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Are we going to need to police multi-use paths in future?

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Are we going to need to police multi-use paths in future?

Old 11-16-14, 07:58 AM
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Still Pedaling
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Are we going to need to police multi-use paths in future?

I'm not meaning for this thread to be for venting purposes, but yesterday my wife and I went out with some friends to one of the many popular multi-use paths where we live to enjoy a leisurely day riding on a path that is purposed for bike riders, joggers and families out for a walk. But what we encountered on numerous occasions was these idiots dressed up in full Halloween regalia flying along these paths thinking perhaps they are out training for the Tour de France or something. I think this is totally wrong. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if people are going to get injured, if not already by these thoughtless clowns. Has anybody else encountered these fools on similar paths where you live? Are we going to need to police them in the future? I have no problem with riders doing this out on the streets with designated bike paths. Usually they come up to you from behind and give you a warning sign such as "on your left". That is the courtliest way in my opinion, but to fly along on a multi-use path showing little or no consideration for other users is way out of line.
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Old 11-16-14, 08:34 AM
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There's nothing more annoying than some idiot flying around pedestrians and kids, with no regard for safety. I'm with you on that.

I'm a little concerned about the characterization with the racing references. Around here, a few of those types are a little faster but they aren't the problem. They generally know what they're doing. I get more frustrated with the guys on hybrids, might be dressed in regular shorts or spandex or any combination, usually going considerably slower but never slowing for anything. It may be a difference in locale, but I'd be cautious about singling out one group because they're more visible.

I'm also hoping you accidentally left out an "or" as in " I have no problem with riders doing this out on the streets OR with designated bike paths". People shouldn't have a problem with the roadies out on the streets regardless of a designated bike path.

I'm harping on these points because when people self-appoint to police other people, they sometimes aren't very knowledgeable about what they're trying to enforce. I'm not saying that's you - I think that you personally probably are knowledgeable and experienced. But I've seen it a lot, both on the streets and multi-use paths, people trying to "instruct" (to put it politely) other people and they don't have a clue. I think that it's not something that we want to encourage.
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Old 11-16-14, 08:42 AM
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It happens everywhere. It's quite common. And it will continue. Yes a pain, but not much you can do about it, except ride on the road yourself.
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Old 11-16-14, 09:13 AM
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if they get crowded enough, they will.
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Old 11-16-14, 09:24 AM
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Who is "we?" Seriously, I've ridden a road bike on a multi use path a couple of times and I was terrified. Joggers with ear buds, unrestrained children and dogs....
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Old 11-16-14, 09:28 AM
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How about the people that ride slowly 4 abreast and wobble all over the place when you announce "On you left", personally I find them more dangerous than the fast roadies. How about more of the users of MUP's being aware and in control.
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Old 11-16-14, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeguyinvenice View Post
How about the people that ride slowly 4 abreast and wobble all over the place when you announce "On you left", personally I find them more dangerous than the fast roadies. How about more of the users of MUP's being aware and in control.
Good luck on that wish! Would also include idiot walkers...............
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Old 11-16-14, 11:21 AM
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All reasons why I avoid MUPs. My loafing pace would probably be considered 'racing' end endangering all those wobbly, 3-abreast types.
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Old 11-16-14, 11:27 AM
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Old 11-16-14, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
There's nothing more annoying than some idiot flying around pedestrians and kids, with no regard for safety. I'm with you on that.

. . . but I'd be cautious about singling out one group because they're more visible.

I'm also hoping you accidentally left out an "or" as in " I have no problem with riders doing this out on the streets OR with designated bike paths". People shouldn't have a problem with the roadies out on the streets regardless of a designated bike path.

I'm harping on these points because when people self-appoint to police other people, they sometimes aren't very knowledgeable about what they're trying to enforce. I'm not saying that's you - I think that you personally probably are knowledgeable and experienced. But I've seen it a lot, both on the streets and multi-use paths, people trying to "instruct" (to put it politely) other people and they don't have a clue. I think that it's not something that we want to encourage.
I did single out that particular group in this case, because it was those individuals that were causing a problem. Other riders that did pass us by, those on mountain bikes, hybrid bikes as you mentioned, either indicated that they were going to pass on the left, or road off the path into the graveled areas if they felt we were blocking their right of way. On this day we were out, it WAS the roadies that were flying along without a care for others, so yes, I am singling out a particular group from the day's experience.

Obviously policing by self-appointed un-knowledgeable people is not going to work - but I will be in one of those jerks face if an accident, however minor, is caused by anyone abusing the MUP by excessive speed.

