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  1. #1
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    Semi-Rant: Terror on the MUP - no wonder people are confused

    I don't normally ride our local MUP. Last time was on a tandem, slowly, and I was too busy to do much mulling over. This time I was riding along with recovering wife (still can't shift left brifter) & our daughter (still getting used to a road bike). I rode my backup road bike, a Campy equipped Fuji Pro.

    I can't recall being as confused or seeing so much confusion as to exactly what to do, in part because of the design. I'm really unsure of the protocal in riding on these things, and I can tell that others are, too. Everyone using or near the paths seemed interested in having them work, but didn't know how. Certainly riding at the speeds I would normally ride would be extremely dangerous on the path.

    1. Design Aspects:

    a. Pathway layout. I can see that the planners of this MUP, and probably of the other MUPs I've been on, end up forced to deal with bad layout elements. Blind corners and the like. But easy solutions aren't used; the hazards seem ignored. Why is this? Are there no standards? Or are the standards bad? What gives? Blind corners, tight right angle bends onto bridges, etc. Silly things.

    b. Use of existing sidewalks around roads. This creates gobs of confusion. I can see the designer sitting there "well, we can run the bikes down this sidewalk." And across three roads, with bikes heading both directions on a 6 ft wide path. Then there's the marked right angle turn from sidewalk across the road. Man, that's hard to navigate on a road bike. The sidewalks are also full of road hazards.

    c. Installation of hazards by design. Hard objects - light poles, hard poles in the middle of the path to block cars, sharp-edged signage, off-camber curves, rock and concrete structures and edging, benches on the run-out zone outside curves. This thing looks pretty dang deadly.

    d. Failure to deal with pre-existing hazards. Manholes on big concrete things sticking into the path and the like. Simply putting bright paint on hazards doesn't seem to be sufficient.

    2. Construction/maintenance aspects.

    a. Failure to accommodate tree roots. What's the deal? Do construction folks not understand tree roots? Some part of this path are thump thump alleys. Maybe it's a design aspect - no bed put under the path. Ties to maintenance. Exceptionally hazardous breaks and ledges from roots (think 6" high wall rising up out of the path).

    b. Steep ledges and ramps at road intersections. Even steeper than wheelchair ramps over sidewalks.

    3. Marking and education. This thing could really use some instructions. Uncontrolled partially blind intersections, no warnings or instructions for pedestrians, vague instructions for cyclists. Constantly unsure of what the designers expected.

    4. Resulting confusion.

    a. Overtaking pedestrians. Most seem to move right when asked, but most also have to be asked. Sort of an aimlessly wandering aspect. Of course, no education or reminding that this is a MUP, no instructions on use for pedestrians prominantly displayed.

    b. Riding bikes. No specific instructions either, just "watch out and yield to peds."

    c. Road crossings. Here's the biggie. I have no idea what's supposed to happen. From sidewalk or path, bad ramp leads to either white line or heavy striped crosswalk. No signs. So I track stand waiting for a car to go by. The driver stops. Am I supposed to just ride out perpendicularly into traffic in front of a car? Neither driver nor I know. So I put a foot down and waive him on. Next time I jumped to the road to parallel the path, took a lane and signaled to turn left into the lane. Now I'm clearly a vehicle, occupying a lane, signally. An oncoming car stops. What??? I've got my timing right, shouldn't have needed to stop. I just can't bring myself to pull in front of cars unless they're at a light or stop sign (I've been under a car) so I just go straight and turn a U. Neither of us know what to do. I can't communicate that I'm just another vehicle. The path creates confusion. Now. What about if I'm not on the path, just on the road near the path? So I whipped over to a road about 100 yards from a path crossing, pretty busy road. Pulled up to a stop sign, turning left. A car on the main road (my side) stops in heavy traffic!!! Again, I'm timing things and have come to a track stand, and put my foot down to wait. This is weird.

    Blah blah. What's the solution? I can see that the mix of walkers, joggers, casual weekend cyclists, etc. works OK in the easy sections. But there's so much confusion and danger elsewhere. And I'm pretty sure that a road bike isn't really suited to travel on these things. This was the most confusing ride. Is it like this everywhere? Does anyone really know what to do at road intersections!!???

    What's funny is that my wife comments on the relief she feels when we pop off the path into the roadway. We know how to ride on a road!

