About a month ago the Aberdeen city council announced plans for a bike path at the beach. This is being developed from part of their spaces for people funding which is money they received to help pedestrians navigate in a world with a novel virus flying around. I was interviewed for the story when it appeared in the press. The Aberdeen Cycle Forum also provided the city council with a supportive quote for their own press release. A segregated bike path at the beach is something we support.
Previously at the beach cyclists could cycle on the pavement alongside pedestrians as it was a shared-use path. Shared spaces are not great as I’ve previously mentioned on my blog and so I welcomed the new segregation and thought others in Aberdeen would too. People frequently complain to me about cyclists cycling on the pavement and the council has, over the years, had many complaints about cyclists on the pavements at the beach even though cyclists were entitled to be there.
I tell a person I’m a cyclist and they immediately feel the need to list all the bad things cyclists do like cycling on pavements or going through red lights. Yet if I say I’m a motorist I’m never given the list all the bad things motorists do and let’s be realistic about it: motorists going through red lights or driving on pavements can inflict far more damage than a cyclist ever could. Yet for some reason I have to defend every cyclist that ever did anything wrong.
But I digress. The proper segregated beach cycle path will take cyclists off the pavement and then people will stop complaining, right? Unfortunately not. I’ve never seen so many complaints online as in the past week since work at the beach started. The complaints are from everyone from all backgrounds. Even from parents with children who I’d have thought would welcome safe space for their children to ride bikes. It’s exactly like this cartoon: