Conflicts seem to be inevitable between cyclists and other road users in cities, whether motorists or pedestrians. With more and more people able to afford good-quality bicycles, there are many more cyclists on the city streets, some of them riding at high speeds. According to the road traffic rules, cyclists are obliged to use bike lanes where they exist and to keep close to the curb when riding on the road. They are permitted to use pavements where there is no other safe option — but without hindering or obstructing other traffic participants. As there are scarcely any bike lanes in the city, many cyclists are choosing to ride on the pavements rather than on the roads, which they perceive as dangerous.
Discuss the conflicts and the possible solutions, as well as the opinions of the various parties. Present your own point of view. How do you think the problem can be solved?
Road service companies have no interest in constructing a large number of bicycle lanes. In their view, the cost of the materials and labour is not justified by the numbers of cyclists who will benefit from the improved infrastructure.
Some pedestrians are sympathetic to the needs of cyclists, while others are bitter about the perceived threat they pose. Most pedestrians believe that it is better for both groups if cyclists use lanes that are fully segregated from pedestrian pavements.
The majority of drivers are opposed to cycle lanes on the roads. They are unhappy about sharing road space on narrow streets and regard slower-moving cyclists as a hazard.
Cyclists are justified in asserting their rights. A bicycle is an ecologically clean mode of transport that requires no fuel and no large parking areas. Those who cycle regularly also tend to keep fit, lowering their health-care costs and improving their work efficiency.