helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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Stupid pedestrians endanger themselves.

I have a new pet hate: people who walk in the cycle lane.

I'm not talking about shared use paths where pedestrians and cyclists are expected to co-exist. On the whole, I have little problem with those: people who are walking see the sign at eye height and know to look out for cycles. Also, the Highway Code is clear that pedestrians have right of way on a shared use path, and on the whole people act sensibly. The problem is the designated cycle-only lanes that run alongside ordinary pavements and roads.

Now, I have to admit, I have no bloody idea what people are thinking. When there is a wide, flagstone pavement for people to walk on, and a narrow, green tarmaced path with pictures of cycles on - why the hell would someone choose to walk in the cycle lane? If the pavement was damaged or blocked I could understand a person needing to walk in the cycle bit, but when the pavement's fully accessible and in good repair it makes no sense.

And the worst part is that the pedestrians won't move out of your way. I approach walking people in my lane and ring my bell. It's pretty loud. No one ever moves. I get really close and ring the bell again. Still no one moves. I shout out "Hello, excuse me, you're in the cycle lane". At that point, people might move - but they'll almost certainly give me a really dirty look. I'm sorry, but what am I supposed to do?

Would you walk down the middle of a road when there's a pavement available? No! The road is for cars! Walking down the road puts you at risk of being hit by cars! Would you walk down the middle of a bus lane when there's a pavement available? No! The bus lane is for buses! Walking down the road puts you at risk of being hit by buses, which have a lot of mass and don't stop easily! OK, so why should walking down a cycle lane be any different? Do you think that cycles don't have enough mass to hurt you? Believe me, that's not true - ask anyone who's ever had a piece of cycle frame go through their anatomy and difficult, complex fractures as a result.

I can't see what makes people walk in the cycle lane. It has weird green tarmac, and big painted pictures of bicycles. There's usually a line of bricks separating the flagstone pavement from the cycle lane. It's clearly not an extension of the pavement because it's a different colour and texture (and often a different height). Yet people walk in it like it's meant for pedestrians. And then, if a cyclist pulls up behind them and asks them to move, they act as though I'm in the wrong when they're in my designated place! AAARRRGGHHH!!
Tags: london, people are stupid, rants, tricycles

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