As in this question, pedestrians are allowed to walk on a bicycle path in the Netherlands under some circumstances. In this situation, who has the priority? Should pedestrians yield the way to bikes?

  • Aren't we supposed to walk facing the traffic (better, safer practice); and, if so, a cyclist and pedestrian would see each other approaching and move a bit towards the opposite edges of the lane to give each other space.
    – Newton
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 11:17
  • 2
    I am not aware of any specific priority rules. Use common sense: On a narrow cycle path, a pedestrian may want to step off the paved road. That would be harder for a cyclist. In any case, as a pedestrian you should keep to the side of the road. Don't walk in the middle.
    – Berend
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 12:39
  • I am not sure that's the right question to ask... The expectation is that you do not linger on the bicycle path or leave space for bikes to pass you.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


There are no laws and not even rules about walking on cycle paths.

If there is a walking lane or path close to the cycle lane or path, best use that. It can be a few meters away and not obvious.

But for those cases where there is no other option, it is give and take. Cyclist should slow down enough not to scare the walker, keep a bit of space between themselves and the walkers. Walkers should be on the side of the path and if possible facing oncoming traffic. (So walk on the left of the path in the Netherlands.)

If the path is narrow, walk single file, ride single file and do not overtake an other of your kind of traffic while the other kind of traffic is approaching. If the path is really narrow (rare as it is in the Netherlands,) the walker might even want to step off the paving. On the other hand, if the cyclist is stopped for whatever reason, it is good habits to push your bike to the very edge of the paving and stand on the far side till the others have passed.
If the path is wide enough, you can walk or ride two by two, but keep it a narrow two.

For those who run or use a means of transport which goes about the same speed as a bicycle, consider going on the right side of the path, as you would be a fast obstructing item when you face the cyclists and thereby much more dangerous than a walker.

And when in a big(ger) group give a warning to the others in your party.

Side note: My biggest 'problem' with walkers using a cycling path was when I did meet a very big party, I was cycling on a path in nature, no roads and no other cycling paths near. They were walking 4 to 6 wide, covering all of the path, not giving warnings, not paying attention to cyclists. (And likely not even aware that they were on a cycle path.) This continued till they left the path, more than a kilometer later.
All people I told did agree with me is this was very bad behavior and that the walk had not been organized well. (Later on my route I did see them again, walking on the sidewalk/pavement of a road and NOT covering all the space.)

I am Dutch, I walk/hike as well as cycle, city and countryside.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .