Pedestrians are often clueless and need instructions on how to yield to a cyclist. Nevertheless, that doesn't excuse cyclists from courteous behaviour either, since on any given shared cyclist/pedestrian path, pedestrians have right of way.
So, how should a cyclist behave when approching pedestrians?
The answer is actually quite straightforward and obvious, once you think about it:
- Slow down
- Alert the pedestrian to your presence (ring your bell, hong your horn, or even say "excuse me" in a firm voice)
- Pass safely past the pedestrian
- Accelerate to normal cruising speed
Obvious once you know it, but it seems to escape many cyclists. Here are a couple of extra tips:
- Your ability to avoid a collision improves dramatically if the pedestrian can see you and hear you
- If the pedestrian is heading toward you, make eye contact, then look in the direction you intend to take around the pedestrian