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Old 12.06.2011, 20:55
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Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

Nearly every time I take my bike and cycle around a pedestrian steps out in front of me crossing the road (not on a crossing) without looking in either direction. I know that bikes are silent but surely when they are children people learn to look both ways before stepping out into the road. Didn't the Green Cross Man have a Swiss equivalent ?
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Old 12.06.2011, 21:00
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

Only one thing for it ..... you'll have to use .....

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Old 12.06.2011, 21:39
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

Yes well, ringing my bell provokes various reactions (in order of frequency):
(a) panic and fear
(b) people look round and step in front of me anyway
(c) anger

I find (b) particularly strange.
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Old 12.06.2011, 21:50
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

people here don't look where they are going, whether it is on foot, on bike or in a car. they don't signal intention when they completely change direction or speed, nor do the look to see if it is safe to make a change in direction/speed before doing so. best just to note this and take into account.
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Old 13.06.2011, 13:51
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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Yes well, ringing my bell provokes various reactions (in order of frequency):
(a) panic and fear
(b) people look round and step in front of me anyway
(c) anger

I find (b) particularly strange.
As a bell is a legal requirement on a bike, the reactions above in (a) and (c), are somewhat surprising and are reminiscent of what I sometimes believe to be an underlying lack of self-confidence in some people.

Regarding (b) - it is almost impossible to judge and react to "stunned rabbit syndrome".

Also, the same person, always believe that they have right of way over all others, whether they are walking in the morning, cycling in the afternoon or driving in the evening - right in all instances - with the others being in the wrong.

When I cycled in London, I had a loud, high-pitched screecher horn (powered by a 9v battery). These were more common there and pedestrians knew not to step out when they heard one - usually.

Less acceptable here - but if you ride in the city a lot - it may be worth considering (but in the countryside their use would be frowned upon).
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Old 13.06.2011, 13:59
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

Cyclists must be aware of their surroundings and be able to react to them. If not, then you're driving too fast.
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Old 13.06.2011, 17:43
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

I can't help as to why people don't look before crossing the roads, but on cycle paths I'd say people don't look because they can't hear anything.

Yesterday, I went with for a walk with my family on a shared pedestrian and cycle path - almost got knocked down by a bike, because he assumed I knew he was there! I say then.. if you don't have a bell - get one and if you've got one then use it, well in advance so you don't scare people and can alert them that you're on your way past!
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Old 13.06.2011, 18:07
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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.. if you don't have a bell - get one and if you've got one then use it, well in advance so you don't scare people and can alert them that you're on your way past!

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As a bell is a legal requirement on a bike, .....
All bikes purchased here should be already equipped with a bell. "Imported" bikes need to have one fitted, if they don't have one.

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Didn't the Green Cross Man have a Swiss equivalent ?
..... was Darth Vader Swiss?
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Old 13.06.2011, 18:12
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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All bikes purchased here should be already equipped with a bell. "Imported" bikes need to have one fitted, if they don't have one.

Wait what???? I have to put a bell on my triathlon bike? Bullocks!!!!
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Old 13.06.2011, 18:18
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

My original question is more about why so many people walk onto the road (not a cycle path) without looking. Not on a crossing but jaywalking, which is illegal in Zurich where I live. And not always while chatting with friends or on the phone, although I see that too.

There are bikes (some of whom are very fast), electric bikes, electric mopeds, electric Twikes and, in future, maybe silent electric cars (although I suspect these will have to make noise for safety reasons). Trams are also quiet and I see a lot of people step in front of them without looking first.

Since I learned how to cross the road as a child, looking both ways, I wonder if children in Switzerland are also taught how to cross the road, looking both ways first.

