on a cycle path are small


My own experience - of pedestrians in dark clothes emerging out of the gloom - disagrees. In particular, faces are much more distinctive than the backs of hoods.

Out of interest, just how much riding on busy shared use cycle paths do you do?


"busy shared use cycle paths" should not exist - the design is only suitable for low traffic levels.

I do more walking than riding on them. If I expect such a route will be busy I generally go another way when cycling, unless there is no alternative which is not a long way round. Riding on busy 'shared use paths' is generally more stressful and more hazardous than keeping to general-purpose roads. I use lightly-used 'shared paths' where they are useful shortcuts.

Ellieb
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby Ellieb » 27 May 2018, 6:56pm

Which illustrates the importance of everyone following the rules, so their movements are predictable.

There are no rules in this case. There is only etiquette. It sounds to me like you only use paths where there are so few interactions that it doesn't matter. Using a nice railway path with half a dozen bikes a minute coming the other way I suspect you might form a different iew.

Ellieb
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby Ellieb » 27 May 2018, 6:58pm

A time for caution.

Oh for sure, but it does make things simpler when 99% of people do the same thing.

jgurney
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby jgurney » 27 May 2018, 10:43pm

Ellieb wrote:
Which illustrates the importance of everyone following the rules, so their movements are predictable.

There are no rules in this case.


Nonsense - all the usual rules apply there as to all other roads. The absence of motor traffic makes no difference to that. There were clear rules of the road long before the IC engine was even invented. The rule of walking on the right and riding on the left originally developed to reduce conflict between pedestrians and horse riders.

Ellieb wrote:
Which illustrates the importance of everyone following the rules, so their movements are predictable.

Using a nice railway path with half a dozen bikes a minute coming the other way I suspect you might form a different iew.


With that much traffic it becomes even more important that all users follow the rules so that their movements are predictable.

thirdcrank
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby thirdcrank » 28 May 2018, 11:29am

This general topic is likely to become more prominent with the trend to more shabby shared-use farcilities. It may be that new rules are needed as cyclists are increasingly in conflict with other riders or pedestrians but - apart from the overriding requirements to keep a good lookout and to exercise care - the current rules are contained in the HC. ie, if a court was deciding liability after a crash, then this would be the rule book.

Rules for pedestrians
Rule 1
Pavements (including any path along the side of a road) should be used if provided. Where possible, avoid being next to the kerb with your back to the traffic. If you have to step into the road, look both ways first. Always show due care and consideration for others.

Rule 2
If there is no pavement, keep to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. You should take extra care and
- be prepared to walk in single file, especially on narrow roads or in poor light
- keep close to the side of the road.
It may be safer to cross the road well before a sharp right-hand bend so that oncoming traffic has a better chance of seeing you. Cross back after the bend.

NB It's all about minimising the risk from traffic and nothing specific about avoiding conflict by keeping left. Indeed, where there's no footway, pedestrians are advised to keep right to be able to see oncoming traffic. Whether this is analogous with a shared-use farcility is open to debate.

Rules for cyclists
Rule 62

Cycle Tracks. These are normally located away from the road, but may occasionally be found alongside footpaths or pavements. Cyclists and pedestrians may be segregated or they may share the same space (unsegregated). When using segregated tracks you MUST keep to the side intended for cyclists as the pedestrian side remains a pavement or footpath. Take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, older or disabled people, and allow them plenty of room. Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary. Take care near road junctions as you may have difficulty seeing other road users, who might not notice you.
(My emphases.)

Cyclecraft is another source of advice, especially as its author John Franklin is an expert witness. I've checked my copy (second edition 2007) and I've found nothing about positioning on these farcilities. There's this general point about shared-use (p194)
If you can cycle competently on the road, you should avoid the inherently less safe environment of the shared-use footway.

Cycleability is another important resource. Is the teaching different from the HC?
(Edited to correct a couple of typos.)
Last edited by thirdcrank on 28 May 2018, 5:31pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ellieb
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby Ellieb » 28 May 2018, 3:34pm

Nonsense - all the usual rules apply there as to all other roads.

No, I'm afraid they don't. You need to show me the evidence that anything that applies to a road automatically applies to a cyclepath. They are different things.

jgurney
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby jgurney » 28 May 2018, 7:18pm

Ellieb wrote:You need to show me the evidence that anything that applies to a road automatically applies to a cyclepath.


" The definition of a road in England and Wales is ‘any highway and any other road to which the public has access and includes bridges over which a road passes’ (RTA 1988 sect 192(1)).

