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Old 10-31-10, 06:08 PM   #1
hikeandbike
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Violation?

Went for a ride on the beautiful fall morning and crossed a relatively narrow, pedestrian bridge from PA into NJ. There were large, clear signs for riders to walk their bikes across the bridge. I was walking with a few folks: a young couple with a small child and a few guys from a car club, when a rider approached from the opposite direction. After he passed several of the folks made comments and some asked me about the rider. Obviously, I didn't have any answers why he decided to ignore the signs. For some dumb reason, I felt a little guilty because of this.
It only took a minute or two to walk across the bridge. This really wasn't dangerous, just inconsiderate in my opinion. I also had a distaste for someone I would be lumped in with, giving a figurative black eye to a group.
I was better a few miles later, just wished he took the time.
Your thoughts?
Thanks.
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Old 10-31-10, 06:24 PM   #2
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You do not see signs like that often in my area, so I would think someone had good reason to put it up and would have walked across. That plus you are representing bike riders as a whole.

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Old 10-31-10, 06:52 PM   #3
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What he did shouldn't reflect on you. You could have just explained him away as an idiot on a bike. If you both were wearing matching club shirts, then that would be harder to do.
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Old 10-31-10, 06:59 PM   #4
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We've got lots of signs like that around here and no, there is no good reason, really. I think a lot of these signs are the result of traffic engineers who think bicycles can't ride in a straight line. I ignore the signs if there aren't any pedestrians on the path but will get off and walk by people if there are (before getting back on once I am around them). Just common sense.
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Old 10-31-10, 07:32 PM   #5
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We've got lots of signs like that around here and no, there is no good reason, really. I think a lot of these signs are the result of traffic engineers who think bicycles can't ride in a straight line. I ignore the signs if there aren't any pedestrians on the path but will get off and walk by people if there are (before getting back on once I am around them). Just common sense.
Not here in rural NC, so something like that would catch my attention. Seeing them all the time would make one jaded I suppose, so ignoring them would be no big deal. I can see how it would spoil a ride to try and go by all the signs though.

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Old 10-31-10, 07:47 PM   #6
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We have signs like that all over our MUP. Steep down hills in particular. I am not going to dismount and walk my bike down the hill and I will also ride it up the hill - thank you very much. IMHO these signs are placed there to protect the municipality from legal action in case of an accident.
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Old 10-31-10, 08:35 PM   #7
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I cross that bridge (Bull's Island) from time to time on my bike. If no one else is on the bridge, it's kinda silly not to ride your bike. If there are people walking in either direction, it's rude to ride your bike. If there's lots of people, I walk the whole way. If there's only one or two walkers, I'll ride towards them and get off well in advance. The "cop" in Frenchtown used to chase down people who rode their bikes across the bridge there.

The bridge across the river at Lambertville/New Hope really needs to be walked. Way too many pedestrians. One of the other bridges (Stockton?) needs to be walked too, and you kind of have to wait behind elements of the bridge with your bike and let people pass coming from the other way. The Millford bridge is pretty good (we usually ride it), and the bridge in Riegelsville was designed by John Roebling, the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a cool little cable suspension bridge that can scare the crap out of you if you don't focus on your line. We always ride it.

If you use good judgement, crossing any of these bridges by bike is never an issue. Unfortunately, too many people just don't exercise (or even have) good judgement.
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Old 10-31-10, 09:43 PM   #8
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Depends on whether it is a traffic control sign similar to speed limit or stop signs or a caution or information sign. If the former I'm all for obeying the sign as it is my legal obligation to do so. If the later I use my best judgement. Whether that is good judgement or not I guess is up to the results.

If the word "please" is on the sign it sure does set my mind in a more compliant mode. Like last summer at Confluence Park in Denver there was a sign asking cyclists to please dismount and proceed as pedestrians. I thought following the sign was the courteous thing to do. Until the next trip and the sign was still there and there were no, nada, pedestrians; in which case I rode right on through since I had no legal obligation to comply with the sign.
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Old 10-31-10, 09:45 PM   #9
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You said the bike rider came from the opposite direction? Were there signs on the other end of the bridge that he/she might have seen?

Yes, riding on a bike where there is heavy pedestrian traffic is rude. Especially on sidewalks. ON THE OTHER HAND, I have seen people walking - often two or three abreast - ALONG A MARKED BIKE TRAIL. Isn't that equally rude? Wouldn't pedestrians walking on a marked bicycle route constitute an equal violation? You see that all the time on larger college campuses...
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Old 10-31-10, 10:56 PM   #10
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I occasionally see people in their cars who are exceeding the speed limit too. It doesn't make me feel guilty though.
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Old 10-31-10, 11:11 PM   #11
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We have one place like that on our MUP and it makes some sense because the crossing is too narrow to pass another cyclist or pedestrian safely, even for skilled riders. It is common to ignore the dismount sign when there is no other traffic on the bridge but very bad form to not dismount and wait when someone is coming the other way. OTOH there are several bridges 15 feet wide and 30 feet long around one of our lakeside hike/bike trails that actually have STOP signs. These are ridiculous and everyone just ignores them. There is so much foot traffic out there that it isn't much of a place to cycle anyway.
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Old 10-31-10, 11:38 PM   #12
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It just sounds like another point along the progression laid out somewhere on BF earlier this year by CB HI: First we have bike paths. Then they become mixed use paths. Then they become off-road sidewalks.

