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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 05-03-13, 08:03 AM   #26
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Speaking as someone who was a runner long before I became a cyclist, I don't think most cyclists intend to buzz runners or walkers, they just don't realize how close they appear to come to them when passing.
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Old 05-03-13, 08:04 AM   #27
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Locally, I avoid MUPs like the plague, and stick to the streets and roadways. As bad as our local motorists are, they are still far more predictable than most MUP users.
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Old 05-03-13, 08:39 AM   #28
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Locally, I avoid MUPs like the plague, and stick to the streets and roadways. As bad as our local motorists are, they are still far more predictable than most MUP users.
You must have great drivers in your area! Cars around here are like unleashed Jack Russells on a sugar high.
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Old 05-03-13, 10:35 AM   #29
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Do you guys really think 6 feet is appropriate clearance for passing pedestrians? That would be literally impossible on the MUP that frequently forms part of my commute. The whole path, with two-way traffic, is only about 7 feet wide.
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Old 05-03-13, 01:29 PM   #30
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Do you guys really think 6 feet is appropriate clearance for passing pedestrians? That would be literally impossible on the MUP that frequently forms part of my commute. The whole path, with two-way traffic, is only about 7 feet wide.
Exactly. Of the four MUPs I regularly ride, three are 12 feet in width, one is 10. Seven feet of clearance from almost anything is not possible.
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Old 05-03-13, 01:59 PM   #31
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We should post something of walkforums.net
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Old 05-03-13, 02:39 PM   #32
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I use the MUP's because they often bypass longazz traffic signals, and peds are not thick enough to cause problem usually. I pass them as wide as possible, slowing when necessary. Yesterday I came across a man and woman and baby stroller standing across the entire path and put the brakes on and called out "bike coming". When I was almost on top of them, doing less than 5 mph, they noticed me and gave me about eighteen inches to pass. As I was riding off, the guy shouted after me "there's a speed limit, you know!"

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Old 05-03-13, 03:13 PM   #33
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Exactly. Of the four MUPs I regularly ride, three are 12 feet in width, one is 10. Seven feet of clearance from almost anything is not possible.
I can think of one path wider than 12 feet, and one section of another.

In both cases they are clearly marked with separate pedestrian and bike areas.

On the first at least most bikes stay in the bike area.

On the one where it is a section I don't think either group does very well.
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Old 05-03-13, 04:18 PM   #34
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Yesterday, I rode on the bike path the first time this year. Joggers running side by side, jogger in the middle had a visible reaction when I didn't give him and his compatriot extra room even though I wasn't going particularity fast and gave plenty of room. The moron peds on this path far outnumber the cyclists. My favorite last fall was a woman jumping back and forth as I approached until I slowed to a walking pace, .
Which is a perfectly reasonable expectation on any path shared by pedestrians, in my experience. My rule of thumb is don't pass a pedestrian any faster than you could run past him/her - say 6 or 7 mph.

They have as much right to being safe and carefree on the path as anyone. Running or walking 2 abreast is a perfectly normal and expected way to use an MUP. Kids weaving around is perfectly normal and expected. Dogs on leashes longer than 2 feet is normal and expected.

the question then is how to deal with these normal and expected uses? Slowly, courteously.

I ride on the road if i have to go fast, or ride slowly if I have to ride on an MUP. Easy.

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Old 05-03-13, 05:10 PM   #35
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Big +1.

If you want people behaving like operators of vehicles, hit the roads. That's where those rules apply, and it's where they ought to apply.

Who wants a world where kids always have to walk in a straight line? Not me.

Reading a few of the posts here makes me understand why the "maybe angry or crazy" guy in the OP felt the need for a weapon. Please try not to make other frightened or angry people feel the same way when you ride on MUPs. Do it for everyone; everyone gets the blowback.

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Which is a perfectly reasonable expectation on any path shared by pedestrians, in my experience. My rule of thumb is don't pass a pedestrian any faster than you could run past him/her - say 6 or 7 mph.

They have as much right to being safe and carefree on the path as anyone. Running or walking 2 abreast is a perfectly normal and expected way to use an MUP. Kids weaving around is perfectly normal and expected. Dogs on leashes longer than 2 feet is normal and expected.

the question then is how to deal with these normal and expected uses? Slowly, courteously.

I ride on the road if i have to go fast, or ride slowly if I have to ride on an MUP. Easy.
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Old 05-03-13, 09:40 PM   #36
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You must have great drivers in your area!
No, definitely not the case, since one just killed a pedestrian yesterday.

