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Old 12-08-08, 12:41 AM   #1
closetbiker
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something fishy?

Here's a good film from Streetfilms about the cycle paths in Boulder, but the thing is, it looks as though something is fishy in the film to me.

http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/...bike-platinum/

So many users using the paths in perfect order. Roadies, mountain, cruisers, recumbents all riding at the same speed along with kids, skateboarders and pedestrians, all never getting in the way of each other despite some of the most crowded pavement seen.

It all seems a little too idyllic somehow.

I've been riding a separated MUP this fall and I just wish I saw a fraction of this harmony on my MUP that I've been riding. People always get in the way of others. I run a higher risk of collision on my paths than I do when I ride the roads. After ringing my bell well in advance of approaching and having a powerful light preceding my arrival, the person will as likely move to the left or right or not move at all. I've had numerous close calls with at least half the users.

Maybe this behavior's a Boulder thing? Or maybe the film has a bit of production value going on.
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Old 12-08-08, 01:05 AM   #2
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well if people are used to bikes on the path then it would be better. if the amount of bikes shown are typical then peds would know what to expect.
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Old 12-08-08, 01:16 AM   #3
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yeah, boulder's cycling infrastructure and bike culture is just a big conspiracy to get people out of their cars and wear styrofoam helmets on their heads while bicycling en masse.

hmm.

I think it's great.

are you suspicious of the kids' freiker program and the safe routes to schools riding featured in the film?

Last edited by Bekologist; 12-08-08 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 12-08-08, 04:58 AM   #4
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So many users using the paths in perfect order. Roadies, mountain, cruisers, recumbents all riding at the same speed along with kids, skateboarders and pedestrians, all never getting in the way of each other despite some of the most crowded pavement seen.
Could it be that this is what happens when MUP use is promoted and the MUPs are widely used?

This is quite similar to what I have seen on other well used paths in other countries.
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Old 12-08-08, 07:12 AM   #5
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Could it be that this is what happens when MUP use is promoted and the MUPs are widely used?

This is quite similar to what I have seen on other well used paths in other countries.
I hope so. I just know on the paths I've used people don't follow any kind of order and conflicts are common. At the very least, roadies, Mtbikers, kids all ride at different speeds and how and when to overtake has been an issue.

I picked the link up from a local newsgroup that seems to like structure like this but at the same time want pedestrians and cyclists separated (due to conflict and collisions) on one of the busier MUP in town.
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Old 12-08-08, 09:01 AM   #6
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I hope so. I just know on the paths I've used people don't follow any kind of order and conflicts are common. At the very least, roadies, Mtbikers, kids all ride at different speeds and how and when to overtake has been an issue.

I picked the link up from a local newsgroup that seems to like structure like this but at the same time want pedestrians and cyclists separated (due to conflict and collisions) on one of the busier MUP in town.
I have to laugh... pedestrians have had "sidewalks" available for a long time and in many many places... if they don't find those suitable, perhaps they should start their own system of "paths." Or simply learn that "slower traffic stays to the right..."

I also have to laugh as this same sort of "speed difference" discussion is also one we cyclists face daily on the streets we share with motorists.

Can't we all just get along?
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Old 12-08-08, 10:49 AM   #7
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There's a neat trick called editing. I only watched the first 3 minutes but every segment showing bicycles is less then 5 seconds. It's pretty easy to get nice video shots if you can pick and choose small segments.
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Old 12-08-08, 11:50 AM   #8
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That's what I think happened. Pre-selected people acting in pre-selected ways and edited for good measure. It makes for a good looking video, but doesn't quite jive with human nature.
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Old 12-08-08, 12:39 PM   #9
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That's what I think happened. Pre-selected people acting in pre-selected ways and edited for good measure. It makes for a good looking video, but doesn't quite jive with human nature.
Human nature or American Nature? I found cyclists queuing up just fine on crowded bikeways in places like China. And there are plenty of videos that show Copenhagen cyclists riding along at consistent speeds. I didn't recall Oulo walkers and cyclists having a showdown as to proper MUP etiquette?

Americans seem to be obsessed with independence (or who knows what trait) to the point of not following speed limits; they also tend to exercise that same trait when it comes to "racing" on some MUPs.

Perhaps part of the problem is that decent MUPs are so rare here in the US that we just don't know how to act on them. Are they big sidewalks, are they bike highways, are they a skater's heaven?

Heck, last week I saw a skateboarder on the MUP with a sailboard... tacking his way from side to side and taking up the whole thing... and this was one wide MUP. Mix in a few kids on Big Wheels and there could have been problems.

But indeed I have seen folks on local paths acting as if there was a traffic cop somewhere directing them... sticking to the right; but I have to admit that is NOT the usual situation.
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Old 12-08-08, 12:47 PM   #10
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I lived in Boulder for 18 years before moving away 3 years ago. The MUP users are hardly perfectly behaved, but generally delays and safety issues are minimal. Over much of the MUP system, 15-20 MPH is no problem, and in the few congested spots, alertness and patience will keep you moving around 10 MPH. Boulder isn't that big, so the congestion is correspondingly brief.

As is pointed out in the video, there's plenty of support for transportational cycling beyond the MUPs, so if you want to avoid the MUP congestion, your alternative isn't a 45 MPH no-shoulder road. Plenty of bike lanes and bike routes, and the motorists are very alert - and more or less courteous - to cyclists. I'd hate to be a hard-core anti-facilities type in Boulder - you'd have to choose a pretty circuitous route in order to avoid riding on any facilities! Not being one of these, I enjoyed being able to get to anwhere in the city within about 20 minutes, never feeling the conditions were unsafe.

The video may leave you with the impression that winter does not occur in Boulder. I did ride year-round, but you do have to make some adjustments!
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Old 12-08-08, 01:58 PM   #11
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Human nature or American Nature? ....
That may be it. Even up here I'm not sure there are those who know what to do with such a great facility as shown in the video.

You're right that other places in the world seem to handle the situation well and I'd love for that to be the case here. It's just that at this point, I'll have a greater chance of crashing on the path than on the road. It's odd to see such a problem free example for a path that is much the same up here but has much more difficulties.

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