I’m not talking about the waterfront, where pedestrians and cyclists are intended to co-exist, that’s okay, but here are a couple of parts of town that it seems I just cannot get around without taking to the pavement.
I’m interested to know if anyone else finds themselves doing the same.
Why I do it
Two reasons I think. Convenience and Fear.
Convenience becomes an issue when the road hits a weird one-way system, and I think: “but I only want to go over there/round that corner etc”.
My number one spot is when heading from Wakefield Street to the bike parking at the City Library. When Wakefield Street meets Victoria Street I meet a one-way traffic scheme that takes me in the opposite direction to the library. I hop off Wakefield Street at the pedestrian crossing outside the Council offices, and take the undercover pavement past the Visitors Centre and come out just at the entrance to Civic Square. It used to be possible to nip into Civic Square from the Michael Fowler Centre, but some building works make this off limits for now.
From the Waterfront to Featherston Street and Lambton Quay, I often find myself non-plussed by the one-way roading, and hop onto the pavement here and there.
I was in Perth on holiday recently and came across this bike lane. I think it’s worthy of a mention for several reasons. Firstly, its purpose is to allow cyclists to travel along the street against the flow of traffic of the otherwise one-way street, and without having to resort to riding on the pavement. Secondly, it places the cyclist between the parked cars and the pavement, rather than between the parked cars and the moving vehicles. Therefore the parked cars protect the cyclist from moving vehicles rather than our arrangement here, where cyclists are positioned to protect the parked cars from the moving!
Where Adelaide Road joins Riddiford Street heading into Newtown, I have started taking the pavement. The left turning vehicles pass cyclists by without a hairbreadth to spare.
And Constable Street is waaayy too narrow for me to happily go play with the buses.
My other half almost always rides on the pavement (or footpath as he calls it), having not really ridden on the road before meeting me. On the whole I’m happier on the road, and confident enough to take my place in the lane, but sometimes I’m just chicken shit scared.
How wrong is it?
I know that riding on the pavement is wrong, but my question is how wrong is it? A minor infringement, or a sacking offence? I think it depends on the etiquette.
I ride really slowly. Like really slowly. I don’t expect pedestrians to make way for me, it’s my job to stay out of their way. We recently had a discussion here about bell ringing, where Atom disagreed with my reluctance to ring my bell at pedestrians. I go slower and give the pedestrians right of way. I’d feel that ringing my bell while I’m on the footpath would be like shouting “get out of my way”. But it’s okay if we disagree on that one.
Anyone have any thoughts?