Bike Trails are for bikes.

Badgers, Packers, Mallards. Paddling, running, golfing. And bikes!
WestSideYuppie
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby WestSideYuppie » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:08 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:... A better solution would be to price each mode of transportation based on actual costs (in resources, pollution, logistical management, safety etc) and let people choose what they want to pay for.

Edit: My first sentence is somewhat incomplete. It should really say something more like this: The system by which we pay for public roads does not accurately price the costs of road construction, maintenance, traffic management and related externalities, and does not impose the actual costs of use on the users of the system, but rather applies them indiscriminately to everyone.


My gut reaction is that this sounds regressive. For all practical purposes, most people have to drive if they want to work.

As for peds on the bike paths, my bike has brakes, and I think that increasing the number of stakeholders is a good way to gain additional public support for more paths.

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Twinner » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:16 am

Galoot wrote:No, Frank, no. I'm an avid cyclist, I commute on the Madison paths regularly, but they are NOT bike paths, they are for everybody.

Jeez, I hate even having to respond to such a trollish OP.



I agree. As a commuter and racer I rarely if ever ride on the MULTI USE PATH that people mistake as Bicycle Paths. When I do ride on a portion of an MUP, I slow down to 12-15 mph or a speed where I'm not seen as an asshole cyclist passing too close or too fast to skaters, walkers, runners, joggers, families and other cyclists.

So get over yourself. Get on the street and obey the rules of the road there too. Or pull your head out of your ass and share the MUP

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby wackybadger » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:02 am

Honest question here...on which side of a bike path/multi-use path should pedestrians walk? My understanding was that it should be treated like a sidewalk, i.e., walk on the right-hand side. However, many walkers seem to take the yellow lines down the center to mean it is more of a road and they should walk against the bicycle traffic. This inevitably leads to some people adhering to each belief and is more chaotic. So I'm just curious, what is the right rule?

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby rabble » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:28 am

wackybadger wrote:So I'm just curious, what is the right rule?

I have spent many happy and playful hours scanning the city website pages pertaining to these paths, and aside from the "be respectful of others" admonishments, do not recall seeing any rules whatsoever.

Considering that no one is barred from the path and we're dealing with pets and kids in bike trailers, baby carriages, training wheels, running around chasing butterflies, and with people on trikes, wheelchairs, canes, and those damned standup side to side whatever the hell they are things, and pretty soon we'll probably be dealing with these too, pretty much any rules, written or unwritten, are going to have to be flexible to say the least.

We're just going to have to face the fact that our real problem is not so much the intrusion of others into our space as it is our expectations that the bike paths should be as free-flowing as your basic interstate, with its resultant "path-rage" incidents.

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby green union terrace chair » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:23 am

rabble wrote:
wackybadger wrote:So I'm just curious, what is the right rule?

I have spent many happy and playful hours scanning the city website pages pertaining to these paths, and aside from the "be respectful of others" admonishments, do not recall seeing any rules whatsoever.

Considering that no one is barred from the path and we're dealing with pets and kids in bike trailers, baby carriages, training wheels, running around chasing butterflies, and with people on trikes, wheelchairs, canes, and those damned standup side to side whatever the hell they are things, and pretty soon we'll probably be dealing with these too, pretty much any rules, written or unwritten, are going to have to be flexible to say the least.

We're just going to have to face the fact that our real problem is not so much the intrusion of others into our space as it is our expectations that the bike paths should be as free-flowing as your basic interstate, with its resultant "path-rage" incidents.

I have often taken part in that debate. It is a multi-use path, yes. But bicycles, even if you don't want to label them as the "primary" users of the path, are certainly the fastest and most potentially dangerous users.

Therefore, if I'm walking, I'd rather be on the left side of the path. Because if someone is biking at 20mph, I'd rather see them coming toward me and be able to move over, or if they're coming up behind me, they're four feet away rather than one foot away. And if you've got fast traffic in both directions, again I think you can see a potential traffic problem (collision) from the left side.

