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new MUP on my commute

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new MUP on my commute

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Old 07-30-08, 10:55 AM
  #1  
ItoDoeblin
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new MUP on my commute

So the city has decided to build a new MUP just off the road (with 3 road crossings in one mile <grumble>) on a piece of my commute. I'd estimate it is 75% complete, so it should be done sometime in early 2011 lol. We have a compulsory path usage law for bicycles (i.e. if a "useable" bike path exists adjacent to a road, it must be used by bicycles). Although I agree with a number of the forum folks that very few paths (and only one in my city) are "useable", I sense this one being particularly troublesome for the following reasons

1. This is the road where I get the most "get off the %&^#@&%@& road" comments
2. This is the road where I get buzzed the most (see #1)
3. This particular road is somewhat narrow, windy, and is in a hollow with bushes/trees/rocks/assorted nature thingies on both sides (I claim this alone will make using the path intractable)
4. Lots of especially wealthy people live just off this road, and tend to enjoy calling the cops whenever something they don't like goes on on this little stretch of road (whether illegal or not)
5. There is a bar in the middle of this piece of road. And a bar I particularly enjoy stopping for a beer at. The place is a little rough around the edges, and there tends to be LOTS of broken glass on the side of the road (mostly in the door zone and to the right) (see #5 - there are some exciting times here lol)
6. My alternated for this road include the following: A wild, insane hill that I have trouble conquering on the best of days and unless its Sunday morning this road is a war zone or crossing a 7-way freeway on/offramp/intersection jumble

So here's the question - do I flout the law and tempt fate by riding on the road, suck it up and use the (guaranteed to be strewn with broken glass) path or deal with one of my alternate routes?

I was excited about this path for a while, but now that I'm seeing them finish it up, I'm not so excited...

Last edited by ItoDoeblin; 07-30-08 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:34 AM
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I'm not quite sure what your situation is after reading your post. Are you using the road now? Are you commuting now? Or is it that you're not commuting now, but are thinking of doing so once the path is in place, only you've got some reservations about the path design?

Fyi, the expression is "flout the law", not "flaunt the law". "Flaunting the law" would be something like saying, "Look, look, here's the law, neener neener!"
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Old 07-30-08, 11:37 AM
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If it's strewn with glass, it's not useable. (Of course, the argument doesn't hold if the road is ALSO strewn with glass...)
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Old 07-30-08, 11:38 AM
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Fyi, the expression is "flout the law", not "flaunt the law". "Flaunting the law" would be something like saying, "Look, look, here's the law, neener neener!"[/QUOTE]

I think that would be TAUNTING the law... Flaunt would be "look at this beautiful law I have..."
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Old 07-30-08, 11:40 AM
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ItoDoeblin
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yeah - it is flout. I'm at work and paying poor grammar attention. Fixed now - thx

Yes - I am commuting, and I generally use this stretch of road (unless I wake up extra early and run a much longer route that I really really like)

This is a good point about the road also being strewn with broken glass, but usually that little problem is underneath the cars forming the door zone

ETA: neener neener. I am the law.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:57 AM
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We had a situation in my hometown a few years back similar to this.

A fairly narrow "bike path" stretched along about 15 miles of a heavily used road. The path has blind crossing of many driveways and is poorly maintained. It is full of sand and debris.


So whoever designed the path really designed a walking path.

The result is that cyclists won't use the path and motorists become angry that all this money was spent for a perfectly good bike path and the fool cyclists won't use it.

I am a big proponent of MUP useage but in this case the path just made things worse.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:07 PM
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The area I live in (MI) has embraced the idea of bike lanes rather than MUPs, which I'm very happy about (keeps pedestrians, rollerbladers, runners and children out of the way). I bike frequently in places with bike paths (my fiancee lives along the beach in CA)...when these paths aren't busy, they are actually very nice to use; I feel a bit more relaxed not having to worry about traffic or getting pissed off when people yell at me or pass too close. Although, I get really pissed off when people are walking on the bike path, rather than the sidewalk right next to it (in many areas it's for bicycle traffic only, which is clearly marked on signs every freakin 10 feet). In terms of an early morning commute, the bike path might be completely empty and have some really smooth, nice pavement.

Edit: I should stress that the bike paths I've been on in CA are pretty well designed, with stop signs and warnings for both the cars and bikes at crossings. I refuse to use any path that is essentially just a glorified sidewalk...it's just not safe!

It's worth giving the path a chance, you might like it. If not, screw the law (it would probably take a while to get caught and if you did, they'd probably just ask you to ride on the path...not much lost there).
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Old 07-30-08, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kbblodorn View Post
Fyi, the expression is "flout the law", not "flaunt the law". "Flaunting the law" would be something like saying, "Look, look, here's the law, neener neener!"
I think that would be TAUNTING the law... Flaunt would be "look at this beautiful law I have..."[/QUOTE]

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Old 07-30-08, 01:12 PM
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There's a MUP which runs directly in front of my office, alongside a lightly travelled divided 4-lane. This MUP connects to the Withlacoochee State Trail, which is one of the nicest rail/trails in the country. I thought, "Great, now I can ride to work, then take the MUP to the trail, and not have to deal with traffic.". Wrong. There are SO many road crossings due to the MUP being next to a housing development that taking it adds a lot of time to my ride. So now I ignore the MUP and take the road. This MUP is slated to be expanded another 12 miles---so it will be 12 miles of uselessness---and it has to cross a divided 4 lane. No thanks.
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Old 07-30-08, 02:38 PM
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There's an MUP next to a major highway (Fairfax County Parkway), but I almost always ride the shoulder of the highway.

Why?

1) Grades are nicer than the MUP - some steep climbs, descents and blind corners on the MUP.
2) Blind crossings - there are at least 3 "BLIND" road crossings - you cannot see cars, nor can they see you until you're out in the crosswalk. You have to develop 'super' hearing, or track stand to get up high enough to see around the corner for someone getting ready to hit the Toll Road on-ramp.
3) Right Turns on Red - at MUP level, it's hard to see who's flying up to take an attempt at a RTOR to get out in front of traffic. They'll either stop right in the middle of the crosswalk, blocking access to the MUP on the other side of the crosswalk, or blow right through. At least if I'm on the shoulder, it's wide, with great sight lines.
4) Did I mention it's wide? The shoulder is at least 2X as wide as the MUP, and I'll guarantee you, there's nobody coming the other way in your lane.
5) There's a narrow, wooden bridge at the bottom of one of the steep descents. The bridge changes direction from the MUP, and the MUP changes direction again, after the bridge. So, you have to do a quick zig-zag across it. One foggy day, I was coming down the hill, and at the last second, THERE'S A GUY DOING TAI-CHI IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BRIDGE! If I didn't see him before I got to the bridge (almost didn't), there would have been no where to go. As it was, I did a "Stoppie" with my rear wheel coming up off the path. Since then, I've taken the road. It's safer.
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