The utility cyclist wrote:For the OP, you had already slowed, IMO there was little point you indicating at that juncture if you had already taken account for the pedestrians potential actions, unless you asked them you might not know if your hand signal actually was seen or taken as anything at all.
They clearly did see the signal, because at the moment I gave it, they waved in acknowledgement and moved in the direction I was indicating. I can’t read their minds, but the signal is supposed to help them read mine!
When I encounter a mass of peds or if there are some at a crossing/pedestrian refuge and there's nothing bearing down right on my tail I'll ease off, wave them across and the hazard we present to each other is out the way and done. This to me is massively more important than hand signalling and then having to react retrospectively and with surprise to a mis-communication.
I never ever
wave people or cars on, nor do I accept ‘wave-ons’ from others. I do not see the situation from their point of view, and they do not see it from mine. If I make a mistake and wave somebody on into danger, I will be to blame.
However, I don’t really see the relevance of the kind of directional hand signals I am talking about, to the situation of pedestrians on a crossing. In that circumstance I am always either stopping or going ahead. No left or right is involved.
Just because they waved in acknowledgement doesn't mean anything, you said you slowed down, that in itself could have meant they took that that you wanted to let them do their thing, either way indicating wasn't necessary and indeed led you to think others had seen your signal and interpret it the way you thought they should. That you'd already done the slowing down thing meant no harm, no foul.
As for not waving pedestrians on, well that's up to you but you're failing to do hazard perception correctly, if a pedestrian steps out into your path when they are in a pedestrian refuge or near the side of the road and haven't looked up then there's an increased chance of collision, it takes a couple of seconds to allow peds to get across in situations that might be difficult for them.
This benefits threefold, you're removing the hazard to you, we know colliding with peds can be bloody painful, I know as I had one run into me from the side of the road despite me already slowing and positioning myself toward the centre of the road, them sprinting out into me I could not account for, fractured elbow and hand bones.
Second, it can prevent harm to the vulnerable road user, I won't stop all the time, I will assess the danger to myself and the road situation, if it looks like a good time for them to get across and the road is busy generally then this aids them without any loss to myself.
third, goodwill, it'll make you feel better, it'll make the other person feel better, maybe, just maybe that might just change how they act the next time a similar scenario comes up. You've done an act that has lost you no time at all, you've not thought in the MGIF, you've given some consideration to another human being so they can go about their business safely, wouldn't you want that for yourself on the bike in some situations where you're finding it difficult/unsafe to progress your journey?