I just prefer the higher predictability of motorists on the road than to pedestrians on a MUP.
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Old 05-03-13, 10:13 PM   #37
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I just prefer the higher predictability of motorists on the road than to pedestrians on a MUP.
Yup. Unless you want to ride real nice and slow. . .
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Old 05-03-13, 11:20 PM   #38
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Do you guys really think 6 feet is appropriate clearance for passing pedestrians? That would be literally impossible on the MUP that frequently forms part of my commute. The whole path, with two-way traffic, is only about 7 feet wide.
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Exactly. Of the four MUPs I regularly ride, three are 12 feet in width, one is 10. Seven feet of clearance from almost anything is not possible.
Our MUP (68 f'n MILES of it!) is anywhere from 4 feet wide (sidewalk section, converted) to 2-lane road width (through a park that used to support car traffic); 6-7 feet of lateral clearance is silly anywhere but in the 2-lane area. The problems stem from earplug users who don't like being passed AT ALL, to entitled mommies with their spawn in strollers (3-4 across), to 'bent riders who think they're a cut above the rest...I could go on. I'll pass the Sumo-sized mommies in the grass, and they'll STILL whine! One of the worst, though, was the clown who had his little toy-sized dog on a 25' retractable leash, ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE MUP. When I hollered, he pulled his dog in, cut his eyes at me -- and looked away quickly while I stared him down, going by at about 6-7mph.....
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Old 05-04-13, 12:12 AM   #39
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One of the worst, though, was the clown who had his little toy-sized dog on a 25' retractable leash, ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE MUP. When I hollered, he pulled his dog in, cut his eyes at me -- and looked away quickly while I stared him down, going by at about 6-7mph.....
The nearest MUP to my present setting is one where you might run into variations on that guy several times in three miles, plus a couple of baby-jogger posses, a few kids riding in circles, way too many full-kit roadies who are scared to ride on the difficult adjacent road, maybe a skater, maybe a bunch of tourists from all around the planet, on rented bikes (we call them "map people"). . . on pretty much any nice afternoon.

I'm pretty sure that one of the disconnects in threads like this is a result of the difference in local experiences. To some, "MUP" evokes images of bike paths that were really built (or converted) for cycling and are used mostly by cyclists for long stretches, with occasional other users. Others think of a path like the one I described. And everything in between.

You just can't ride on busy MUPs (paths definitely intended, designed and maintained for peds and baby-joggers and kids riding in circles, on an at-least equal basis with "serious cyclists") as you can on "bike paths" or "bikeways" or similar segregated facility. They can be great places to walk or ride -- the view from the local MUP is pretty special -- but you need to be prepared to frequently slow to near walking speed, and not infrequently just stop and wait.

If you "blame" other users on MUPS for slowing you down by not behaving as operators of vehicles, I think you're blaming the wrong folks.

The people who are responsible are the ones who keep building roads that don't adequately accommodate cyclists (among others), pushing you to choose to ride on a MUP.
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Old 05-04-13, 07:48 AM   #40
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. . . way too many full-kit roadies who are scared to ride on the difficult adjacent road . . .

I'm pretty sure that one of the disconnects in threads like this is a result of the difference in local experiences. To some, "MUP" evokes images of bike paths that were really built (or converted) for cycling and are used mostly by cyclists for long stretches, with occasional other users. Others think of a path like the one I described. And everything in between.

You just can't ride on busy MUPs (paths definitely intended, designed and maintained for peds and baby-joggers and kids riding in circles, on an at-least equal basis with "serious cyclists") as you can on "bike paths" or "bikeways" or similar segregated facility. They can be great places to walk or ride -- the view from the local MUP is pretty special -- but you need to be prepared to frequently slow to near walking speed, and not infrequently just stop and wait.
You make some valid points. I am a full kitted roadie that frequents a certain MUP, not because it is "easier", but because it is faster. It is faster by virtue of the fact that it bypasses several long traffic signals by passing under the intersections. http://goo.gl/maps/eFdAR During the afternoon commute time there are dog walkers, strollers, skate boarders, etc., but they are not thick enough to slow me down very often. On the rare weekend that I am on this path, it is early enough in the morning that crowds are not a problem either.

During my "short" commute I approach from the upper left, pass under the intersection, U-turn at the gore point, get to the intersection and turn left onto the sidewalk for a sort distance to the driveway for the service road on the other side of the creek. There, I check for traffic coming from the lower left, then get on Harvard heading toward the upper right. This maneuver allows me to get to the left of the right turn pocket without having to bunny walk the bike. (I am not worried about pedestrians on this sidewalk. This is Southern CA, and nobody uses sidewalks except people on Walmart bikes, and very rarely, me).

