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What happens when you build a MUP without bollards?

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What happens when you build a MUP without bollards?

Old 05-21-24, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
......And I know of a few people who make a good living as expert witnesses testifying against public agencies in court when bicyclists are hurt, crippled, or killed on a path and it can be linked to a design or operational decision involving a fixed object in the travel way of a path.
At some point, we need to hold users, in this case cyclists, responsible for their part in these accidents.

IMO, there's no excuse for running into a bollard on an MUP, given that we need to ride with enough control to avoid crashing into people, including small children, dogs, strollers, etc.

Anyone who runs into a bollard that didn't suddenly jump into their path is at fault, and no excuses should be considered.
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Old 05-21-24, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
that just seems like a lot of work & thought to make it safe....
One of the things I learned as a manufacturer was that often there's very little difference in cost or effort to produce good products vs. crap.

As you might tell from my post immediately prior, I believe in responsibility.

Designers of MUPs have to strike a balance between not only costs and benefits, but also factor possible consequences into the design. In short, they should not build booby traps.

But it cuts both ways, so users have to take responsibility for riding in control, which includes not crashing into people or things, especially stationary objects.

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Old 05-21-24, 10:04 PM
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I don't think practically applicable in this case, but it's bugging me, not being able to think of it; What is the term for a staircase or ladder or other, used in the UK typically, for humans to cross a barrier like a fence or hedge, but not allow large animals to cross? Darned if I can think of it, and can't find in online search. Brain is like that these days.

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Old 05-21-24, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I don't think practically applicable in this case, but it's bugging me, not being able to think of it; What is the term for a staircase or ladder or other, used in the UK typically, for humans to cross a barrier like a fence or hedge, but not allow large animals to cross? Darned if I can think of it, and can't find in online search. Brain is like that these days.
That's a stile. As in turnstile, except that it doesn't turn.

Also, it is tangently related, because this is about creating a sort of stile that passes bikes and blocks cars.

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Old 05-22-24, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Anyone who runs into a bollard that didn't suddenly jump into their path is at fault, and no excuses should be considered.
An agency would be happy to have you on their jury in a trial involving such a crash.

In the final paragraph of my previous post, I described a situation where the bollard didn't move into anyone's path, but still was obscured by other riders until just prior to impact. A strict reading of the Basic Speed Rule would declare the following / crashing rider to be traveling too fast for conditions as they didn't react in time to avoid the object they struck. But the reality is that many riders do follow closely, look down instead of ahead, among other behaviors that might not work to their favor in case of a sudden need to react. And there have been cases where an agency has been held liable because riders doing such things might be "reasonably expected", similar to how Safe System design tries to make any penalty for driver error or inattention less dire (to a certain degree).
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Old 05-22-24, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
That's a stile. As in turnstile, except that it doesn't turn.

Also, it is tangently related, because this is about creating a sort of stile that passes bikes and blocks cars.
Thank you! I knew in my mind it was peripherally related conceptually, I just could not remember the term. I ran across it on wiki one day some years ago.
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Old 05-22-24, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
An agency would be happy to have you on their jury in a trial involving such a crash......
I'd never make it past voir dire. (and never have on real cases)

But, I think we're on the same page. Those who design and build, and those who use MUPs each have responsibilities. For the agencies, it includes trying to anticipate user error, and mitigate possible consequences.
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Old 05-22-24, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
One of the things I learned as a manufacturer was that often there's very little difference in cost or effort to produce good products vs. crap.

As you might tell from my post immediately prior, I believe in responsibility.

Designers of MUPs have to strike a balance between not only costs and benefits, but also factor possible consequences into the design. In short, they should not build booby traps.

But it cuts both ways, so users have to take responsibility for riding in control, which includes not crashing into people or things, especially stationary objects.
this brings a question to mind...

When I see cross walks in cities/townships etc, oftentimes the sidewalk leading up to it [if even there's one connecting] does a hard 90° & then puts the ped on the apron...
why all the zig zag when clearly, people just walk over the elevated section & across the grass avoiding the concrete path in between. The only people that usually suffer are those on wheels [cyclists, wheelchairs] ... but what happens then is that those later folks just walk from the previous driveway, into the street, & over to the corner... imo, just make it a straight shot.
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Old 05-25-24, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
Sounds like a lot of people here are trying to design vehicle intrusion countermeasures on pathways. There has been decades of experience and practice in this area, most notably in the current AASHTO Guide for Bicycle Facilities. The bigger issue is that designers and agencies either aren't aware of this guidance or choose not to follow it. And I know of a few people who make a good living as expert witnesses testifying against public agencies in court when bicyclists are hurt, crippled, or killed on a path and it can be linked to a design or operational decision involving a fixed object in the travel way of a path.