    If this is the way paths are usually designed, then designers are working to criteria that fail to accommodate real people in the real world. That present needless hazards. That ultimately may hurt cycling as a serious transportation method in this country.

    Just real markings and instructions would go a long way.

  2. #2
    Senior Member OH306's Avatar
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    As Bill Clinton would say, "I feel your pain". I can't offer any solution but do have a feel for the cause. The creation of MUP's are often the result of placing the responsibility in the hands of an administrator. Said administrator may have no prior knowledge of said task, but has achieved his position through formal education (not necessarily in a related field) or has demonstrated people handling skills. Further said administrator has a budget! Hiring a qualified consultant could blow the budget. Budget cannot be exceeded! So, you get what you got.

  3. #3
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    There is a lot more to it than that. Consider that you can only build them where you have the right of way.

    The rails to trails conversions have been largely excellent- railroad grades and corners-- nothing extreme at all (albeit they often make for a rather dull ride).

    What confounds me is all the barriers constructed around here to keep motorized vehicles off the paths.

  4. #4
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    Yeah, the barriers are incredibly hostile. Steel posts in the middle of right angle bends onto wood decks bridges. Very demanding on a tandem. Wood posts, all kinds of junk. How many people would actually drive onto these things? They're narrower than a car!

  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Finland has outstanding paths, perhaps their guidlines should be used as a model for paths here.

  6. #6
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    Avid MUP user here:

    I appreciate the car barriers. There are enough nuckle heads out there that would try to drive on them. It is already a big enough problem finding police cruisers or maintenance vehicles blocking the path. Also the barriers make it much harder to bring an ATV on the path.

    I like the fact that the path goes away from roads and takes me through the green space in my city. As a result though the path has to do some twisty parts, and has some blind corners from going under obstacles. So I have to ride a little slower. No problem, if I want to ride fast I ride the road.

    I absolutely detest the pedestrians, however they are in the end necessary for the path to be constructed I think, so I put up with them: ride slow around them, give fair warning, anticipate idiotic moves, and try to be civil. I don't think signage would help in one little bit (it would just be a waste of money): at one park near my house beneath the sign stating "Pick up after your dog" is a pile that looks like it might have been left by an elephant.

    The one thing I can agree with you on is the tree roots. My take is that to save some money they don't dig out the proper bed for the path.

    The one thing I have to say about our parks and rec people, the fact that they plow our path within 24 hours of a snowfall is awesome.

  7. #7
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike2math View Post
    I absolutely detest the pedestrians, however they are in the end necessary for the path to be constructed I think, so I put up with them
    i think the peds are fine... what i detest are the rollerbladers:

    1. the nature of rollerblading, the side-to-side motion, makes you take up both lanes. rollerbladers are almost impossible to pass without someone getting hurt.

    2. the n00b percentage is insane. it seems like 40% of bladers on the mups are first timers who have little control. they're strongest skills seem to be swerving into cyclists and falling down while turning around at the sound of a bike bell.

  8. #8
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frymaster View Post
    i think the peds are fine... what i detest are the rollerbladers:

    1. the nature of rollerblading, the side-to-side motion, makes you take up both lanes. rollerbladers are almost impossible to pass without someone getting hurt.

    2. the n00b percentage is insane. it seems like 40% of bladers on the mups are first timers who have little control. they're strongest skills seem to be swerving into cyclists and falling down while turning around at the sound of a bike bell.
    Rollerblading is a very noisy activity, depending on the surface on which you're blading. No way they could hear a bike coming. Just be sure you give them lots of ***LOUD*** notice, and pass with caution. With basic skills, a blader should take up no more space than a bike while being passed.

    Oddly, I have seen very few bladers on the MUP I usually use, the Santa Ana River Trail.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  9. #9
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    Most MUPs are implicitly designed for low speeds concidering that their purpose is typically for recreation not transportation.

    Clearly, how you ride should fit the conditions. You have the obligation to ride appropriately.

    As you said, MUPs are usually placed in what space is available to them. This means, of course, that a particular MUP might not be appropriate for all activity.

    The typical speed of a road bike ridden by a skilled rider is much faster than is appropriate for most MUPs.

