Share the Road

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  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    ...The proportion of injury caused by cars is almost all, and the peds and cyclists caused very little, so not worth even considering.

    Thanks for letting us know where pedestrians like @Ruth and me stand. "Not even worth considering." Cyclists - and their convenience - trump all!


  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    ...The proportion of injury caused by cars is almost all, and the peds and cyclists caused very little, so not worth even considering.

    Thanks for letting us know where pedestrians like @Ruth and me stand. "Not even worth considering." Cyclists - and their convenience - trump all!


    Yes, but you're very unlikely to cause injury or death to other road users. Cyclists have a marginally higher likelihood of causing injury, especially when considered in relation to the chances of injury and death by people in their tin boxes. Which is the reason why the need for insurance for cyclists, let along pedestrians, to cover injuries caused is a red herring.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    NP said
    The road insurance here is gov't organized, mandatory, and all drivers, cyclists and peds are covered for injury and wages
    I took his final comment to mean that so small a proportion of the cost of the compensation scheme is attributable to cyclists that it isn’t worth the cost of charging them for it. I don’t think he was saying (or intending to imply) that pedestrians don’t matter.
  • BroJames is correct.
  • Testing, licensing, insurance et al. for bikes sounds like a great idea until you try to figure out how to test, license and insure a 5-year-old cyclist, at no cost to the taxpayer.
  • jbohn wrote: »
    If there is a system for registering/licensing/etc. cars and those who drive them, why can't said system simply be extended to bicycles? From the technical perspective - no reason at all. Which leaves us with political will to do so. Of course there will be added costs, but those can be made up with license fees, as they are in the system as is..


    This is a hardy perennial, and I think I answered it upthread, but here goes again:

    (can only speak for uk)

    No-one knows how many bicycles there are in the uk, but assume it is roughly the same as the number of registered motor vehicles, so about 38 million. (No one knows how many unregistered vehicles there are, but it is thought to be in the millions)

    To register and license all bicycles and cyclists would therefore require a bureaucracy the size of the current Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to be set up and maintained. Since the DVLA currently employs most of Swansea, this would not come cheap.

    This agency would have no revenues, as bicycles, being zero-emission vehicles, would pay £0-00 vehicle excise duty (like electric cars).

    No government on earth would even think about such lunacy.
  • Re pedestrians. I are one too. Every day. My primary commuting mode of transport is bicycle, but I also walk. A lot. Twice a day with dog at least, and several more times per week in parks and along the river. I also drive.

    In the last decade that a drunk pedestrian who walked in front of a car had to pay the "insurance deductible"* on the damaged car, while their physical injuries were being treated and income replaced. I've not learned of any at-fault cycling collisions with either cars or pedestrians.


    *insurance deductable - the first $700 cost for vehicle damage is not paid by insurance, it's paid by the at-fault party to collision. The insurance company has authority in legislation to claim this.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    What I get from NP and a couple of other (certainly not all) cyclists posting here is that their convenience trumps all. It would be nice to see a little more concern for others. Too often, the subject line for some of the cyclists really ought to be, "We'll share the road as we see fit."

    (And this is not, of course, to minimize the dangers of bad driving, but to point out that it's not "Two wheels g-o-o-o-d, four wheels b-a-a-a-d," - and "two legs, who cares?" I think that the experiences @Ruth and I reported certainly points to an awful lot of cyclists who do feel that way, though.)

  • In the last decade that a drunk pedestrian who walked in front of a car had to pay the "insurance deductible"* on the damaged car, while their physical injuries were being treated and income replaced. I've not learned of any at-fault cycling collisions with either cars or pedestrians.

    There was a recent case in London of a cyclist killing a female pedestrian. He was jailed for 18 months.
  • No @Rossweisse, actually cycling is usually less convenient where I live than driving. Particularly in the winter. Cycling considerably takes longer than driving except in rush hour. I cycle because it makes me feel psychologically better, and because of wanting to reduce the carbon pollution I am personally responsible for. I walk for the same reasons.

    I posted above that I am extremely careful around pedestrians, and have not ever hit, and very rarely startled a pedestrian. I have most of my trouble with cars.

