Pedestrian-cyclist collisions: Issues and risk.
Governments, transport agencies and advocacy groups are promoting walking and cycling to encourage healthier lifestyles and provide for a more environmentally sustainable transport system. However, there are concerns over the relatively high number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths and serious injuries from collisions with motor vehicles. As a result shared cyclist-pedestrian pathways are being provided for to reduce conflicts with motor vehicles. This is resulting in considerable debate about the safety of pedestrians and bicyclist on such shared paths.
User advocacy groups rally for increased segregation of motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians and the restriction and regulation of shared path use. On the other hand, road authorities and councils support the use of shared paths since they are cost effective and provide a high benefit to the community. In addition, researchers often make contrasting conclusions about whether or not shared paths cause unacceptable conflict and injury risks. This paper presents an overview of the issues concerning shared cycling-pedestrian pathways and results of some studies quantifying the number of deaths that occur in Australia and injuries in NSW resulting from cyclist-pedestrian conflicts. The risk of these deaths and injuries using known available exposure data are contextualised in terms of other risk events. Some information regarding travel speeds of cyclists on footpaths are also provided.