I'll walk my bike on connectors when the carcissists walk their cars on the appropriate connectors such as when crossing a sidewalk to access parking.
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Old 11-01-10, 08:59 AM   #13
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Regardless of what others do, common courtesy is never misplaced.
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Old 11-01-10, 09:16 AM   #14
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The traffic engineers or planners who put up those signs work with an assumption that it is always safer to walk the bike than to ride it. I think this is erroneous. Getting on and off the bike creates the most unstable situation for the cyclist. I think that in most cases, it's better to ride the bike.
- the cyclist riding presents a smaller footprint than the cyclist walking the bike
- walking on cleats is always more unstable than riding in cleats, especially when the surface is wet
- it's just as easy to control a bike riding it as walking it
- it's discriminatory to make cyclists walk bikes. If we follow the same logic, motorcyclists should be forced to walk their motorcycles in sensitive areas.

I fully agree with being courteous, though. In tight situations, I have no problem with just sitting there on the bike, holding onto the rail, while the peds walk by. But I think we need to get rid of the assumption that the walked bike is always more stable. It is not.

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Old 11-01-10, 09:29 AM   #15
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Were those walking put in any danger? If not, then I say no violation. Respecting the safety of others sometimes is not recognized by those being accorded this courtesy.
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Old 11-01-10, 10:09 AM   #16
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The most egregious violations I see are motor vehicles on MUPs clearly marked "No Motor Vehicles."

For some reason, the Little League moms thought they had some sort of divine dispensation to drive on the MUP to get closer to the softball fields.


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Old 11-01-10, 10:43 AM   #17
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Did anyone say anything, like "Hey, you supposed to be walking!" Lots of people I know would have said something. Those bridges are narrow, and the walkways on the car bridges are narrow, too narrow to ride across if there are any peds. What this guy did was just plain rude.
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Old 11-01-10, 11:06 AM   #18
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I'm guilty of ignoring "walk your bike" signs. In the slightly congested setting described I would have been either walking or going very slowly.
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Old 11-01-10, 11:13 AM   #19
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Some people just rewrite the rules to suit themselves. Always take the higher road. Be the influence!
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Old 11-01-10, 11:19 AM   #20
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We have a section on our local MUP that is 50ft long where the sign says "Cyclists Dismount" I never do and for a reason- First of all it is stupid and this is on a Bridlepath. It is designated bridlepath and the maps show it as a Bridlepath.

Bridlepaths are designated tracks where a horse can be ridden and walkers can use aswell. Since cycling came into fashion at around 1900-- They have been allowed to use Bridlepaths aswell. Only Motorised vehicles are not allowed.

You do have to take care on bridlepaths as the walkers do have a tendency to step out in front of you- And horses are a lot bigger than me and I never know what they are going to do. But we also have designated cycle paths here aswell- normally running alongside the ped walkway- so why does the dog Cr*p always finish up in the cycle lane.
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Old 11-01-10, 11:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by hikeandbike View Post
Went for a ride on the beautiful fall morning and crossed a relatively narrow, pedestrian bridge from PA into NJ. There were large, clear signs for riders to walk their bikes across the bridge. I was walking with a few folks: a young couple with a small child and a few guys from a car club, when a rider approached from the opposite direction. After he passed several of the folks made comments and some asked me about the rider. Obviously, I didn't have any answers why he decided to ignore the signs. For some dumb reason, I felt a little guilty because of this.
It only took a minute or two to walk across the bridge. This really wasn't dangerous, just inconsiderate in my opinion. I also had a distaste for someone I would be lumped in with, giving a figurative black eye to a group.
I was better a few miles later, just wished he took the time.
Your thoughts?
Thanks.
My wife and I have been on the D&R trail a number of times at the bridge you mention. One day we were sitting out of the way on the NJ end of the bridge. A fair number of walkers were using the bridge. Then a club ride started over the bridge weaving around the walkers. A short time later I saw a road biker walking his bike across the bridge from the PA side holding his front wheel off the ground. While telling another rider this is so he does not mess up his average speed data for the day. That explained to me why the club ride rode over the bridge rather than walk their bikes as the signs tell you to do.
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Old 11-01-10, 12:04 PM   #22
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After he passed several of the folks made comments and some asked me about the rider. Obviously, I didn't have any answers why he decided to ignore the signs.
Next time tell them it is because the vast majority of the human species are self-centered narcissists who think the rules are only there for other people. Then give them common examples; why drivers tend to exceed speed limits, why so many will park in handicap spaces, why cyclists will run stop signs and red lights, why pedestrians will block the MUP and have a chat, ... Come up with your own favorite examples
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Old 11-01-10, 02:32 PM   #23
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I walked my bike the .13 miles over the Delaware on that bridge a few weeks back. Not a big deal.

OTOH, I ride my bike over the Marine Parkway Bridge that connects south Brooklyn to the Rockaway's section of Queens, NY (NYC). There have been signs posted on that bridge since eternity stating bikes must be walked, but it's a mile long and I'm not walking a bike a mile, especially since it's the southern end of a marked bike path and the overwhelming users are bicycles. This one's a typical example of a government agency setting rules cause they think they know what's best and they set the rules and I make an effort to not obey stupid rules set by government agencies. The Delaware bridge rule is a good rule.

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Old 11-01-10, 03:02 PM   #24
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We had a concrete waterfront walkway with a "cyclists dismount" sign. One night a cyclist shot past the sign at a high rate of speed and crashed terribly down the stairs. Is that poetic justice?
The city has since taken out the stairs and put in a ramp to make it suitable for baby strollers and wheel chairs.
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Old 11-01-10, 03:09 PM   #25
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Difficult to argue against a pedestrian bridge having signs to prohibit other modes of travel,

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