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Old 11-15-11, 01:46 PM   #1
earthworm94
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Boulder, CO may impose speed limit of 8mph for cyclists at certain locations

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2011/11/1...ding-cyclists/

Another piece of useless (attempt) legislation. Just enforce the rules that already on the books.

Also, once that precedent is set, it would expand to other areas.

8mph is a ridiculous and dangerous speed (less stability and we will have to watch our speed instead of where we are going).
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Old 11-15-11, 02:03 PM   #2
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First, you need to mention that those "certain locations" appear to be crosswalks - according to your link.
Second, I believe that they may not see asking bicyclists to slow down when traversing a crosswalk for their safety and the safety of pedestrians.

You have to ask yourself if this law just magically appeared, or if people blowing through intersections, posting it on the web and making it "cool" to do this haven't reaped the rewards of said arrogance. I'm a biker, but I would be pissed if someone hit my wife or kids walking through the intersection because they were bombing along at 18+ MPH expecting my family to "dance" around them.

Didn't we also recently read about a cyclist killing a pedestrian. The circumstances aren't the same, but its these news stories that are being read by legislators - and their constituents. By our own actions and expectations we might be forcing these laws into place.
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Old 11-15-11, 02:07 PM   #3
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First, you need to mention that those "certain locations" appear to be crosswalks - according to your link.
Second, I believe that they may not see asking bicyclists to slow down when traversing a crosswalk for their safety and the safety of pedestrians.

You have to ask yourself if this law just magically appeared, or if people blowing through intersections, posting it on the web and making it "cool" to do this haven't reaped the rewards of said arrogance. I'm a biker, but I would be pissed if someone hit my wife or kids walking through the intersection because they were bombing along at 18+ MPH expecting my family to "dance" around them.

Didn't we also recently read about a cyclist killing a pedestrian. The circumstances aren't the same, but its these news stories that are being read by legislators - and their constituents. By our own actions and expectations we might be forcing these laws into place.
I'd bet a campaign contributor almost got hit and raised a stink....
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Old 11-15-11, 02:20 PM   #4
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I'd bet a campaign contributor almost got hit and raised a stink....
If I was going to apply an outside influence, it would probably be the fact that everybody in Boulder is stoned. Stoned people react slowly. Slow people in crosswalks require more reaction time.

(I'm kidding, obviously - but since its all about wild assumption anyhow - why not go wild)
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Old 11-15-11, 03:31 PM   #5
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So, this quote from the article made me wonder:

"Now, if a cyclist is hit in a safety crosswalk they have to prove they were going under 8 mph and thatís not possible."

Does that mean cyclists are using the crosswalk (but riding instead of crossing as a pedestrian), or that they're intersecting the crosswalk and not slowing down for people in it? It's hard to tell what problem the proposed speed limit is meant to address.

If speed limits are posted for cyclists intersecting crosswalks (operating as a vehicle), I wonder if the signage would help legitimize bikes as vehicles in the eyes of the general public? Not saying that I totally agree with the idea, but just a thought. I think OP's idea would be more effective though:
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Just enforce the rules that already on the books.
Enforce existing laws for cyclists AND cars AND pedestrians. A bike speed limit seems a little unenforceable to me. Do you require that all bikes have computers installed?
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Old 11-15-11, 03:44 PM   #6
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I'd suggest a letter to the city attorney might be in order. Ask that fine lawyer if, given the equal protection amendment, the city of Boulder will be liable for any injuries and/or damages caused by a cyclist falling over because of slow speed, where other traffic is moving in excess of 8 mph.

(No, it doesn't really have much merit, but IME any time you get a lawyer involved, and this question should, you slow things down. With any luck the stupid proposal will die before the lawyer gets finished with his review!)
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Old 11-15-11, 03:57 PM   #7
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It will be a little difficult to enforce, given that you are not required to use a speedometer on a bicycle, and the ability of the average rider to estimate 8 mph is questionable.

"I'm truly sorry, officer, I didn't realize I was doing 10 mph in an 8 mph zone."

"Here's a $250 speeding ticket. See you in court."

Give me a break!
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Old 11-15-11, 03:58 PM   #8
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Also remember that all kinds of stupid ideas are presented in potential bills as legislators make attempts to posture and "buy" power from others. To get bicycle-friendly council members (or whatever the Home Rule equivalent is) to address ideas that might not be as well-received as others, they sorta hold this crap out as a bait and switch tactic.

Legislator No. 1: We'll institute a speed limit, but only in these four foot quadrants at intersections!
Legislator No. 2:WTF?
Legislator No. 1:Yeah, it is stupid. So like I was saying, we're going to require pedestrians to walk on sidewalks.
Legislator No. 2:Oh, yeah, that's fine.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:32 PM   #9
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I would like to see separate roadways for bikes like in Europe. "No motor vehicles on red pavement" If you have been to Amsterdam you will know what I'm talking about.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niccig View Post
So, this quote from the article made me wonder:

"Now, if a cyclist is hit in a safety crosswalk they have to prove they were going under 8 mph and that’s not possible."

Does that mean cyclists are using the crosswalk (but riding instead of crossing as a pedestrian), or that they're intersecting the crosswalk and not slowing down for people in it? It's hard to tell what problem the proposed speed limit is meant to address.

If speed limits are posted for cyclists intersecting crosswalks (operating as a vehicle), I wonder if the signage would help legitimize bikes as vehicles in the eyes of the general public? Not saying that I totally agree with the idea, but just a thought. I think OP's idea would be more effective though:

Enforce existing laws for cyclists AND cars AND pedestrians. A bike speed limit seems a little unenforceable to me. Do you require that all bikes have computers installed?
I think the ordinance would be for people riding in the crosswalk (the long way instead of crossing as a pedestrian). It's not a place that cyclists should be riding anyway. I'm pretty sure it isn't meant as you can only go 8 mph across the crosswalk (the short way) as normal traffic. Boulder is a very bicycle friendly town.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:12 PM   #11
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Our city has a 10 mph speed limit for cyclists on bike paths and MUTs but they don't seem to enforce it. After walking on the MUTs occasionally, I can understand the sentiment behind the limits because some cyclists are total idiots -- speeding very closely past walkers without using a bell or saying anything. I put a bell on my bike for riding on MUTs because it is so dangerous. Actually, requiring bells or horns would probably be more effective at preventing bicycle-pedestrian collisions than speed limits.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:44 AM   #12
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Our city has a 10 mph speed limit for cyclists on bike paths and MUTs but they don't seem to enforce it. After walking on the MUTs occasionally, I can understand the sentiment behind the limits because some cyclists are total idiots -- speeding very closely past walkers without using a bell or saying anything. I put a bell on my bike for riding on MUTs because it is so dangerous. Actually, requiring bells or horns would probably be more effective at preventing bicycle-pedestrian collisions than speed limits.

Some people are total idiots. It's not just cyclists.

Take people who think that cyclists should be the first and only people in the world required to signal a pass
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Old 11-16-11, 12:19 PM   #13
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Our city has a 10 mph speed limit for cyclists on bike paths and MUTs but they don't seem to enforce it. After walking on the MUTs occasionally, I can understand the sentiment behind the limits because some cyclists are total idiots -- speeding very closely past walkers without using a bell or saying anything. I put a bell on my bike for riding on MUTs because it is so dangerous. Actually, requiring bells or horns would probably be more effective at preventing bicycle-pedestrian collisions than speed limits.
10 seems quite slow. I do 11-12 mph without even thinking about it most of the time.

Then again, seeing a cop have to post up with a radar gun on the MUP would amuse me.
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Old 11-16-11, 12:24 PM   #14
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Our city has a 10 mph speed limit for cyclists on bike paths and MUTs but they don't seem to enforce it. After walking on the MUTs occasionally, I can understand the sentiment behind the limits because some cyclists are total idiots -- speeding very closely past walkers without using a bell or saying anything. I put a bell on my bike for riding on MUTs because it is so dangerous. Actually, requiring bells or horns would probably be more effective at preventing bicycle-pedestrian collisions than speed limits.
After seeing clueless pedestrians scream and jump left right into my path as a response to my "On your left!", I question the wisdom of even announcing my presence.
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Old 11-16-11, 12:45 PM   #15
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you don't fall over at 8 mph, that is my average touring speed, for months at a time.

