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  1. #1
    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    +15 mph on the paths Wasington Park could get you a ticket

    http://www.denverpost.com/portlet/ar...rticle=4119472

    Wash Park bicyclists need to heed speed
    By Mike McPhee
    Denver Post Staff Writer
    DenverPost.com

    Police today will begin enforcing the 15-mph speed limit for bicyclists using the asphalt road around the interior of Washington Park.

    The park is used - heavily at times, such as early in the morning and after work - by dog walkers, joggers, in-line skaters and cyclists. It's the difference in speeds that causes the problems.

    "It's a park, not a racetrack," said Jenny Cargile, 37, a mother of three who jogged Monday while pushing a big-wheeled baby carriage. "Just the other day, I saw two children get hit by bikes. It scares me when my own kids walk over the yellow line. They could be wiped out by a group of bikes."

    But some cyclists think police should concentrate on bigger problems.

    Julie and Daryl Hoekstra ride bikes 30 to 50 miles a day, usually on roads or the Cherry Creek bike path.

    "When it's crowded, we don't ride very fast," Julie Hoekstra said. But police should ticket people who spray "graffiti or cars running stop signs. Bikers are pretty careful. The only accident I've seen is a car that ran a stop sign and hit a cyclist."

    The smooth asphalt road is divided by a painted yellow line. Bikes use the outside lane traveling counterclockwise, and everyone else uses the inside lane traveling clockwise. Automobiles are banned, except for a quarter-mile stretch between the park's entrances on Virginia Avenue and Downing Street.

    Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said Monday that he was not sure whether police would use a radar gun to track the speed and whether they would ticket offenders.

    Several people said it was about time police did something.

    Michael Hanna, 30, works out on his bike nearly every day and races on weekends.

    "I don't mind the speed limit - 15 (mph) is reasonable," he said. "The park is for all kinds of people. Everyone should feel safe. But it's also important for pedestrians and kids to pay attention to the bikes while they're in the park."

    Kristin and Jim Benoist, who have seven children between them, in-line skate in the park four times a week while pushing double child carriers.

    "The bikes go too fast, and some skaters do too," said Kristin Benoist, 32. "And they don't have much tolerance for us, yelling to get out of the way or to go faster."

    Jim Benoist, 45, said bicyclists should watch what they're doing. "It's usually just one or two riders going way too fast," he said. "I wouldn't mind even if the speed limit was 20 mph, if people were careful."

    Others, like bike-commuter Brad Smith, 47, would prefer set times for a speed limit - say 4 p.m. to dusk and on weekends. "The rest of the time people could go at their own pace," said Smith, who said he witnessed a bicyclist-pedestrian accident in the park two weeks ago that required an ambulance.
    15 mph on a MUP isn't bad though.

  2. #2
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Makes sense to me, if folks want to go faster they have these great things called roads.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  3. #3
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    Makes sense to me, if folks want to go faster they have these great things called roads.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  4. #4
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    Makes sense to me, if folks want to go faster they have these great things called roads.
    It is a road. It's closed to vehicles (for 80% of the loop anyway), and peds/joggers are supposed to go in one direction, others in the opposing direction, each on their side of the double yellow. Of course that's what you're supposed to do. There are walkers who go where they want, and bikers who go where they want. So yeah, the speed limit is a good thing.

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Given that bicycles are not required to have speedometers, this might prove unenforceable in court.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  6. #6
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    As someone who often rides MUP's at 6 a.m. on cold, dreary mornings, I generally oppose set numeric speed limits, except in specific dangerous spots. 25 mph can be perfectly safe if the path is nearly empty, but 10 mph can be dangerous at the same spot on a nice weekend afternoon.

    That said, I wouldn't oppose speed limit enforcement against cyclists if they also enforced the single-file rule against pedestrians (on our MUP, the trail guidelines say that all users should be single file when others are near).

    With or without speed limits, if cyclists followed these three common sense rules, virtually all of the cyclist-pedestrian conflicts would be avoided:
    1. Go at a speed so as to always maintain an assured, clear distance in front of you;
    2. Assume that the pedestrian you are about to pass will take two steps in the wrong direction at exactly the wrong time, plan accordingly;
    3. Get a bell for your bike, and use it before passing.

  7. #7
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    It's amazing the thought that 15-17 mph on a bike was fast. If want to go faster, need either wider streets or bike lanes.

    A better rule would be speed limit when peds are within 1/8th mile. Sounds like a revenue issue to me. Fair enforcement would be targeting both cyclists and non-cyclists for violations.

    For example, some dummies running vs traffic in the bike lane this morning and moved over 6". I stayed in the road.
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  8. #8
    More biking, less flying.
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    I ride on the Ohio-Erie Canal Towpath (crushed LImestone path), have seen quite a few close calls. Most are due to inexperienced riders, some due to high speed riders and some to people who do not keep there children close by. I have encountered a few fast riders, but for the most part, they stay on the roads. As for myself, I never use the 3rd chainring on the path, as I know some of the curves ahead may bring about things that are out of my control, and control is where the key is. The bottom line is that bikes are vehicles and they should always yield to pedestrians and animals.