As for me, I look both ways before crossing the road, even at a crossing. And I ride with my trigger finger on the bell when I am on the road near pedestrians. On the cycle path I ding-ding people politely like the good citizen that I am. Usually because they are walking on the half reserved for cyclists and not on the half reserved for pedestrians but that is another kettle of fish.
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Old 13.06.2011, 18:19
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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Wait what???? I have to put a bell on my triathlon bike? Bullocks!!!!
They're only ickle, and don't weigh much more than the dead flies on your teeth (sign of a happy cyclist).

pedestrians-walking-front-silent-bikes-mirrycle-incredibell-bellini-bike-bell.jpg
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Old 13.06.2011, 18:21
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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Cyclists must be aware of their surroundings and be able to react to them. If not, then you're driving too fast.
Goes for pedestrians as well...except that after if not, comes, you are retarded.
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Old 13.06.2011, 18:25
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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My original question is more about why so many people walk onto the road (not a cycle path) without looking. Not on a crossing but jaywalking, which is illegal in Zurich where I live. And not always while chatting with friends or on the phone, although I see that too...

Since I learned how to cross the road as a child, looking both ways, I wonder if children in Switzerland are also taught how to cross the road, looking both ways first.
They even walk out in front of other pedestrians. I had two guys walking out of the community garden just step onto the sidewalk right in front of me when I was not but a few meters away, and they just STOOD there and didn't bother to back up at all.

So, in typical Swiss fashion, I just mowed them over and said "Grüezi!".
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Old 13.06.2011, 18:25
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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My original question is more about why so many people walk onto the road (not a cycle path) without looking. Not on a crossing but jaywalking, which is illegal in Zurich where I live. And not always while chatting with friends or on the phone, although I see that too.not on the half reserved for pedestrians but that is another kettle of fish.
Ignorance, stupidity, die hard bravado ..... or just the Swiss belief that no-one exists in their time and space, but them.

I'm already teaching my 4yr. old to look and listen, and then listen and look because bikes make no (minimal) noise, but can go fast.
Unfortunately basic common sense seems to be a particularly English "disease", that is yet to make it this far.
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Old 13.06.2011, 18:42
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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bikes make no (minimal) noise, but can go fast.
I was once out on a training ride on my triathlon bike, going a healthy 50kph. A car was at a stop sign on a side street, and I had eye contact with the driver. She pulled out into traffic anyway, and I nearly slammed into the side of her car.

People just don't realize how fast bicycles, especially racing bicycles, can go.
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Old 13.06.2011, 19:09
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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Yes well, ringing my bell provokes various reactions (in order of frequency):
(a) panic and fear
(b) people look round and step in front of me anyway
(c) anger

I find (b) particularly strange.
Well, they do have the right of way, so why are you surprised?

Tom
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Old 13.06.2011, 19:13
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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People just don't realize how fast bicycles, especially racing bicycles, can go.
Nor do they realize that they, too, must obey traffic laws.

Tom
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Old 13.06.2011, 19:18
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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Nor do they realize that they, too, must obey traffic laws.

Tom
Like not riding on the sidewalk or in the opposite direction of traffic? or through ped-only areas? Or were you thinking of something different?
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Old 13.06.2011, 20:59
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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Like not riding on the sidewalk or in the opposite direction of traffic? or through ped-only areas? Or were you thinking of something different?
Riding a bicycle on the pavement is legal here.
Riding in the opposite direction to traffic is allowed for bicycles in many streets - in this case the cyclist can see a sign specifically saying that bicycles are allowed to go the wrong way in this particular one-way street. This is disconcerting for drivers coming the other way but is perfectly legal.
There aren't many pedestrian only areas where bikes are forbidden, but there are some and very rarely do you see a bike being ridden there.
If you really want to pick a bone, I suggest you pick something universal, like cyclists running red lights. Kind of off-topic though.
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Old 13.06.2011, 21:00
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Re: Pedestrians walking in front of silent bikes

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Well, they do have the right of way, so why are you surprised?

Tom
Actually they are jaywalking, which is illegal.
And what surprises me is that they don't look before jaywalking.
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