Cycling on the pavement is very normal in Japan and Queensland and both have a thriving cycle culture.
Here, our rules is an inconsistent and impossible to enforce.
- Couriers may legally ride on pavements, while three-year-olds on tricycles are breaking the law
- Official pavement designation is arbitrary: just a council a sign post and maybe a white line turns a pavement into a shared path, but the delineation is frequently ignored by pedestrians.
- Many new riders who would benefit from riding on the pavement don’t because it is illegal â€“ discouraging cycling growth. In the meantime, people who already ride on pavements will continue to do so.
Once sufficient cycle infrastructure is in place, people will naturally gravitate to dedicated cycle paths, but for now, the pavement is frequently the only safe option for people who are new to cycling.
Street use finds its own happy medium without unenforceable laws, because there is a direct correlation between road vehicle speeds and the number of people on the pavements: Fast cars mean few pedestrians, making those pavements perfect for slow, pedestrian-prioritized cycling.Â Conversely, roads with high numbers of pedestrians are generally quieter and safer for riding on the road. Confident cyclists such as sports and commuter cyclists will continue to ride on the road for speed.
We increasingly have successful shared space streets. And shared pavements already exist for pedestrians and other wheeled transport such as skateboards, scooters and segways, andÂ where the council has decided to place a special ‘shared pavement’ sign.