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It is really a conundrum

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It is really a conundrum

Old 11-11-22, 11:32 AM
  #26  
Iride01 
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Some roads aren't even safe for motorists to be on with all the crazy traffic on them. I'm not sure why for some, that makes all roads in all instances a unsafe place for a cyclist to be any more than riding on a MUP.
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Old 11-11-22, 12:10 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Some roads aren't even safe for motorists to be on with all the crazy traffic on them. I'm not sure why for some, that makes all roads in all instances a unsafe place for a cyclist to be any more than riding on a MUP.
Although I don't agree with it, "adults should never ride on sidewalks" is a defensible proposition. "Adults should never ride on roads" is not defensible unless one wants to keep riding around the same block over and over.
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Old 11-11-22, 12:50 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Although I don't agree with it, "adults should never ride on sidewalks" is a defensible proposition. "Adults should never ride on roads" is not defensible unless one wants to keep riding around the same block over and over.
On some of the new roads constructed here, they've made a glorified sidewalk that they mark for bicycle use. However like I said they are just glorified sidewalks and for every intersection that they cross, one would have to stop to be certain they are "safe" and abiding by the law.

So when I'm taking those routes, I'm in the road as traffic is seldom ever bad. I can imagine more issues for those on the sidewalk as motorist making right turns will be even more oblivious to the traffic on the parallel path to them that are going to cross a road the vehicle intends to turn on.

There are r-o-w rules of the road already for driving on divided lanes with motor traffic and other vehicles going the same direction in those divided lanes. I've been on some of them in Atlanta GA. It might be questioned if those rules apply for some of the sidewalks here since some don't have a stop sign on the sidewalk/bike path at every intersection they cross. Might one day make for a good court case to see how it comes out.
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Old 11-11-22, 04:38 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I don't make blanket statements about sidewalk vs. road safety because local conditions can vary ...
Exactly the point. Every road+path+sidewalk section is condition and situation dependent. I was simply pointing at that at key spots most people will find places where a road gets damnably risky or dangerous; same with sidewalks or other paths, too, of course. Imagining being on a sidewalk alongside a street makes a person immune from vehicular strikes is ludicrous. Happens all the time. Imagining being on a MUP ends up erasing most threats is also similarly baseless, because only God knows what the headphones-in-head-in-the-clouds types are going to do without warning, to say nothing of dogs. For example. So, yes, it all depends.

Sadly, where I live, there are only a handful of spots where there's a bikes-only lane separate from the sidewalk and separate from the vehicular lanes, to the point it's completely safe for cyclists. A dozen or so major throughways across town have decent bike lanes, but not for the whole shot. Elsewhere, it's an ugly crapshoot. Which necessitates, at certain spots, taking the lesser of two evils (if "evil" is the word).

Wish it were better. I suspect for many people who live in typically never-designed-with-bikes-in-mind towns, it's not altogether dissimilar.
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Old 11-11-22, 04:50 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Last time some driver shouted at me was because I'd shot them the bird.
A dozen years ago I preceded a line of cars off a red light across a major highway. I'm a fast rider (Zero-20 in under 5 seconds) and moved right as soon as I got across the road. First car behind me was a woman who pointed an index finger at me and yelled: "SIDEWALK!" I showed her a different finger and yelled: "SIDEWAYS!" That ended the conversation.
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Old 11-11-22, 06:27 PM
  #31  
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There are no laws prohibiting riding on the sidewalks in my state except one municipal code that prohibits it on a short length of constantly-crowded sidewalk in a tourist area in one city.
While I'm not an advocate for riding on sidewalks, I think the liberty to do so is critical for children that aren't ready to ride on the road.
When my children started riding without training wheels at 4 and 6, needless to say they were primarily on the sidewalk or streets with no traffic at all.
Even now they are young teens and while they will ride on the street in most residential areas, they're not comfortable riding in heavy traffic.
If they ride across town to the gym or library, they use sidewalks or the MUP rather than the busy highway.
I have ridden busy cities like San Francisco with them on cycle tours, but they're not comfortable doing that on their own.
It's important for inexperienced cyclists to know when they are not breaking the law by riding on the sidewalk.
It's unjust to falsely intimidate them onto the street by claiming that riding anywhere else is illegal when it rarely is.
Of course it is just as righteous to ride on the street and in traffic.
I don't enjoy holding up traffic to assert "my rights." I'm a low-conflict type of person, but not easily intimidated.
I will take the lane to avoid the door zone or the gutter.
I have a Jesus sign on my bike and I make it a point to ride for Jesus. He said if they hate me, it's because they hated him before they hated me.
Overwhelmingly, I get positive reactions from people that want to affirm their love of the Lord.
If somebody is honking or waving, I just assume they saw the sign. I smile and wave back and bless them in Jesus' name.
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Old 11-12-22, 07:12 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Exactly the point. Every road+path+sidewalk section is condition and situation dependent. I was simply pointing at that at key spots most people will find places where a road gets damnably risky or dangerous; same with sidewalks or other paths, too, of course. Imagining being on a sidewalk alongside a street makes a person immune from vehicular strikes is ludicrous. Happens all the time. Imagining being on a MUP ends up erasing most threats is also similarly baseless, because only God knows what the headphones-in-head-in-the-clouds types are going to do without warning, to say nothing of dogs. For example. So, yes, it all depends.