    As for what wheels are good and bad, that's less the issue that 4 wheeled transportation costs are paid for only in part by automobile purchase, taxes on fuel, licencing, taxes and user-pay fees. Infrastructure for cars is externalized (paid for generally out of taxation and not cost attributed to the driving activity). Not fair. I'd like to see some cost accountability so that the costs of driving are all factored in - driving probably should be costed out per mile or km travelled and this can pay for roads, bridges, traffic lights, repaving, clearing of snow, sanding for ice, emitting of exhaust pollution, CO2 and all the rest. I'd be fine with costs factored in for other activities as well, including cycling, though the analysis we've seen shows that walking and cycling cost very little in comparison. Pay for what you use, and don't have others pay for your use.
  • RocinanteRocinante Shipmate
    edited August 2018
    In the last decade that a drunk pedestrian who walked in front of a car had to pay the "insurance deductible"* on the damaged car, while their physical injuries were being treated and income replaced. I've not learned of any at-fault cycling collisions with either cars or pedestrians.

    There was a recent case in London of a cyclist killing a female pedestrian. He was jailed for 18 months.

    During the time that he was being tried for (and acquitted of) manslaughter, five pedestrians were killed by motorists in Britain.

    He was eventually convicted of the preposterous offence of "furious carriage driving".
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    No @Rossweisse, actually cycling is usually less convenient where I live than driving. ...

    Perhaps what I should have written is that, for you and a couple of others here, your preference trumps all. Pedestrians shouldn't have to worry about getting knocked over by cyclists on a sidewalk. Period. (And, no, I'm not accusing you personally of that.)


  • Rocinante wrote: »
    During the time that he was being tried for (and acquitted of) manslaughter, five pedestrians were killed by motorists in Britain.

    He was eventually convicted of the preposterous offence of "furious carriage driving".

    Yes, cars are far more dangerous to pedestrians than bikes are. I'm not arguing otherwise.

    Had Alliston been driving a car or a motorbike, he could have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving. He would not even have been charged with manslaughter.

    As he was riding a bicycle, he can't be charged with causing death by dangerous driving - by statute, all the "driving" offences only apply to motor vehicles.

    Should he have been convicted of anything? Certainly - he was clearly guilty of a Road Traffic Act offence by having an illegal bicycle (no front brake). Would he have been convicted of the "furious" offence if he hadn't acted like an arrogant mouthy prat, both in the days following the incident and in his trial? Perhaps not.

    I suppose I should declare my interest here - I have been a cyclist involved in a collision with a pedestrian. It was her fault, I almost managed to avoid her, was hurt worse than she was, and the NHS patched us both up. I had to buy a new front wheel and a new helmet.

    Had this happened in the US, there would have been tens of thousands of nominal dollars in medical bills at stake, and perhaps my insurers would have gone after her.
  • If a pedestrian stepped out, without looking, in front of a car that was travelling at 14-18mph (Alliston's estimated speed) and was killed, would the driver have been prosecuted, let alone jailed? Would anyone have given a toss about his brakes? I think not.
  • Rocinante wrote: »
    If a pedestrian stepped out, without looking, in front of a car that was travelling at 14-18mph (Alliston's estimated speed) and was killed, would the driver have been prosecuted, let alone jailed? Would anyone have given a toss about his brakes? I think not.

    Driving a car with missing brakes would also be an offence, you know. Examining the car's brakes would be a normal part of the inquiry into the pedestrian's death, no?
  • RocinanteRocinante Shipmate
    edited August 2018
    If the jury had thought that the missing front brake had contributed to the death of the pedestrian, they would have convicted Alliston of manslaughter. He was effectively jailed for riding at 18 mph, a ridiculous precedent which criminalizes almost every road user.