No, I didn't use the term designated bike paths in general, just those that are designated on roadways. In regards to those on roadways, I don't have any problem with roadies at all. If they want to ride fast, that is fine with me, as long as they are not going to jeopardize my safety while on the path, and that goes along with designated bike paths that are not on our roadways. I find that they, roadies, are the most cautious of riders, because, as you mentioned, they are more experienced, and as a rule they will make themselves known by indicating that they are about to go around you. My only problem with bike paths, and especially those on our roadways are the jerks that insist on riding in the wrong direction, and roadies do NOT come under that catagory. Our paths on our roadways are clearly marked as to the direction one is to ride, in other words, the same direction as traffic. There is NO way I am going to be forced into a car lane because of them. I'm not trying to be mean, but in a situation like that, I will hug the curb and give the honor to them in using the car lane to get around me.

Others have mentioned about riders who, in a group, take up the entire lane in a MUP. That is definitely inconsiderate, but, if I am the one riding on the lane and want to go by, I inform them of my passing on the left or I will just go around on the gravel or to the side of the path. That is not a problem for me as I will use those paths for simple recreation. I'm not out their trying to set a speed record on my bike etc. We all have the right to use these MUPs, so courtesy should be given to all/each other and not jeopardizing others safety while using these types of paths.
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Old 11-16-14, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Still Pedaling View Post
We all have the right to use these MUPs, so courtesy should be given to all/each other and not jeopardizing others safety while using these types of paths.
Yes including those roadies. Give the faster cyclists room to pass and there will be no accidents. The cyclists also need to ( and usually do) slow down in situations where walkers and slower riders are passing in both directions. Everyone needs to lose the earbuds because that is where the real danger lies. A happy medium is what needs to be realized but cannot be had because the extremists on both sides refuse to change.
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Old 11-16-14, 12:21 PM
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Jackass behaviour is often within the limits of the law and it's impossible to police them.
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Old 11-16-14, 12:29 PM
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has the path for no markings splitting?
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Old 11-16-14, 12:33 PM
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How is it riding along the Border Fence service road down there Wayne?, its well Patrolled .
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Old 11-16-14, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
Give the faster cyclists room to pass and there will be no accidents.
The problem that I've noticed with a lot of these "faster cyclists" is that they have a really bad habit of passing others as close as possible, even if there is a lot of room they still choose to buzz slower moving cyclists and peds. Very often those faster cyclist will sneak up from behind and you can't even see them unless you ride with a mirror. That's one of the reasons I started using mirror not just to see cars behind me but to see other cyclists who often are a lot more unpredictable then cars or pedestrians.
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Old 11-16-14, 04:30 PM
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First ... some policing does occur. Many area employ police on bicycles to ride the MUPs.

Second ... it would be great if they could do something about all the joggers with ear buds, parents with prams, unrestrained children and dogs, people that ride or walk slowly 4 abreast and wobble all over the place.


In our area we've got the Intercity Cycleway ... supposed to be a sort of bicycle highway ... but we get all of the above on there from time to time. I don't mind the joggers or slower cyclists if they ride single-file well over to the left, leaving lots of room for the faster cyclists ... I get along well with them. But it's the people who think they own the whole cycleway and can slowly walk or cycle 4 abreast, or turn their prams sideways to take up the whole path while they light up a smoke (that has happened a couple times ... I suspect it might have something to do with faulty brakes on the pram) ....
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Old 11-16-14, 06:29 PM
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Pedestrians are not even an issue. According to law a bicycle is a vehicle and pedestrians have the right of way. The problem is speeding cyclists who use MUPS like it's an autobahn. There is no law against riding slow on MUPS, there is no law that says families can't walk 4 abreast, some MUPS have a speed limit for cyclist and that speed limit gets broken all the time. If somebody want to race or do a fast training ride then go on the road. I use MUPS a lot and never ever had problem with pedestrians, I just slow down give them a lot of room and pass around them. Most people who use road racing bikes along MUPS don't even have a bell.
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Old 11-16-14, 07:39 PM
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The MUP I use to get back and forth to work is rather busy during the rush hour. I certainly don't ride as fast as I can go. A few weeks ago, I clothes-lined a youngster riding his new expensive road bike. I was signalling a left turn and my left arm was stuck out. The kid struck my arm with his neck and he went flying. I stopped to make sure he was alright but I did not apologize. I said, "Maybe you might have been going a bit too fast." The kid muttered something but seemed to be OK.