Proceeding up Harvard I stick to the bike lane, in spite of the MUP (called the Harvard Side Path) you can see snaking along it. The funny thing is, call it a sidewalk and people will not walk on it. Call it an MUP, and it suddenly gets frequented by dog walkers and strollers. Since this MUP has to stop for all the same signals I do, and deposits you to the right of right turning cars when it does, I avoid it and have in fact never been on it.

During my "long" commute I continue along the creek side path for about four miles of passing under major intersections, and stop signs at two minor ones.

Last edited by CommuteCommando; 05-04-13 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 05-04-13, 10:27 AM   #41
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The nearest MUP to my present setting is one where you might run into variations on that guy several times in three miles, plus a couple of baby-jogger posses, a few kids riding in circles, way too many full-kit roadies who are scared to ride on the difficult adjacent road, maybe a skater, maybe a bunch of tourists from all around the planet, on rented bikes (we call them "map people"). . . on pretty much any nice afternoon.

I'm pretty sure that one of the disconnects in threads like this is a result of the difference in local experiences. To some, "MUP" evokes images of bike paths that were really built (or converted) for cycling and are used mostly by cyclists for long stretches, with occasional other users. Others think of a path like the one I described. And everything in between.

You just can't ride on busy MUPs (paths definitely intended, designed and maintained for peds and baby-joggers and kids riding in circles, on an at-least equal basis with "serious cyclists") as you can on "bike paths" or "bikeways" or similar segregated facility. They can be great places to walk or ride -- the view from the local MUP is pretty special -- but you need to be prepared to frequently slow to near walking speed, and not infrequently just stop and wait.

If you "blame" other users on MUPS for slowing you down by not behaving as operators of vehicles, I think you're blaming the wrong folks.

The people who are responsible are the ones who keep building roads that don't adequately accommodate cyclists (among others), pushing you to choose to ride on a MUP.
You make some good points here, kal; the biggest and most telling is one that you DON'T spell out -- that about 'cyclists slowing down'. To use a busy MUP for, say, a COMMUTE, where you are under a time limit, is SILLY. To think you can "TRAIN" on a busy MUP is just self-entitled stupidity. To simply ride for the open-air experience on a busy MUP is to not CARE about being 'slowed down'.

Thankfully (for me, anyway), our MUP is barely used; busy? never see it. I encounter people maybe every 5-10 MINUTES when I'm out there, and the commute I used to do on the MUP was pretty solitary (between 8 & 8:30 AM, weird). I did, at one time, encounter some 'power walkers' in small groups who would spread out to take up the equivalent of a two-lane road, but haven't seen them in about three years.
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Old 05-04-13, 10:43 AM   #42
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I am a full kitted roadie that frequents a certain MUP, not because it is "easier", but because it is faster. . . During the afternoon commute time there are dog walkers, strollers, skate boarders, etc., but they are not thick enough to slow me down very often.
This is a perfect example of the wide variance in experiences I referred to. You get to use the shorter and more-convenient MUP and there aren't enough wandering, unpredictable users (normal peds, spacey kids, etc.) to slow you down -- or to frighten or endanger those other users.

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(I am not worried about pedestrians on this sidewalk. This is Southern CA, and nobody uses sidewalks except people on Walmart bikes, and very rarely, me).
LOL. Yeah, I know. Sidewalk riding is another of those "it depends" issues for me. When the sidewalks are empty and using them is permitted (most places in California outside of central business districts), and when sidewalk cycling saves long out-of-direction travel and/or insanely difficult multiple crossings of arterials, I think it's fine, as long as you understand the dangers of driveways and intersections to cyclists in that unexpected position and ride accordingly.

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The funny thing is, call it a sidewalk and people will not walk on it. Call it an MUP, and it suddenly gets frequented by dog walkers and strollers.
Yup. Apparently, in much of the US, sidewalks are mostly for walking over the the neighbors' house to vicariously experience sporting events -- as long as the neighbors don't live, say, three blocks away, in which case you just gotta drive.

I applaud you. Good roadie. You put together a set of linkages that allows you to train while not annoying, intimidating or frustrating others, or yourself (as long as you're damned careful on that sidewalk).
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Old 05-04-13, 10:56 AM   #43
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You make some good points here, kal; the biggest and most telling is one that you DON'T spell out -- that about 'cyclists slowing down'. To use a busy MUP for, say, a COMMUTE, where you are under a time limit, is SILLY. To think you can "TRAIN" on a busy MUP is just self-entitled stupidity. To simply ride for the open-air experience on a busy MUP is to not CARE about being 'slowed down'.
Yeah. Exactly right. The MUP I was talking about is well worth a nice, slow ride. The scenery is gorgeous. But you definitely have to pedal sedately:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/canaryhop_me...24x768_q85.JPG
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Old 05-04-13, 12:01 PM   #44
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MUPs are always a challenge, and there's no one answer.