    Though I think we can be sure the precedent won't be applied to motorists.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Rocinante wrote: »
    He was effectively jailed for riding at 18 mph, a ridiculous precedent which criminalizes almost every road user.
    That would be ridiculous, unless almost every road user also collides with a pedestrian and causes her fatal injuries. Are you quite sure that part had nothing to do with it?
  • Kim Briggs stepped out into the road, without looking. She was a few yards from a pedestrian crossing, whose lights were against pedestrians at that time. She presumably stepped out because the cars on that side of the street were stationary at the time. This is a situation which anyone who cycles regularly at busy times will encounter all too often. Anyone who cycles regularly will know that usually in this situation the pedestrian safely crosses your path and then disappears into the queue of traffic, at who knows what further risk. No action is required of the cyclist other than not actively trying to hit said pedestrian. (Speaking personally, I might brake if the ped. steps out right in front of me, but then it's usually too late anyway. The only time I've hit someone, I braked too hard and lost control. If I'd just kept going I might have been able to avoid him.)

    In the Alliston case, for whatever reason, the usual did not happen. Briggs was still at the side of the road when Alliston collided with her. Colliding with a cyclist riding at 18 mph is not usually a fatal event for a human being. Most people survive collision with a car at that speed. Briggs died of a head injury, so likely there was a clash of heads or she hit her head on the road or kerb when she went down (the only reason for wearing a cycle helmet, btw) Therefore her death was a bit of a freak, and largely her own fault. The jury clearly thought so as they decided that Alliston was not culpable (hence the manslaughter acquittal). However, they decided for some mysterious reason that Alliston's riding was "wanton and furious". Since he was simply riding along the road and had just passed through a green light, they must have reached this decision due to his speed, which is a speed which any tolerably fit adult riding a well-maintained bike can maintain on level ground. If 18 mph is "furious", then yes, the vast majority of road users are criminals.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Rocinante wrote: »
    Therefore her death was a bit of a freak, and largely her own fault. The jury clearly thought so as they decided that Alliston was not culpable (hence the manslaughter acquittal). However, they decided for some mysterious reason that Alliston's riding was "wanton and furious".
    Perhaps that mysterious reason is that the jury did think Alliston was somewhat culpable?

    I don't see why one of their decisions makes you certain you know what they were thinking, but the other one leaves you entirely clueless.
  • I can make a guess. There wasn't strong evidence of culpability, but the incident involved a cyclist, who is not "someone like us", who is clearly a bit of a dick (no argument with that btw) and the prosecution have helpfully offered up this arcane, anachronistic charge for us to convict him of.

    It was a collective spluttering of "you shouldn't go so fast" like we all hear from time to time. Well sorry, but we can and it's perfectly legal. If you step into our path you may get hurt.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Cyclists can be annoying away from roads and pavements too. I was walking my dog in the woods and a mountain biker came crashing down the hill, nearly hitting me into a deep ravine :triumph:
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    The cyclist may have been going too fast in the circumstances - even though his speed considered in the abstract may not be unreasonable. Also, I wonder why they didn't prosecute for dangerous or careless cycling. Did they miss the statutory time limits for a notice of intended prosecution for those offences? For motoring, there's a specific offence of causing death by careless driving, which might have been the best fit in this case - but it is not available for cycling offences. Indeed, if he'd been a motorist he'd probably have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, and convicted of the lesser offence - but again there is no cycling equivalent for these offences.

    Notwithstanding the language difference, "causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving" probably is quite near to the two motoring offences with 'wanton' being an approximate equivalent of careless.
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    No @Rossweisse, actually cycling is usually less convenient where I live than driving. ...

    Perhaps what I should have written is that, for you and a couple of others here, your preference trumps all. Pedestrians shouldn't have to worry about getting knocked over by cyclists on a sidewalk. Period. (And, no, I'm not accusing you personally of that.)

    I've not been anywhere with roads where cars aren't dominant. Everything else, all other transport modes, are poorly funded, infrastructure not built for. The argument between cyclists and pedestrians is about chasing after the scraps. We're looking for 1% of the transport budget to be spent on cycling. Roughly 5% is spent on walking, when they build new, after built, the proportion of spending approximates 0%, and when they want to build new sidewalks, they want to levy a special tax on the property owners.