    Riders also may not appreciate how much faster they are than walkers. Walkers don't notice bicycles coming up from behind until the bicycle is on top of them. What seems to work pretty-well is saying "on your left" well in advance of overtaking. Ideally, the indication should not be so loud as to suprise the pedestrian. If the pedestrian fails to behave in a predictable or reliable manner, it is your obligation to avoid the pedestrian.

    I suspect also, that the funds available for MUP construction and maintanence are quite limited. Thus, typically, it is a choice between the MUP you have and no MUP at all!

    I don't really see that a MUP is required to handle tandems. Especially, concidering how rare these are. It's not much different than excluding trucks from certain roads.

    With respect to road crossings, you have the obligation to yield to cross traffic. (All of the MUPs I have seen make this explicit with stop signs). If a car stops for you, they are yielding to you and you can continue (IF it is safe to do so). Most of the time, the cars stop because they don't know what you are going to do (thus, they assume you are not going to yield).

    Roller bladers are particularly difficult to deal with because they are fast and occupy a very wide portion of the path. Bicylists, runners, walkers can easily travel in a narrow path.

    Most of the "problems" you've indicated are yours!

    Some people (adults) do have some problem with the "keep to the right" idea (which is pretty standard). (I'd hate to see how these people drive!).
    Last edited by njkayaker; 10-01-07 at 10:55 AM.

  10. #10
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    this rant sums up our MUP

    one of the best all-time Craigslist posts:

    http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/bos/70245362.html
    Date: 2005-04-26, 8:26AM EDT

    I know this is a rant but whatever, I put it in the rant section also. Every once in a while I take an easy ride on the Minuteman bike path. By the time I am done I swear never again. A month later I don’t want to go to the fells and repeat the same mistake again. I know the bike path is for everyone but HOLY **** there are some really annoying people on it.

    1) Two-A-Breasters: There is a reason the bike path has a yellow line. You ass wipes ride (or walk) side by side and hog the whole thing. Get with the program! The only good thing about you are your screams of fright as I blow by you without warning.

    2) Queer-Eye-For-The-Biker-Guy: I realize that it is possible to buy an entire suit made from Spandex. It is also possible to beat off with a cheese grater, that doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea. If you were you going fast enough to make wind resistance an issue I might be more understanding but you are usually granny-gearing it as you swerve around trying to adjust your $200 sunglasses. Spend less time buying expensive crap and more time riding.

    3) Slow-And-Lowers: Do you know that you can adjust your bike seat so that you don’t look like a bear riding a mini-bike at the circus? Take the 30 goddamn seconds to raise the freakin’ seat. Your back will thank you and you’ll be able to break 12 miles per hour with out blowing out a knee cap.

    4) Sky-Bar-Enders: Bar ends ARE NOT for getting your hand six inches above the handle bars. They should not be pointing straight up in the goddamn air! If you don’t know exactly why you would want bar ends then YOU DON’T NEED THEM. They are not a convenient resting place for your chubby hands. They are for getting your weight forward during a STEEP TECHNICAL CLIMB. I hope impale yourself on them after you hit a tree because you couldn’t reach the brake lever in time.

    5) Richie-Dick: Yah you, the guy with the $3000 full suspension big hit bike poking along the bike trail. The biggest hit you have ever taken was when you got butt raped by the guy who sold you that bike. YOU SUCK! You are the same dumbass who buys a Hummer so you can gun it when you roll over some construction on Mass Ave. You buy a sweet bike and then ride it on freakin’ pavement. I know you have never hit the trail cause’ there is NO DIRT on the thing. Not a spek. Plus you look like a *****. Either take it off pavement or give it to someone who will.

    6) On-Your-Late: Ok there is absolutely nothing wrong with a well timed “On your left” but here is the thing. The whole point of saying it is to warn the rider in front of you that you will soon pass them. Not that you are already next to them on their left side! If your bike is next to mine, IT’S TOO FREAKIN LATE. If we were going to collide we would have. You screaming “On your left” in my ear at that point will only increase the chances of me making an error and crashing into you. Just pass you re-tred.

    7) The HFS (Huge ******* Stroller): HOLY ****! Are you running a cloning lab? If your stroller needs a brake it’s too damn big. Take your kids to the playground and play some tag or something. Jesus, there are bikes flying by at 30 miles per hour. If one hits you your kid will ******* die. I know you think the world will stop for you and your precious little angels but get a clue. Three words “Severe Head Trauma”.