Zero 0 mph is the speed you fall over at. probably still clipped in..
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Old 11-16-11, 01:57 PM   #16
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I think its pretty cool that cycling is so prevalent in a community that they are changing the laws to address some of the issues that have come up.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:04 PM   #17
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After seeing clueless pedestrians scream and jump left right into my path as a response to my "On your left!", I question the wisdom of even announcing my presence.
True. I once called out 'On your left' to a group of four people and they went 7 different directions. I had to stop and felt like I should call the square dance until they got it sorted out.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:17 PM   #18
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This is ridiculous. At Washington Park in Denver, they have a 15mph speed limit for bikes (which is understandable), but 8mph is impossible.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:17 PM   #19
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They all can save their go-fast wonder-bikes for out of town.

then the modest pace seems more normal, like AMS, CPH.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:32 PM   #20
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Then again, seeing a cop have to post up with a radar gun on the MUP would amuse me.
I keep trying to get a speeding ticket on my bike in the 15 MPH zones around the National Mall (or other low speed streets...) -- hasn't worked yet. I just want to have it to frame.

I think I got a 30 MPH electronic speed sign to blink once -- that was fun. Wouldn't be quite as much fun to get it on an MUP

As to the actual substance here; I agree that an arbitrary speed limit for cyclists moving through cross walks in the direction of pedestrian traffic (as opposed to transecting the same in the direction of vehicular traffic) seems a little silly, but the alternative is probably another nebulous 'operating in a safe manner' type of law, which might be what started this; perhaps a ticket was issued to a cyclist and he beat it in court, as the judge couldn't determine what the 'safe' speed was for cycling as a pedestrian.
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Old 11-16-11, 03:44 PM   #21
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I agree that the 8 mph limit (or 10 mph) is ridiculous, but you have to realize that this kind of regulation doesn't come out of nowhere. It results because some cyclists (like some pedestrians and drivers) ride like idiots. As a consequence, everyone suffers. Although 8 mph may be ridiculous for a cyclist, it is also ridiculous that some cyclists ride much too fast on MUTs and seem to have no regard for the safety of pedestrians, kids on bikes, moms pushing strollers, etc.

When I ride on MUTs, I sometimes ride well in excess of 20 mph. However, if I am passing or approaching pedestrians, runners, kids on bikes, I slow down and keep my hands near my brakes. I also use a bell to announce my presence much of the time. Calling "on your left" is sometimes misconstrued, but most people seem to understand a bell. Sometimes you have to slow down a lot, much less than 8 mph, to avoid hitting people. Bottom line, MUTs aren't the place to ride if you are trying to maintain a high average speed.
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Old 11-16-11, 04:00 PM   #22
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True. I once called out 'On your left' to a group of four people and they went 7 different directions. I had to stop and felt like I should call the square dance until they got it sorted out.
One day I was approaching a woman from behind who had two dogs on leashes. The MUP was wide, and she and the dogs were on the right side, so there was plenty of room for me to pass on the left. I was just about to announce my presence when the dogs noticed me, and then she looked back to see what the dogs were looking at. So did she stay where she was? Oh, hell no! She darted to the left across my path into the grass on the opposite side, and attempted to also drag the dogs with her. The dogs dug in their heels and were pulling back against the leashes, wide-eyed with "No, we don't want to die!" looks in their eyes. So I braked to a stop on the left side of the path, with her in the grass to my left, the dogs on the right side of the path, and the stretched-out leashes in front of me.

All she needed to do was stay where she was.
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Old 11-16-11, 04:36 PM   #23
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I keep trying to get a speeding ticket on my bike in the 15 MPH zones around the National Mall (or other low speed streets...) -- hasn't worked yet. I just want to have it to frame.

I think I got a 30 MPH electronic speed sign to blink once -- that was fun. Wouldn't be quite as much fun to get it on an MUP
Last weekend, I hit 40 mph in a 25 zone, but it took a hell of a lot of work and didn't last very long. Nor was it on the MUP.
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Old 11-16-11, 04:52 PM   #24
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I know that I, personally, have had times on my road bike where I would sorta get into that zone, hypnotized. I would be focused somewhere else, barreling down the side of the road on training miles and notice (with a good tailwind) that I was easily keeping over 22 MPH or so according to my bike computer. I can only assume that if I was in a hurry, in an urban area where there was lots of foot traffic, that at those places where we must intersect, I might get pissy at having to "slow down" for someone not watching where they are going.

I'm not below the average standard of rider - and so - it doesn't seem to illogical for a law to be put in place that, although hard to enforce, could be used to regulate a cyclist if they decided to buzzbomb a crosswalk because they were off in lala land.
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