Poll

What side of the pavement do you walk on in the UK?

The left, like the way we drive
The right, like on escalators
Any way I want, it's a Mad Max world out there and the biggest shoulders win!

Author Topic: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!  (Read 2058 times)

BrakeForTurtles

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Please help me answer a question that has me and all visitors from North America stumped! In Australia we drive on the left and walk on the left. In Canada we drive on the right and walk on the right. In the UK you drive on the left and it's a free-for-all on the pavement. I can't work out if it's the influence of European tourists, or if anarchy reigns.

Note this is purely pavement/footpath/sidewalk walking. In general when walking on the actual road the rule is to walk against traffic, and that seems to hold up here as well. (And makes me think that's maybe why people walk on the right on shared use paths, so that they are against the cycle traffic. But it's still not consistent!)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 03:21:41 PM by BrakeForTurtles »

Louisville

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Re: Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 10:59:18 AM »
Walk/run FACING oncoming vehicular traffic. That way you can see if a car is about to hit you and you might have a chance to get out of the way. Also, something about a face (as opposed to the back of a head) makes a person a little more visible to drivers.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 11:09:26 AM »
Walk/run FACING oncoming vehicular traffic. That way you can see if a car is about to hit you and you might have a chance to get out of the way. Also, something about a face (as opposed to the back of a head) makes a person a little more visible to drivers.

This is the right answer assuming pavement means the road that cars actually drive on.
In most places in the US though, it is not necessary to walk where cars are.

If "pavement" is a phrase that means what I would call a sidewalk in the US (and I think it might be)- you can walk on either side of a road with cars on the sidewalk.
Quite honestly, most people walk down the middle of the sidewalk around here, but you step to the right if someone is passing you (either going faster than you from behind, or walking in the opposite direction towards you.) 

In airports on moving walkways it is typically- stand on right, pass on left.

In a busy mall, I'd walk on the right, but it's also a bit of a free for all.

Louisville

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Re: Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 01:16:30 PM »
Walk/run FACING oncoming vehicular traffic. That way you can see if a car is about to hit you and you might have a chance to get out of the way. Also, something about a face (as opposed to the back of a head) makes a person a little more visible to drivers.

This is the right answer assuming pavement means the road that cars actually drive on.
In most places in the US though, it is not necessary to walk where cars are.

If "pavement" is a phrase that means what I would call a sidewalk in the US (and I think it might be)- you can walk on either side of a road with cars on the sidewalk.
Quite honestly, most people walk down the middle of the sidewalk around here, but you step to the right if someone is passing you (either going faster than you from behind, or walking in the opposite direction towards you.) 

In airports on moving walkways it is typically- stand on right, pass on left.

In a busy mall, I'd walk on the right, but it's also a bit of a free for all.
Sorry, guess I didn't read carefully enough.
Yes, when I'm on sidewalk or other pedestrian path, including indoor corridors, I expect people to behave like automobiles. Keep right and pass on the left (in the US).
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 01:18:12 PM by Louisville »

cerat0n1a

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2018, 01:40:13 AM »
You're correct - it's anarchy in the UK and it's something I've heard people from other countries comment on. No convention about which side of the pavement to walk on, other than perhaps some people having notions about staying on the roadward side of small children. Pretty much the only place that's not true is elevators on the tube.

SpreadsheetMan

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2018, 02:58:35 AM »
You're correct - it's anarchy in the UK and it's something I've heard people from other countries comment on. No convention about which side of the pavement to walk on, other than perhaps some people having notions about staying on the roadward side of small children. Pretty much the only place that's not true is elevators on the tube.
It's also why shared cyclist+pedestrian paths can be quite dangerous. Pedestrians can be anywhere and change sides without warning or any awareness of what is going on around them.

Manchester

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2018, 05:09:32 AM »
If you're talking about general day to day life (walking to the shops/work etc).  There is no official rule, but I was always taught to face oncoming traffic when walking.  That way you see all oncoming traffic and anything that could hit you from behind would have to pass another lane first. 

If we're talking about escalators/tubes etc...  I'm Northern, so I purposely stand on the left to irritate impatient southerners! :)

cerat0n1a

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2018, 06:29:06 AM »
You're correct - it's anarchy in the UK and it's something I've heard people from other countries comment on. No convention about which side of the pavement to walk on, other than perhaps some people having notions about staying on the roadward side of small children. Pretty much the only place that's not true is elevators on the tube.
It's also why shared cyclist+pedestrian paths can be quite dangerous. Pedestrians can be anywhere and change sides without warning or any awareness of what is going on around them.

