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Old 08-07-08, 07:12 PM   #1
JackTheLadd
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Ticketing cyclists on Calgary trails

Here's a story about Calgary deciding to target cyclists on the city trail system for speeding tickets ($50 per ticket): http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/sto...socialcomments

As a cyclist on these trails I am dismayed by this situation. I ride on these trails for exercise purposes, and always with courtesy for other trail users. Now if I go faster than 20kmph(!!) I may be coming home with a speeding ticket.

I'm interested to see if anyone out there has encountered a similar situation in their own cities, and what, if anything, was done about it by the cycling community.
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Old 08-07-08, 07:18 PM   #2
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Some of the 'shared' paths around Brisbane have a 10km/h speed limit. There's not a lot of compliance with that one.
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Old 08-07-08, 07:29 PM   #3
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Some of the 'shared' paths around Brisbane have a 10km/h speed limit. There's not a lot of compliance with that one.
10 km/h basically means "bikes not welcome". No point even using a bike at that speed.
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Old 08-07-08, 07:59 PM   #4
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so just stick to the streets. Problem solved.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:02 PM   #5
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A fair proposal, but Calgary is not what you'd call "cycling friendly".

In other words there are too many really (and I mean really!) bad drivers out there in Calgary. Riding the trails is a safe and fun option here.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:23 PM   #6
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A fair proposal, but Calgary is not what you'd call "cycling friendly".

In other words there are too many really (and I mean really!) bad drivers out there in Calgary. Riding the trails is a safe and fun option here.
Ride in the center of the lane. Be obnoxious, watch your back side and make sure to inform them that you're harassed on the trails.

I could see places where a 20kmh speed limit would make sense on trails: The really busy parts. But it's self enforced anyway. You can't really go faster without being a jerk. And, at least here, cops can arrest you for pretty much anything as long as you're on public property. So they can just grab the people who are being jerks and give them a 10 minute talking to. The boredom will be worse than the $50.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:47 PM   #7
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10 km/h basically means "bikes not welcome". No point even using a bike at that speed.
Yup -- I walk at 8km/h (12-minute miles).
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Old 08-07-08, 10:43 PM   #8
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My car can go 150 mph on the road. With a speed limit of 65 mph. I live with it. Just because you can and want to ride faster than the path speed limit doesn't mean you get to do so.
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Old 08-07-08, 10:48 PM   #9
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My car can go 150 mph on the road. With a speed limit of 65 mph. I live with it. Just because you can and want to ride faster than the path speed limit doesn't mean you get to do so.
M'kay. But do you think it would be ok if the cops targeted just car drivers going over 65, or they let other vehicle types off scott free from all their (frequent) transgressions on the same roads?
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Old 08-07-08, 11:34 PM   #10
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There's also a big difference between a speed limit of 100mph and one of 12mph (20kph)

12 is stupid (like having a 25mph speed limit on the freeways)
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Old 08-08-08, 12:04 AM   #11
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Sorry dude, ride the roads if you want to go faster than 20. If you take the lane and stay off Elbow Drive (potholes will eat your bike!), the drivers are mostly fine. Hug the curb and act timid - they won't even see you. But in 2 years cycling here I have only had one argument with a driver. I've had a worse time as a pedestrian than on the bike!

There's only one trail where I wish for a higher speed limit, and that's the one around Nose Hill. All the other trails are too twisty and/or busy to go fast, but I hit 47 kph coming down off Nose Hill (I wouldn't have done it if I hadn't had a clear sightline two kilometres down the path, and no intersections coming up).

20 kph is a perfectly reasonable limit for *recreational* pathways.
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Old 08-08-08, 12:10 AM   #12
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really? 12mph is SLOW. . . I mean really SLOW.

18mph would seem more reasonable (30kph) . . . and even that's slow.
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Old 08-08-08, 03:57 AM   #13
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20kph? They must really want people off them dangerous bikes and into cars!

My commute would take 4.5 hours if I was to stick to that speed!

Small wonder that Calgary hosts so many obesity clinics along with a specialist child unit!
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Old 08-08-08, 06:46 AM   #14
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"Our pathways are designed for multiuse and all users have a responsibility to comply with the bylaws that were designed to keep Calgarians safe,"

sharing the trail with people, there are considerations to be made.

I have a trail outside my door, but I take the road to work because the only law on the trail is cyclists must yield to pedestrians. Not only the cyclist is always at fault and liable in any collision, those collisions are much more frequent than on the road because there's no telling what a pedestrian will do.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:07 AM   #15
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My commute would take 4.5 hours if I was to stick to that speed!
Are you riding all the way in to Copenhagen from Roskilde? Egads. How long does that take at whatever speed you're riding?
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Old 08-08-08, 07:10 AM   #16
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really? 12mph is SLOW. . . I mean really SLOW.
.
NOt when you run into a baby stroller. Or an old woman with osteoperosis.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:14 AM   #17
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M'kay. But do you think it would be ok if the cops targeted just car drivers going over 65, or they let other vehicle types off scott free from all their (frequent) transgressions on the same roads?
If they judge the cars to be the most dangerous things on the road breaking the law, then yes, I think selective enforcement is the way to go.