A number of reports describe a situation where there are several riders on a path, a rider in the front of the group sees a bollard and swerves, and a following rider sees the bollard only after the rider ahead moves laterally and does not react in time to avoid a crash - even if it meets all recommended guidance on conspicuity and retroreflectivity.
Being an expert witness is a great gig for mediocre people, you get paid whether you help the plaintiff or not. FBinNY is right and I'm sure Mr Shubert has lost a fair share of them against the sensible argument of personal responsibility to avoid collisions with stationary objects painted yellow. I'm sure they keep working because there are always more ambulance chasers out there.
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Old 05-28-24, 01:59 PM
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Old 05-28-24, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
Bollards: The humble guardians of civil society.
https://x.com/WorldBollard
Thanks, we needed that.
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Old 05-28-24, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
Bollards: The humble guardians of civil society.
https://x.com/WorldBollard


One could argue that the mods are the bulwarks of the forum. And bollards of the forum just doesn't have the same ring to it.
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Old 05-30-24, 11:18 AM
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I'm not sure I want to be a bulwark either, but I'm a pretty big fan of bollards. I think that an individual bollard in the middle of a stretch of bike path is asking for trouble. I feel like it would be better to have 3, two just off the path and one in the middle.

There are some stretches of bike path where a set of foldable spike strips could come in handy. I have thought about making a wire rope with caltrops attached for such situations. Once motorists have started using bike paths, it can become a real problem. There are some stretches near DC where this has started happening. All the roads in that area have become car sewers that are really unfriendly for cyclists. It wasn't like that only 5-10 years ago. If separated bike paths become car sewers as well, it really demands a serious effort to reverse the trend.
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Old 05-30-24, 11:42 AM
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A well maintained (smooth) high enough 'immediate' elevation at the entrance/exit of each MUP that does a hard right or left might be better to "beach" a vehicle than to left it slam thru some short stationary vertical hazards.
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Old 05-30-24, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
....Once motorists have started using bike paths, it can become a real problem. There are some stretches near DC where this has started happening...
It has been a few years since I've been on the D.C. area MUPs. I'm curious, what part(s) has this become a problem?

It's crazy to me to think this is a real problem, but I guess it is in some areas, especially congested areas, it's a problem. There are no MUPs I know of around here (Jax area) that have bollards.



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Old 05-31-24, 12:10 AM
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None of the MUPs here in the Fargo Moorhead area have bollard protected access. Because people here in the lesser white north know that you shouldn't drive your car on them. Other than legitimate maintenance related vehicles, I have met two cars on the MUP.

One was a clown in a Jeep SUV thing who claimed to have mistaken it for a road. In his defence there was a lot of snow on the ground. After we spoke he backed up to the nearest access / exit point and got off the MUP.

The other was an arrogant City of Fargo employee who was working for the "Homeless Outreach" program and was too damn lazy to walk the hundred yards from the car park to where the homeless camp was set up. I expressed my opinion to their supervisor. They were also totally clueless. It must be in the job description.
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Old 05-31-24, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
A well maintained (smooth) high enough 'immediate' elevation at the entrance/exit of each MUP that does a hard right or left might be better to "beach" a vehicle than to left it slam thru some short stationary vertical hazards.
I'm trying to picture what you mean, but I think the general direction is good.

I'd do a course of concrete stairs spanning the width of the MUP, 45 degree/100% incline and decline, 3' high, with smooth ramps to wheel the bike alongside you walking up the steps; That short 3' high mountain will high-center any car or truck trying to scale it, even a Hummer. Put a break with no stairs of 30" wide on one side, for wheelchairs and such to wheel through unimpeded, and heck, bikes and pedestrians too. Or, same but with a locked gate instead of the stairs, with police, medics, and maintenance folks having a key.
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Old 05-31-24, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I'm trying to picture what you mean, but I think the general direction is good.

I'd do a course of concrete stairs spanning the width of the MUP, 45 degree/100% incline and decline, 3' high, with smooth ramps to wheel the bike alongside you walking up the steps; That short 3' high mountain will high-center any car or truck trying to scale it, even a Hummer. Put a break with no stairs of 30" wide on one side, for wheelchairs and such to wheel through unimpeded, and heck, bikes and pedestrians too. Or, same but with a locked gate instead of the stairs, with police, medics, and maintenance folks having a key.
think of a "S" for the entrance/exit points where it could be used by a vehicle... in the "S", right where the vehicle would try entering into the pathway (whether entrance or exit) the grade would smoothly rise a predetermined height in a short span, likely not more than a 3' stretch. If the vehicle makes the early part of the "S", it'll get hung up by the rise. The sides of the "S" would require a high curb.
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Old 05-31-24, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
think of a "S" for the entrance/exit points where it could be used by a vehicle... in the "S", right where the vehicle would try entering into the pathway (whether entrance or exit) the grade would smoothly rise a predetermined height in a short span, likely not more than a 3' stretch. If the vehicle makes the early part of the "S", it'll get hung up by the rise. The sides of the "S" would require a high curb.
Got it. Uh, I think a vehicle that was short enough to make it past the curve, could make it over the rise. But if the chicane were tight enough to stop vehicles, the rise is then unnecessary. I've seen chicanes before as barriers to vehicles; A hand-launch-only boat ramp, 3' high large concrete blocks preventing cars from backing down the ramp, but a hand-launched boat can go to the corner, then pivot while lifting the trailer tongue over the concrete blocks. Your chicane would work, provided there is another gate that can be unlocked to allow emergency vehicle passage.
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Old 05-31-24, 11:51 PM
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That's the challenge in designing physical barriers to cars. Since bicyclists may crash, or other emergency arise, you need access for vehicles, many of which are larger than cars.

