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Bells and politeness

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  • S Baddeley
    EXHIBIT A: While I can imagine a bell being useful to people who regularly use shared use facilities in order to request pedestrians to step out of the way
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 29, 2002
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      EXHIBIT A: "While I can imagine a bell being useful to people who regularly
      use shared use facilities in order to request
      pedestrians to step out of the way well in advance"

      I draw attention to the above quote as an example of the assumptions
      underlying the rudeness of some cyclists toward people on foot.

      Why should a walker give way to a cyclist? Civil road hierarchy suggests
      walkers have priority.

      A bell warns others who hear it of a cyclist's presence. It is not a signal
      to move over. Whether walkers get out of my way or not is up to them. I'm
      impressed that so many walkers do defer to the faster traveller. They will
      stand aside and even shout to dogs or children or adult companions to do the
      same in order to help the cyclist, who then takes this good manners for
      granted. I have frequently had walkers apologise to me for causing me
      inconvenience when I have come up behind them on a narrow route where it is
      difficult for them to stand aside.

      It embarrassing how many people who get on a bicycle (I won't call them
      cyclists since that requires a degree of technical and social nous often
      absent in road users on bicycles who seem unable to cycle without being put
      "at risk" by "peds" ) and assume the compliance of walkers, treating a bell
      or a shout as the cue to walkers to get out of their way. I have heard
      motorists talk about dangerous pedestrians with similar unconscious
      arrogance.

      Such individuals are unaware or even wilfully ignorant of the social
      contract being observed when a walker gives way to a cyclist.

      Regards

      Simon







      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Pete Owens" <pete.meg@...>
      To: <urbancyclist-uk@...>
      Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 11:02 PM
      Subject: RE: urbancyclist-uk: Bells


      From the urbancyclist-uk e-mail list


      Robin Phillips wrote:
      > Dear All,
      >
    • turpin
      ... Speaking as someone who is usually a pedestrian, I think you re missing the point. The social ethic depends primarily on the intended use of the space.
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 29, 2002
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        S Baddeley" <s.j.baddeley@b...> wrote:
        > EXHIBIT A: "While I can imagine a bell
        > being useful to people who regularly use
        > shared use facilities in order to request
        > pedestrians to step out of the way well in
        > advance"
        >
        > I draw attention to the above quote as an
        > example of the assumptions underlying the
        > rudeness of some cyclists toward people on
        > foot. Why should a walker give way to a
        > cyclist? Civil road hierarchy suggests
        > walkers have priority.

        Speaking as someone who is usually a
        pedestrian, I think you're missing the
        point. The social ethic depends primarily on
        the intended use of the space. You're point
        is right on target .. WHEN the bicyclist is
        traversing a park intended for lounging and
        picnicking. Where maybe he ought to get off
        and walk, if the space is crowded. And the
        bicyclist should not even think of
        bicycling through a game on a basketball
        or tennis court.

        BUT. Some spaces are paths, are intended
        for traversal. I don't mind hearing a
        bicyclist's bell behind me, or a shouted
        "on your right." I happily make room for
        bicyclists and runners. And I find it
        annoying when four people stroll side by
        side consuming the entire path, or worst
        congregate in the middle, ignoring the
        jam they are causing on both sides. The
        issue isn't bicyclist vs. runner vs.
        pedestrian, but how to share a path for
        its intended use. This is NOT an issue
        about preferred mode of transport. The
        same problem arises between fast walkers
        and slow, and between runners and walkers.
      • S Baddeley
        You refine an argument I was making rather too black and white. That said it can be pleasurable to stroll in line across a path. The problem is when people in
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 29, 2002
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          You refine an argument I was making rather too black and white. That said it
          can be pleasurable to stroll in line across a path. The problem is when
          people in groups then assume they do not need to be alert to other users. My
          experience has been that such groups will invariably give way to a cyclist
          approaching. Where they do not while clearly aware of you there's clearly a
          "situation".

          Simon


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "turpin" <turpin@...>
          To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2002 5:23 PM
          Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Bells and politeness
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