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Old 04-21-08, 08:05 PM   #1
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Which side is for runners on the MUP?

Yeah, I know, it's whatever side the feel like using at the moment because rules are for others but I'm wondering which side they're supposed to be on. I can understand them wanting to be the exception to the rule of keeping right when the run on the road because it makes them more visible while being better on their joints than running on the flat slabs of concrete several feet away from them made for people traveling on foot, but what about on the MUP that isn't close to a road? Are they supposed to keep right there to make things easier for everyone to get along or are they supposed to be the exception to the rule of keeping right here too? Or are the trying to blend in the dizzying amount of people from cultures where keep left is the rule that seem to precede me wherever I go on my bicycle?
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Old 04-21-08, 08:35 PM   #2
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They should be to the far right in the US of A. And then you pass them on the left, saying on your left even though he/she won't hear you 90% of the time because of wind, language, or headphones. I'm always prepared to yell loudly "HEY!" just in case they decide all the sudden that the run is half over and turn around. I'm more prepared to yell this if we are traveling into the wind.

If they are on your left at any point, it's common for them to jump right into your path when they see a cyclist coming toward them on the side they are on. They won't look and they will cross over right in front of you. So one really has to be aware when that situation arises.

Because I usually slow down anyway when it comes up, I generally say to the fine people "You'll always be safer on the right" and then point to the right of the path in case they don't understand English. There's one part of the Chicago lakefront path from Navy Pier to just south Museum Campus where people are all over the place and not necessarily from around these parts.
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Old 04-21-08, 08:59 PM   #3
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On our MUP the walkers/runners are instructed (by signs) to stay "on the creek side" of the road. This usually works out unless there is a group running 3 or 4 abreast and yacking. The big problem is runners somehow thinking that the bike lanes on the streets are for them to run in the opposite direction of traffic. They often have earphones, and resist moving out of the bike lane, no matter how fast I am approaching. They seem to zombie-out and pretend I'm not coming right at them at 25+ MPH. I hold my line and don't yield ground (its never gotten unsafe). This annoys me in the extreme, as there are so few dedicated bike lanes as it is, and the road is not for track-and-field oriented sports.
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Old 04-21-08, 09:14 PM   #4
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Runners tend to take the whole MUP, and always with the headphones...Get a bell, they jump when/if they hear it.

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Old 04-22-08, 11:13 AM   #5
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On our local trails, there are signs deployed instructing people to walk, cycle, hop, skip, jump on the right side of the trail. Of course, most of them either do not read, can not read or do not heed the instructions.
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Old 04-22-08, 04:38 PM   #6
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Why even ask? Other people are going to do what they do. Allowing yourself to get upset because other people aren't doing something right accomplishes nothing and causes you to get ulcers.
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Old 04-22-08, 05:14 PM   #7
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Why even ask? Other people are going to do what they do. Allowing yourself to get upset because other people aren't doing something right accomplishes nothing and causes you to get ulcers.
Yeah... But it's gratifying.
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Old 04-22-08, 07:01 PM   #8
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In San Diego runners don't seem to know what side of the street to run on, let alone what part of the lane or path. I don't know either. But runners are always in the street running on both sides of the street: with traffic and against traffic.
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Old 04-22-08, 07:08 PM   #9
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Why even ask? Other people are going to do what they do. Allowing yourself to get upset because other people aren't doing something right accomplishes nothing and causes you to get ulcers.
H. Pylori causes ulcers. Asking about this wont change a whole lot, but it will give me a little more information when I encounter the same situation again when the situation will be decided on who looks like a bigger threat.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:40 PM   #10
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Tonight there were a couple van loads of special needs kids out for a walk along the MUP. They all seemed so happy to be there, and they were so excited and friendly. How could I ever cop an attitude? I hold only regular needs people in contempt... Nasty old me.
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Old 04-23-08, 04:38 AM   #11
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Yeah, I know, it's whatever side the feel like using at the moment because rules are for others ...
Well, in the US it's generally "slower traffic keep right", but really--MUPs are often just a waste of a bicyclist's time. You can get where you're going faster by riding in the street instead.

Around where I live, many of the MUPs have posted 10-mph limits anyway.
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Old 04-23-08, 03:44 PM   #12
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Well, in the US it's generally "slower traffic keep right", but really--MUPs are often just a waste of a bicyclist's time. You can get where you're going faster by riding in the street instead.

Around where I live, many of the MUPs have posted 10-mph limits anyway.
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in addition to this, many of the MUPs here are in such poor condition (bumps, cracks, mud deposits, etc.) that the streets are a better and faster option for commuting, and also almost all of the MUPs here are basically wilderness no-man's lands in the middle of the woods, which makes the streets safer too especially at night.
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Old 04-23-08, 04:19 PM   #13
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Can someone explain to be what mups are? I thought bike paths were for bikes only, and the side walks were for joggers/walkers/kids on bikes. Generally, were im from the bike paths are pretty empty and usually only have bikers on them.
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Old 04-23-08, 04:37 PM   #14
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try looking for a spec hardrock. you should be able to find on for about 350$. If you can swing it i would suggest getting a rock hopper which will be a lot lighter and come with a much better fork.
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Old 04-23-08, 05:10 PM   #15
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MUP: Multi-Use Path. i.e. anything but motorized vehicles.

I avoid them as much as I can since so many people think the bicycle part of the path is for walking, triple wide strollers and there are way too many bladers and joggers that never used it during winter.
There are some walking/recreational←|→bike paths near by for me, but some folks don't realize this.

