Bike Forums - View Single Post - So what's your beef with Multi-Use Pathes?
Old 04-06-20, 02:51 PM
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Jim from Boston
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So what's your beef with Multi-Use Pathes?
Originally Posted by speyfitter View Post
Many cities seem to look at multi-use paths as the inexpensive low hanging fruit solution in the quest to create bike infrastructure...

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?... Are they part of a cities evolution towards more separate bike infrastructure?..I'd love to hear your take!
Originally Posted by base2 View Post
The only problem with MUPS is the pedestrians that have no concept of sharing or regard for others use of the same space
Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Bicycles shouldn't be lumped in with pedestrians, in the same way bicycles shouldn't be lumped in with buses. MUPs are a cack-handed solution that fixes nothing, and often creates more problems.

It's almost as if city planners try for the worst or dumbest solution, and implement that.

Pedestrians and bicycles should be completely segregated and given priority over cars.

Unfortunately, the opposite is what happens, as cars are given priority over everything else, and everyone suffers because of it.
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
MUPs are bad because a great many people live in their own bubbles-- bubbles in which no other person or thing exists....

Recently, with the huge uptick in walkers/joggers, I've had them running in the bike lanes-- which would be fine-- but they're running with traffic, so I'm coming up on them from behind. On MUPs, they just run smack in the middle.

MUPs are great for bicycle use in off hours, and when the weather is bad. If it's a nice day out, it's just less stressful to go ride somewhere else.
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Not all MUPs are created equal....Some that are bad during certain hours are fine at different times of the day.
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Everything has its annoyances. I'll ride where I am allowed whether that be in car traffic, the Diamond lane, painted bike lanes, separated bike lanes or MUPs.

I'll bet dollars to donuts that most of the pedestrians on those MUPs are also drivers so their sense of entitlement and anti-cycling attitude is the same as behind the steering wheel.

As a cyclist, you have to be aware and avoid collisions.
I have previously posted:
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
If we ride often enough on MUPs we've all seen people parking in the middle of the path to chatter with another cyclist/jogger/dog walker, etc., mess with their phones, tie their shoes or loiter for no apparent reason.

And we've all seen wannabe racers riding too fast for conditions, sometimes two abreast, sometimes in mini-pelotons and not giving any consideration to other users -- slower cyclists, old folks walking with canes or walkers, families with strollers and toddlers and dogs on 50 yard retractable non-leashes (the dogs too), etc.

That's life on the multi-use path. Always been that way. Always will be. It's just the nature of the thing...Jerks are gonna jerk. But most folks are pretty cool about using the MUP. I prefer to keep the latter in mind.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
1+…Nicely said. ...My own thought is that a MUP is not so much a commuter route, or training venue, but a pastoral park, where people can enjoy themselves without too many worries, and needn’t be always vigilant, as is a cyclist on the Road.

A few years ago I went on a walking tour of the Boston’s Emerald Necklace park system designed by the great 19th century landscape architect Frederic Law Olmsted with the concept of a Promenade in mind. According to the Park Ranger, it was planned “to take a leisurely walk, ride, or drive in public, especially to meet or be seen by others (Oxford Dictionary).

The strollers would be dressed in their best clothes, and running and horses (? bicycles) would be discouraged.


My own Golden Rule of Cycling is “Do unto the Pedestrians, as you would have the Cagers do unto you.
Originally Posted by genec
I find it quite interesting that so many "avowed cyclists" here fail to see the parallels between MUP users and roadway users, and fail to offer the same courtesy to MUP users in front of them that they expect from motorists overtaking those same cyclists on the roadways
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I posted earlier on this thread:IMO the vast majority of pedestrians on a MUP / Bikepath are more likely motorists rather than cyclists, and do not share the opinion that they do not belong on the Path....

So I don’t expect pedestrians to show the same respect to cyclists, as we have to show toward cars i.e. “share the road.”

Especially since those users likely paid more to construct the Path as their refuge from driving.So why should cyclists, likely the minority of users, take over these public spaces?
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Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-06-20 at 03:59 PM.
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