Share the Path – A Guide for Cyclists in WA

Share the Path

Share the Path – A Guide for Cyclists in WA

Main Roads Western Australia has published two guides for cyclists: this guide on sharing the path and a second guide for cyclists and motorists on sharing the road.  The guide, Share the Path: A Guide for Pedestrians and Bicycle Riders is targeted at both cyclists and pedestrians with the aim of informing both users about good practice and the law. All cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to read the guide.

To encourage good behaviours on our shared paths the guide reminds pedestrians to  …

  • be Visible
  • Keep to the left
  • be Predictable
  • be Vigilant
  • Listen

and cyclists are reminded that

  • Pedestrians have right of way
  • to slow down around walkers
  • to ring your bell
  • to give room
  • to avoid riding in groups as you may not be able to see clearer ahead
Overall all good advice in my view and I think that Main Roads Western Australia has done a good job with the guide. They have kept it to two pages, to the point and easy to understand. All we need now is for cyclists AND pedestrians to do the right thing. It takes two to tangle.

Your Turn To Talk

Have you had a chance to read the guide? What do you think of it? Has Main Roads Western Australia got it right? Please do share your thoughts on the Share the Path: A Guide for Pedestrians and Bicycle Riders with the rest of us by leaving a comment below 🙂

3 Responses to Share the Path – A Guide for Cyclists in WA

  1. Kris R 4 December 2012 at 8:05 PM #

    My particular area of the world has a “model trail users conduct code”, which covers the use of the dual use paths (usually pedestrians and cyclists, but also equestrian users in specific areas):
    1) Don’t be a irresponsible and reckless while on the trail.
    2) Don’t be a jackass to others while on the trail.
    3) Don’t use more than half of the trail (to avoid hitting people) when using it in groups – this includes groups of mums with double wide strollers!
    4) Don’t ninja up behind someone and overtake without saying something – yell, use a bell, etc. (or freewheel on Chris King hubs)
    5) Overtake on the left, as is consistent with countries driving on the right (in Aussie land we would be overtaking on the right)
    6) Give way to all existing traffic when entering or crossing
    7) After dark, use lights (special note: I just noticed the significance of the wording on this section – this is the only section of law pertinent to Seattle that requires the use of a rear light, as opposed to a rear reflector)
    8 & 9 are not relevant to Australia (equestrian & property owner guidelines)

    I think we got it more right than the, “share the path” guidelines here in Seattle. The main differences are the giving way to all traffic already in the path, and no requirement to ride single file (instead, occupy no more than half the trail dedicated to your direction of travel).

    The differences are significant because 1) they imply that a pedestrian could suddenly run out in front of a bicycle already on the path, cause injury to said parties, and the bicycle would be in the wrong because the pedestrian “always has right of way”, and 2) it is often safer to ride in a staggered formation, especially when riding in the wet, because it offers better visibility and reaction to events – allowing the use of half the path such that the rider(s) can choose the safest way to use it rather than mandating a specific behavior are two ways of saying the same thing, but one offers better options than the other.

    • Andrew Priest 5 December 2012 at 8:35 AM #

      Thanks Kris for posting this. It is interesting to see the differences. I do like the idea of “don’t use more than half of the trail” code. Seems more sensible than our banning of two abreast which does not work anyway.

  2. jamespquinton 7 December 2012 at 7:32 PM #

    Hi Andrew. Lost my bna password, but still lurk.

    I would like to add: share the path, you do not own the path, assess each situation on its merits. In my opinion, too often, oncoming riders become disgruntled when you’re riding two abreast and refuse to move over.

    I think pedestrians need to be reminded to be aware of cyclists. To often they are all over the path, meandering from left to right. Walking in the right hand lane.

    The more i ride the less i become annoyed, but it does make you wonder.


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