Sadly, where I live, there are only a handful of spots where there's a bikes-only lane separate from the sidewalk and separate from the vehicular lanes, to the point it's completely safe for cyclists. A dozen or so major throughways across town have decent bike lanes, but not for the whole shot. Elsewhere, it's an ugly crapshoot. Which necessitates, at certain spots, taking the lesser of two evils (if "evil" is the word).

Wish it were better. I suspect for many people who live in typically never-designed-with-bikes-in-mind towns, it's not altogether dissimilar.

I live in such a town, and sidewalk riding is illegal here. It's a terrible idea here because no one is expecting you on the sidewalk.

We've had a number of people from Florida who say that sidewalk riding is standard and expected where they ride so I've learned not to generalize too much from my own experience.

If you look back, my objection was to your use of the word "naysayers" to describe people who claim that cyclists are actually less safe on sidewalks and are also posing a threat to pedestrians there. Those are legitimate concerns and reasonable assertions. Your "irrefutable" assertions pooh-poohing these concerns are not reasonable. There may be special circumstances where they might apply, but they just aren't generally true.

Don't get your point with the MUPs, you were claiming that MUPs and sidewalks were the same because they both avoided the vehicle weight differences you experience on roads, and my point was that just wasn't true as sidewalks intersect with motor vehicles far more frequently, identically with the road they're paralleling.. What the hell does that have to do with dogs wearing headphones or whatever that false equivalency it is you're trying to draw there?

Yes, at one level we are making the same point, people need to choose for themselves based on where they ride. I'm just not comfortable with someone citing a bunch of untrue nonsense (you) in a discussion of how people make that decision, and then dismissing people who disagree with that untrue nonsense as "naysayers" arguing against your "irrefutable" assertions.
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Old 11-12-22, 07:59 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Don't get your point with the MUPs, you were claiming that MUPs and sidewalks were the same because ...
Again, depends on the specifics. It's a pipe-dream to imagine all MUPs by definition are always separate from roads, that none bisect roads or come near any pedestrian cross-traffic, and so forth. Ideally, they'd all be separate, insulated pathways to bring risks to a bare minimum. But it just isn't that way, in many places. And, so, MUPs and sidewalks aren't necessarily all that different when it comes to a bike ridden at speeds suitable for the conditions. (Of course, that some don't and never will hardly erases the utility or reasonableness for everybody else who is behaving appropriately on such paths.)

What the hell does that have to do with dogs wearing headphones or whatever that false equivalency it is you're trying to draw there?
Pedestrians with earphones (ie, not paying attention), pedestrians with dogs (ie, a threat of wrapping around and through the wheels when attempting a pass) ... each of these are commonplace threats that pedestrians meandering about can present, among others, to other occupants of such paths. Whether MUP or sidewalk, such obliviousness or lack of control elevates the risk to others around. Was a simple remark about the nature of occupancy on paths of any sort.

Don't be comfortable, if you prefer. But it's not an absolute danger and absolute unreasonableness to be on a sidewalk or other path where pedestrians might be, simply because there's some paper law declaring it an infraction. The point was simply that there is reasonable use of such alternatives to vehicular roads that, for reasons of safety, are appropriate for people to use, situation depending. (Have several such ugly zones around my neck o' the woods, where one would have to have a death wish to be on the road at that spot, simply due to high frequency of intolerance by vehicle drivers, very tight spots on the road, zero outs, speeds deadly ... where the nearby sidewalk is about the only alternative.)

Devil's in the details, as always, like it or not.

