Cycling on Pavements and Footpaths - The Case For a Total Ban
FOLK ON BICYCLES are, it seems, allowed to cycle on pavements. They are allowed to do so just so long as they don't cycle in a manner that could be deemed dangerous. Well, far be it for me to adorn yon old lawyer's wig of my dreams, BUT, I would argue that it is nigh impossible for someone to cycle on a pavement in a manner that is NOT dangerous. The very act of cycling on an area meant for folk on feet - commonly called pedestrians - means putting pedestrians at enormous risk. I mean, it's bad enough doing your best pedestrian bit these days, what with being ran over by prams, joggers, and folk doing that stupid fast-walking thing, but bicycles is a step too far. Cyclists on pavements rarely seem to consider that any moment now someone may emerge from a shop or close. Indeed at times they are so pumped up with the cycling thing that you feel they're standing, or cycling, their ground and expecting YOU to get out of THEIR way!
But I'd go even further. We should not have walk/cycleways where the way is shared between pedestrians and cyclists. It's just too dangerous. And I don't give a hoot about statistics. It just feels dangerous. On a shared way like the Clyde Walk/Cycleway in Glasgow, folk on bicycles are zooming by at one heck of a speed. If you're lucky you'll get a little 'ding-ding' as they come up behind and rub shoulders with you at thirty miles an hour. I simply cannot properly relax when on that path, and there's something very wrong with that fact.
It's now time for legislation. I would ask for a total ban on folk cycling on pavements. End of story. Time we started arresting folk and locking them up.
      As far as shared walk/cycleways is concerned, there should be no sharing whatsoever. All walk/cycleways should have separate pedestrian and cycling avenues, with either white lines or six-foot high fences so ne'er the twain shall meet.
     It is of course never going to be as clear cut as that. What about paths by busy narrow roads in the countryside where there are precious few pedestrians and the cyclist would be far safer on the pavement? Fair point. Clearly some debate required. But at the end of the day those same country roads have often been hardly maintained for decades and there's usually a much wider pavement, or indeed a pavement, lurking under all that leaf-mould and overgrown vegetation, so perhaps even there there is the potential for separate avenues for pedestrians and cyclists.
The antagonistic relationship between pedestrians and cyclists is now so bad that I can't even enjoy a leisurely stroll around my local park for fear of being mowed down by some speeding dumpling on wheels. At least in London they do things properly; in at least one park there cyclists are banned from cycling. It makes so much sense.
      Up here in Scotland we just moan but do very little to deal with what I regard is an issue that we've pussyfooted around for long enough. Time for action.
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May 2017
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Cycling on Pavements and Footpaths - the Case for a Total Ban