Cyclist and pedestrians – where do you draw the line?

During a community event a few weeks ago at Five Way Junction in North Edinburgh, two elderly ladies suggested that adding surface markings to the paths may help to support responsible use of the network by all different users. They sometimes find cyclists pass them at speed, and it’s a bit scary.

They both refered to those in used at the Middle Meadow walk, at the Meadows, where white lines show the separation between the cycle and pedestrians paths.

What do you think? Would that help responsible use at the North Edinburgh paths network? 

This photo was a creative common photo by piglicker


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    1. Avatartomallan

      That does happen, (and has happened to me) but in the story above I don’t think they are talking about a designated cycle path. Most of the innertube routes are not currently segregated.

  1. Avatarlemonsqueezy

    What I think would be more beneficial would be to encourage Highway Code style positioning – cycle on the left, walk on the right. That way, cyclists would know which way a pedestrian was going to move and pedestrians would know what side cyclists were coming from. I don’t think the majority of paths are wide enough to have segregation like the meadows.

    1. Avatartomallan

      It’s a good idea. But how do you make sure everyone knows what the rule is? Signs on all the paths?

      1. AvatarElla Taylor-Smith

        Might help.
        As many people walk on the left, it can be a bit confusing.
        I’m a pedestrian walking on the right (countrycode style) and the odd cyclist has played chicken with me as they cycle at me, as though they “own” the left hand lane. (Rare but scary behaviour)

    2. Avatartomallan

      I nearly got hit by a cyclist whilst walking on the canal today. He had a bell but didn’t use it, and passed on my left hand side, brushing past me at some speed.

    3. Avatartonyno1

      I agree completely – I think lines are good where wide enough but otherwise we need to promote more awareness of “the rules” so that all parties can get along. Am sure most of current issues are down to misunderstandings.

  2. Avatarpathuser

    What’s needed is for the paths to be properly looked after and swept. And the undergrowth on either side needs kept in check. In how many sections of path is the tarmac metres wide, but only a metre down the middle is actually usable – mud, leaves, branches, brambles and jaggies. Cyclists and pedestrians competing for an ever narrower stretch.

    1. Avatartomallan

      I think you’re right about the space not being used to it’s full potential. It’s even more marked on the canal near where I live – at some point they are going to need to widen the path. At least where you are it’s just a case of clearing the mud and leaves.

      Maybe you could post a photo if you have the time?

  3. AvatarLiz @ elgt

    We’ll be working at Fiveways on Saturday and it’ll be a good opportunity to have a chat to a few folk walking and cycling along the paths to see what they think.

  4. AvatarLiz @ elgt

    We spent the morning at Fiveways on Saturday bulb planting and while we were too busy to carry out any meaningful consultation, it was interesting to observe the traffic on a busy morning. Maybe it was an artificial situation because we were there working at the edge of the path which probably caused people to slow down as they passed to see what was going on. For the most part, it seemed that cyclists were mindful of walkers, dogs and kids – and vice versa – and the path was friction free. A couple of cyclists travelling fast along the path raised eyebrows, but then the paths were clear as they went past. Also, Saturday morning may well be a relatively mellow time of day for path users, with more recreational users, but perhaps it’s more of a problem at commuter times?

  5. AvatarGuest

    What is needed is for cyclists to be more considerate of pedestrians. Don’t race along these paths like you are entered in the “Tour-de-France”, and warn pedestrians of your approach using a bell or even Your Voice.

  6. AvatarFenix

    Where I live we do have a couple of segregated paths. Invariably walkers seem to walk on the bike side. I don’t know why but they do.

    You might as well keep the paths as they are.

    Shared use paths aren’t the place for speed – but how you get this across to everyone is the trick.

    Well done on the site – I wish I lived in Edinburgh !

  7. AvatarChris M

    I think that segregating the paths with a white line might be a good idea but this would need to work hand in hand with Education. The meadows is a good example, there is a very clear white line but pedestrians and cyclist still use both sides of the path. This is particularly noticeable on the smaller shared use path that runs along along the north of the Meadows from Melville Drive to Hope Park Crescent.

  8. AvatarNev

    Simple signs encouraging walking on the right may be easier than a white line where there’s sometimes not really enough space to segregate safely. I use my bell but quite often pedestrians are oblivious as they’ve got earphones in and don’t hear a thing.

  9. AvatarJohn

    I was running on the right-hand side along Ravelston Dykes this evening and another guy ran against me on the left. I figured he’d move a bit given that I was on the correct side but he just ran into me. The majority of people seem to run / walk on the left along here. I can’t understand why people can’t conform to the highway code. It makes so much more sense when there are bikes cycling there at relatively high speeds.


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