    It's generally inappropriate to mix bicycles and cars, pedestrians and cars, pedestrians and bicycles. This is done because of it's a car-car world.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    ...It's generally inappropriate to mix bicycles and cars, pedestrians and cars, pedestrians and bicycles. This is done because of it's a car-car world.

    No, it happens, in the case of mixing bicycles and pedestrians, because too many cyclists feel entitled to ride where they please. Riding on sidewalks should be out of the question. And when you come across a woman with a cane in a crosswalk, don't scream at her to get out of your way.

  • I don't.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    Bravo.

    (As previously noted, that's not a person-specific "you.")

  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    According to this article in the Guardian there was testimony that he would have been able to stop if his bike had the legally required front brake. This seems like reasonable grounds to conclude that he had some culpability for the incident.

    BroJames: The Independent says that currently "there are no criminal offences that apply specifically to cyclists who cause death or injury" which is why prosecutors have been using part of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act against cyclists.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited August 2018
    The solution to that is enforcement. Registration, taxation etc. won't stop behaviour that's already illegal any more than it stops people who are driving vehicles already requiring registration and taxation overtaking me uncomfortably close on a several times per ride basis.

    Regarding mixing cyclists and pedestrians, this does often happen because of our car-centric planning where "cycling provision" may consist of some paint and a blue sign making the dangerous mixing legal. And dare to prefer the road and you get told what a selfish bastard you are.
  • Dave W wrote: »
    According to this article in the Guardian there was testimony that he would have been able to stop if his bike had the legally required front brake. This seems like reasonable grounds to conclude that he had some culpability for the incident.

    Seriously?

    At 18 mph, it would take 0.82 seconds to travel the distance estimated by this "investigator". That's barely enough time to shout "hey!" or something less polite.

    Someone on the jury had clearly passed GCSE maths.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    According to what one website reports he stated online, he gave two oral warnings, and following the second one she then stopped in his path. AFAICT there is no publicly available transcript of the trial.

    I have sat in a trial when a motorist who had sounded his horn in warning was criticised for not at that point getting ready to stop as he saw a potential danger developing, and instead relying on the other party to respond to his warning. My actual road experience as a cyclist has taught me that pedestrians often don’t respond either to a shout from me or to a bell being rung.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    KarlLB wrote: »
    ...Regarding mixing cyclists and pedestrians, this does often happen because of our car-centric planning where "cycling provision" may consist of some paint and a blue sign making the dangerous mixing legal. And dare to prefer the road and you get told what a selfish bastard you are.

    And you apparently don't see how sharing the sidewalks with cyclists in a hurry is just as frightening and dangerous for us as sharing the road with the drivers who pass too close to you.

    It's almost always against the law to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk, but that's ignored almost as frequently as the average stopsign.


  • So we're circling back. There are a few bad actors in all transport modes. Most are reasonable people who have to get somewhere, probably are leading pretty normal lives, and they make mistakes sometimes. The deliberately injurious people who enjoy harming others are fairly rare. But perhaps there's a concentration of them where some shipmates live? The thing I think about most is who is most dangerous, and that's always cars because they are really big in comparison to all other transport modes and when they collide they cause more damage.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited August 2018
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    ...Regarding mixing cyclists and pedestrians, this does often happen because of our car-centric planning where "cycling provision" may consist of some paint and a blue sign making the dangerous mixing legal. And dare to prefer the road and you get told what a selfish bastard you are.

    And you apparently don't see how sharing the sidewalks with cyclists in a hurry is just as frightening and dangerous for us as sharing the road with the drivers who pass too close to you.

    No, I understand that perfectly well and don't do it. Indeed I've often considered asking these people whether if they ask mummy nicely she'll let them ride on the road now they're all grown up. As I said, enforcement is the solution here; registration won't achieve anything. And it is necessary to enforce laws against bad drivers as well to achieve this - pavement cyclists fall into two categories - the ones who don't seem to have ever thought they shouldn't be there, and the ones who are terrified of the appalling driving on the carriageway.

    It does remain true however that statistically you are far more likely to be killed or injured by a motorist, even on the pavement (or sidewalk in the US)
    It's almost always against the law to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk, but that's ignored almost as frequently as the average stopsign.

