Author Topic: Shared use paths close passing  (Read 5064 times)

Shared use paths close passing
« on: October 21, 2018, 11:46:50 am »
On my commute I use a few shared use paths (cyclists and pedestrians only): one through a large park and a long one built on top of a sewage pipe. I'm not including bits of pavement which are deemed to be shared use because the road is simply too unpleasant to ride on.

I see a lot of unnecessary and fast close passes by cyclists of pedestrians but the strange thing is not many if any at all of the pedestrians seem to be bothered, they don't flinch or turn their heads in reaction, it's as if nothing's happened.

On the other hand, there's another path which is quite narrow and twisting and the pedestrians do seem to be aware of the dickhead cyclists who seem to ride at their fastest speed regardless of anyone else around them.


CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2018, 01:29:50 pm »
Nowadays, I assume that every ped I pass on a shared use path is zombified by the use of earphones. I still ring my bell, but usually get no response, and yes, they don't seem to flinch that often, but I do allow plenty of room.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2018, 01:58:02 pm »
Examples:

A rider is in front of me riding in the same direction, riding on the left, directly ahead is a ped walking  in the same direction.
There's no one else around, the path is fairly wide but the rider maintains their speed moves right slightly and passes with about a person's width gap or closer. At the passing point the rider is still well left of the centre of the path.

I'm passing with ped to the right and ped to the left, I slow down to try to avoid close passing and leave as big as a gap as possible, but at the passing point another rider blasts through one of  the gaps from behind.

A ped is directly ahead walking  in the same direction, I move right to pass fairly late to avoid going near other peds, as I'm moving right another rider comes up directly from behind and has to move right  to avoid riding into me.

Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2018, 06:30:40 pm »
Unless the peds/dogs are blocking the entire width, I don't ring the bell; it's more likely to cause them to step into my path.

Shared-use paths are an abomination and all three of my crashes in the last 20 years have been on them: swerving to avoid a dog, black ice or hitting a head-down cyclist who looked up at the last moment and swerved right into.me.

I have gently nudged pedestrians out of the way with a hand before when they've not heard the bell.   Even then, they didn't say a thing or react.  Dope? Spice?
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2018, 08:30:03 am »
I remember hitting a dog a few months back (it was okay), I am now super weary around dog owners who don't have dogs on leads, "oh he never does that" is not an excuse not to have a dog on a leash.

I can understand the need for dogs to run and run free in big parks and such like, but not in urban surroundings with a mix of users.
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Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2018, 08:34:32 am »
The people that brush past the peds at full speed are probably the same ones who go apoplectic when a car only leaves 1.4m gap when passing.

Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2018, 09:25:33 am »
See it all the time I’m afraid. On the other hand a series of people thanked me for slowing and passing considerately the other day, so they are aware.


ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2018, 09:59:13 am »
It does make me sad – to be honest, park paths (like canal footpaths) should be places people can meander, walk their dogs etc. without having to dodge cyclists. Part of the fault, of course, is in not providing adequate cycling facilities and sending cyclists along a pedestrian path in the first place, but equally that's no excuse for behaving like a dick. Walking up the Regent's Canal footpath the other weekend was a nightmare, we were getting ding-ding-dinged every few seconds and constantly having to get out of the way of cyclists. Most were courteous, but a good number were going too fast for the conditions, and quite a few didn't even bother with a thank-you. From a pedestrian perspective (and we've slowly cycling along the same section several times), it was hard to come away with a good impression of cyclists (mostly because you always remember the worst ones, but still, it was annoying having to keep steeping out of the way).
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 11:08:53 am »
Regarding the use of bells when approaching from behind, I’ve been berated for using it and also (on other occasions) when I haven’t so there’s no pleasing some people. As for whizzing by at speed, it’s really just asking for grief imho, there’s plenty of space out there for us all if we apply common sense, which in some cases is distressingly uncommon

A

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2018, 11:14:45 am »
Honestly, I hate being dinged out of the way when I'm walking. I always say 'excuse me.' I suspect that if you're going to fast to hold a conversation, you're going too fast. On wider paths, just go around and leave plenty of space, there's no need to keep dinging to 'let people know you are there' – you'll just panic them into jumping in your way.
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2018, 11:32:11 am »
Presumably experienced shared-use-path-using pedestrians have learned that the way to cope with cyclists is to hold your line and be predictable, and let the cyclist deal with not hitting you.  I assume they get used to close passes from cyclists the way we do from drivers.