Paved roads with few traffic lights are the best
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Old 04-23-08, 05:30 PM   #16
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A couple of years ago a cyclist died here from a collsion with a runner on the local trail. The runner was part of a college cross country team and made an abrupt turn and caused a collision. The cyclist who apparently always wore a helmet for some reason was not wearing one that day...and she did not call out as she was passing...died from her injuries. Pere Marquette trail Midland MI.

Sometimes if a trail peaks in the middle and slants to the side runners will pick the side that favors which ever knee or leg isn't hurting at the time. I understand that. But the running with ear buds-turning around without looking type of behavior is selfish and dangerous.
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Old 04-23-08, 05:53 PM   #17
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IMHO all users of the path should travel in the same direction on the same side of the path. The lone walker traveling in the opposite direction citing "walk in the direction of oncoming traffic" should be walking on the street instead of the path. Rules of the driven road should apply to the path as well, slow traffic keep to the right (except in Oklahoma and Texas where driving in the left lane is a God given right). I also avoid the MUP as much as possible as I find that drivers (as hateful as they are) are easier to deal with than those who think the path belongs to them. One of the major problems around here is that walkers and runners don't seem to think they are pedestrian traffic and utilize the wheeled path instead of the separate pedestrian path despite the signs directing them there.
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Old 04-23-08, 05:55 PM   #18
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Here in Australia they are generally known as "Shared Pathways" and they do not have specific lanes for pedestrians and cyclists. The emphasis is on "shared", they are provided and supervised by local Councils and thus not technically part of the public roads network, and they are covered by local Council specific codes of conduct.

Whilst those codes of conduct do vary from place to place there are some common factors to be found in them:
  • Keep left unless overtaking.
  • Pedestrians have right of way. Cyclists, skateboarders, scooter riders etc must give way to walkers.
  • Where speed restriction signs exist they must be adhered to. Where they don't exist travel must be at a 'safe' speed, which is generally accepted as no more than 20kph or alternatively a speed at which you can "stop easily".
  • Cyclists must slow down when approaching pedestrians, and audibly announce their approach.
  • Cyclists must maintain a safe lateral width when passing.

Those are merely common sense considerations. Shared pathways are not designed for fast cycling, and people who want to travel fast on bikes have roads to do that on. When people want to cycle tracks which have foot traffic they should ride in a manner appropriate to tracks where there is foot traffic. And pedestrians on those tracks need be mindful that they are sharing the track with cyclists etc.
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Old 04-23-08, 08:41 PM   #19
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The trail signs by me instruct walkers & joggers to use the left side of the path facing oncoming bike traffic. I can only speculate that's meant to help minimize collisions with unseen cyclists approaching from behind. Regardless, it's still a free-for-all out there at any given time and Thunderdome on the weekends.
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Old 04-24-08, 06:37 AM   #20
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Yeah... But it's gratifying.
And it can be informative too. I was really surprised to find out earlier that the people running against the flow of traffic were following some sort of rule, and that their "needs" for increased visibility were considered more important than the rest of societies ability to use a standardized code of behavior that made it easier for everyone to coexist.
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Old 04-24-08, 10:30 AM   #21
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And it can be informative too. I was really surprised to find out earlier that the people running against the flow of traffic were following some sort of rule, and that their "needs" for increased visibility were considered more important than the rest of societies ability to use a standardized code of behavior that made it easier for everyone to coexist.
For a more serious answer, I think that it's a cultural issue that is gradually changing.

When I was growing up, I learned from somewhere that pedistrians should walk on the left (in the US) faceing traffic. I assume this was to allow you to step off of the road for approaching traffic or, alternatively, to look into the eyes of whomever is running you down.

During my road running days I switched to running on the right side of the road for two reasons. I did a lot of my running either after dark or before dawn. When a car approached, their headlights would blind me so that I couldn't see to step off of the road. When I ran in the same direction of traffic, the headlights illuminated the shoulder so I could see. The other issue was motorists making right turns at intersections. They don't look where they are going, they are looking for cars approaching from their left. After being nearly run down a couple of times I switched to running on the same side as traffic.

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Old 04-24-08, 11:42 AM   #22
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The trail signs by me instruct walkers & joggers to use the left side of the path facing oncoming bike traffic. I can only speculate that's meant to help minimize collisions with unseen cyclists approaching from behind. Regardless, it's still a free-for-all out there at any given time and Thunderdome on the weekends.
Yup...the suburban trails out by me (western burbs) also instruct walkers/joggers to stay LEFT. Compared to other cities, the Chicagoland area seems to be the exception here.
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Old 04-24-08, 11:59 AM   #23
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Where I live, the runners do whatever they want. No matter where they place themselves, be mindful that they're probably wearing headphones and can't hear your bell. I end up yelling at them, something like, "passing!"
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Old 04-24-08, 05:58 PM   #24
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And it can be informative too. I was really surprised to find out earlier that the people running against the flow of traffic were following some sort of rule, and that their "needs" for increased visibility were considered more important than the rest of societies ability to use a standardized code of behavior that made it easier for everyone to coexist.
Or, the righteousness of the runners? For some reason those against-the-traffic-run-zombies always seem so smug to me, as if what they are doing rates special consideration from everyone else. But I tend to make up stories about things I don't really understand. Maybe that's also why I mutter to myself... It still bugs me.
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