Cyclists 'intimidating pedestrians'
'Entitlement' angers Brook Valley walkersSASHA BORISSENKO
A Brook Valley resident fears an increasing number of cyclists in the area are wrongly riding on footpaths and intimidating pedestrians.
Pensioner Karen Wood was walking to Seymour Avenue last week when a cyclist on the footpath shouted "you'd better move or you'll get run over".
Wood told the cyclist it was a footpath, not a cycleway.
She said the cyclist then moved onto the road before returning to the footpath once she hit a corner.
"I thought ‘how dare she?' A pedestrian would have walked past and maybe said hello and here is a cyclist threatening to run me down."
Wood said she had noticed an increase of cyclists in the area thanks to Codgers Mountain Bike Park.
"I've got nothing against cyclists wanting to go up to the cycle track to enjoy themselves, it's them having that incorrect assumption of entitlement over the footpaths that bothers me."
She could understand cyclists who felt intimidated on the roads with the actions of some motorists, but now some cyclists were transferring that attitude towards pedestrians, she said.
"If the road code says cyclists are not allowed on the footpath, they should be aware they are not allowed to cycle there," she said.
Nelson Mountain Bike president Chris Mildon said the group had gone to great lengths to address the issue.
He said people were forced to either cycle on the wrong side of the road or otherwise they had no choice or to ride on the footpath.
The club had worked with the Nelson City Council and the NZ Cycle Trail website to improve some of the "easily solvable problems", he said.
"We are doing as much as we can to put the message out there. We publicised that if you are coming up the track you are to park beyond the housing area. We were also sending the message out there about behavioural etiquette stuff.
"If you are wanting to boil it right down cyclists are not legally allowed on the footpaths."
Strategic Traffic Unit Sergeant Stu Wright said police had the power to issue a $55 infringement notice to those cyclists who were seen riding on the footpath.
No tickets had been issued in the past few months because police had either failed to see any perpetrators or they had otherwise issued verbal warnings, he said.
"We definitely receive a lot of complaints but it is really hard to identify offenders if all you have to go on is a yellow helmet and a green jacket.
"We deal with it as best as possible while and when we can, but I won't pull all my resources into waiting all day to catch offenders. We have to think of the entire city," he said.
A council policy and planning meeting today was looking at the potential for conflicts with pedestrians on shared paths in the Brook area, and suggested improvements.
- © Fairfax NZ News