A letter appeared in this weekâ€™s issue (February 13, 2010 Vol 37 No. 7) of the Cambridge Post newspaper from the Pedestrian of Essex Street, Wembley, with the title â€œSharing a dirty word for some cyclists.â€Â I took the opportunity this morning to pen a short reply. That reply is below.
Dear The Editor
I would like if I may, respond to the letter from the “Pedestrian” as published in the Cambridge Post,February 13, 2010 tiled “sharing a dirty word for some cyclists.”
The Pedestrian calls for an education campaign for “those others either ignorant or just too selfish to bother warning a pedestrian they are about to be overtaken by a bike.”
I would like to add my support for such an education campaign, but can I also please ask, and to use the language of the Pedestrian, that such a campaign also address those others either to ignorant or just to selfish to bother sharing the paths with cyclists appropriately and that such a campaign include the message that it is not appropriate to abuse cyclists, yep abuse cyclists who use their bells appropriately (or call out a friendly warning) and are trying to ride safely.Â Is it too much to ask that such a campaign includes walking one’s dog on a lead and controlling those dogs (not having them wandering across the path on long leads); is it too much to ask that pedestrians keep left (or right if preferred and the white line on some paths is neither right or left) and to look before changing direction, entering paths and so on. Is all that too much to ask for?
So you see my point is that both parties need to act responsibility and to share the dual use paths with respect and consideration, just as the Pedestrians expects cyclists to do. Maybe the Pedestrian needs to ride a bicycle for a bit to see both sides of the fence. I know I walk, ride and drive so have a much better understanding from all aspects.
Personally, I prefer to ride on the road and limit my use of dual use paths that are frequented by pedestrians as I find the whole experience far more daunting than riding on the road. At least car drivers tend to be more predictable even though they can easily kill me and sadly some to seem to think that is their choice!