  9. #9
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute

    With or without speed limits, if cyclists followed these three common sense rules, virtually all of the cyclist-pedestrian conflicts would be avoided:
    1. Go at a speed so as to always maintain an assured, clear distance in front of you;
    2. Assume that the pedestrian you are about to pass will take two steps in the wrong direction at exactly the wrong time, plan accordingly;
    3. Get a bell for your bike, and use it before passing.
    4. Get off the MUP and on the road, where it's safer.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  10. #10
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    I ride through this park twice a day on my commute and 15 mph is below my slow speed.
    I can see that this would be appropriate for weekends. However, at 6 am and 3:30 pm it is plain silly.
    The number of cyclists in Washington park has now dropped by 2/3.
    I am now relocating my commute route to the streets that run parallel to Washington Park.
    Personally, I feel unwelcome in a park that has signs specifying "As of august 1st the 15mph speedlimit will be enforced" followed by mobile speed reporting trailers "Your speed is 19 mph"

    I wonder how you can ticket a vehicle for speeding when it is not required to have a speedometer.

  11. #11
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie

    I wonder how you can ticket a vehicle for speeding when it is not required to have a speedometer.
    Easy; the person issuing the ticket has one (or radar). Just like an excuse of no brakes will not prevent getting a ticket for failure to stop at a regulated intersection.

  12. #12
    Just shy of 400W ranger5oh's Avatar
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    They can ticket you because it is your responsibility to know what your speed is. Not the responsibility of the officers to inform you. So although you aren't required to have a speedometer, you better get one if you think you are going to exceed the 15mph. I would also guess they arent going to ticket you for 16mph, but for sure they will at 20mph. Basically, they just want to keep the speed on the MUP reasonable.

    Is this a bike only law though? Or is it a 15mph limit on anyone on the MUP?

    Also, I agree that 15mph is reasonable. The whole reason I dont like to ride in the parks around here is because I dont think it is safe when I am on the trails if it is busy at all. Slow joggers, walkers, and dogs on leashes constantly cross the yellow. I neither want to get hurt, or hurt someone else.
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  13. #13
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    So a motorist flys past a cyclist at 15 mph. over the speed limit while yelling, "Get off the road!"

    Next morning, the motorist is walking his dog on the path and the cyclist flies past him. "You're going too fast!" he yells.

    Eck.
    No worries

  14. #14
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    There is no need for speed limits on MUPs. There is the over-reaching ticket called "Unsafe operation of a motor vehicle" (which is a law that can easily be expanded for MUP use). I think if someone is caught acting in an unsafe manner on an MUP, be it ped, cyclist, blader, or pet walkers, it should be at the discression of a QUALIFIED officer of the law to make a sound judgement (CAMs help here for proof).

    I really don't want to see MUPs begin to look like freeways with signs at every trail nuance. A clear distinction of right of ways, responsibility hierachy, levels of offense, and fine/punishment/liability outlined will go a long way to make sure we all know our place on the MUPs. After all, these are becoming the new form of "traffic". A bike can do a lot of damage to a person as can a fast blader. It could well lead to liability insurance options for those of us that plan to use such routes for commutes or regular excercise routine.

    I well understand the concerns in this day for "trail safety". Just the other day, coming around a corner, at a mere 5mph, into the shade and BAM- a ped with stroller was just feet in front of me. Don't ask me where she came from because I don't know. Very good thing I have the ability to stop instantly with disk brakes on a trike (no falling over or bail out scenario). It may not have done much damage depending on the outcome of the stroller but the perception impact is ever lasting even for me with the near miss.

    In my opinion, bikes on an MUP should be traveling the speed of the peds when peds are in sight. We have no more right to be there than they are. Are you covered by insurance if something really bad were to happened to someone else because of your stupidity?

  15. #15
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    This does not even qualify as a path. It is a closed off two lane street that runs in a large circle. One side is for peds and one side for cyclists.

    Cyclists are the only persons being targeted. However, I doubt anyone but inline skaters could hit above 15 mph. There are still doubts in my mind that the police can enforce a speed limit without legally requiring speedometers for bikes. However, I have no intention of finding out and will leave the virtually empty park for the streets. Thanks for the help on the legality question.

  16. #16
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    There's a park near me that has a 6-mile ring-road in it that is very popular with cyclists. There is also a dedicated paved path along the road also open to cycles, as well as walkers, joggers, roller-bladers, etc. The suggested speed limit is 15mph on the path, which makes a lot of sense. In fact, the path is so crowded on weekends that it's a real PITA to ride a bike on it even at the limit.