    8) Woof-Woof-Splat: Keep your dog on a leash you ass. First of all it’s the ******* LAW. Second of all your dog is dumb. So dumb in fact, that it will run in front of my bike to eat some piece of **** left by another jackass dog walker. I WILL hit your dog. I will not get killed or hurt somebody else trying to swerve around Fido. I almost died last year trying to avoid an unleashed dog and will not repeat the mistake. I love dogs but I like my unbroken bones better. Take responsibility for your pet.

    9) Roller Bladers: You all suck ass, flailing your arms wildly as you coast along on you roller skates. YES they are roller skates and thus, quite lame. I don’t care if the wheels are “inline”. You jackasses suck so hard I have to break you down into sub-categories of suck.

    9.A) Newbi-Tard: You people are ridiculous. You are all decked out in helmets and pads. You mostly look terrified as your (usually fat) ass careens down the very slight grade of the trail. Here is a hint. If you don’t know how to STOP then it probably isn’t safe for you or anyone else for you to be on the path. I swear one of you is gonna fall in front of me and get an imprint of my front sprocket on your fat thighs.

    9.B) Pack Of Newbi-Tards: See above but clustered together, literally hanging onto each other for protection. You are worse than the individuals. You take up the WHOLE TRAIL so nobody can pass. Heed the dirty looks you get and go find a freaking parking lot. I hope to kick one of you as I ride by and watch as you all fall over in a flabby whimpering heap.

    9.C) Hot Chicks With Skimpy Outfits: The only reason you suck is because you are fully clothed and make me slow down to check you out. Other than that you rock.

    9.D) Super Sweet Doooods: You guys are sooo ******* gay it’s not even funny. You think you are awesome as you take up the whole trail gliding back and forth in super sweet slow motion. I dream of you flying off the trail and getting wrapped around a tree.

    People Of Mention:
    Having been on the path more than a few times I have come to recognize a select few people who require special attention.

    The kid who shot me with a plastic BB gun: I saw you hiding behind the bush well before you shot me. You were lucky I was going fast when the yellow BB hit my chest and thus had to slow down a little before leaping off my bike and chasing you as far as your back yard. You were scared ****less which is good because you could kill someone doing that ****. If I ever see you again you won’t be so lucky.

    The 35 people who rode by me pretending I didn’t exist as I asked for a spare tube or a patch kit after blowing both of my spare tubes: You all suck ass. A very nice lady eventually stopped and gave me a patch. I know I was covered in mud but come on people. I always stop and ask people if they need help, common freaking courtesy.

    The Decked Out Intense Midget Woman: OK you are not actually a midget but you do look very small. Or perhaps you look small in comparison to the mounds of crap attached to your mountain bike which is too big for you and I am sure has never left the pavement. Not only do you fall into categories 2, 4, 5 and 6. You were also one of the 35 jerks who didn’t help me. In fact you looked me in the eye and didn’t even slow down. I KNOW you have every sort of tool and tube imaginable packed away in your various slings and packs yet you rode by as if I were invisible. You look like a goddamn scuba diver with your neoprene outfit and mirrors sticking off of every available part of your bike. I see you on Mass Ave. from time to time in the morning on my way to work. You look ********. And why do you hang a huge plastic bag from your bar ends?!?!?! It looks like your gear makes you waterproof to the depth of at least 15 meters. What are the bags doing? Worst of all YOU ARE SLOW!!!!! God you are slow. Jettison some of your useless **** and maybe I won’t blow by you 4 times in one ride.

    Tubby Guy On The Tiny Road Bike: I’ve only seen you a few times. Once I passed you through an intersection not knowing that this would enrage you so much that you would be forced to almost hit me as you sprinted past me sneering. I must say I was impressed, you hauled ass dude. I’m guessing you didn’t keep it up very long tho. If I hadn’t been on the tail end of a five hour ride I would have raced.

    Gay Guys On The Tandem Bike: I am assuming that you are gay simply because I don’t know any straight guys who would go in 50/50 on a bright yellow tandem Cannondale and then ride it regularly in spandex forgive me if I am wrong. I haven’t seen you guys in a year or so. You were my arch rivals. Holy crap you were fast. One time I kept up with you (on the downhill) for a few minutes and almost died. I swear you would slow down until I got close and then take off again. I salute you, you bright yellow *******s. Oh and good call making the one eyed guy ride in back.

    People Who Rock: Yes there are some people who rock! I’m not a total *******.

    Hard core road bikers: Holy crap you guys (and gals) are fast as hell, keep it up.
    Mountain Unicyclers: I’ve seen you in the fells and there is only one word for you BADASS!!!!!!!!
    Messengers/Anyone on a fixed gear with no brakes: You know it but I’ll say it anyway. Elite.
    Trials Riders: I wish I had skills like that.
    Little Kids with Big Helmets: You rock, two thumbs up!

    See you on the Minuteman!!!!





    Posting ID: 70245362

  11. #11
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Edzo... funny as hell! Cheers.

  12. #12
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    I guess you have to take the good with the bad. When I want to really ride at speed, I stay out of the parks that have the meandering MUP's. When I want to slow down and enjoy some beautiful scenery on a path that is sunny in places, deeply shaded in others, if I want to breath that wonderfully fishy smelling air, enjoy the sight and scent of pine trees, listen to a bubbling brook, I take the MUP.

    By nature, MUP's can run through wooded areas. Now, unless they clear the trees in a swath that leaves a 20-foot buffer on either side of the path, then, you are going to have sections where root growth causes the path to heave. That's the price you pay for having a path run through the forest and not through some open cornfield (we have some of those around here, too).

    Sharp turns, negative camber curves, obstacles (like benches) off to either side of the path (some on the outside edge of curves), bollards to impede motor vehicles, all these are features that make MUP's MUP's and not outdoor velodromes.

    I supposed there may be situations where you can have it both ways (great and safe design with innovative traffic control so that a cyclist could safely ride at speed separated from pedestrians, but my guess is that, due to the enormous expense to build and maintain such MUP's that they are probably very rare.

    As others have stated, I feel the OP's pain, but, when I ride the MUP, I make up my mind to just take a chill and enjoy what that particular setting has to offer that riding on the road generally cannot match.

    Besides the atmosphere and the scenery, it's fun to watch people of all kinds as they go about their way on the trail.

    It's not all good, but it isn't all bad, either.

    Caruso

  13. #13
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    I see the reason for the term "Multi-Use." I also see the reason for the term "road" in road bike.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  14. #14
    Senior Member Denny Koll's Avatar
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    If people would follow MUP rules we could all get along. Bikes, skaters, joggers, strollers, dog walkers, senile old people....skaters are fine if they stay on their side of the trail, joggers take out the ear buds and keep to the right, strollers and old folks please don't walk 3 abreast, dog owners keep them on a short leash and clean up your mess.

    This shouldn't be hard.

  15. #15
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    I was biking in the netherlands, and they actually allow scooters (like Vespas) on their MUTs that link cities. First one freaked me out... then I grew accustomed to them.

  16. #16
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    With respect to road crossings, you have the obligation to yield to cross traffic. (All of the MUPs I have seen make this explicit with stop signs). If a car stops for you, they are yielding to you and you can continue (IF it is safe to do so). Most of the time, the cars stop because they don't know what you are going to do (thus, they assume you are not going to yield).
    With regard to crossings: THIS VARIES WIDELY BY LOCALE!

    Check YOUR laws... they are NOT the same as everyone else's.

    In Colorado the traffic is SUPPOSED to stop and allow people (whether pedestrians or cyclists) to use the crosswalks.... (Not that it usually happens)
    "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

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
    I was biking in the netherlands, and they actually allow scooters (like Vespas) on their MUTs that link cities. First one freaked me out... then I grew accustomed to them.
    Saw the same thing on the wonderful wide paths of Finland... although talking to people there I got the impression that it was only begrudgingly allowed. I got one comment from a person there about young people and "those things."

  18. #18
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
    I was biking in the netherlands, and they actually allow scooters (like Vespas) on their MUTs that link cities. First one freaked me out... then I grew accustomed to them.
    Wouldn't be too bad, especially if they were required to motorpace upon request.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  19. #19
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    The path I use to get to work:
    1. Design Aspects:

    a. Pathway layout. Flat and relatively straight. Good sightlines. Only one unfortunate place where the farmer has planted large trees all around his field so now there's no sightlines as you cross a street. Oh well, I guess now I have to obey the stop sign instead of blow through.

    b. Use of existing sidewalks around roads. Not on the path I use to get to work. It's a bike freeway running along a creek.

    c. Installation of hazards by design. The bollards are a pain in the butt that is true, and most of them are completely unnecessary.

    d. Failure to deal with pre-existing hazards. I suppose if you count birds and bugs as pre-existing hazards my path isn't perfect. I suppose if the night sky is a hazard then the solar-charged lights are a problem.

