How cycleways benefit pedestrians

Protesting the removal of the College St cycleway Protesting the removal of the College St cycleway

Each time a new cycleway is built, it is not just people on bikes who benefit. Pedestrians benefit too.

Firstly, more dedicated cycleways means that people can ride in a space that is not the main roadway and not the footpath. Creating this third space gives the footpath back to people walking, particularly in places where there may be many bicycles. Bicycle-free footpaths are better than shared paths.

Secondly, cycleways also provide an additional barrier between the footpath and the carriageway of the road. This makes walking on the footpath more pleasant and feel safer than walking inches from fast-moving cars.

Thirdly, when infrastructure is built that supports cycling (or walking or taking public transport), fewer people need to drive. The desire may remain, but decision makers can point to the other options available. This makes it easy to reduce the number of fast moving vehicles on our streets. Remember that fast moving cars are the main cause of death of someone simply walking to their destination. When alternatives exist to travelling by car, speed limits can be lowered, lanes for cars can be reduced, and car parking can be reallocated to better uses. This is a win for everyone.