A crowded MUP is not the place to be trying to break personal records. I wait until I am back on the street before I go as fast as I can.
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Old 11-17-14, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Pedestrians are not even an issue. According to law a bicycle is a vehicle and pedestrians have the right of way. The problem is speeding cyclists who use MUPS like it's an autobahn. There is no law against riding slow on MUPS, there is no law that says families can't walk 4 abreast, some MUPS have a speed limit for cyclist and that speed limit gets broken all the time. If somebody want to race or do a fast training ride then go on the road. I use MUPS a lot and never ever had problem with pedestrians, I just slow down give them a lot of room and pass around them. Most people who use road racing bikes along MUPS don't even have a bell.
Wait, if you have a speed limit and desire it to be enforced, then lets enforce other traffic-style laws as well.

Going slow - ie impeding traffic can be illegal if one is blocking traffic. Many states have traffic laws requiring a slow moving vehicle to pull over if impeding more than three vehicles behind them. Honestly, if making a path for walking, jogging and cycling the best solution if space is available is to have speed segregated lanes. Walkers to the far right, cyclists to the left.

Traveling more than two abreast is typically illegal for cyclists. On the paths around here, more than two abreast (walking or riding) tends to put one of those people either on the center line or in the lane of oncoming traffic. Definite hazard and certainly against typical traffic laws.

As far as warning people that I'm going to pass, the batty behavior of those I warn has trained me out of it. We don't warn other drivers when passing while driving a car on a two lane road (unless you count signaling the lane change), so why should it be different on a path? Maintain your path and I'll go around when safe, just like when driving. Warning people more often results in them veering/staggering left as I pass than any useful outcome.
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Old 11-17-14, 07:44 AM
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I really wish everyone on MUPs would live by 2 simple rules.
1. PAY ATTENTION TO THE WORLD IMMEDIATELY AROUND YOU.
2. BE CONSIDERATE OF THOSE AROUND YOU.

But we all know it's never going to happen.
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Old 11-17-14, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeguyinvenice View Post
How about the people that ride slowly 4 abreast and wobble all over the place when you announce "On you left", personally I find them more dangerous than the fast roadies. How about more of the users of MUP's being aware and in control.
I agree with this , This weekend for instance I was riding our local rail trail, which was dead because for how cold it was out. I was pretty much by myself riding along a 16.5 mile an hour pace. after about 4 miles I came up to a group of young teenagers riding in a bunch with an adult looked like a boy scout leader or something like that . They all saw me coming because its straight and flat for miles and they would not move over, or go single file at all. I slowed down when I say them just to be safe but they almost ran me off the road. And there coach/ leader didn't bat an eye. I'm all about safety and I ride the same trail with my wife and three kids. When we see somebody we move out of there way, wether they are going fast or slow. Its common sense
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Old 11-17-14, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Still Pedaling View Post
I did single out that particular group in this case, because it was those individuals that were causing a problem. Other riders that did pass us by, those on mountain bikes, hybrid bikes as you mentioned, either indicated that they were going to pass on the left, or road off the path into the graveled areas if they felt we were blocking their right of way. On this day we were out, it WAS the roadies that were flying along without a care for others, so yes, I am singling out a particular group from the day's experience.
Is your problem really with the way they ride or the way they dress? Your first post about how they were "idiots dressed up in full Halloween regalia" would seem to indicate at least a little problem with the latter. I see all kinds of people behaving badly on "bike" paths from racers to hipsters to people walking their tiny little dogs on 497' long leashes (which the dogs are struggling to drag due to their weight and size) to people walking 18 abreast on the "bike" path who scatter like a covey of Gambel's quail when you announce "on your left" to clueless groups of people walking 13 abreast with ear buds on. People can be all kinds of stupid on "bike" paths. Frankly, if you are expecting someone to ride off a trail onto the graveled areas to get around you, you are being rather impolite yourself...especially in the southwestern US when a trip "into the graveled areas" is usually guaranteed to gather up enough goatheads to increase the height of the bike by about 2"...until the tires deflate.

Originally Posted by Still Pedaling View Post
Obviously policing by self-appointed un-knowledgeable people is not going to work - but I will be in one of those jerks face if an accident, however minor, is caused by anyone abusing the MUP by excessive speed.
And what is "excessive speed"? If you are walking at 3 mph and someone passes you at 15 mph, the 13 mph differential can seem huge. Even if you are riding at 10 mph, someone going by at 15 mph seems fast. And are you absolutely certain that the riders didn't announce themselves? I always call out "on your left" when passing anyone but many times people don't hear me and I have to get past them anyway.

I'm not about to ride at the speed of the slowest "bike" path user either.

