A Pedestrian for Pedal on Parliament

Every road user is a pedestrian at some point, even if you’re walking from your car parking space to the cinema. I spent years walking around Edinburgh and, now, walking around Falkirk as my primary form of transportation. Being a pedestrian should be easy, just a matter of walking along to your destination! Unfortunately, it’s not…

Too frequently, the pavements are not a safe place for those on foot. It’s bad enough that pavements are often potholed just as badly as the roads and are clutted with street furniture but, on particularly scary roads or where the cycle paths aren’t properly linked up, many cyclists will make use of the pavement (often considerately, but not always)[1]. Then, to make matters worse, many councils have been re-allocating half of already-narrow pavements for the use of bicycles! It’s hard to tell anymore which pavements are for the sole use of pedestrians and which ones we need to share. What is a walker to do?

This year, I will be joining Pedal on Parliament as a pedestrian — because I know that improving our roads for the benefit of bicycles will also benefit the roads for pedestrians like me. Here’s how:

  • Where there are fewer cars, there is less overall risk of serious injury, given that collisions between bicycles and pedestrians are less likely to cause serious injury than collisions between pedestrians and cars! [2]
  • Where there is safe, separated infrastructure for bicycles that are properly joined up to other cycle paths, cyclists will not feel the need to use the pavements to stay safe or join up their broken journeys. [3]
  • Where motorised traffic is calmed, reduced, or removed to make space for cycling, it makes a more pleasant atmosphere for pedestrians, too. The air is cleaner and it’s quieter. [4]

So write to your politicians and then join me at Pedal on Parliament 25th April 2015 — I’ll bring my walking shoes, you should too!

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/10577958/Let-cyclists-go-on-pavements-if-roads-are-dangerous-minister-tells-police.html
[2] http://road.cc/content/news/109269-are-drivers-and-cyclists-just-dangerous-pedestrians
[3] http://road.cc/content/news/126192-get-cyclists-pavement-build-better-bike-lanes-washington-dc-finds
[4] http://www.bikehub.co.uk/news/health-and-fitness/more-people-on-bikes-and-fewer-people-in-cars-is-key-to-improving-air-quality-says-new-study/

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