    So things pretty much have sorted themselves out. The bikes you see on the path are mostly families, couples, and others riding casually on mountain and comfort bikes. The road-burners all ride out on the regular vehicle road, which has a 35mph limit and usually light car traffic. It works out well for everyone and I've not seen any problems (in fact, the park police give out a lot of tickets to motor vehicles who can't hold to the 35mph limit!).

  17. #17
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie
    I wonder how you can ticket a vehicle for speeding when it is not required to have a speedometer.
    The ticket is not for not having a speedometer. It is for going too fast. Just because your equipment does not allow you to know exactly how fast you are going doesn't give you carte blanche to ride at any speed.

    Riding fast near peds is dangerous, even if you call out and ring the bell. This is particularly true in the dark and in bad weather. If you like to ride fast, the road's a better place to be.

  18. #18
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    My local news from Cincinnati, Oh. ABC 9 carried a short version of this story tonight on the local news.

  19. #19
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    OK, here is a map of Washington Park. The bicycle route is the outer road all the way around. For a part of that route, near the rec center, there are also cars parking for the rec center. I believe the path is about 3 miles long.

    Imagine 1,000 folks in the middle of the park playing/practicing LaCrosse, flag football, volleyball - including little league kids and other sports. Then there are picnicers,sun bathers, folks throwing frisbees - the works. Imagine cars parked all around the exterior of the park, and folks coming to and fro across the trail, directly from their cars, with little kids being dragged by parents, riding on tricycles, etc. Then throw in runners, slow bikers, inline skaters, folks with baby carriages, etc.

    That is the problem. No place for a high speed bicycle ride.

    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  20. #20
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    This just seems like such a non-issue among fast cyclists. Most cyclists avoid MUPs except for off hours and no serious cyclists would argue that they should be allowed to do speed training on such a path. It would seem like a good idea for Denver cycling advocates to be in favor of such enforcement, I know in Seattle there was a death from an out of control cyclist on the Burke Gilman years ago. It sounds like the police are trying to head off some 180 pound Floyd wanna be colliding with a toddler at 20 mph.

    For those arguing that the trail is dead at certain hours then there are also probably roads that are equally dead at similar times.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  21. #21
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    I just wish they'd enforce the REST of the rules. IE: Pedestrians staying to their side of the trail, NO extending dog leashes, dogs must be leashed and under control.

    You get idiots all the time that walk out into the trail without looking, walk their dogs on those suicide leashes, walk in a group having a big discussion and take up the whole trail... and it's OUR fault when we want to pass.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  22. #22
    JRA
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    The idea of speed limits on MUPs is, in general, silly. Conditions vary greatly so what is a safe speed varies greatly. On a deserted or nearly deserted MUP, 30mph may be perfectly safe. On a MUP crowded with weekend warriors, 10 mph might be unsafe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    For those arguing that the trail is dead at certain hours then there are also probably roads that are equally dead at similar times.
    No true. Anytime the temperature is below 65 degrees (or before 8am, or between September and April), most MUPs are dead, while other roads carry normal traffic.

    For years my commute included a couple of miles on a MUP and that was where I usually hit my top speed (except, perhaps, on the 5-10 days a year when the fair-weather MUPers were out).

    I regularly hit 30 mph on a nearby MUP and it's perfectly safe. I don't ride MUPs on weekends in good weather but, if I did, I'd expect I'd have to ride 5 mph a lot, if that fast.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shaman
    There is no need for speed limits on MUPs. There is the over-reaching ticket called "Unsafe operation of a motor vehicle" (which is a law that can easily be expanded for MUP use)...
    Exactly! Some states may call it "careless and imprudent driving", or something like that. It can and should apply to bicycles, to MUPs and to sidewalks for that matter. This would eliminate the need for specific laws (some of which are anti-bicycling) such as speed limits on MUPs and my personal pet peeve: a prohibition of riding a bicycle, even at pedestrian speed, on the sidewalk.

    The problem of cyclist riding too fast (anywhere) could be handled by the basic speed rule which should apply to bicyclists no matter where they ride: "No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing" (Uniform Vehicle Code - Article VIII - Chapter 11 - Rules of the Road - Speed Restrictions 11-801 Basic rule).
    "It may even be that motoring is more healthful than not motoring; death rates were certainly higher in the pre-motoring age."- John Forester
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    "'There are no rules of the road on MUPs.' -John Forester" - Helmet Head quoting 'The Great One'

  23. #23
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Hey I say fair enough... limiting the speeds on the pathway were there are mixed users makes some sense. Now how about limiting the speeds on the roads too!

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    Bleh.
    I still find the legality of this enforcement questionable at best. I could really give a rats rear end at this point since I have relocated my route to a nicer street. That and I found an alternate route for when I decide to ride home the entire way.
    The worst part is no more ladies out jogging.....

    Thank y'all for being so understanding as usual

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