Well, that and the fact that seemingly >50% of cyclists in Cambridge after dark have no lights and rely on the ESP skills of pedestrians and other cyclists to avoid collisions :-)

katekat

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2018, 06:32:19 AM »
Yeah, like cerat0n1a said, "anarchy".
People will even spread out as a group and take up the whole pavement, and walk toward you, watching you -- a single individual -- step out onto the road to pass them rather than briefly break their formation.
Not that it enrages me or anything.

BrakeForTurtles

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2018, 07:37:18 AM »
Ok thank you, this is VERY helpful. I had definitely suspected there was no system, but when we travelled to York and London people generally seemed to walk more consistently on the right. So I wasn't sure if Cambridge was just a weird exception.

I agree shared-use paths are a nightmare here, and weirdly they are considered the "safest" option by the county safety officers for new cycling infrastructure (like on Histon and Milton Roads). Thankfully the they have been overridden by everyone else involved, but it seems a weird position for a safety officer to take.

PhilB

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2018, 09:31:44 AM »
The only rule on a pavement in the UK is that a gentleman should always walk on the outside, nearest the traffic, to avoid his lady's gown being dirtied by dust or mud thrown up by the wheels of passing carriages.

never give up

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2018, 09:43:14 AM »
I walk on whatever side of the road I fancy and position myself in the middle of the pavement. This is so I can either take the next pedestrian on the left or the right depending on my assessment of the potential manoeuvres required for the next three overtakes ahead. People walk slow.

DS

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2018, 11:04:53 AM »
Yeah, like cerat0n1a said, "anarchy".
People will even spread out as a group and take up the whole pavement, and walk toward you, watching you -- a single individual -- step out onto the road to pass them rather than briefly break their formation.
Not that it enrages me or anything.

This happens in the U.S. as well. I've started to just stop moving before we reach each other and stand in place. They always realize it and move. Key part of this is doing it a little before running into each other, not at the last moment.

Distant dreamer

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 11:29:05 AM »
I think there is an unspoken rule that if you are super slow and liable to stop dead in your tracks for no apparent reason then you walk in the middle of the pavement to impact the most number of people. Itís great, it definitely puts me off shopping if I ever get a rare urge...but really...it drives me mental!!

katekat

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2018, 11:54:33 AM »
Yeah, like cerat0n1a said, "anarchy".
People will even spread out as a group and take up the whole pavement, and walk toward you, watching you -- a single individual -- step out onto the road to pass them rather than briefly break their formation.
Not that it enrages me or anything.

This happens in the U.S. as well. I've started to just stop moving before we reach each other and stand in place. They always realize it and move. Key part of this is doing it a little before running into each other, not at the last moment.
And here I was, thinking that given the amount of Americans I've heard complaining about our pavement anarchy, things might be improved on this front when I move to the US! Thanks for dashing my hopes!

I think there is an unspoken rule that if you are super slow and liable to stop dead in your tracks for no apparent reason then you walk in the middle of the pavement to impact the most number of people. Itís great, it definitely puts me off shopping if I ever get a rare urge...but really...it drives me mental!!
I was recently stuck behind some slow, unpredictable walkers in an underpass who were blocking the whole path.
I felt the frustration and anger and disdain rising in me as I attempted that zero-communication passive-aggressive dodge around them, but couldn't manage it due to their spread, fell back into sulky formation behind them as I let people coming the other way through, tried again, same result, repeat.
And it occurred to me that because I was hours early for my appointment, I had nothing to be frustrated about -- if I managed to pass them and walk at a reasonable speed, the only benefit to me is that I would be able to loiter at my destination instead of walking slowly at my current position.
But it just couldn't calm me. The reaction to being trapped walking slowly was too visceral.
That day was a clear indication of some of my own Big Flaws (but I still can't shake the righteous feeling that those flaws are not as bad as being an Oblivious Slow Walker).

DS

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2018, 12:05:37 PM »
Quote from: DS
This happens in the U.S. as well. I've started to just stop moving before we reach each other and stand in place. They always realize it and move. Key part of this is doing it a little before running into each other, not at the last moment.
And here I was, thinking that given the amount of Americans I've heard complaining about our pavement anarchy, things might be improved on this front when I move to the US! Thanks for dashing my hopes!

Haha nope. Except people do tend to follow the same rules as with car traffic. Walk on the right side of the sidewalk. Though, many people just choose not to.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 02:15:22 PM by DS »

driftwood

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2018, 01:55:09 PM »
This happens in the U.S. as well. I've started to just stop moving before we reach each other and stand in place. They always realize it and move. Key part of this is doing it a little before running into each other, not at the last moment.
And here I was, thinking that given the amount of Americans I've heard complaining about our pavement anarchy, things might be improved on this front when I move to the US! Thanks for dashing my hopes!

Haha nope. Except people do tend to follow the same rules as with car traffic. Walk on the right side of the sidewalk. Though, many people just choose not to.
[/quote]

Depends on where you go... many sidewalks (pavements) in America are empty. A lot will just randomly end at an intersection without a continuing sidewalk on the other side. It's almost as if we don't want people to walk at all...

cerat0n1a

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2018, 02:03:40 PM »
Nobody's mentioned the walking along looking at your phone and not where you're going people so far. On the rare occasions I go into the centre of town, I reckon to see at least one or two collisions of such people.

PhilB

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2018, 03:31:48 PM »
Nobody's mentioned the walking along looking at your phone and not where you're going people so far. On the rare occasions I go into the centre of town, I reckon to see at least one or two collisions of such people.
Yep.  The dreaded 'zombie pedestrians'.

UK Dancer

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2018, 05:34:49 PM »
London is generally better at commuter times, I find, as everyone that commutes regularly has been subconsciously trained by escalators etc giving a specific side to move on...

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2018, 01:25:15 AM »
I walk on the left and agree that London commuter pedestrian traffic is better than average. London tourism pedestrian traffic is the absolute worst.

shelivesthedream

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2018, 08:29:35 AM »
What is all this "walk facing the traffic" business in a discussion about pavement etiquette? I'm not going to cross the road to the other pavement in order to correctly align myself with the traffic. I'm going to walk on the pavement that gets me to my destination with fewest crossings or turnings. I'm more likely to get hit crossing unnecessarily than walking in the same direction as traffic.

I voted left but realised while reading the discussion I should have voted anarchy. I walk closer to the road the faster I am going so I can step out into the road to overtake if necessary and closer to the houses/shops if I am ambling along.

I'm a red panda

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2018, 08:38:39 AM »
What is all this "walk facing the traffic" business in a discussion about pavement etiquette? I'm not going to cross the road to the other pavement in order to correctly align myself with the traffic. I'm going to walk on the pavement that gets me to my destination with fewest crossings or turnings. I'm more likely to get hit crossing unnecessarily than walking in the same direction as traffic.



I think that was confused americanism. Pavement is a word we use to describe the material roads are made of. The path on the side of the road you call pavement we call sidewalk.  So if you walk, in the road, you face traffic. On the pavement, anarchy.

(Personally I'm ok with polite anarchy, everyone goes the way they want, but steps out of the way for others to pass. In cities I weave in and out of people when walking. I hate groups who take up the whole thing and won't move.)

shelivesthedream

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2018, 10:52:11 AM »
Do you have the word "tarmac"? That's what roads are made out of over here.

I'm a red panda

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2018, 10:57:10 AM »
Do you have the word "tarmac"? That's what roads are made out of over here.

I'd call it that at the airport, but never heard it elsewhere. (Roads are made of are pavement, asphalt or concrete)

koshtra

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2018, 11:03:56 AM »
Yeah, "tarmac" is strictly for airport runways, over here. "Asphalt" might be our nearest equivalent term. But "pavement" is paved vehicle roadway (whatever it's paved with), and it never means "pedestrian walkway." That's a sidewalk.

BrakeForTurtles

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2018, 06:24:35 AM »
I walk closer to the road the faster I am going so I can step out into the road to overtake if necessary and closer to the houses/shops if I am ambling along.

Yes! This is what I have started doing, which makes it much easier to at least overtake and get around obstacles. I do prefer to be walking closest to the road when I am on the right side of the road, so that I am facing oncoming traffic and can easily see when it is safe to duck out onto the road to overtake. Coincidentally, this means walking on the left side of the pavement. I tend to find even with all the anarchy, people don't like walking close to the right, regardless of which side they're walking on, so there's usually more space there as well.