    Unfortunately it's getting less and less illegal in the UK because local authorities think the solution is "shared use" paths.

    I daresay stop signs are ignored by a proportion of cyclists. I wonder how that proportion compares with the proportion of motorists who ignore speed limits or tailgate or who don't look behind before opening a car door? People do what they can get away with regardless of their mode of travel.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    IMO, when cyclists use the pavement they should walk unless it’s a designated dual-use path. IIRC in the UK it’s illegal to ride on the pavement.
  • Telling cyclists to walk is telling them that travelling by bicycle isn't a serious form of transportation. There is quite a bit of data on the issue as to why cyclists disobey traffic rules. The general explanation is that traffic rules are for cars. Such that repeated stop signs, every 2 blocks (which is common in this city), are there because cars were speeding through and endangering others. Cyclists find that stopping every 2 blocks uses up about 30% more energy to start from a complete stop versus a slow roll forward, and thus tend to disobey the stop signs, using them as yield/give way signs unless they see someone driving, walking or cycling through. This is entirely sensible from a functional point of view and isn't from a legalistic car-rules-are-also-for-bicycles perspective, and means that cyclists don't have to stop and start. It is far more significant to stop and start for a bike than a car. Bicycles aren't cars, even if laws tell them they are, though the laws also generally tell us that bicycles should behave as cars, behave as bicycles, behave as pedestrians, or simply disappear because the traffic laws are written for cars not any other transport mode.

    Cyclists here use the sidewalk/pavement as KarlLB notes, when the roadway is clearly dangerous for them to use. Dangerous means cars are not giving enough space when passing, and grazing or hitting them with the mirrors. This said, it is better to cycle on other roads where the car traffic is less even when the cycling lanes are painted on the street on the busy streets because paint on the road does not prevent car drivers from hitting cyclists.

    I think car drivers are impatient and endangering others because driving has become generally unpleasant as car numbers have grown. I know I find driving tenses me, and I usually always feel that it is difficult and unpleasant, and even when it isn't, I anticipate unpleasantness. Probably it is infuriating to many when a cyclist goes by when you're stuck in traffic. I personally don't enjoy driving, and avoid it whenever I can, and generally I plan to go places by car when I know that traffic is less.

    I'm wondering if we're not actually talking around a general issue of poor urban design and bad design.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Rocinante wrote: »
    Dave W wrote: »
    According to this article in the Guardian there was testimony that he would have been able to stop if his bike had the legally required front brake. This seems like reasonable grounds to conclude that he had some culpability for the incident.

    Seriously?

    At 18 mph, it would take 0.82 seconds to travel the distance estimated by this "investigator". That's barely enough time to shout "hey!" or something less polite.

    Someone on the jury had clearly passed GCSE maths.
    Yes, seriously. I think it's much more likely that the jury convicted Alliston because they thought he was culpable in the pedestrian's death than that they did so because they just have a hatred of cyclists.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    I agree with you about poor urban design, nonetheless in the UK it is illegal to ride on the pavement (bicycle or horse) or to drive livestock on the pavement. It is an area specifically reserved for people on foot.

    As a cyclist I’m not happy if a motorist drives or parks on the cycleway because s/he says the road is badly designed. As a pedestrian I am equally unhappy for a cyclist to ride on the footway. I don’t mind turning a blind eye to it if there are no pedestrians around, but otherwise they ought to be safe to assume they are a safe, and that (e.g). a bicycle bell doesn’t mean they have to make way for a wheeled user. (At the very least a cyclist using a footway with pedestrians on it must assume that people may stop suddenly or step sideways, or that they may be blind or deaf, and proceed at no more than a gentle jogging speed.)
  • BroJames wrote: »
    I agree with you about poor urban design, nonetheless in the UK it is illegal to ride on the pavement (bicycle or horse) or to drive livestock on the pavement. It is an area specifically reserved for people on foot
    What about people walking their dogs? By that logic, they should be banned from pavements (they're not people on foot). Or, for that matter people in wheelchairs, or parents pushing children in prams or pushchairs, also not people on foot. If the concern is people at different speed, should we ban people out for a morning run since they might run into someone walking? Or, how about young children riding their bikes with their parents walking along side?