It's the twitchy ones who are the problem, anyway.  The ones who leap into your path when they hear your bell (so you need to ring from far enough back to account for this, which means they don't hear it), or the dog owners with less sense than their dogs.

Shared-use only works when the user density is low enough that you can pass wide without the other path user having to do anything.  That means road-sized paths in parks or pedestrianised areas, or very lightly used towpaths.  It's why they're completely non-scalable as transport infrastructure.


IME the worst close passes are from cyclists on non-shared-use footways.  Presumably because that's the only way to get anywhere when cycling on a busy pavement.  I expect they're the same ones who pass too close in shared-use areas.  Thankfully, they almost never oil their chains, so you can often hear them coming.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2018, 12:01:41 pm »
The closest pass I've had in years was about a month ago while walking across the shared path of the Avonmouth Bridge. It came from behind, it was close enough to whisk the hairs on my arm, and it was from a mopedist. I hadn't heard the moped whine due to the motorway tyre noise. Incidentally, that path is a good demonstration in the noise deflecting properties of different barrier types: at each end it has solid metal armco-structure from ground level to about a metre or so, which provides a relatively quiet environment to lure you on to the path, but in the middle it becomes just a couple of rails and is deafening.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2018, 02:03:59 pm »
Honestly, I hate being dinged out of the way when I'm walking. I always say 'excuse me.'

You (and the cyclists) would probably have a more harmonious time if you interpreted

"ding" == "excuse me"


It sounds like you choose it to mean "get out of my fucking way" - this probably isn't the intention! And if it is, why stress over it? Just assume the polite meaning, and everyone's happy :)

Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2018, 02:42:07 pm »
Honestly, I hate being dinged out of the way when I'm walking. I always say 'excuse me.'

You (and the cyclists) would probably have a more harmonious time if you interpreted

"ding" == "excuse me"


It sounds like you choose it to mean "get out of my fucking way" - this probably isn't the intention! And if it is, why stress over it? Just assume the polite meaning, and everyone's happy :)


Noise - Response
"Ding" -  "How Impolire how about excuse me"
"Excuse me please" - "Where's your bell"

Cannae win.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2018, 02:44:21 pm »
Very true, Mr Eejit!

(And you're not the first to observe this.)

Clearly it crosses internal UK borders.  ::-)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2018, 03:04:29 pm »
The problem with shared use is that it is human nature for the faster to assume their journey is more important than the slower. As with traffic. The pedestrians are 'impeding' from the perspective of the cyclist trying to go after.Once others are seen as impeding then behaviour goes out the window.  It takes no time at all for that to become a nasty entitled sense of purpose in which dinging people out of the way seems entirely normal.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
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Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2018, 03:18:58 pm »
Some huge assumptions there.  I ride canal paths and dual-use paths all the time.  I never assume my journey is more important than anyone else's.  I ring my bell from some distance back and have only once had anything other than a satisfactory response, though I suspect there'll be one within minutes of writing this!  In my experience, by far the biggest culprits on such paths are e-bikes and 29-ers who don't use bells or give any warning that they are behind you.  Peds are less of a problem because, although they often walk straight down the middle, if they don't react to your bell, they've got headphones in and ringing the bell far enough back gives you the time to decide whether you can get past just giving them a satisfying shock, or whether a mild shoulder charge is appropriate!

Peter

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2018, 03:38:04 pm »
Well, the problem is that most serial bell-ringers are the ones who want you out of their way because their journey is the important one, so like many people I've come to associate the ding-ding with those (and I appreciate that many people are simply using their bell as a polite I'm coming through but they're not the ones you remember). I confess, when someone rides up behind and dings the bell, I bristle. When you're strolling up a narrow path like a towpath, forever having to let cyclists through becomes an annoying dance of ding-ding-move-ding-ding-move. Having them wing past in a park is annoying too. I don't, as a pedestrian, know what your bell is telling me to do. Racing through parks is just plain stupid. Cross the path through Hyde Park on my way to the Serpentine the other day, I had to step back because some lycra'd up bloke was giving it all cylinders (doubly moronic as there's an actual segregated path parallel to it, and the road next to it was closed anyway, so hectares of fresh tarmac he could have gone as fast as he wanted on).

