By user12625760 on Jun 20, 2005
Now it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or has read any of this that I don't do pavement cycling, hey I don't even do cycling on Cycle paths. There is a perfectly good network of routes for cyclists which, contrary to popular belief are safer than both pavements and cycle paths. I am of course speaking of roads.
I do offer two observations.
Take a look at the number of injuries caused by cyclists on the pavements and then compare them with the number caused by motor vehicles on the pavement. Since I'm typing this off line, I don't have my fingers on the exact figures, but there are about 200 people killed each year by motor vehicles on the pavement. In a bad year one person dies due to being hit by a cyclist (and it is not clear if that was on or off the road). I could check the figures later but then this would be a piece of research and not a blog.
Now look at why people ride on the pavement? I strongly suspect the reasons are two fold.
Fear of other traffic. Safety promotions for things like Cycle Helmets that, to try and sell the product, portray cycling as a dangerous activity and a perception, which is real, that the danger is from other vehicles. The vast majority of injury accidents that involve cyclists are not the fault of the cyclists.
The local councils have a dangerous habit of getting out a tin of paint and a few signs and designating a pavement as “A shared use Cycle path”. This just leads people to believe the right place to ride is on the pavement and not on the road.
I still won't defend pavement cycling as it is more dangerous for pedestrians and for the cyclist, however to tackle this we have to tackle the wider problems that leads to people to ride on the pavements. Ie look at the cause and not just the symptom.