    Put simply the "pavements are specifically reserved for people on foot" line is too simple.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    ...Put simply the "pavements are specifically reserved for people on foot" line is too simple.

    Oh, Alan, you know better than this kind of foolishness.
    Telling cyclists to walk is telling them that travelling by bicycle isn't a serious form of transportation. ...

    That's simply self-serving nonsense: You want to do what you want to do, and the hell with the people (and their dogs, and their prams, and their wheelchair-bound friends and relations) for whom the sidewalks are designed and intended.

    If you don't feel safe cycling in the street, where the law (such an ass, the law) consigns you, then do the right and sensible thing and walk your bike on the sidewalk. Your wants don't trump other people's safety.

    And while cyclists (and the traumatized drivers who have to dodge them when they blow through a stop sign) are the main ones at risk with most stupid behavior of that sort, those cyclists who appropriate the sidewalk for their convenience are messing with other people's lives and health. Stop making excuses, and obey the laws of courtesy and common sense. It is not too much to ask.



  • Now you're just being foolish. I walk. A lot. I walk a dog daily on "shared use" paths. I cycle most weekdays. I drive as well.

    I don't "blow through" anything, I fail to put my foot down and stop slowly rolling at some stop signs when it is safe to do so and when it is my turn to go. Car drivers don't fully stop at about the same rates as cyclists, if you care to check data.
  • Joan RaschJoan Rasch Shipmate Posts: 24
    It can go both ways - I've had auto drivers yell at me as they pass that I should be riding on the sidewalk...

    * A cyclist on the information bikepath
    * AKA Fafnir the Thurifer
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Boogie wrote: »
    Cyclists can be annoying away from roads and pavements too. I was walking my dog in the woods and a mountain biker came crashing down the hill, nearly hitting me into a deep ravine :triumph:

    The value of having biking-dedicated paths and trails seems obvious. It's a pity that all we can do is blame each other for suffering what we don't have instead of making things actually better.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    IMO, when cyclists use the pavement they should walk unless it’s a designated dual-use path. IIRC in the UK it’s illegal to ride on the pavement.

    It's also illegal to drive a motor vehicle on the pavement, but lots of people do.
  • It's equally illegal to park cars on the bike route at the side of the road, or cars on the pavement. When I was pushing a wheelchair, I spent so much time trying to get around cars parked over part of the pavement - often having to wheel the chair into the road to go around - or over the dropped kerb that was supposed to make it easy to cross roads, that I was tempted to provide the wheelchair with blades, Boudicea chariot style, to gouge the inconsiderately parked cars.

    Those same cars are usually parked over the areas where cycles would go - so much so that the big Bow Road London cycleway has been given a separate lane with a raised kerb between the road and the cycle path. When the original path was put in, with just paint markings, I collected lots of photographs of cars using the cycle path, to park, or at junctions, or to undertake. Infrastructure really needs putting in to prevent cars from taking over the cycle and pedestrian paths making it unsafe for both.
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    ...Put simply the "pavements are specifically reserved for people on foot" line is too simple.

    Oh, Alan, you know better than this kind of foolishness.
    When push comes to shove we need to choose between a utopian ideal where pavements/sidewalks are reserved for pedestrians, or work with the reality that they aren't and find ways to make them safer for vulnerable users. Which is more foolish?
  • Dave W wrote: »
    Rocinante wrote: »
    Dave W wrote: »
    According to this article in the Guardian there was testimony that he would have been able to stop if his bike had the legally required front brake. This seems like reasonable grounds to conclude that he had some culpability for the incident.

    Seriously?

    At 18 mph, it would take 0.82 seconds to travel the distance estimated by this "investigator". That's barely enough time to shout "hey!" or something less polite.

    Someone on the jury had clearly passed GCSE maths.
    Yes, seriously. I think it's much more likely that the jury convicted Alliston because they thought he was culpable in the pedestrian's death than that they did so because they just have a hatred of cyclists.

