Considerate Cycling 30: One idiot can do a lot of reputational damage

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I hope Google don’t mind.  I was crossing the road yesterday and something very odd happened. I was outside Boston Tea Party standing on the central reservation facing that big clump of trees you can see in the picture. It was dark at the time. Both northbound traffic lanes were empty as far as the eye could see and I set off towards the left hand side of the picture. I was looking straight ahead and walking inside the dotted lines you can see ahead of an ASL.

The was a sudden rush of air and a scuffle of bicycle tyres as someone fizzed past me on a bicycle at maybe 15 or 20 mph, within a metre from me. I’ve put a big fat red dotted line to show his trajectory. He had come down a hill, cycling in a contraflow cycle lane lane in the wrong direction. He had then turned onto the northbound lanes to head south passing me and then the central reservation on the wrong side before joining the southbound lanes as shown by the dotted line.

This is not the first time I have seen this happen on this junction. It seems to be a regular occurrence. Personally I think it’s rank idiocy and I suspect that every time it happens there will be one more sworn enemy of cycling signing up to the This is Bristol comment feature.

With idiocy of this calibre, pro-cycling arguments are harder to make. I wish it didn’t happen, but I suppose I have to accept that it always will.

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Considerate Cycling 29: It’s very rare but when it happens you know it could have been avoided

Late on Sunday afternoon (March 10th) a woman in her 80s was walking along Church Walk (sometimes known as Lime Walk or Birdcage Walk) in Clifton, Bristol. A man, apparently in his 30s, riding his bicycle along the footpath, collided with her.

She made her way home, but by mid-day on Monday 11th an ambulance had been called and she was later found to have three cracked ribs, a cracked pelvis and badly bruised arms. At the time of writing she is in Bristol General Infirmary.

Can I raise my own voice a little to reinforce my view that cycling on footpaths of any kind demands a great deal of thoughtful consideration for others and (in my view) should not be done as a routine.

I have been told that the man in question was very apologetic and said “I rang my bell”. It reminded me of an incident I reported in this blog:

https://samsaundersbristol.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/shared-space/

I hear from neighbours that Church Walk is often used by cyclists hurrying through and that it upsets them when it happens. I would urge everyone to treat footpaths as places where a great deal of care is needed. As a part of cyclists’ public campainging for better cycle facilities I think we should all be as cautious around pedestrians as we expect cars to be around bicycles. Personally I think that cycling along Church Walk (or any footpath like it that isn’t designated as a shared path) is reckless and unnecessary.