Last edited by Clyde1820; 11-13-22 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 11-12-22, 10:52 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
In the last 10 years, I have not once been yelled at by a motorist. However, I have been yelled at by a fisherman to get out of his part of the lake.
What were you doing riding your bike in the lake?
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Old 11-12-22, 10:55 AM
  #35  
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I have started to respond to this thread several times and opted out. It's a rainy Saturday morning, so why not? There are so many variables in this discussion that I think we are all chasing a moving target so to speak.

I'll start by addressing the question that was asked, "Do drivers really know what they want?" No, they don't. Most drivers don't ride bicycles and of those that do ride bicycles, most don't ride bicycles in traffic. Since there is no bicycle law or safety training required to get a driver's license, it stands to reason that they won't know what they want. While I am very concerned with taking a cooperative posture with motor vehicle traffic, I will NEVER compromise my safety in deference to them.

I will unhesitatingly use a sidewalk, legal or not, when I can do so safely and using the available roads is unsafe, less safe or impracticable. As I look at the sidewalks that surround me, I see a number of hazards. Every driveway is an intersection. Every intersection is an intersection. Motorists who cross those intersections are not expecting bicyclists traveling at bicycling speeds to be on the sidewalk. They are looking either. There are a lot of blind spots. Take a look at the view to the left a motorist turning right onto W Napoleon from Giuffrias has. A driver has to commit his front bumper well into where the sidewalk crosses Giuffrias to see if any bicyclists might be ripping down the sidewalk. I nearly took out a cyclist there one day. Copy and past if the link doesn't go live. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pa...!4d-90.1748153

Vegetation, parked cars, fences and other physical barriers may screen a cyclist on the sidewalk from the view of a motorist.

Take a look at these sidewalks. A cyclist riding down these may have a business door opened into them. When crossing streets the buildings obscure the cyclist from motorists and pedestrians who might be coming from the other side of the building. The sidewalks have outdoor restaurant seating on them in places. This is just a terrible place to ride a bicycle the overwhelming majority of the time. https://www.google.com/maps/@29.9478...7i16384!8i8192

Business district sidewalks are a completely different environment. The adjacent roads are higher speed, traffic is such that motorists are looking for short windows of time to cross and won't be looking for a cyclist on a sidewalk on the other side of an opening in the medium. Some buildings have garages. A person backing out of those garages can't see and is not expecting a cyclist to be blasting down the sidewalk. Cautious motorists will visually clear enough of the sidewalk to make sure no pedestrians are coming. The cyclist has some physical barriers that will shield a motorist backing out of the garage. https://www.google.com/maps/@29.9606...7i16384!8i8192

All of the aforementioned sidewalks are rife with potential hazards. With that said, I have ridden on every one of them for one reason or another. When I did, I dropped my speed down to very close to pedestrian speed and kept my head on a swivel. I also stayed on them for a very short distance.

Tough to make blanket comments about sidewalk riding since there are so many variables. Sidewalks do have threats almost everywhere and threats that we may not have on roadways, even with that at safe speed, they may be a safer or more practical option than their adjacent roads.
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Old 11-12-22, 11:53 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
What were you doing riding your bike in the lake?
I like the challenge. It's a bit slower and the hills are tough.

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Old 11-13-22, 08:00 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Again, depends on the specifics. It's a pipe-dream to imagine all MUPs by definition are always separate from roads, that none bisect roads or come near any pedestrian cross-traffic, and so forth. Ideally, they'd all be separate, insulated pathways to bring risks to a bare minimum. But it just isn't that way, in many places. And, so, MUPs and sidewalks aren't necessarily all that different when it comes to a bike ridden at speeds suitable for the conditions. (Of course, that some don't and never will hardly erases the utility or reasonableness for everybody else who is behaving appropriately on such paths.)



Pedestrians with earphones (ie, not paying attention), pedestrians with dogs (ie, a threat of wrapping around and through the wheels when attempting a pass) ... each of these are commonplace threats that pedestrians meandering about can present, among others, to other occupants of such paths. Whether MUP or sidewalk, such obliviousness or lack of control elevates the risk to others around. Was a simple remark about the nature of occupancy on paths of any sort.

Don't be comfortable, if you prefer. But it's not an absolute danger and absolute unreasonableness to be on a sidewalk or other path where pedestrians might be, simply because there's some paper law declaring it an infraction. The point was simply that there is reasonable use of such alternatives to vehicular roads that, for reasons of safety, are appropriate for people to use, situation depending. (Have several such ugly zones around my neck o' the woods, where one would have to have a death wish to be on the road at that spot, simply due to high frequency of intolerance by vehicle drivers, very tight spots on the road, zero outs, speeds deadly ... where the nearby sidewalk is about the only alternative.)

