Cyclists on the footpath

There has been concern and there will be growing concern about the legislated legality of cyclists riding on footpaths.
There is some hysteria about the issue, but I feel that it is unwarranted. In a presentation to Council we were informed of how in some instances it makes sense; for cyclists to avoid dangerous narrowing of the road etc.
Whilst the legislation permits it, I doubt that there will be a mass of cyclists hitting the footpaths.
A few facts ...
Fact 1: yes, it is legal (legislated by the SA Government)
Fact 2: yes, Unley Council can ban some (or all) footpaths for cycling
Fact 3: no, Unley Council can not enforce any bans; only SA Police can do this
Fact 4: any footpath where a Council applies a ban must have a sign at the start/end of the prohibited section

If bans were to be applied, then streets would be cluttered with costly signs; just like the 40kph speed signs.

All things considered, I'm not that concerned by the new legislation.
The majority of cyclists are responsible; although there are a few bad apples (on wheels) that reflect on the broader cycling community.

Finally, re young kids on their bikes - they need to start on the footpath before venturing onto the road.

City of Unley Councillor Mike Hudson has a different take on this.
Here is his comment


  1. Bob, Cr Hudson is stuck in the past, justifying his position by stating "I used to ride in a cycling club" (in Britain). It appears that Cr Hudson may not have ventured out on 2/3 wheels for quite some time, or looked at things from the perspective of those much younger or more timid.

    Venture onto any cycling forum that discusses commuting and general bike riding and you'll find many threads objecting to the behaviour of a few recklists. Those types of idiots exist in the car driving world too. Society has simply classified them as Bogans and hooligans and moved on, simply accepting that an idiot in "control" of a hard, fast moving, heavy lethal weapon is an acceptable social norm. Gauging by the numbers still on the road it would appear that registration and penalties are mostly ineffectual for the control of this behaviour.

    At a guess I would think that King William Rd is a prime concern for riding on footpaths. Few realise that proper bike paths on either side, more and better bike parking, reduced on-street parking and wider footpaths will do more to boost business, increase more bus usage, reduce noise, reduce the stench of fumes and actually encourage more people to use the route than if everything were left to the status quo.

    Maybe we'll see that occur in 20 years time. In the meantime maybe some Cyclist Dismount signs might be quicker to implement at each end of the congested areas? Those may not require higher approval.

  2. Varying views in the public arena and obviously within the Unley Council between you and Grumpy. Both sides have valid observations.

    There are indeed situations where a cyclist utilising the footpath is actually the safe route to take.

    One thing I think we might all agree on in Council is policing cyclists at Council level would be an absolute nightmare.

  3. I think Cr Mike Hudson is right and footpaths should be be solely for pedestrians and true to their name, paths for feet.


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