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Walking and cycling on shared-use paths: The user perspective

Delaney, Hannah; Parkhurst, Graham; Melia, Steve

Walking and cycling on shared-use paths: The user perspective Thumbnail


Hannah Delaney

Steven Melia
Senior Lecturer in Transport Planning


© 2016, ICE Publishing: All rights reserved. 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.


Delaney, H., Parkhurst, G., & Melia, S. (2017). Walking and cycling on shared-use paths: The user perspective. Proceedings of the ICE - Municipal Engineer, 170(3), 175-184.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 16, 2016
Online Publication Date Sep 27, 2016
Publication Date Sep 1, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 28, 2017
Journal Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Municipal Engineer
Print ISSN 0965-0903
Electronic ISSN 1751-7699
Publisher Thomas Telford
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 170
Issue 3
Pages 175-184
Keywords walking, cycling, shared-use paths, interactions, users, journey experience
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : The final, published version of the paper is available on the publisher's website:


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