Even a locking gate is problematic, unless there's an easy and reliable way for responders to open it.

IMO, the most practical solution is clear signage "no cars --- $500 fine, photo enforced". If the threat alone doesn't work, install cameras and let anyone willing to pay go ahead.

Another approach, that seems to work here is to build paths with an excess of curves and bends. That makes it not worth trying to navigate in a car, but doesn't affect the EMTs, who don't care about staying on the pavement.
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Old 06-01-24, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Got it. Uh, I think a vehicle that was short enough to make it past the curve, could make it over the rise. But if the chicane were tight enough to stop vehicles, the rise is then unnecessary. I've seen chicanes before as barriers to vehicles; A hand-launch-only boat ramp, 3' high large concrete blocks preventing cars from backing down the ramp, but a hand-launched boat can go to the corner, then pivot while lifting the trailer tongue over the concrete blocks. Your chicane would work, provided there is another gate that can be unlocked to allow emergency vehicle passage.
at that point, the driver would be determined to cause harm at the risk of damaging the vehicle so anything as an obstacle wouldn't matter.
at least with the "S" design, a ped wouldn't have to worry about running into something. The bollards by me are rarely maintained & after a certain degradation, they'll crumble easily by a vehicle hitting it.
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Old 06-01-24, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
That's the challenge in designing physical barriers to cars. Since bicyclists may crash, or other emergency arise, you need access for vehicles, many of which are larger than cars.

Even a locking gate is problematic, unless there's an easy and reliable way for responders to open it.

IMO, the most practical solution is clear signage "no cars --- $500 fine, photo enforced". If the threat alone doesn't work, install cameras and let anyone willing to pay go ahead.

Another approach, that seems to work here is to build paths with an excess of curves and bends. That makes it not worth trying to navigate in a car, but doesn't affect the EMTs, who don't care about staying on the pavement.
this is where cameras are warranted for enforcing fines. It'll also have use for the unfortunate event of a crash/crime... but that makes too much sense & wouldn't be a thing, ever.
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Old 06-01-24, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
At some point, we need to hold users, in this case cyclists, responsible for their part in these accidents.

IMO, there's no excuse for running into a bollard on an MUP, given that we need to ride with enough control to avoid crashing into people, including small children, dogs, strollers, etc.

Anyone who runs into a bollard that didn't suddenly jump into their path is at fault, and no excuses should be considered.
Nonsense. There are always good examples.

As stated previously, the local county park - Eisenhower, built some poorly designed MUPS. The bollards at some locations, being about 4 inches round, and of the same width as the painted divider on the pavement, are also of the same color as the painted divider. When you approach the location of a bollard, the bollard disappears into the background and looks exactly like the painted stripe, thus is and depending on your approach angle, impossible to separate visually from the paint. Thus easy to run into.
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Old 06-01-24, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.

As stated previously, the local county park - Eisenhower, built some poorly designed MUPS. ....
Is that Eisenhauer Park in East Meadow? I wasn't aware that there are MUPs there. In any case, I'd earlier posted that bollards must adhere to various design standards, including height and visibility, because it's not good policy to build booby traps. So, if those you reference are truly problematic, then the right solution is to tell the managing authority clearly describing the hazard, and specifically how and why it's a hazard.

But, in a general sense I stand by my post that if bicyclists want respect, we have to own it and take responsibility for own actions. If you ride in control you won't be hitting things.
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Old 06-01-24, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Is that Eisenhauer Park in East Meadow? I wasn't aware that there are MUPs there. In any case, I'd earlier posted that bollards must adhere to various design standards, including height and visibility, because it's not good policy to build booby traps. So, if those you reference are truly problematic, then the right solution is to tell the managing authority clearly describing the hazard, and specifically how and why it's a hazard.

But, in a general sense I stand by my post that if bicyclists want respect, we have to own it and take responsibility for own actions. If you ride in control you won't be hitting things.
Yes, though my spelling is correct, named after Dwight. I believe that after a few accidents, they painted the bollards red.
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