I often ride through a park on what was built as a bike path, but now is used as a MUP because it's there and why not?.

I's a relaxing route paralleling a major artery, so it's attractive to me despite being slower. On nice days it can get pretty crowded and pedestrians and their children and pets can spread out all over the path. As I approach I'm always torn whether to announce myself in which case people may move, but I can't be sure which way, or to slip by if there's room. I've done both and either can cause problems. Not to mention people who you can't announce yourself to because they're wearing Ipods, or whatever, so if there's room, I often prefer tom pass unannounced.

This doesn't always work well and I've ruffled a few feathers now and then. OTOH, yesterday on my way home I came up on a lady on the right, with her poodle 7-8 yards ahead on the left. Not trusting dogs or children, I slowed down passed her to the left and was turning back across to pass the dog on the right when I spotted her black ribbon leash between them. Good practice for bike handling skills, and veered back to the left while hitting the brakes. This is exactly why I approach all human traffic with caution.
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Old 05-04-13, 03:52 PM   #45
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"It's not the dogs I'm afraid of! It's all the $%^ cyclists! This keeps them from passing too close"
And this is why I always slow right down and call out "Look out behind you". It's amazing how many people thank me for the warning.
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Old 05-04-13, 05:28 PM   #46
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I slowed down passed her to the left and was turning back across to pass the dog on the right when I spotted her black ribbon leash between them. Good practice for bike handling skills, and veered back to the left while hitting the brakes.
Black ribbon leash. Asphalt camo gear.

Nice variation on the "instant turn" we all worked on as trainee cyclists. ;^)

Be careful out there.
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Old 05-04-13, 06:04 PM   #47
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People posting here seem not to be aware there is a difference between carrying a big stick and actually hurting someone. In the same way there is a difference between a 6'5" 220 LB dude walking along an MUP, and a 6'5" 220 LB dude beating the tar out of someone. Ditton there is a difference between a dude walking on the MUP with any other sort of weapon and the said dude using the weapon.

The idea I believe is to present yourself as a formidable target in order to get a reasonable amount of respect. If you are unhappy about a dude carrying a stick then you should also be equally distressed if you see a 6'5" 220 LB dude on the MUP. It is an unfortunate fact in our society that people are often treated with only as much respect as people think they need to give the person. The guy carrying the stick is simply asking for the same respect you would give the 6'5" 220 LB dude. Is that so wrong? That is the reason people are allowed to carry a weapon in the US.

Another way to look at this would be to ask yourself, "if I scoot along the MUP speeding past people and then I see a dude with a big stick and I suddenly get alarmed that he might whack me if I pass him too close, did I consider the other 50 or so people I just rode past that could have been ready to pull a gun on me, but I didn't see any gun so I felt safe"?

As I see it, you may be feeling guilty and that is why you fear the dude with the stick!
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Old 05-04-13, 06:11 PM   #48
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If you like the idea of riding fairly fast and passing stuff close, I fail to understand why you chose to ride on the MUP. Wouldn't you enjoy it heaps more out on the road? On the road you can really hammer it and buzz past stuff and they will no-doubt buzz past you and it will be enjoyable much more than the boring old MUP.
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Old 05-04-13, 06:21 PM   #49
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Anti cyclist mentality doesn't only pertain to just MUPs, today, a local family that was having a yard sale, decided to put an orange construction cone in the middle of a bike lane that I was traveling in, so as to slow down cyclists "speeding" past their house, and not hit any of their patrons.
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Old 05-04-13, 08:40 PM   #50
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Am I the only one thinking this BUT is it possible there is an equal percentage of jerks on bikes, jerks in cars, jerks walking, jerks walking dogs, jerks running and an equal percentage of responsible people on bikes, in cars, walking, walking dogs and running. And that this is because they are all just people and people can be jerks and people can be responsible and anything in between.

It would be an illusion and a kind of ethnocentrism to assume the group to which you belonged had a smaller # of jerks.

The guy walking with the stick is a paranoid, aggressive jerk looking for a paranoid, aggressive guy on a bike to mix it up with...

It's basic territorial imperative, some people just never learned to share space.
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