    2. Construction/maintenance aspects.

    a. Failure to accommodate tree roots. The tree root issue was resolved last winter.

    b. Steep ledges and ramps at road intersections. No such problem for me.

    3. Marking and education. It's nice they have a garbage can and mutt mitts at every access point, plus there are signs indicating what the next street access will be, sometimes with mileages.

    4. Resulting confusion.

    a. Overtaking pedestrians. Pedestrians uniformly walk straight ahead in the right lane of the bike path and do not wander. They are easy to pass. Many of them walk in the dirt closer to the creek. There simply aren't enough of them to be concerned.

    b. Riding bikes. The only scary cyclists are the children. You just have to slow down for them. That's the way it is when you drive as well, if you are being lawful in school zones.

    c. Road crossings. When you cross the road on my bike path, there's a 4-way, or 3-way stop at all the intersections. I stop at my stop sign and then go when it's my turn, but most of the time the motorists just wave me through so I don't stop at all.

    Overall, a great way to get to and from work.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
    With regard to crossings: THIS VARIES WIDELY BY LOCALE!

    Check YOUR laws... they are NOT the same as everyone else's.

    In Colorado the traffic is SUPPOSED to stop and allow people (whether pedestrians or cyclists) to use the crosswalks.... (Not that it usually happens)
    Laws, shmaws. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's smart. (And I wasn't talking about "laws".)

    No pedestrian would just walk across a street without stopping!

    Cars have to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks (everywhere in the US) but it's a stupid pedestrian (and not a long-lived one) who assumes the other car will yeild.

    Regarding CO law with respect to crosswalks and bicycles, note item 5 in the following page:

    http://users.frii.com/pedal/laws.htm
    Last edited by njkayaker; 10-01-07 at 04:22 PM.

  21. #21
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Laws, shmaws. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's smart. (And I wasn't talking about "laws".)

    No pedestrian would just walk across a street without stopping!

    Cars have to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks (everywhere in the US) but it's a stupid pedestrian (and not a long-lived one) who assumes the other car will yeild.

    Regarding CO law with respect to crosswalks and bicycles, note item 5 in the following page:

    http://users.frii.com/pedal/laws.htm
    Wow, you sure know your law. Or at least how to find an outdated copy of the law on a random internet page.

    That particular section of the law was repealed more than 2 years ago.

    There are several things to be aware of in the law here in Colorado with respect to crosswalks:
    • A bicycle on the sidewalk is treated as a pedestrian ('bike paths' here are almost always 'multi use paths' ie: sidewalks)
    • If there's a traffic signal OBEY IT.
    • Pedestrians have the right of way
    • Pedestrians are not to enter the roadway if there isn't room for an oncoming vehicle to yield the right of way.
    So... no, I'm not advocating racing out into the middle of the street in front of oncoming traffic. But if you are there waiting, traffic IS supposed to stop and wait for you.

    Edit: Maybe you also noticed the title they gave section 5:
    The following provisions of the law seem to us to be designated for children:
    Last edited by bmclaughlin807; 10-01-07 at 06:19 PM.
    "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
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    Other than design, construction, & maintenance problems, the biggest risk I could see isn't that a law or rules don't exist, but that people driving cars and people on the paths don't know what the conventions are. The halo effect around path crossings proved particularly disturbing. Motorists stopping suddenly in a 35 mph (read 45 mph) road and staying still. Confused walkers wondering whether to trust the zebra crossing. Hardly matters what the intent of the designer's was when users don't know what's what!

    Other than the usual risks plus many new ones, a nice place to ride. Flat compared to out my door. Were I close I'd set a fixed gear up for it and blast the free sections on weekday mornings.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
    Wow, you sure know your law. Or at least how to find an outdated copy of the law on a random internet page.
    And you are are real good at talking about irrelevant stuff in CAPTIAL LETTERS!

    Anyway, the "updated" law is not appreciably different as it applies to my comments. My advice are always applicable and is standard practice regardless of the differences in local laws!

