Bike Forums - View Single Post - So what's your beef with Multi-Use Pathes?
Old 04-05-20, 09:31 PM
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speyfitter
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So what's your beef with Multi-Use Pathes?

Many cities seem to look at multi-use paths as the inexpensive low hanging fruit solution in the quest to create bike infrastructure. Find an existing relatively continuous sidewalk route in a suitable location with reasonable dirt or grass boulevards adjacent to it, rip it up, replace it with a wider asphalt "path" that covers all or most of the boulevard and existing sidewalk and voila, you have bike infrastructure and you haven't compromised or lost any pedestrian infrastructure because you call it a multi-use path. While such paths have proven to work somewhat well as bike infrastructure where pedestrian volumes are low and if they serve transportation cyclists in key geographical areas, as soon as pedestrians are present in moderate to high volumes the multi-use path becomes almost worthless as bike infrastructure. There have been some studies done on this that seem to suggest that MUP's are also quite dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Many MUP's do not have any markings on them that discern where cyclists/wheeled traffic are to travel and where pedestrians are to travel. This "witches brew" is often problematic and tends to create more conflict as one of the user groups becomes present in larger numbers. ON the flip side I have seen some more successful examples where simple painted lines and signage of where pedestrians are to travel and where cyclist are to travel that seems to work well. With enough cyclist and pedestrians on the path, they serve to act as advocates in a sense and remind the other user group of their place and there seems to be fewer conflicts with such simple measures.

So I'm curious what is your beef with MUP's? What do you like about them? What don't you like about them? How could they be improved? Are they a stepping stone? Are they part of a cities evolution towards more separate bike infrastructure? Have you or someone you know had any incidents with the other user groups on MUP's? I'd love to hear your take!

Last edited by speyfitter; 04-10-20 at 10:10 PM.
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