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Cedar River Trail

Old 07-31-10, 09:04 PM
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Kneez
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Cedar River Trail

I rode the CRT east from Cedar Grove Road to Renton today and saw that from 131 Ave SE in to Renton the speed limit was posted at 10mph with a $101 fine for violation. I recall that there was some discussion of extending the 10 mph speed limit to the entirety of the trail. Does anyone know if that will come to pass?
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Old 08-01-10, 09:14 AM
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It is looking doubtful, since the trail beyond that point is in other jurisdictions such as Maple Valley and the unincorporated county. Renton imposed the speed limit after an elderly woman was struck and killed by a bicyclist on the CRT.
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Old 08-01-10, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
It is looking doubtful, since the trail beyond that point is in other jurisdictions such as Maple Valley and the unincorporated county. Renton imposed the speed limit after an elderly woman was struck and killed by a bicyclist on the CRT.
Thanks for the reply. I would hate to see the whole trail reduced to 10 mph. I do recall the incident to which you refer. Was speed actually a factor in that case?
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Old 08-01-10, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Kneez View Post
Thanks for the reply. I would hate to see the whole trail reduced to 10 mph. I do recall the incident to which you refer. Was speed actually a factor in that case?
I was born and raised in Renton and still read the local paper online. I have ridden the length of the CRT many times. So I followed this incident closely. The woman, an active 83 year old resident of Renton, was walking the CRT by the dog park. Two bicyclists were approaching her from behind and passing her on the left. She stepped in front of them and was struck by a 57 year old bicyclist. She suffered multiple fractures and blunt trauma and died at Harborview the next day.

No media report that I have read has mentioned speed as a factor, or if the bicyclists said 'on your left' or gave any other sort of warning. Lots and lots of vituperative comments in the local media against bicyclists on the CRT. Given the age of the bicyclist that struck the woman, I suspect that he was not doing an STP training paceline at 25 mph, although it is possible. An eyewitness reported that the woman stepped in front of the bicyclist and he had no time to respond. Of note, no criminal charges were filed against the bicyclist.

Many people attended a Renton City Council meeting and called for a ban on bicycles on the CRT. I believe that the passage of the speed limit on the portion of the trail in Renton was to let the voters know that something was being done. The trail as a whole has a speed limit of 15 MPH. I am the first to admit that if the trail is open with no other traffic, I routinely violate this.

It just goes to show that all of us, if the trails are crowded, have to slow down and use extra caution where appropriate.
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Old 08-01-10, 12:59 PM
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In Oregon, bike paths are defined as roadways in the vehicle code. That means that cities cannot legally impose a speed limit without both an engineering study and a traffic speed survey (the speed at the 85th percentile is the minimum allowable speed limit). Humorously, ODOT justifies making the lowering of speed limits difficult by accepting as fact the rather ridiculous statement that drivers generally operate at safe speeds. With over 40,000 killed and 4,000,000 injured on our nations roadways annually, I think ODOT should re-evaluate that position.

As far as the 10 mph speed limit being imposed on parts of the CRT, would the public also support 10 mph speed limits on any street where a car/pedestrian collision had resulted in a death, especially when the pedestrian is clearly at fault? Somehow, I don't think we need to hold our collective breaths for that to happen. Barriers to effective, safe and enjoyable cycling are A-OK, but asking motorists to stop terrorizing people is a bridge too far.
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Old 08-01-10, 09:16 PM
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Do you know at what point the CRT crosses the Renton city boundary? Is it at the Maplewood Golf Course or is it at the point where the trail crosses the Cedar River near the gold course?
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Old 08-02-10, 06:12 AM
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The east Renton city limit at Maple Valley Highway is at 163rd SE. This is a little bit east of the Maplewood Golf Course and a little bit west of the Riverbend trailer/RV park. We drove by there just on Saturday on our way back from the Highland Games in Enumclaw. There is actually a 10 MPH speed limit/$ 101 traffic fine sign on the trail now, by the city limit.
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Old 08-02-10, 08:35 AM
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Maybe along with reduced speed for bike they could restrict headphones by pedestrians! I've rolled up to walkers and said "on your left" up to 3 times with no movement or response. As I slowly roll around this person was totally immersed with what ever was coming from the headphones ( fine, walk at the very edge of the path ). I really don't like the idea of a 10 mph speed limit, especially if it's the reaction to one incident, common sense, judgement with all users is always better.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:05 PM
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I also ride on the CRT and can identify with issues/comments raised here. It seems one of the first things that should be done (probably the easiest and most expensive) is to paint a white line down the middle of the trail. The shear number of times I've come across pedestrians walking 3, 4 or 5 abreast is staggering, with little to no idea what is happening behind them.