Originally Posted by Still Pedaling View Post
Others have mentioned about riders who, in a group, take up the entire lane in a MUP. That is definitely inconsiderate, but, if I am the one riding on the lane and want to go by, I inform them of my passing on the left or I will just go around on the gravel or to the side of the path. That is not a problem for me as I will use those paths for simple recreation. I'm not out their trying to set a speed record on my bike etc. We all have the right to use these MUPs, so courtesy should be given to all/each other and not jeopardizing others safety while using these types of paths.
If you are expecting other users to go "into the graveled areas" to get around you, you are as much of the problem as the people going fast. Get a mirror and be aware of your surroundings if you want to ride other then single file. I ride two abreast...never more then that...on "bike" paths occasionally but I have a mirror and I try to be aware of the people coming up behind me so that I can move over to let them pass. Courtesy works both ways.
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Old 11-17-14, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Is your problem really with the way they ride or the way they dress? Your first post about how they were "idiots dressed up in full Halloween regalia" would seem to indicate at least a little problem with the latter. I see all kinds of people behaving badly on "bike" paths from racers to hipsters to people walking their tiny little dogs on 497' long leashes (which the dogs are struggling to drag due to their weight and size) to people walking 18 abreast on the "bike" path who scatter like a covey of Gambel's quail when you announce "on your left" to clueless groups of people walking 13 abreast with ear buds on. People can be all kinds of stupid on "bike" paths. Frankly, if you are expecting someone to ride off a trail onto the graveled areas to get around you, you are being rather impolite yourself...especially in the southwestern US when a trip "into the graveled areas" is usually guaranteed to gather up enough goatheads to increase the height of the bike by about 2"...until the tires deflate.



And what is "excessive speed"? If you are walking at 3 mph and someone passes you at 15 mph, the 13 mph differential can seem huge. Even if you are riding at 10 mph, someone going by at 15 mph seems fast. And are you absolutely certain that the riders didn't announce themselves? I always call out "on your left" when passing anyone but many times people don't hear me and I have to get past them anyway.

I'm not about to ride at the speed of the slowest "bike" path user either.



If you are expecting other users to go "into the graveled areas" to get around you, you are as much of the problem as the people going fast. Get a mirror and be aware of your surroundings if you want to ride other then single file. I ride two abreast...never more then that...on "bike" paths occasionally but I have a mirror and I try to be aware of the people coming up behind me so that I can move over to let them pass. Courtesy works both ways.
Geez man, whats up with you this morning.

First, what would a roadie dressed up like he's on a team, flying along the MUP be doing on this type of path in the first place. If you want to ride like you are in a race, then get off the MUP and get onto the roads that have proper bike lanes. Referring to them in Halloween regalia fits the bill if you are posing to be on a cycling team, and being an idiot while on the MUP. I have nothing against rodies at all. I respect their wanting to ride fast while on an appropriate bike path, but not a MUP, and when I am riding on a bike lane, I try my best to notice them coming up from behind, as I do check my mirror often. When I see them coming, I tuck as close to the far right as I can to give them the right of way. If you want to ride like you are training for an event, then do it on an appropriate path and not endanger others who are using the MUP for simple recreational purposes.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell when one is riding too fast. If you are riding like you are in a team event, then you are riding too fast for a MUP.

I didn't say that I expect others to ride off the path to get around me. I said that I'm willing to ride off the path if necessary to go around others. I ride with a mirror and I check it regularly. And by the way, I ride to the right of the path and I didn't hold anyone else up forcing them to ride around me. There were four of us in our group and we rode two abreast as far to the right as possible. We noticed all that were riding up from behind and made sure we didn't impede their ride.

I hope this clarifies things.

Last edited by Still Pedaling; 11-17-14 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 11-17-14, 10:37 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Pedestrians are not even an issue. According to law a bicycle is a vehicle and pedestrians have the right of way. The problem is speeding cyclists who use MUPS like it's an autobahn. There is no law against riding slow on MUPS, there is no law that says families can't walk 4 abreast, some MUPS have a speed limit for cyclist and that speed limit gets broken all the time. If somebody want to race or do a fast training ride then go on the road. I use MUPS a lot and never ever had problem with pedestrians, I just slow down give them a lot of room and pass around them. Most people who use road racing bikes along MUPS don't even have a bell.
In my locality almost all if not all MUP's actually do have clear signage designating sticking to your half of the path for direction, allowing other MUP users to pass you, and not blocking up the entire MUP.. the only thing I disagree with on the local signage is horses trump pedestrians too.... but that's been a standard rule on trails since before I was born. So personally, I find pedestrians to be an issue when they want to use the resource but can't follow the rules.
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Old 11-17-14, 11:30 AM
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"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?" - George Carlin

That pretty much sums this thread up
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