Tigerrr has it. Like drivers, cyclists make the same assumptions that people should make way for them. In reality, it doesn't really affect our journey as cyclists to slow down say 'excuse me' and 'thank you' and maybe a splendidly British 'lovely weather' etc. It'll be nicer interaction all round and yes, you may arrive at your destination a few minutes than you would have, but I think the world will continue to spin.
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2018, 03:46:20 pm »
Well, the problem is that most serial bell-ringers are the ones who want you out of their way because their journey is the important one, so like many people I've come to associate the ding-ding with those (and I appreciate that many people are simply using their bell as a polite I'm coming through but they're not the ones you remember). I confess, when someone rides up behind and dings the bell, I bristle. When you're strolling up a narrow path like a towpath, forever having to let cyclists through becomes an annoying dance of ding-ding-move-ding-ding-move. Having them wing past in a park is annoying too. I don't, as a pedestrian, know what your bell is telling me to do. Racing through parks is just plain stupid. Cross the path through Hyde Park on my way to the Serpentine the other day, I had to step back because some lycra'd up bloke was giving it all cylinders (doubly moronic as there's an actual segregated path parallel to it, and the road next to it was closed anyway, so hectares of fresh tarmac he could have gone as fast as he wanted on).

This is why I'm in favour of signs telling cyclists to use their bell.  It means that their use isn't limited to the ping-ping-ping-ping-get-out-of-my-way crowd, so you get less hassle for using them.

I mostly use my bell on blind corners, and from a distance when a group of peds are completely blocking the path.  (This is a lie - I mostly use my bell to accompany a wave to small children gawping at the unusual bike.)  The common pedestrian leap-before-you-look reaction means that there's no point in using them for a continental style "I'm about to overtake you" warning.  If they don't react to the bell from a distance, I prefer to use a mechanical noise (eg. changing gear, flicking brake levers, but definitely not KoolStops) from closer up - that tends to say "bicycle" without startling people as much as a bell.  Speaking's fine, but they tend to assume you're a pedestrian then double-take.


Quote
Tigerrr has it. Like drivers, cyclists make the same assumptions that people should make way for them. In reality, it doesn't really affect our journey as cyclists to slow down say 'excuse me' and 'thank you' and maybe a splendidly British 'lovely weather' etc.

Or, if you want to keep moving, use the road.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2018, 03:54:39 pm »
When I was in the "mtb club" I used to use my bell very reluctantly, use of a bell to me feels awkward - it doesn't sound very polite in the same way when someone beeps their car horn.  So much easier to say Excuse Me and Thank you.

Whatever the transport everyone knows a bell means "I am here", but when your out for a relaxing walk your often just happy to be away from the evil cars and not having to turn and look wherever you go.

Now that I am in the "road bike" club, as soon as I assembled the bike, Bell, Reflectors all that BS in the bin.
Frequent Audax and bike ride videos:

https://www.youtube.com/user/djrikki2008/videos

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2018, 04:03:56 pm »
TBH, I only have a bell on my tourer because it's a useful sacrificial component to protect the shifter if it falls over.

Even sillier, I've kept the one on my Brompton because it makes a pleasing "Ding!" as the handlebars flop down at the last stage of the fold.

I haven't got one on my mountain bike, in spite of that being the bike I'm most likely to be riding on shared paths.  A mechanical noise or polite "Excuse me." suffices.


I can't help feeling the sound of the bell makes a difference.  Cheapy ping bells sound urgent (unless you only ring them once, in which case they sound like tinnitus).  A deeper bring-bring or ding-dong sounds more cheerful.  A bulb hooter is sufficiently silly that it's hard to take it seriously.  But maybe I'm reading too much into it because I'm a cyclist.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2018, 04:23:25 pm »
Well, the problem is that most serial bell-ringers are the ones who want you out of their way because their journey is the important one, so like many people I've come to associate the ding-ding with those (and I appreciate that many people are simply using their bell as a polite I'm coming through but they're not the ones you remember). I confess, when someone rides up behind and dings the bell, I bristle.
So you're stereotyping - making assumptions about someone you don't even know.