On another note - I've adopted the phrase "passing on your left" when approaching people on the trail. I swear when people hear "on your left" their first move is to the left.

Ride safely!
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Old 08-02-10, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Old'N'Slow View Post
On another note - I've adopted the phrase "passing on your left" when approaching people on the trail. I swear when people hear "on your left" their first move is to the left.
+1

BTW, my own experience on the CRT is that there is not much foot traffic until you get closer to the end, past the golf course. And because there is not that much bike traffic on the trail (at least compared to other trails around here) many of the pedestrians on the trail are completely unaware of the fact that bikes are on the trail. So even "passing" or "on your left" really won't do it -- you have to slow to a crawl and assume nobody knows what they are doing.

The outer stretches of the CRT -- toward Maple Valley -- are usually pretty open when I've been on them.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 08-02-10 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 08-02-10, 05:36 PM
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^^^ I have exactly the same experience.
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Old 08-02-10, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
The east Renton city limit at Maple Valley Highway is at 163rd SE. This is a little bit east of the Maplewood Golf Course and a little bit west of the Riverbend trailer/RV park. We drove by there just on Saturday on our way back from the Highland Games in Enumclaw. There is actually a 10 MPH speed limit/$ 101 traffic fine sign on the trail now, by the city limit.
Thank you. I will keep my eye open for this sign the net time I am out there.

Edit: I just checked this out on a map. That's a lot of CRT at 10mph! The only reason I have been riding the CRT these days is because May Valley Road is closed. Once it opens up again, I will avoid the CRT altogether. Maybe that's what the City of Renton would actually like... no cyclists on the CRT.

Last edited by Kneez; 08-02-10 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:32 PM
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Discouraging cyclists on this stretch of the trail will certainly make things interesting, as it is the only alternative to a section of the Maple Valley Highway that has no shoulder. The only way to ride that part of the highway is to take the lane, which will no doubt be very popular with all types of cyclists, as well as with the drivers.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:55 PM
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Anyone get a ticket yet? Are they doing any enforcement? Every trail I've seen is 15mph, but I've never seen any enforcement ever.

Of course, 10mph is ridiculously low for biking and I imagine some cops could make an easy day of it grabbing cyclists exceeding the limit.
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Old 08-03-10, 08:28 PM
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So does a bicyclist give enough of a radar return to be able to be caught speeding via the radar gun? Or they could use the laser gun, I suppose. I have never seen any bicycle speed limit enforcement.
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Old 08-03-10, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
Maybe along with reduced speed for bike they could restrict headphones by pedestrians! I've rolled up to walkers and said "on your left" up to 3 times with no movement or response. As I slowly roll around this person was totally immersed with what ever was coming from the headphones ( fine, walk at the very edge of the path ). I really don't like the idea of a 10 mph speed limit, especially if it's the reaction to one incident, common sense, judgement with all users is always better.
This...
I avoid MUP's but when on them I try to signal/say "on your left" and like someone pointed out they hear a command "left" and move left but more importantaly most everyone on a trail has the geeky white headphones on and and there is no reaction. One other observation is if a kid is far left and parents are far on the right the kid will dart towards the parent at the last possible moment if they see you coming, knowing this I avoid what could be a big problem, those retractable dogs on leashes is another matter...
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Old 08-03-10, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
So does a bicyclist give enough of a radar return to be able to be caught speeding via the radar gun? Or they could use the laser gun, I suppose. I have never seen any bicycle speed limit enforcement.
Back in the '80s there was some radar enforcement on the trails of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, CA. It seems some folks had gotten their Knickers in a twist about mountain bikers going faster than 15 mph in what may have been the womb of mountain biking. Of course the cops set up at the bottom of descents to make it easier to cite people. This went on for a couple of years and then some sort of truce was reached.

