Pavements r 4 Pedestrians

I’ve never quite understood the habit of the many drivers who park their vehicles on pavements, then again I find adults riding cycles on pavements troubling too.

Below there’s a link to a Liverpool Echo article about the problem which seems to be getting worse almost daily:-

When I stop for a coffee at the CoOp in Town Green on one of my regular cycle rides I often observe drivers pulling straight off Town Green Lane and onto a small piece of land at the side of the shop where there are cycle racks. If it’s a large car (and there are a lot them in leafy Aughton) the vehicle often can end up overhanging/blocking the pavement. Do the drivers realise this, do they care? What’s more the CoOp does have a large car park!

Another thing I’ve noticed is that some drivers seem to pull two wheels onto the pavement when stopping as a matter of course. Even if the road is quite wide they still do it, even if the pavement is quite narrow they still do it! It’s a habit which needs challenging and if Merseyside Police are going to start to do so all well and good – Sadly Town Green is in Lancashire so unless Lancs police adopt a similar policy………

The really, really bad practice is putting all of a vehicle on the pavement/cycle track/shared pedestrian-cycle path so that pedestrians or indeed cyclists are blocked and sometimes forced into the road. Such acts of selfishness surely have to be deliberate rather than thoughtless. We can only assume such drivers have no members of their family who are blind, no members of their family who push prams and that they are are completely at ease with putting other lives lives at risk.

Oh and while Merseyside police are at it I hope they also start to tackle pavement cyclists as they are a danger to pedestrians; as I always say pavements r 4 pedestrians except where they have been designated as shared space with cyclists of course.

For the benefit of doubt I am a pedestrian, cyclist and driver. And no I can’t say hand on heart that I’m a perfect driver, cyclist or pedestrian but I don’t mind my failings being pointed out to me by the police or frustrated pedestrians.

It really is time that we all adopted the this approach – PAVEMENTS R 4 PEDESTRIANS and that all police forces took steps to enforce it.

3 thoughts on “Pavements r 4 Pedestrians

  1. Stu Nutt says:

    I totally agree that motorists should not block pavements that are for pedestrians and (Sometimes) cyclists to use, BUT in many areas there are wide pavements (where I suspect there used to be grass verges that were filled-in to save the cost of mowing them).

    Where I live there are these wide pavements and a few (very popular) shops. This results in limited space for cars to park on one side of the road only, but if cars park on both sides of the road it would be reduced to an effective one way street!

    Cars (and business Transit vans) park partially on the pavements, but they, like me, leave “enough space for a woman with a pram and a toddler beside her”.

    If the authority needs to separate cars (and bikes) from pedestrians, are they prepared to either widen the roads where feasible or make many of our roads officially one-way streets — with a big impact on the climate!

    Ideally, “common sense” should prevail — Is that too much to hope for?

  2. Bob Jungels says:

    Tony, I’m glad you raise this, especially the issue of the Co-op In Town Green which I’ve complained to LCC and my local Cllrs no end about.

    The same goes for the Co-op on Wigan Road in Ormskirk, which also has the same problem of selfish, lazy drivers who park right outside the shop (when there’s a perfectly good car park round the back). The result of this leaves me tearing my hair out, because they will also park on the double yellow lines, so getting in and out of the side road (similar to Granville Park) whether you’re on bike or car, is a real pain in the ass. A dangerous one at that.

    Whether you’re approaching either of those Co-ops by bike or car, they are a real pinch point and only serve to promote danger and road rage.
    Why did LCC ever remove the double yellow lines outside the butchers opposite the Co-op? I’d be grateful if you could raise this issue with our Cllrs too, Tony.
    It’s probably one of my biggest bug-bears this issue. The sheer laziness of people – often in their over-sized Range Rovers – getting out in flip-flops to go to the shop, blocking the road and causing a massive visibility hazard, right next to Winifred Lane also. Oh and did I mention both of them are on bus routes too?
    The sad thing is if you ever challenged one of these self-entitled prima donnas, they would argue it’s their “right” to park right outside the shop. “Why should I have to park round the back or – God forbid! – the Village Hall! This might cost me about 30 seconds each way! Are you for real?!”

    We all know full well that our capitalist, consumerist, materialist, car-sick culture has landed us in this position today, and the only thing that can be done to tackle it is through greater enforcement. Even just a simple painting of double yellow lines! That is of course an on-street solution, but we must back this up with investment in alternative modes too.

    The issue of cyclists on pavements. I don’t like this. I cringe when I see people moaning about it. To me it suggests a lack of understanding as to why people do it. I live on a busy road, and I see people on bikes cycling along here all day, every day. I can safely say anyone on a road bike is riding on the road. I can also safely say the only people riding on the pavements are young people, women and maybe occasionally an older person. All of these people have good reason to be intimidated by this road – the volume, the speed, the HGVs, the parked cars on the pavements (yep – that problem again), the buses, the boy racers, the Range Rovers, the huge tractors…. I have no issue at all with people riding on the pavement if they don’t feel confident enough to ride on the road. As someone who rides between 50-100 miles per week, there are times when I occasionally jump onto a pavement if I feel that’s the safest place to ride, free of harassment and intimidation from impatient, bullying drivers.

    This, again, is of course a symptom of our disgusting car-sick culture. The term – “The Sick Man of Europe” has never been more appropriate.
    So please think again when you complain about cyclists on pavements. I hate to see complaints about it in local newspapers and online Pitchfork Groups who then tarnish every cyclist with the same brush. Its a mob mentality and all it does is foster further hatred towards people on bikes.

    If teenagers are causing a nuisance on their bikes then that’s an entirely different issue to the issue of how we use our space. Like I say, we can only use the space that’s in front of us, and if you aren’t confident on a bike, you will always ride where you feel is the safest space. It’s that simple.
    Hence, if you create a safe space, people will ride on it. If you don’t, you will get low numbers of people cycling, coupled with the odd pavement rider.

    Regarding Stu Nutt’s response. The idea of turning our streets into-way systems has now start becoming a very real possibility. Its something I’ve been saying for a while now. There are countless streets all over Sefton (more so than rural West Lancs) where cars dominate the streetscape, clogging up both pavement and road. As such, its now getting to the stage where these post-war estates are now starting to resemble the Victorian streets around Walton etc, where one-way systems have been in place for around 20 years now. You know the ones I mean, around County Road and what not. These streets were never designed for cars, but once they started to fill up with them, it became too hazardous to keep the roads bi-directional. I’m pretty sure the Council received a backlash over it, but as ever, it soon subsides and people just get used to it and get on with it.

    Well the time is coming across many estates in Sefton where the same outcome is now an inevitability. People need to be told: “Fine. Keep buying cars. Keep clogging up the pavements with 3/4 cars per household (rapidly becoming the new norm). But as a consequence, you will have to sacrifice your accessibility and accept a new one-way flow system”.

    In other words, something’s gotta give. We can’t keep on flooding our roads/pavements like this any more. It’s wrong on so many levels. If people aren’t prepared to accept this compromise, then they must be prepared to live with the consequences of squeezing past cars to walk down their street, and for their kids to be unable to safely play out in the street without fear of being invisible to passing cars.

    Let’s hope this new DfT Design Guidance can help bring about a sea-change in our our roadspace environment.

    • Glad you were able to get that off your chest Bob:-) Yes of course serious issues and I really do wonder whether the remoteness of Lancashire County Council is a big part of the problem. How often do cycling/pedestrian highway officers get out to see West Lancs roads? Not very often is probably being far too polite about it!

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