Devil's in the details, as always, like it or not.

You are very adept at deliberately missing the point. The importance of that "paper law" is that literally no one is expecting to see a cyclist there so you're constantly startling pedestrians and surprising drivers intersecting your path. Pedestrians expect to encounter cyclists on a MUP, and there's far, far fewer intersections with motor vehicles on a MUP than there are on a sidewalk which has an intersection at the end of every block and quite possibly several driveways on each of those blocks. MUPs in my area also tend to be significantly wider and less bumpy than sidewalks. No one is claiming that MUPs are perfectly safe, but they're a hell of a lot safer generally than sidewalk riding or road riding.

I'd really appreciate it if you would quit straw manning me, you're arguing with a bunch of stuff I haven't said to cover up the obvious point that you made supposedly "irrefutable" safety comparisons that were just plain wrong. Your editing of my comment about MUPs to take out the "because" part was especially dishonest. My point was that you moved the goalposts between your two posts. First, you said that the advantage of MUPs and sidewalks was that riding on them both was avoiding great weight differences between vehicles, and when I pointed out that wasn't true for sidewalks, you suddenly brought up a bunch of stuff about MUPs that had nothing to do with vehicle weight differences. Why you see fit to imply that I'm arguing that you don't have to be careful on MUPs is something you'll need to explain to yourself because I can't think of any good faith reason for you to do that.

Please don't bother to respond to this by "proving" that people have to decide on a case by case basis where they are going to ride. I said that in my first response to you and in every single other response. You are straw manning me when you keep pretending I haven't.
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Old 11-13-22, 09:44 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Y Pedestrians expect to encounter cyclists on a MUP,
Unfortunately, far too many are oblivious to the fact that cyclists might use the path.
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Old 11-13-22, 01:43 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
All of the aforementioned sidewalks are rife with potential hazards. With that said, I have ridden on every one of them for one reason or another. When I did, I dropped my speed down to very close to pedestrian speed and kept my head on a swivel. I also stayed on them for a very short distance.
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Unfortunately, far too many are oblivious to the fact that cyclists might use the path.

This discussion only got sidetracked into a "MUP vs. sidewalk" discussion because Clyde falsely equated them. I included your quote above about how you ride on sidewalks only to point out that it would have to be a very crowded MUP indeed before one would routinely ride it at "very close to pedestrian speed." I regularly safely exceed 20 mph on MUPs and roads something I wouldn't even consider doing on a sidewalk. On a MUP, I routinely announce my passes and adjust my speed and lane position accordingly, and pedestrians are almost never a problem.

Basically, if you're riding it at walking speed for a short distance on a sidewalk, you're pretty much just walking the bike. If one is doing that for most of their ride, why bother with the bicycle? Might as well just walk.
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Old 11-13-22, 02:15 PM
  #40  
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As a runner I hate pedestrians, especially pedestrians walking their dogs...that's a real conundrum
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Old 11-14-22, 01:23 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
When cyclist ride in the streets, drivers yell for them to get on the sidewalks.
I've never had that experience.

Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Yet most cities have laws against riding on the sidewalks. Those laws were passed by all the drivers that yell get off the road. Do drivers really know what they want?
That assertion is nonsense.
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Old 11-14-22, 01:35 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I've never had that experience.

.
I've had it yelled at me in places that actually had no sidewalks.

I also had a pedestrian/Karen on the other side of a busy highway yell at me for not crossing over to the wrong side of the road in order to ride on the two block long sidewalk. That one made me laugh.
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Old 11-14-22, 01:39 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I've had it yelled at me in places that actually had no sidewalks.

I also had a pedestrian/Karen on the other side of a busy highway yell at me for not crossing over to the wrong side of the road in order to ride on the two block long sidewalk. That one made me laugh.
Thanks, but note that I was not asserting that it never happens.
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Old 11-14-22, 01:48 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Thanks, but note that I was not asserting that it never happens.

I'll be happy to note that if you note that I never said you were. I was just explaining by example that whenever it does happen, it is invariably stupid AF. Those really were funny experiences at the time, especially the second one. Seriously, what's more dangerous than unnecessarily crossing a busy highway twice in 2 blocks?
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