It is important to note that references to ‘road’ therefore generally include footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks, and many roadways and driveways on private land (including many car parks). In most cases, the law will apply to them"

From:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway ... nd-the-law

the snail
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby the snail » 29 May 2018, 12:03am

jgurney wrote:
Ellieb wrote:You need to show me the evidence that anything that applies to a road automatically applies to a cyclepath.


" The definition of a road in England and Wales is ‘any highway and any other road to which the public has access and includes bridges over which a road passes’ (RTA 1988 sect 192(1)).

It is important to note that references to ‘road’ therefore generally include footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks, and many roadways and driveways on private land (including many car parks). In most cases, the law will apply to them"

From:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway ... nd-the-law


But if you read HC rule 62 quoted above, if the cycle track is segregated then the situation is quite different to most roads - you are supposed to ride on the right in one direction and on the left in the other direction. If the OP's situation arises, if the pedestrian is in the designated pedestrian lane, then according to rule 62 the cyclists should both be in the other lane, and they're not supposed to cross into the other lane, so presumably the correct behaviour is for both cyclists to squeeze past each other in the designated lane. The reality is that even if you are conversant with whatever rules/laws apply on a particular cycle track, you can bet that no-one else is, and it's basically a free for all, and common sense is really the only guide as to what you should be doing. Like some others on here, most of the time I'd rather be on the road than a busy cycle path.

brynpoeth
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby brynpoeth » 29 May 2018, 5:54am

The rules are: there are no rules :?

I use shared paths a lot. I cycle so slowly, joggers sometimes overtake me

Certainly don't want to use the parallel road with marked cycle lanes mind
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jgurney
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby jgurney » 29 May 2018, 10:24am

the snail wrote:But if you read HC rule 62 quoted above, if the cycle track is segregated then the situation is quite different to most roads -


Not at all - it is exactly the same as any road with a segregated footway.

you are supposed to ride on the right in one direction and on the left in the other direction. If the OP's situation arises, if the pedestrian is in the designated pedestrian lane, then according to rule 62 the cyclists should both be in the other lane, and they're not supposed to cross into the other lane,


Put more simply, where there is a cycle path and footway adjacent to each other, pedestrians should walk in the footway and cyclists should ride on the cycle route. l quite agree. Neither should use the route set aside for the other. That is exactly the same as on any road including a footway.


so presumably the correct behaviour is for both cyclists to squeeze past each other in the designated lane.


If the route is designed correctly, it should not be so narrow the two cyclists riding in opposite directions have to squeeze past each other. Again, just the same as any road: if two cars meet going in opposite directions, neither should be mounting the pavement, and they generally don't do so.

even if you are conversant with whatever rules/laws apply on a particular cycle track,


Exactly the same ones apply to all of them, and all other roads.


you can bet that no-one else is, and it's basically a free for all


Everyone with a driving license certainly ought know the rules of the road, and most other people do seem to grasp the basics. Pedestrians generally seem to know that they should be walking in the footway rather than the carriageway.

like some others on here, most of the time I'd rather be on the road than a busy cycle path.


I'm quite happy with busy separate cycle routes: it is busy 'shared use paths' which are a menace.

thirdcrank
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby thirdcrank » 29 May 2018, 11:16am

the snail wrote: ... But if you read HC rule 62 quoted above, if the cycle track is segregated then the situation is quite different to most roads - you are supposed to ride on the right in one direction and on the left in the other direction. ....


I think there's some misunderstanding here. "Segregated" in this context means that the pavement alongside the road has a white line down the middle dividing the cycle track from the footway. Cyclists must stick to their side because the pdestrians' side is a footway, where cycling is illegal. This is irrelevant to this incident as the farcility was shared-use ie no line down the middle so cyclists and pedestrians share the entire width.

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mjr
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Re: Shared use Path: Overtaking into head on traffic

Postby mjr » 29 May 2018, 2:51pm

thirdcrank wrote:Cyclecraft is another source of advice, especially as its author John Franklin is an expert witness. I've checked my copy (second edition 2007) and I've found nothing about positioning on these farcilities. There's this general point about shared-use (p194)
If you can cycle competently on the road, you should avoid the inherently less safe environment of the shared-use footway.

It is important to remember that Cyclecraft is both a source of advice on coping with the horrible UK road traffic environment and also a political statement by a leading vehicularist, as you can tell by use of the term "shared-use footway" in a way that seems slightly incorrect (if it's shared use, it's no longer a footway in the sense of the Highways Act - that is, one it's an offence to cycle on) when he does not use any similar term for a carriageway which walkers have just as much right to share!

It's also completely absurd to say that a highway shared only with other non-motorised users is inherently less safe than one used by multi-ton motor-driven vehicles - it's only the widespread poor engineering that may make it less safe. It's not inherent in sharing with walkers at all.
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