If you look at one of the paths, the most dangerous user is the bicycle. If a stroller bumps into a walker then nobody is hurt. If a bike at 20 mph hits a stroller, then major injuries are likley.

The speed limit on any road/path should be set to protect the most vulnerable user of the path/road.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:45 AM   #18
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Are you riding all the way in to Copenhagen from Roskilde? Egads. How long does that take at whatever speed you're riding?
Yes, both ways, all weathers, all year round. Averages around 2 hours for a round trip.
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Old 08-08-08, 07:50 AM   #19
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Just curious -- are they tracking you with a radar gun to get your speed? Oops -- read the article after-the-post; can't believe they are wasting time/effort doing this vs. time spent on real traffic speeding ........

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Old 08-08-08, 07:58 AM   #20
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great to hear calgary's constables are quelling heinous crimes such as speeding on the MUP. I wonder if people get injured by Calgary motorists not following speed limits, and if enforcement efforts might be better directed there?

how many injuries happen on calgary bike paths? is it truly like walking the gauntlet?

What got the mounties plusfours in a bunch? overzealous walking advocates? a legislator buzzed by the trail pelotons while on a weekend stroll?
Did a dog get squashed recently, causing animal rights activists to mobilize against speeding on the MUP?

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Old 08-08-08, 10:06 AM   #21
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Is it zero tolerance? Or are they just targeting the top reckless speeders?
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Old 08-08-08, 10:30 AM   #22
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It sounds like zero tolerance so far. Six to eight Bylaw officers pulling in dastardly commuters and ticketing them.

I actually tried riding at 20kmph today for a bit, I couldn't, kept "speeding"
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Old 08-08-08, 10:33 AM   #23
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Are roadway speed limits enforced with zero tolerance? If not why the difference?

In Arizona, US - speeders are 'given' an 11mph (17kph) over tolerance.

"Why are speeders allowed an 11 mph buffer?
The margin is intended to address language in the Arizona Revised Statutes related to speed offenses that defines, "...reasonable and prudent..." speed. It also provides a reasonable margin of error/grace for inaccurate vehicle speedometers and short-term lapses of attention by otherwise law-abiding and generally cautious drivers.
Our primary focus is on intentional, aggressive and negligent drivers. Statistics tell us that at 10 mph over the posted speed limit, the probability of being involved in a crash doubles. However, at 20 mph over, the probability increases to 11 times greater. We are trying to change the driving behavior of those persons who are most likely to cause crashes."


Must cyclists have a speedometer? It can be very hard to stay below 20kph without one.
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Old 08-08-08, 01:22 PM   #24
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Are roadway speed limits enforced with zero tolerance? If not why the difference?

In Arizona, US - speeders are 'given' an 11mph (17kph) over tolerance.

"Why are speeders allowed an 11 mph buffer?
The margin is intended to address language in the Arizona Revised Statutes related to speed offenses that defines, "...reasonable and prudent..." speed. It also provides a reasonable margin of error/grace for inaccurate vehicle speedometers and short-term lapses of attention by otherwise law-abiding and generally cautious drivers.
Our primary focus is on intentional, aggressive and negligent drivers. Statistics tell us that at 10 mph over the posted speed limit, the probability of being involved in a crash doubles. However, at 20 mph over, the probability increases to 11 times greater. We are trying to change the driving behavior of those persons who are most likely to cause crashes."


Must cyclists have a speedometer? It can be very hard to stay below 20kph without one.
About to drive down to Phoenix from Flagstaff, so thanks for the heads up!
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Old 08-08-08, 02:29 PM   #25
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I was thinking about this today after my speedometer wire broke. I have to splice it...

The first year I was here, someone DID die on the Bow River pathway after being hit by a speeding cyclist. So I do think it's completely reasonable to enforce a speed limit, given how busy some parts of the trails are becoming.

Calgary's traffic bylaws are very specific that bicycles ARE legal users of the roadways as well as pathways, and have the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers. There have been quite a number of ads and public awareness campaigns about it, and my experience has been that most drivers are good about giving room (and the ones who don't realize they are passing too close, when I catch up to them and politely ask them to be more careful, have all apologized and thanked me for the heads-up). Yes, there are careless drivers and the constant construction is not helping matters, because that adds a lot of distractions, but overall I'm a lot happier cycling here than I was in oh-so-Green Victoria, BC (where the drivers DO aim for you - if they are paying attention to the road at all...)
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