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Old 02-26-07, 10:15 AM   #1
N_C
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Speaking of alternative Transportation methods.

The central Iowa trail map is undergoing changes & asking for feedback. One of the things suggested is in an example asking the word recreation be removed because using a trail is a good alternative transportation method.

What do you think? Does the same apply for your community? If this were or if you have a trail system map in your area does it have the word recreation on it? Do you think it makes a differance if the word recreation is on the map or not & do you think cyclists are smart enough to figure it out that they can use a trail to commute to/from work, errands, etc?

I am not sure removing or changing the wording will make a lot of differance. But if it is important to some people then that's ok.

On the other side of the coin could not having the word recreation on the map indicate to some the trails are meant for anything but recreation. Or do you think other trail users are smart enough to figure that they are for recreation?

Here is the link: http://www.bikeiowa.com/asp/hotnews/...sp?NewsID=2024
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Old 02-26-07, 01:10 PM   #2
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"Greater Des Moines Recreational Trails."

*shrug* I have to admit that the issue doesn't really grab me. In places I've lived, we have bike maps that show area trails. Trail maps do tend to focus on trails for recreational use.

Adding dirt trails to a recreational trail map is a good move.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:17 PM   #3
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Some trails in my community are good for transportation and others are not. Most rail-trails in rural areas are rarely used for transportation, since they usually connect small towns at large distances. They're great for a long weekend ride, but only a tiny minority of users rely on them for daily transportation. I would call those trails recreational and look for funding from the parks departments.

Other trails in my area are mostly urban, and actually connect popular destinations within the city, and connect the suburbs to the central district. These trails get a lot of recreational use, but they're also highly used by utility cyclists, including commuters, carfree people, students and the homeless. They're used by many pedestrians as well as cyclists. I would look for at least partial funding for these trails from the highway departments.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:19 PM   #4
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I'm not a big trails user or advocate, but it seems to me that it depends first of all on whether it's a bike-only or multi-use trail. Personally, I would tend to use a bike-only trail for transportation but not a MUP, but in both cases that inclination might also be influenced by how crowded it was. So in deciding how to label it, I'd have to ask myself which kind of trail is it, and how heavily is it used by other modes and by newbie cyclists. Of course you'd like people to know it can be used for transportation, but I personally would also be wary of publicly implying that the roads are not to be.
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Old 02-26-07, 02:29 PM   #5
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I have yet to see a bike only trail. There are none in my area & as far as I know, none in central Iowa either.
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Old 02-26-07, 03:25 PM   #6
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It ought to be against the law to ram a car into a bike.

That's it, nothing else.
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Old 02-26-07, 03:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
I have yet to see a bike only trail. There are none in my area & as far as I know, none in central Iowa either.
In theory or practice? Big difference. There are easily over 100 miles of trails designated as "Bike Only" in the greater Los Angeles area. In some cases with a pedestrian path within feet or it. However the only section I can think of that is really Bikes Only all the time is the last few miles farthest from the beach on the San Gabrael River trail.

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Old 02-26-07, 04:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith99
In theory or practice? Big difference. There are easily over 100 miles of trails designated as "Bike Only" in the greater Los Angeles area. In some cases with a pedestrian path withing feet or it. However the only section I can think of that is really Bikes Only all the time is the last few miles farthest from the beach on the San Gabrael River trail.
Both, but mainly in practice. I have yet to see signage stating bicycles only. I am talking about by law or ordinance where the powers that be decide.
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Old 02-26-07, 04:37 PM   #9
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I think the key is to make certain the quality of the surface is clearly indicated. Smooth asphalt vs chip seal, dirt, single track, width, etc are all critical information. I use a road bike and am not averse to using a path of any kind as long as it won't inder my progress or damage my machine. I hate starting out on a 10 foot wide, smooth asphalt path, only to have it dwindle to a rocky, narrow path meant mainly for hiking.
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Old 02-26-07, 04:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by N_C
Both, but mainly in practice. I have yet to see signage stating bicycles only. I am talking about by law or ordinance where the powers that be decide.
We have a few in the Twin Cities.

Minneapolis: The Cedar Lake Trail, The Midtown Greenway and much of the Minneapolis Grand Rounds have dedicated bike only lanes AND dedicated pedestrian paths. Bikes not allowed in the Ped paths, Peds not allowed in the Bike path. The bike path on the Grand Rounds has a posted 10mph speed limit, so it's not very useful to the transportation cyclist. I've never seen the 10mph enforced. Much of the Grand Rounds have high quality (for cyclist) traffic lanes adjacent to the trails, what's developed in practice is walkers in ped lane, joggers and infrequent cyclists in the bike path, transportation and "serious" cyclist in the traffic lane.

St. Paul: The trails along the Shepard and Warner road adjacent to the Mississppi and a very short run on Harriet Island have bike and ped segregated paths. Both of these are pretty sparse of other users. You can heads down time trial (if so inclined) on the St. Paul side of the Mississippi in the bike lane without much worry.

In total this is probably about 30 miles of dedicated bike only surface.

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Old 02-26-07, 05:08 PM   #11
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I didn't answer your original question in my other post.

Up here in Minnesota most trails are just labeled trail with no other modifiers. The Cedar Lake Trail, which is a in town bike freeway from the western suburbs to downtown built as a transportation artery is called a trail. The Lake Wobegon Trail, which is a rural mixed use trail out in a sparsely populated region is also just a trail . The Minnesota Valley Trail is a hiking horseback path, which is also just called a trail.

It's mostly left to the trail user to figure out the trails are good for.

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