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What's on your MUP?

Old 10-26-12, 06:08 AM
  #1  
Ridefreemc
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What's on your MUP?

Our Multi-Use Path here we have a number of poles that block automobile traffic from entering from cross-streets. There is one of the poles that is removable for access by maintenance staff and law enforcement (not locked). The others are fixed into the concrete.

I am curious what is on the MUP that you ride.

These are quite dangerous IMHO:

1. They are located just prior to each street intersection - just at the time when a cyclist will need to scan for cross traffic - taking eyes off the cyclist's path;
2. They are just high enought to have your handlbars hit them; and
3. Among a few other things they include a pavement stripe leading up to them and away from them, which tends to allow the white pole to be lost (becomes invisible to some) in the stripe.

I have watched as cyclists litterally hit them straight on and do endos. They are repainted regularly, but before repainting you will see numerous tire marks on them from collisions.

Sorry about the links instead of direct placement. If someone know how to fix this I'd appreciate it.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...D3BF&first=501

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...C8836&first=78

What's on your MUP?
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Old 10-26-12, 06:25 AM
  #2  
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Not a problem. When there are street crossings at MUPs, there is usually a stop sign. If someone cannot handle a bike at speed well enough to clear the bollards, they should slow down.
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Old 10-26-12, 07:01 AM
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Our confluence trail has the poles you mentioned (though ours aren't camouflaged like yours), and the GATES, which have three positions; open, closed, and "squeeze by". In Hartford, by the refineries, the gates are all set to "squeeze by", which means they're mostly closed, except for an almost shoulders wide gap, so that you have to get off your bike if you're not a zig-zag expert. I hate the gates, especially when I have panniers on my bike.

I've seen an electric utility truck using a MUP, just a few weeks back. They leave no room on the path for anyone else!
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Old 10-26-12, 07:09 AM
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The two MUP's I am on for a short time are not that bad.

One of the MUP's has a tight blind corner so I have to announce when I'm turning it plus it has a little gravel that comes loose and spreads around the turn which can be a problem. If you slip on it, your bike goes over an embankment into the river. Not the safest area per say. And coming off the MUP there is another tight turn where motorists kick up gravel. Spun a few times out on that.

The other MUP is nice but there is a big bridge that cars can use that breaks it up into two smaller MUP's. They are repairing the bridge which will take 8 months so now when I get to the section to cross I have to lift my bike over the barricade, walk over to the other barricade and lift my bike over the other one. It is a real PITA!
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Old 10-26-12, 07:25 AM
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Most of the MUP's around here follow channelized rivers and streams. Where they cross major boulevards, there is often an underpass. This is why I prefer them to the streets, since those underpasses let cyclists bypass some hellaciously long traffic signals. The down side to the underpasses is that they are usually concrete, instead of asphalt, and the joints can be bone-jarringly uneven.
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Old 10-26-12, 07:30 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
Not a problem. When there are street crossings at MUPs, there is usually a stop sign. If someone cannot handle a bike at speed well enough to clear the bollards, they should slow down.
Some of ours have stop signs and some don't - depending on the jurisdiction and cross street traffic volume. There are close to 100 cross-streets on the 40 some mile long trail.

I have a friend who not only bent his bike frame (destroyed the bike), but cracked some vertebrae. Also, I know of a few older folks (in their 70s) that have gone down from hitting their handlebars.

I forgot to add that the removable poles are often removed daily by kids on their way to and from school. They stay connected to the whole in the ground by a chain and lay across the path at all odd angles - creating more of a hazard. In some cases they are simply broken off and thrown to the side in what I would label as an act of vandelism. I bet the maintenance costs are high for these.

In addition to the problem MUPS, does anyone have something that they like on their MUP?
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Old 10-26-12, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
... I have to lift my bike over the barricade, walk over to the other barricade and lift my bike over the other one. It is a real PITA!
Would we classify that as "cross-training?"
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Old 10-26-12, 07:35 AM
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I like meeting fellow MUP users. And their dogs. I like the random animal encounters (I like seeing geese, but I hate the goose-poop minefields they leave on the MUP) even though I know that groundhog is persona-non-grata on the levee.
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Old 10-26-12, 07:36 AM
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Horse Apples. Huge Horse Apples! I've only hit one but it wasn't pretty.
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Old 10-26-12, 08:26 AM
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The poles on the MUP are really annoying because the garbage men like to plunk empty garbage cans on them. I think they imagine they are doing someone a favour by propping them upside down where they won't fill with rain.

Oh, and a large (dead) great blue heron was on the path this week. Somebody actually removed it.
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Old 10-26-12, 08:31 AM
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chicago's lakefront path has no bollards of any kind to prevent motorists from turning onto it at street crossings. the good part is that 99.999999% of motorists know that it's a MUP and not a street for motor vehicles. the bad part is that every once in a great while, usually late at night or during winter when there aren't many people out on the path, i have seen an errant motorist driving along on the path looking all scared, confused, and nervous when they see me on my bike and realize the mistake they have made.