Change is hard. In Marin it was hikers giving way to cyclists. I hope we are not witnessing the beginnings of all bike paths becoming MUPs and then descending into just off-street sidewalks.
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Old 08-04-10, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
So does a bicyclist give enough of a radar return to be able to be caught speeding via the radar gun? Or they could use the laser gun, I suppose. I have never seen any bicycle speed limit enforcement.
Yes.

I had a motorcycle cop who was parked in a driveway yell "I could give you a ticket!" to me as I was riding by. I was going downhill, doing 42-43 in a 35.

Plus, every one of those radar-equipped speed limit signs give me fairly accurate readings.

I once saw a Lake Forest Park officer with a radar gun on the Burke-Gilman on a Saturday about five years ago, when I actually still rode on the BG.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
So does a bicyclist give enough of a radar return to be able to be caught speeding via the radar gun?
There is one of those radar-activated speed limit signs on my work commute and it has no trouble picking me up as I cycle past every day. The speed it displays seems pretty accurate as well.
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Old 08-04-10, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I hope we are not witnessing the beginnings of all bike paths becoming MUPs and then descending into just off-street sidewalks.
In this particular setting, the Cedar River Trail is a MUP. I am hard-pressed to think of any facility in this area that is only for bicycles. All of the paved and gravel paths in this area that I can think of are multi-user. As such, they are best thought of as off-street sidewalks used by all. The only restrictions I ever see are for motorized vehicles.
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Old 08-04-10, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by woodway View Post
There is one of those radar-activated speed limit signs on my work commute and it has no trouble picking me up as I cycle past every day. The speed it displays seems pretty accurate as well.
That is interesting. The radar sign in Mill Creek only rarely picks me up when I cycle past it. This is what made me wonder about the radar return. It always picks me up when I drive by it. It is how I learned that if I hold the motorcycle to 29 MPH on the speedometer, I am going 25 MPH according to the sign. So my motorcycle speedometer is the typical 10% or so optimistic.
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Old 08-04-10, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
That is interesting. The radar sign in Mill Creek only rarely picks me up when I cycle past it. This is what made me wonder about the radar return. It always picks me up when I drive by it. It is how I learned that if I hold the motorcycle to 29 MPH on the speedometer, I am going 25 MPH according to the sign. So my motorcycle speedometer is the typical 10% or so optimistic.
The radar signs pick me up on my bicycle and provide an accurate reading only if there are no cars around me. When there is other traffic it doesn't pick up my speed.
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Old 08-04-10, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by woodway View Post
There is one of those radar-activated speed limit signs on my work commute and it has no trouble picking me up as I cycle past every day. The speed it displays seems pretty accurate as well.
I pass a couple of them on my commute, and they're spot-on accurate with my computer readouts for speed. They don't, however, seem to trigger until I reach at least 14mph. There's one just over an uphill crest, and when I'm doing 12mph and getting up to speed, the sign is inactive. When I hit 14mph, it lights up.
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Old 08-04-10, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
I pass a couple of them on my commute, and they're spot-on accurate with my computer readouts for speed. They don't, however, seem to trigger until I reach at least 14mph. There's one just over an uphill crest, and when I'm doing 12mph and getting up to speed, the sign is inactive. When I hit 14mph, it lights up.
The northbound one that I hit (on 156th Ave NE, north of the White Stallion) has clocked me as slow as 7MPH (riding with my wife...she is not fast, but she is durable )
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Old 08-04-10, 07:23 PM
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In Bellevue, going up NE 24th St. from NE 20th/Northup Way (eastbound up the steep hill at the exit from the 520 trail) there is one of those radar speed limit signs that would flash "Hi" briefly if it picked me up climbing to the top of the hill (probably at 6 mph in 34x25) if there were no cars approaching from behind me. It hasn't done it lately, so some city worker must have reprogrammed it.
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