BakfietsUK wrote:The picture Gaz linked to is very interesting. As a regular pedestrian (and cyclist) I would much rather walk further from the road and in this picture the cycle segregated path looks far more attractive to walk along. Put in the extra dimension of people with pushchairs, special needs and the prevalence of pavement parking, the cycle route for many pedestrians would be a no brainer. Just swap the cycle and footway and I reckon the problem would diminish.
If you just swap them, it makes the geometry of the junction lethal rubbish for cycling (yes, I know there are plenty of over-the-shoulder road-mouth crossings by cycle tracks but they are dangerous rubbish) so I hope any attempt would fail safety checks. The best answer would be to rebuild the junction as part of this:
I think I would advocate reducing the width of the road in this picture in favour of cycles and pedestrians.
...but we're not there yet.
I agree with gaz - people in this country will walk everywhere and anywhere. Then there's things like pushchairs, prams, wheelchairs, mobility scooters and so on which are just easier on a designed-for-wheeling route. Personally, I don't mind them being there as long as they're not deliberately obstructive, but that does mean we do need to build cycle tracks wide enough to cope with it... and that probably often means no distinct footway unless there's really such high usage that walkers need a refuge.
On one walk down a particularly popular route I would estimate about 6 groups of cyclists travelling at speed straight toward me as if to intimidate me to stand in the adjacent hedge. These people were families with kids, men and women cycling together. Not only that, some were abusive and the whole experience left me very intimidated and frustrated. I thought for a long while what would motivate these people to behave in this way and I still can't fathom it. All I know, for sure is that this behaviour is unacceptable and the impact, possibly reflected in these posts is somewhat understandable.
I suspect it may be a misguided reaction to similar abuse towards them from other road users.
BakfietsUK wrote:In my view, along with what I have already posted here, if we are going to have to stick with shared use, the relationship between cyclists and other forms of transport needs to improve. In my opinion, we (cyclists) are in real danger of being hated by pedestrians and motorists. Whether rational or not the collective reasoning behind this suggested phenomenon is partly based on our own (cyclists) behaviour. If some cyclists go around abusing others, we will never get any respect, well not the type of respect that matters anyway.
Sorry but I think that view's a great example of the self-loathing of many UK cyclists and a real hindrance. There will always be some cyclists who go around abusing others, but there are some motorists who go around abusing others and yet motorists don't get vilified and keep on getting the vast majority of transport budgets. We must reject the persistent evil idea that cyclists in this country should all keep being punished because some cyclists misbehave.
While watching the Tour de France, I was struck by how rapidly how much of France seems to be building decent-looking cycle tracks alongside major routes (especially visible on the helicopter shots), even in completely rural areas where surely 3m width is more for maintenance and emergency access than capacity, and rehabilitating their town centres for walking and cycling with either infrastructure or 30kph limits. Riding there earlier this year, I found there was almost no hostility towards cyclists from either motorists or walkers: mostly they stay off painted lanes in shared spaces and a gentle bell gets a friendly wave. I know it's not everywhere yet, but is the UK being left behind even by our nearest neighbour? Can we get their relaxed approach to cycling here and if so, how?
(edited to add accidentally-deleted reply to the earlier parts)