Walking and cycling on shared-use paths: The user perspective
Delaney, H., Parkhurst, G. and Melia, S. (2016) Walking and cycling on shared-use paths: The user perspective. Proceedings of the ICE - Municipal Engineer. ISSN 0965-0903 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/30460
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1680/jmuen.16.00033
Shared-use paths are those used by pedestrians and cyclists, either designed for them to mix freely within the space (unsegregated) or with the space allocated to each group by surface markings and signage (segregated). Mobility policy in a number of states is promoting greater use of shared-use paths, but there is only limited knowledge about the user experience, which can be expected to influence patronage. The paper examines experiences of user behaviour and user segregation, drawing on quantitative and qualitative research with pedestrians and cyclists on a heavily used, width-constrained path in Bristol, UK. It has been observed that pedestrians have a modest preference for segregation, while cyclists prefer non-segregation. Both groups exhibited varied, sometimes conflicting perceptions about how users should interact. It is concluded that it will not always be possible to optimise infrastructure design for all users and therefore recommended that the wider context of policy objectives and alternative routes for different user types be considered during design decisions. Whichever approach is taken to segregation, user communities will generally benefit from clear codes of conduct to promote a shared user culture. In the case of unsegregated paths, the separation of flows based on direction, rather than mode, of travel is recommended.
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