You are all being extremely helpful in de-mystifying UK pavements. Obviously it would be better if there was some sort of consensus, because then it just becomes a matter of education and signage to get people to walk consistently. If it is anarchy it means a system has to be developed *and then* the education has to happen.

sea_saw

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2018, 09:37:35 AM »
I have written entire essays about this topic, haha.

It is anarchy in terms of which side, yep. If it's a busy street then usually if you're ambling and dipping in and out of shops, you'll be on the shop side, and if walking purposefully, on the road side, but if it's just a residential or other quiet street, there isn't a side preference.

There is a bit of an unwritten rule that whoever is going faster gives way to/works around whoever is going slower - don't try to get out of the way of a jogger or fast-strider, you'll only mess up their planned route based on your original trajectory. Similarly, individuals are assumed to nimbly work their way around couples or groups. More annoyingly, there's an assumption that smaller individual people give way to larger individual people, much as they do to slow people or groups, and this shades into women give way to men.

That slight dominance-game aspect does annoy me, and I sometimes make it a point to pretend not to be oblivious to what's expected of me. If I see a bloke coming towards me on the same side of the pavement, and he glances up, notes me, and immediately assumes it's MY job to get out of HIS way, I try not to. We play a game of chicken which I generally win at a point so late I have to really force myself to keep walking and not duck out of the way - but they do adjust course once they twig I'm not going to. Worst case scenario is to just stop, and let them walk around me. I've only had to do that maybe twice, although I've brushed shoulders countless times.

I want to hope the near miss makes people more likely to think 'oh, maybe it's a mutual responsibility to avoid a collision then', but probably all it does is make them think I'm an oblivious jerk. It's an interesting diversion anyway.

It's good manners for groups to leave enough space for people to pass them from behind as well as from in front, but it's rare, groups usually expand to fill the whole width of the pavement. If I'm walking with people I make it a point to go in front or behind once we reach critical mass. It's also completely natural to get annoyed if a group or person is blocking you from your natural stride and forcing you to shuffle-half-step. A few years ago I started just saying 'excuse me' to get past, works much better than tutting and hoping they notice, no one's reacted badly so far.

sea_saw

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2018, 10:00:54 AM »
don't try to get out of the way of a jogger

Ooh wait disclaimer, I was assuming they did have a good route to pass you. If you are forming part of an impenetrable wall of other people, obviously stop that. If you would be forming an impenetrable wall (e.g. by overtaking a couple or group who have left enough space for one person to pass, at around the point the jogger would reach you all) let the jogger go past first. If there's only room for single file down a very narrow street with cars on the pavement (grr) duck in between cars to let them zoom past. Etc.

I think for considerate people who have spent any time walking around a busy city before, most of this just happens instinctively and doesn't need spelling out as 'rules'. But some people are just jerks. Or, more charitably, tourists etc.

dashuk

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2018, 04:45:22 AM »
Anarchy.

On the traffic direction point - I think it's polite to walk on the kerb side if you are going against the nearest lane of traffic, because you can see whether it's safe to step into the road to pass someone (or if you really need to dive away from the road).

Most important thing is to pick a side early and stick to it so as to avoid the hugely awkward side to side dance as you approach the other person!

Shared foot/cycleways have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with making sure you can pretend to be providing for both user groups without taking a single inch of space away from cars.



Rosielicious

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2018, 06:38:44 AM »
Another vote for anarchy!

Although I cycle on the left of any shared/cycle path like on the roads. Incidentally, cycling along a canal path on a Sunday afternoon is an Experience. Not only do you have to watch regular pedestrians and other cyclists who don't stick to the left, you also have to watch out for dogs and toddlers not on leads, as well as wobbly children on bikes. Oh, and people with massive headphones who can't hear you ring your bell to politely let them know you're behind them, then step sideways. I've not fallen in the canal yet, but it's come close a couple of times!

Kwill

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2018, 04:57:34 AM »
Thank you for raising this. After almost three years in the UK, I am still trying to figure it out. But I will say it got easier after a few months. Somehow I became able to make it through supermarket aisles and pavements most of the time without worrying much about where to walk and also without near collisions. I wish more people would just say excuse me. Also I wish the tourists were more conscious of the fact that some people aren't on vacation and would like to be able to get to work or get their groceries home.

Bee763

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2019, 05:06:31 AM »
Without wanting to resurrect a totally dead thread, I have always believed that the distinction on UK pavements/sidewalks has been based in inside/outside or nearside/offside rather than right/left and assumed it was related to this historical rule:

The only rule on a pavement in the UK is that a gentleman should always walk on the outside, nearest the traffic, to avoid his lady's gown being dirtied by dust or mud thrown up by the wheels of passing carriages.

The extension of that rule meaning that the less-vulnerable pavement user should walk nearest to the traffic:
  • An adult should pass outside a child
  • A young-to-middle-aged adult should pass outside an elderly adult
  • An able-bodied person should pass outside someone with a disability
Combined with SLTD's overtaking rules.  All of which leads to the pavement dance when, for example:
  • An older man encounters a younger woman
  • An older person encounters a teenager who perceives themselves as an adult
  • In any situation where the relative vulnerability of a pedestrian is obscured due to poor lighting/weather conditions/attire
  • Two people of similar vulnerability scores approach each other
  • Someone who has never encountered the inside/outside distinction tries to figure out what the heck is going on

daverobev

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2019, 01:03:23 PM »
Totally agree - I walk on the 'inside', away from traffic, unless I see someone 'more vulnerable' than myself approaching in which case I move to the outside.

Honestly I've never really noticed people walking on one particular side while I was living in Canada. I tended to follow the same rule as here.

Oddly, at school I seem to remember that we would walk on the right hand side, which is odd. But then I suppose few of us drove at that age!

BrakeForTurtles

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2019, 02:22:43 PM »
It's funny, because when I first moved to Canada I was confused by their 'rules' as well. Maybe this is one of those things that *seems* really different when you first move somewhere, but actually isn't? Who knows. I do feel like the Canadians follow the "vulnerable person to the inside" rule more, but this also applies to things like who steps into the snowbank to give way, and who walks on the icier part to get by. Also the outside has a higher chance of mud or slush being thrown up at you, so that's another reason for less vulnerable people to go that way.

I have given up on picking a side now, and just go with the flow, bobbing back and forth across the pavement depending on what the person approaching me is doing. It is definitely more relaxing to do it this way than to try to stick to one side. And faster than doing that weird dance off when you try to go around someone but you're both on the same side.

Kwill

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2019, 04:15:09 PM »
Without wanting to resurrect a totally dead thread, I have always believed that the distinction on UK pavements/sidewalks has been based in inside/outside or nearside/offside rather than right/left and assumed it was related to this historical rule:

The only rule on a pavement in the UK is that a gentleman should always walk on the outside, nearest the traffic, to avoid his lady's gown being dirtied by dust or mud thrown up by the wheels of passing carriages.

The extension of that rule meaning that the less-vulnerable pavement user should walk nearest to the traffic:
  • An adult should pass outside a child
  • A young-to-middle-aged adult should pass outside an elderly adult
  • An able-bodied person should pass outside someone with a disability
Combined with SLTD's overtaking rules.  All of which leads to the pavement dance when, for example:
  • An older man encounters a younger woman
  • An older person encounters a teenager who perceives themselves as an adult
  • In any situation where the relative vulnerability of a pedestrian is obscured due to poor lighting/weather conditions/attire
  • Two people of similar vulnerability scores approach each other
  • Someone who has never encountered the inside/outside distinction tries to figure out what the heck is going on

Really? This is what has been going on this whole time? I give up.

What is the rule on a path that is used by both bicycles and pedestrians but not by cars?

shelivesthedream

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2019, 12:47:01 AM »
In practice, I believe the rule is that the pedestrians act as if it's a normal pavement and the cyclists struggle to weave around them and get evils if they make a mistake. I hate those paths so much. They are not fit for purpose. How often do you get mixed-use pedestrian and car spaces?

cerat0n1a

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2019, 01:08:23 AM »
In practice, I believe the rule is that the pedestrians act as if it's a normal pavement and the cyclists struggle to weave around them and get evils if they make a mistake.

LOL. In Cambridge, the rule seems to be that pedestrians are expected to use their ESP powers to detect the cyclists who think they don't need lights after dark (sadly a majority.) Even crossing the road can be tricky in some places in the evening rush hour due to ninjas on bikes.