    -----------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
    So... no, I'm not advocating racing out into the middle of the street in front of oncoming traffic. But if you are there waiting, traffic IS supposed to stop and wait for you.
    So, what is your point then? What the other person is "supposed" to do is irrelevant unless he actually does it.

    My comments are from the perspective of the bicyclist and the action he should take to be safe.

    Note that I said in my first post that, if the car is stopped, you know he is yielding.

    -----------------------------

    As a simple, practical matter (not a legal one), a pedestrian or a bicylist must stop for traffic before entering a crosswalk.

    The fact that vehicles are legally required to yield is irrelevant to the action a prudent pedestrian or bicylist should take!

    -----------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
    Edit: Maybe you also noticed the title they gave section 5:
    The following provisions of the law seem to us to be designated for children:
    Yes, I did.

    -----------------------------

    Here's a question: why are there laws requiring cars to yeild to pedestrians (or whatever) in crosswalks?
    Last edited by njkayaker; 10-02-07 at 11:05 AM.

  24. #24
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    Here in Minneapolis we have an unusual issue with bike-only and walking-only paths.

    In addition to the comments made above, I have some unusual observations:

    1) Sometimes walking-only paths and bike-only paths join and share space and these are signed as "shared trail." But, there are times when a walking-only path will join up to a clearly marked biking-only path, leaving nowhere for the walkers to go!

    2) There are a few sections where the biking-only path has a spur that goes off to join another biking-only path, but this little spur is marked walking-only! Clearly a mis-paint on the trail, but there are a few of these.

    3) Most places, if there is a biking-only section, there is either a walking-only section nearby, or a regular sidewalk, but walkers walk on the bike-only path and when you say something, they point out there is not a walking-only path there. True, but there is always a sidewalk or another designated place to walk, even if it doesn't look like the bike trail.

    4) I used to be one of those people who rode 20mph on a 10mph (signed) path, but I do not any more. In fact, it only took me 2 weeks to change my 'tude about it. 10mph really isn't a ridiculously slow speed for the trail that is ridden and anyone going faster should be on the street.

    5) I still get a kick out of the lady who was riding the center line around a blind curve while I was centered left but within my lane and when she came around the corner I was able to move out of the way and she didn't have the skills to move over, so she yelled at me about taking up her space... that made my whole summer right there.

    6) There will be a biking-only path and a walking-only path, separated, with 5 feet of grass in between, but people will still walk on the biking-only path and have the nerve to act startled when bikes ride by. Everything was repainted and a lot of new signs were put up this year, and most everything is clear (however, see #1 and #2).

    The bottom line is that I don't get upset anymore. I wasted too much energy this summer trying to educate every walker on the bike path and such. I do admit that I won't move over to pass with a walker on the bike-only path with as much clearance as I would in a normal situation, though.

  25. #25
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    And you are are real good at talking about irrelevant stuff in CAPTIAL LETTERS!

    -----------------------------


    So, what is your point then? What the other person is "supposed" to do is irrelevent unless he actually does it.

    My comments from the perspective of the bicyclist and the action he should take to be safe.

    Note that I said in my first post that, if the car is stopped, you know he is yielding.

    -----------------------------

    As a simple, practical matter (not a legal one), a pedestrian or a bicylist must stop for traffic before entering a crosswalk.

    The fact that vehicles are legally required to yield is irrelevant to the action a prudent pedestrian or bicylist should take!

    Anyway, the "updated" law is not appreciably different as it applies to my comments. My advice are always applicable and is standard practice regardless of the differences in local laws!


    Yes, I did.
    My point in posting the law as it's written, and in specific my capitalized words was for the benefit the earlier poster who was bewildered when, while he's waiting at the cross walk to cross, the cars *GASP* actually stopped for him. I was also pointing out the fact that what you posted was BLATANTLY incorrect in many locales. While it may be the smart thing to stop, there is in fact, no legal obligation (to use your word) to do so. (At least, here in Colorado, but in many other areas as well)

    While it may not be the norm, those drivers WERE following the law.

    I take offense to someone posting a flat out statement of law that's absolutely incorrect in may areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker
    With respect to road crossings, you have the obligation to yield to cross traffic.
    Maybe you just don't like someone pointing out when you're wrong.
    "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

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