We are very lucky in Edinburgh to have cycle paths that effectively circumnavigate the city - keeping us away from notoriously bad Edinburgh drivers (reflected in the number of per capita cyclist accidents). However, these cycle paths are shared paths, with pedestrians. They are used by school children and adults as convenient, pleasant short cuts and dog walkers enjoying a sniff of nature within the city centre. I am increasingly of the opinion that cyclists consider these paths to be their personal highways around the city, not as shared paths. What we now have is a dangerous mix of (fast, Strava medal-pursuing) cyclists, pedestrians and dogs.
I cycle a total of 20km or so, mostly on the path, every day to and from work (with my Strava on). I also use the path to walk my daughter to school (with my Strava off): the entrance to the school is immediately off steps climbing from a bend in the path (with restricted view, I would argue) and is well used by pupils and parents at peak commuter time in the morning.
In the last few days I have witnessed one bicycle turning off at a blind junction close to the school (again well used by children) at a hurtling speed without use of a bell to warn of his arrival: nearly running over a 5/6 year old girl, her sister and mother and another ridden by a self-styled 'pro cyclist' overtaking around the aforementioned bend at speed (if you were on a road there would be double white lines on it). I'm sorry, but I do tend to comment when I see this: 'Slow down.', 'Ring your bell.'. Maybe I shouldn't, and it doesn't achieve much: the normal reaction is 'f$%£ off, you ponce' or 'you are a c*&k' (??). Though, my personal favourite is 'I don't have a bell!' (...well get one!). However, I have seen too many cyclists nearly hit pedestrians, children especially, so forgive me for being verbal.
We are going to start campaigning with the schools whose pupils use the shared path to lobby the council for signage and perhaps separation of cycles and pedestrians on certain parts of the path. I would hope to gain a lot of support for this from the parents who frequently share their 'near miss' or 'foul mouthed' incident reports. Maybe we also need to involve the police and other institutions on the cycle path (leisure centres, shopping centres).
I would, in the meantime, appeal to those Edinburgh cyclists who use the paths, who ride fast or slow, to use their bell (or get one to use!) when passing pedestrians and overtaking other cyclists and ahead of passing or turning at blind junctions. Also don't take unnecessary risks or ride too fast. Also, be a little more courteous - stop swearing in front of kids!
Apologies if I sound a 'nimby' or a 'c*&k' (??!), but shared cycle paths aren't the autostrada on the Milano-San Remo.