    Debating whether I want to continue defending Alliston as he's a very unattractive character and not a good advert for cycle commuting (to put it mildly, but it should be born in mind that he is a very young man who had lost his father at 16, so may not be in the best place psychologically).

    However, quite frankly it could have been me or any number of other cyclists in that dock. That sort of incident happens all the time. As I said, I've only ever hit one pedestrian (it was entirely his fault). I've lost count of the number of times I've passed behind someone who steps across my path. If it gives them a bit of a shock, then good, maybe they'll look next time. ISTM Alliston's big mistake was yelling. I'm not the yelling kind and I never use my bell because some people react aggressively and some start dodging about in a rather ridiculous manner which just makes it more likely I'll hit them. Some just freeze, as Kim Briggs appears to have done.

    Harsh braking at speed may tip you off the bike, possibly into the path of a vehicle. Best just to manoeuvre around them.

    If Kim Briggs had taken half a second to look to her right, or used the crossing, she would still be alive.

    The prosecution of Alliston and the coverage thereof ("Ploughed into her at 20 mph" etc.) betrayed a profound ignorance of how bicycles move around. We are not simply wheeled pedestrians who can stop on a pinhead. We move at speeds closer to motor vehicles than to pedestrians, and two wheeled vehicles are much more skittish under braking than four-wheeled ones. And you may not hear us coming so you need to bloody LOOK.

    All the legally-informed commentary I've seen on the Alliston case regarded the manslaughter charge as heavy-handed and never likely to stick. The other charge, well "wtf?" probably sums it up the reaction.

    Now I'm done talking about this.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    RooK wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    Cyclists can be annoying away from roads and pavements too. I was walking my dog in the woods and a mountain biker came crashing down the hill, nearly hitting me into a deep ravine :triumph:

    The value of having biking-dedicated paths and trails seems obvious. It's a pity that all we can do is blame each other for suffering what we don't have instead of making things actually better.

    I don’t own the land, what could I do?

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    BroJames wrote: »
    I agree with you about poor urban design, nonetheless in the UK it is illegal to ride on the pavement (bicycle or horse) or to drive livestock on the pavement. It is an area specifically reserved for people on foot
    What about people walking their dogs? By that logic, they should be banned from pavements (they're not people on foot). Or, for that matter people in wheelchairs, or parents pushing children in prams or pushchairs, also not people on foot. If the concern is people at different speed, should we ban people out for a morning run since they might run into someone walking? Or, how about young children riding their bikes with their parents walking along side?

    Put simply the "pavements are specifically reserved for people on foot" line is too simple.
    Well then, we need to change the law, and establish rules for cyclists and pedestrians using the same space. In the meantime, this is the relevant law in England and Wales, and this in Scotland.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Boogie wrote: »
    RooK wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    Cyclists can be annoying away from roads and pavements too. I was walking my dog in the woods and a mountain biker came crashing down the hill, nearly hitting me into a deep ravine :triumph:

    The value of having biking-dedicated paths and trails seems obvious. It's a pity that all we can do is blame each other for suffering what we don't have instead of making things actually better.

    I don’t own the land, what could I do?

    What can citizens do regarding the rules of their homeland? We can conceive and promote how to make them work best. This pedantic referral to the dysfunctional current state of the rules whilst also complaining about the resulting malfunction is an exercise for the small-minded.
  • The UK Department for Transport has already consulted this year on improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists (now closed; I missed it while it was open). It has an open consultation on new cycling offences and penalties link.
    Near here there is a shared footpath/cycle path. It is not divided by a white line; it is a free-for-all. The strangest thing I ever witnessed was a frail (walking badly with a stick) pedestrian yelling at a serious cyclist (lycra-clad, going expremely fast) on the roadway that he should be cycling on the shared pathway. I am not sure whether or not that was altruism.
    Fast cyclists round here do use the (30mph speed limit) carriageway but mostly in single file. As a pedestrian and slow cyclist I appreciate that. However I don't think it is a requirement. Way back in 2004, there was a consultation now archived with a proposal that fast cyclists should use the road. Maybe that should be resurrected?
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