HOW UNNECESSARY IS PATHWAY RAGE?

I’m getting an increased number of complaints from both pedestrians and cyclists who frequent the Turtle Trail between Bargara and Burnett Heads. Conflict between various user groups appear to be resulting in considerable angst and occasional abuse which quite frankly is ridiculous.

The complaints centre around:

  1. small groups who walk abreast and won’t shift for anyone travelling towards them or from behind (pedestrians or cyclists) – “It’s as if they think they own the path and will not make room for others” is the common comment
  1. cyclists speeding along the track
  1. cyclists ringing their bells to tell pedestrians to get off the track and make way for them

I have to say how disappointing this is because surely it all comes down to some plain common sense and courtesy which I thought was plentiful in our community? I’ve raised the issues with Cr. Forgan who holds the portfolio and she advises that a draft ‘code of conduct’ or ‘guidelines’ will be compiled so that everyone knows what’s expected.

In a nutshell, these are my views:

  • The pathway is there for both pedestrians and ‘casual’ cyclists alike and this includes the aged, families and kids. If you’re training on a bike or wanting to get up a bit of speed then why not use the road?
  • If you’re in a group of walkers being approached by a pedestrian or bike simply position yourself so that they get fair access to the pathway.
  • If a cyclist approaching from behind rings a bell don’t automatically assume that they’re demanding that you get off the pathway to let them through. 99% of the time they’re simply giving a courtesy ‘ring’ to let you know that  they’re approaching so that you don’t accidentally step out in front of them. If your in a group simply make room for them to pass or if you’re walking a dog then make sure it doesn’t wander into the cyclist’s path.

I hope I don’t sound like a cop here but I do get many comments on this and it doesn’t require rocket science to remedy. This is a shared facility for recreational purposes and simple courtesy is all it takes to have it enjoyed by everyone – little bit of give and take.

Perhaps an occasional sign like this might remind users of the pathway’s purpose?

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