Q&A - Which Side of the Trail do I Walk On?
Q: The Galloping Goose Trail is shared by pedestrians and high speed cyclists. Should one walk facing the traffic or keep right? I see both happening and there are arguments in support of both. I often have difficulty hearing cyclists and there is frequently not any warning. This makes me feel somewhat unsure when walking on the right side not knowing what is behind me. Most cyclists are polite, but unfortunately a few regard people on foot as an invasive species and treat them accordingly. Some sign guidance may helpful.
A: To start with, the Galloping Goose Trail is a highway within the meaning for the Motor Vehicle Act.
Pedestrians using highways
182 (2) If there is no sidewalk, a pedestrian using a highway must use only the extreme left side of the roadway or the shoulder of the highway, facing traffic approaching from the opposite direction.
"traffic" includes pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, cycles and other conveyances, either singly or together, while using a highway to travel;
So, pedestrians must walk on the left facing oncoming cyclists.
Cyclists have the same duty that a driver does and must ride on the right:
Rights and duties of operator of cycle
183 (1) In addition to the duties imposed by this section, a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.
(2) A person operating a cycle
(c) must, subject to paragraph (a), ride as near as practicable to the right side of the highway,
The cyclist is also bound by the requirements of Section 181 to avoid collision and give warning when necessary:
Duty of driver
181 Despite sections 178, 179 and 180, a driver of a vehicle must
(a) exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian who is on the highway,
(b) give warning by sounding the horn of the vehicle when necessary, and
(c) observe proper precaution on observing a child or apparently confused or incapacitated person on the highway.
A horn may not be practical, but a bell or simply calling ahead by voice may be sufficient.
Finally, the cyclist is required to exercise care when riding, including riding at a reasonable speed for the circumstances:
Careless driving prohibited
144 (1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a highway
(a) without due care and attention,
(b) without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway, or
(c) at a speed that is excessive relative to the road, traffic, visibility or weather conditions.
Ultimately, a bit of care, pedestrians on the left and cyclists on the right and everyone can see what is approaching and share the trail without colliding.