Quote
When you're strolling up a narrow path like a towpath, forever having to let cyclists through becomes an annoying dance of ding-ding-move-ding-ding-move.
but that's just  a problem of overcrowding. You'd still have to do the dance if the same cyclists called out "Excuse me sir!" 
(and anyway, you don't HAVE to leap out of the way - just use appropriate judgement.)


Quote
Having them wing past in a park is annoying too. I don't, as a pedestrian, know what your bell is telling me to do. Racing through parks is just plain stupid. Cross the path through Hyde Park on my way to the Serpentine the other day, I had to step back because some lycra'd up bloke was giving it all cylinders (doubly moronic as there's an actual segregated path parallel to it, and the road next to it was closed anyway, so hectares of fresh tarmac he could have gone as fast as he wanted on).
Well of course there are muppets out there. I suggest a stick in their spokes!
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2018, 04:32:03 pm »

I have a bell on my bike as it is a legal requirement in some of the countries I cycle in. I occasionally use it, but usually if I feel the need to ring a bell, it's more effective to shout some sort of robust anglo saxon at the moron involved.

On a recent commute through Vondelpark, which is a large wide shared use path (think 10+m wide), with a steady stream of pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, scooters, the occasional bromer, etc... I was cycling along, on the aero bars (because I'm an idiot), and there was a guy on skates doing a slalom like route right across the path, it was a real pain to try and judge and position for where he was. As he went to the right I tried to pass to his left, and he changed direction to go straight across my front. I slammed on the anchors as fast as I could given the position change, and told him something along the lines of "I say old chap, would one consider perhaps the benefits of straight lines", or words to that effect, and even tho the only reason he wasn't splatted across the road alongside me was because of my fast reactions, he seemed oblivious to it. I wonder if one of those who cycles a poorly maintained bike, with shit brakes, and does so with no hands, will eventually smack into him.

The other one that is very common in the same park on the return leg at night, are dog walkers who make a point of covering their pup in lights, make sure they have lights on their arms/body. But nothing on the 10m long black garrote that is invisibly connecting the bundle of claws and teeth at one end, and the grumpy human at the other. Esp when they let said bundle of teeth and claws range to the opposite side of the very busy shared use path...

In general tho the locals are pretty good at handling close passes. The tourists however...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2018, 04:38:42 pm »
Well, of course, I'm making an assumption. I don't have psychic powers. But I'm evidently not the only person that perceives a bell ring in such a way. As for the ding-ding-move dance, it's not so much a case of having to move, the ding says 'get out of my way.' Particularly as quite often they then zoom through with nary a thank-you.

There's probably something cultural too. I find car horns aggressive in the UK. Whereas in NYC, for instance, beeping just is, you don't get het up if someone leans on the horn, mostly because everyone is doing it.

The problem with the use-the-road alternative is, of course, that the roads and shit and unpleasant places to cycle. I'd certainly much rather cycle away from traffic.

No offence, but really, yelling at people to get out of the way? How does that benefit anyone? It's the same as drivers who hammer the horn at anyone who has the temerity not to have finished crossing when the lights change.
!nataS pihsroW

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Shared use paths close passing
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2018, 04:47:44 pm »
No offence, but really, yelling at people to get out of the way? How does that benefit anyone? It's the same as drivers who hammer the horn at anyone who has the temerity not to have finished crossing when the lights change.

Because bike bells don't work as a 'caution cyclist coming through' type affair here. Either the locals are so normalised to them as to ignore them, or the tourists have absolutely no clue what is going on. Thus shouting a warning tends to be more universal.

One of the worst issues is the floating tram stops, and people getting off the tram, paying attention to their phone, and walking out into the cycle path. If you shout a warning, and slam on the anchors, you can usually just about stop, but if you stop too fast, chances are the locals on bikes behind you will go into the back of you as their brakes aren't as effective...

I'm amazed that I haven't actually knocked a pedestrian over on my way to work, I've bounced off a couple, but none have fallen over.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/