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Old 10-26-12, 12:56 PM
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The main MUP here has lockable swing gates that block about half of the trail at intersections. These gates are about 3 foot off the ground and are just about perfect for pitching a cyclists over the handlebars. The really bad spot is where the trail crosses angled railway tracks. The city in its infinite wisdom decided to put them in tandem on either side of the tracks so cyclists have to zig zag through one set of gates, zig zag again to cross the tracks as close to 90 degrees as possible and perform the same manoeuvre to get round the other gates. The gates are not lit at night but the city installed reflective strips after a cyclist was killed after being thrown from his bike. No one has ever been injured or killed because of actual trains since this is a spur line and the locos move no faster than 10-15 mph.
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Old 10-26-12, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by David Bierbaum View Post
Our confluence trail has the poles you mentioned (though ours aren't camouflaged like yours), and the GATES, which have three positions; open, closed, and "squeeze by". In Hartford, by the refineries, the gates are all set to "squeeze by", which means they're mostly closed, except for an almost shoulders wide gap, so that you have to get off your bike if you're not a zig-zag expert. I hate the gates, especially when I have panniers on my bike.

I've seen an electric utility truck using a MUP, just a few weeks back. They leave no room on the path for anyone else!
I've been on that trail along the levees when I did an overnight ride to Grafton with my wife. I was on my minivelo for that trip and didn't have a problem negotiating the gates, even with my panniers. But that is what a minivelo excels at - carving sharp turns and not being concerned about the length of the bike. My wife had to dismount and walk through them. Those ups and downs with the gates at the bottom would definitely be annoying if you commuted on them regularly.
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Old 10-26-12, 01:17 PM
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In Phoenix, the Grand Canal MUP has both poles and gates. Intersections with main traffic arteries have one, both or none in no pattern I can figure out. The poles force me to slow down 'cause they are a little narrow and I'm not comfortable blasting thru them at speed. My fear with the gates is seeing them at night. Sometimes the reflective tape doesn't show 'til I'm almost on them.

But night riding on the MUP is time to ride cautious anyway. In addition to unsupervised children and pets there are people fishing, sitting with their rods on the opposite side of the path from the canal. Scary when you come up on one of those.

FYI: The Arizona Canal MUP is better. I don't recall any gates or poles. They may be there but have not impeded my riding if they are.
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Old 10-26-12, 08:31 PM
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Deer, rabbits, foxes, racoons, coyotes, ferrule cats and porcupines. Here's one of those prickly rascals making a run for it:



Oh and dogs, often dragging somebody around.
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Old 10-26-12, 08:51 PM
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Moose, frequently on the path after dark, and sometimes before.
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Old 10-26-12, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
They are repairing the bridge which will take 8 months so now when I get to the section to cross I have to lift my bike over the barricade, walk over to the other barricade and lift my bike over the other one. It is a real PITA!
Congratulations, you are now ready for Cyclocross racing!

I've actually caught my pedal (once) and a pannier (once) on those post-things Ridefree described because I went through at an angle rather than straight-through. I escaped the pannier one unscathed. The pedal one? Not so much.

My MUP actually has two separate paths, a "bike" and "walk" path separated by a small grass median. Bikers stick to the bike side. I wish walkers stuck to the walk side, but they don't. But even more common than walkers on the bike side are people pushing strollers, which is doubly annoying because they are both bigger *and* slower than regular walkers.
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Old 10-26-12, 11:01 PM
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if people are running into stationary "poles" how do they navigate the rest of the path loaded with people, dogs, squirrels.... people need to pay more attention to whats in front of them and not the cute girl jogging by.
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Old 10-27-12, 12:48 AM
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Includes piers and trestles.. rails still used, riverfront trolley...
4x12 planking around rails and on piers, shrinks with age
so in some places the gaps are approaching an inch..

Others, there is a tendency to be slippery when wet,
and the plank gap
even when smaller still wants to turn your wheel.

except if it has +4" wide tyres..


and where the cannery fish byproducts truck stops on the up hill intersection,
and drains on the roadway, while waiting to make a right hand turn..

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-29-12 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 10-29-12, 09:55 AM
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The bollards here are very narrow. I think they are intended to make one get off a bike and walk through them, which serves what purpose, I don't know. I can navigate them on my mtn bike ok, but I have to walk my recumbent through them. It doesn't turn that sharp without getting heel strike on the front wheel. I generally avoid those crossings.
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Old 10-29-12, 10:52 AM
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Dang what a sucky design in the OP's pics. I don't have any pics but the ones on our MUP are fairly large, rectangular (oriented parallel to MUP flow, long ways along the path), and painted a gray color with a yellow stripe across the top. The one in the middle of the path has a pad lock and can be lowered into the ground. Don't think I've ever seen anyone hit them, they're pretty hard to miss seeing.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
I am curious what is on the MUP that you ride.
Around the Los Angeles area we have both bollards and gates. On the MUP I use for commuting (Coyote Creek) the bollards are ride-able with my DaHon folder, ditto the gates so overall, no problem. The MUP goes under all cross-streets and that's a huge benefit for the cyclists.

Other users include walkers (sometimes w/kids and/or dogs), roller-bladers, skate-boarders and parents with kids in strollers. No issues that I know of, everyone seems to get along (and out of each other's way) just fine.

Rick / OCRR
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Old 10-29-12, 01:39 PM
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This is what the gates look like around here. I've never tried riding the MUP at night, so I don't really know how visible they are (and I don't go this way often, if I can avoid it).
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Old 10-29-12, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
Deer, rabbits, foxes, racoons, coyotes, ferrule cats...
Ferrule cats must be equipped with brakes and derailleurs, as opposed the fixed gear cats without ferrules for cables!
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Old 10-29-12, 02:55 PM
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This summer I came under a nice bridge underpass where a lead in from the sidewalk on the street above it joins it, there was tire tracks on the MUP and in the dirt around it, guess someone thought it looked like an on ramp and decided to jump the curb, cross the sidewalk, descend the ramp and didn't quite make it. Would of been a hoot to watch I'm sure.
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