Shared paths work OK when the traffic density is low and/or when cyclists are going relatively slowly - country parks or other leisure routes. The cycle route from Cambridge to Wicken Fen is a mixture of shared paths and Fenland farm roads and is lovely both for cycling and walking/running. Shared paths don't work well for busy commuter routes.

My bugbear as a runner is dog-walkers with long leads who block the whole pavement and seem oblivious to other people.

Bee763

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2019, 03:50:15 AM »
Shared pedestrian/cycle paths without cars - on the ones I use most often generally everyone keeps left and cyclists "overtake" pedestrians. Sounding a bell or a horn from a reasonable distance away is a good idea but in practice just means I scare little old ladies much earlier than I really need them to notice that I am there. Maybe I need to fit a playing card to my spokes so I can be heard coming up behind people... These paths are pretty narrow, which means that people do adopt rules like this. They are also fairly quiet, so it's unusual to meet more people going on both directions at the same time - as a cyclist you'll either have to deal with an overtake or a pass, rarely both at once.

The council has just turned a stretch of road in the city centre here into a pedestrians/cycles/buses zone. It's a bit of a mess because it's really wide and has 'pavements' outlined in paving. The pedestrians mostly treat it like it's a regular street but wander into it without checking because it's quieter than most. Cyclists have to exercise constant vigilance so they don't get barged by buses or wandered into by pedestrians and the bus drivers seem perpetually grumpy anyway.

dashuk

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2019, 06:45:03 AM »
In practice, I believe the rule is that the pedestrians act as if it's a normal pavement and the cyclists struggle to weave around them and get evils if they make a mistake. I hate those paths so much. They are not fit for purpose. How often do you get mixed-use pedestrian and car spaces?

A lot of new housing developments, Exhibition Road in London, oh and any pavement anywhere that someone feels like parking apparently. It's all manner of stupid, especially for visually impaired people.

Shared ped/cycle areas are just a way of pretending to have made provision for cycling without having to do anything politically scary like take space from motor vehicles. Works too, because both user groups end up complaining about each other rather than wondering why 90% of the road corridor width is taken up by rolling three piece suites.

FIRE@50

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2019, 06:47:33 AM »
I'm in the US and I always walk on the top side of the pavement.

bluebelle

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2019, 06:57:08 AM »
In Canada we drive on the right and walk on the right.
Where is it that we're walking?  On a pedestrian path, grocery store aisle.  If so, I agree Canadians tend to walk on the right.  If you're referring to walking on the edge of a street where there are no sidewalks?  If so, I walk on the left, facing on-coming traffic.  Although most of my neighbhor's seem to keep walking on the right.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 10:57:02 AM by bluebelle »

BookLoverL

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2019, 10:37:40 AM »
If it's a quiet path, I walk wherever I feel like. (On a related note, pavements made of rectangular slabs rather than tarmac mess with my Tourette's and I feel like I have to walk on them in a specific pattern, so they end up taking me twice as long to walk down... but anyway.) If there's someone coming the other way, or if I'm going to overtake someone (I walk pretty fast), I judge based on what they're doing and the nearby scenery whether I can just walk round them, whether I need to move to the other side of the pavement to walk round them, or (if they're blocking the whole thing) whether I need to step into the road or onto the grass. If someone's going to overtake me and I hear them coming, I make sure to stay close to the side I'm already on so they have plenty of room to pass.

I don't go to super-busy pedestrian places very often since I don't live near a big city, but I think if I did I'd do basically the same except it's a little harder to calculate where the best route through is, so sometimes you end up caught behind some people waiting for a good opportunity to pass them.

bluebelle

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Re: [UK] Help me out: which side of the pavement do you walk on?!
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2019, 10:55:43 AM »
I think there is an unspoken rule that if you are super slow and liable to stop dead in your tracks for no apparent reason then you walk in the middle of the pavement to impact the most number of people. Itís great, it definitely puts me off shopping if I ever get a rare urge...but really...it drives me mental!!
and don't forget to stop at the top or bottom of all stair or escalators to check your phone, stand outside the elevator holding the door while you finish a conversation.....stand stupidly at a crosswalk talking/reading phone/staring blindly off into space UNTIL I start my right turn and then scream loudly at me that I infringed on your right to own the sidewalk.....
I don't care that people walk faster or slower than me.....it is their total disregard for anyone else that drives me bonkers.....but it's a ME ME ME society