That's pretty much the same reason you walk against traffic on a country highway with no sidewalks.

But this system works best if EVERYBODY follows it. And they don't. So it is always chaos on the "bike" paths.

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Galoot » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:44 am

The problem with walking on the left is the game of chicken that results when you make eye contact with the cyclist. Which way are you going to move? A significant number of people will move to the right, putting themselves in the center of the path. One FB friend of mine said this was her preferred tactic. Yikes. What a great way to produce a pile-up on the bike path.

If I'm walking on the right side, then the bikes can pass me on the left, since I'm just a slower-moving occupant of that side. When I'm on my bike, I'll ring my bell 50 feet or so before I pass someone, just to let them know I'm coming. An "on your left" works well for this too.

About the only problem I see is when people pull out onto the other side of the path to pass someone, knowing full well that there are people coming the other way, or they pull out without checking to see if there is someone behind them, about to pull out to pass also.

It isn't a race course, and as Twinner said, it works fine if you're going at a moderate speed. If you want to average anything close to 20 mph, get out on the roads.

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Bike Trails are for jerks.

Postby Marvell » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:49 am

The 'multi-use path etiquette' signs posted at various points along the way clearly states that pedestrians should walk in the same direction as traffic. There are similar signs along the roads in the Arboretum, which are similarly ignored.

The 'etiquette' signs also indicate that everyone should walk, ride, etc. as far to the left as possible to allow for safe passing. This is also ignored by a good 75-80% of the users of the path.

Y'all be a bunch of social contract-ignoring motherfuckers, Madison.

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:19 pm

And then there's rollerbladers, with their gangly legs shooting out left, right, left all over the path. And rollerSKIers with their ski poles all akimbo. And don't get me started on those goofy three-wheeled things that flagellate back and forth like a meth-ed up paramecium...

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby snoqueen » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:43 pm

Those elliptical things linked in rabble's post are already here. I saw someone using one on Old Middleton Rd. last weekend. They're fast. Some guy was trying to catch up with the rider, probably to ask her about the bike, and he didn't have a chance.

from Marvell:
The 'etiquette' signs also indicate that everyone should walk, ride, etc. as far to the left as possible to allow for safe passing.


You sure they don't say as far to the right as possible? I bet you have the same problem I do and can't tell left from right without thinking twice, looking for a ring on your hand, etc. I think it's some kind of dyslexia. The "passing on your left" yelling drives me crazy because by time I figure out which way is left, they're already gone. Fortunately it's useless information requiring no action by me so I ignore it.

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Marvell » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:10 pm

Re: dyslexia - yes.

As a kid I had a scar from a cat scratch on my left hand, and when someone would ask me, 'left or right?' I'd reflexively look down at my hands for the scar.

When it finally disappeared I was sunk.

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:06 pm

Marvell wrote:Re: dyslexia - yes.

As a kid I had a scar from a cat scratch on my left hand, and when someone would ask me, 'left or right?' I'd reflexively look down at my hands for the scar.

When it finally disappeared I was sunk.


My mom taught me: "Left is the one with the thumb on the right."

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Meade » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:11 am


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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Endo Rockstar » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:04 am

I'm wondering if anyone else is having bad experiences with Longboarders in the bike lane. It seems like they end of taking about as much space a rollerblader.

I feel for the guys, they get yelled at by some police officers for riding on the road, and then get tickets for riding on the sidewalk.

Sidewalk or road, where should they be?

-Dan Motor

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:28 am

WestSideYuppie wrote:My mom taught me: "Left is the one with the thumb on the right."
This seems more like teasing than advice -- if I already have trouble with my left and right, how will this help?

I was taught to make an 'L' with my thumb and forefinger. The correct-facing 'L' is left, making the backward-facing 'L' right.

When someone yells: "On your left", I just keep going straight and assume they know what they're doing.

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:35 am

I've always had trouble with left/right, but when in the Navy, port and starboard never gave me problems. That's probably because one always had to think where the ship's bow was. That little extra time made it easier to figure out port/starboard directions.


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