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So what's your beef with Multi-Use Pathes?

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So what's your beef with Multi-Use Pathes?

Old 04-05-20, 09:31 PM
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speyfitter
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So what's your beef with Multi-Use Pathes?

Many cities seem to look at multi-use paths as the inexpensive low hanging fruit solution in the quest to create bike infrastructure. Find an existing relatively continuous sidewalk route in a suitable location with reasonable dirt or grass boulevards adjacent to it, rip it up, replace it with a wider asphalt "path" that covers all or most of the boulevard and existing sidewalk and voila, you have bike infrastructure and you haven't compromised or lost any pedestrian infrastructure because you call it a multi-use path. While such paths have proven to work somewhat well as bike infrastructure where pedestrian volumes are low and if they serve transportation cyclists in key geographical areas, as soon as pedestrians are present in moderate to high volumes the multi-use path becomes almost worthless as bike infrastructure. There have been some studies done on this that seem to suggest that MUP's are also quite dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Many MUP's do not have any markings on them that discern where cyclists/wheeled traffic are to travel and where pedestrians are to travel. This "witches brew" is often problematic and tends to create more conflict as one of the user groups becomes present in larger numbers. ON the flip side I have seen some more successful examples where simple painted lines and signage of where pedestrians are to travel and where cyclist are to travel that seems to work well. With enough cyclist and pedestrians on the path, they serve to act as advocates in a sense and remind the other user group of their place and there seems to be fewer conflicts with such simple measures.

So I'm curious what is your beef with MUP's? What do you like about them? What don't you like about them? How could they be improved? Are they a stepping stone? Are they part of a cities evolution towards more separate bike infrastructure? Have you or someone you know had any incidents with the other user groups on MUP's? I'd love to hear your take!

Last edited by speyfitter; 04-10-20 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 04-05-20, 10:06 PM
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The only problem with MUPS is the pedestrians that have no concept of sharing or regard for others use of the same space.

Things like walking 3 abreast.

Things like unleashed dogs or dogs with excessively long leashes.

Things like joggers running up the middle of the path. Or, worse deciding to do a u-turn without regards to who they may be stepping in front of.

Things like the inability to understand such simple rules as: "All trail users keep right"

You can post all the signs with rules you like. Americans can't read. Or, at the very least, if they can, they are too special for "rules." Rules are for "the others."

Earphones, headsets, disregard for others, random ignorant banshee children everywhere...Good civics, sharing, concern for others isn't really what Americans do.

Sorry.
Just callin' it like it is.

Last edited by base2; 04-05-20 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 04-05-20, 10:12 PM
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Thanks base2 - excellent input, I appreciate it. Please everyone continue to call it like it is. This is important discussion.
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Old 04-05-20, 10:43 PM
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The most dangerous thing for me is inattentive owners plus doggies. That leash can potentially put me on the ground, if handled wrong. I worry quite a bit about this.
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Old 04-06-20, 12:11 AM
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Nice day on the weekend they tend to be crowed. Around here they mostly run through the woods and don’t have much of a view.
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Old 04-06-20, 03:47 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
The only problem with MUPS is the pedestrians that have no concept of sharing or regard for others use of the same space.
.......Things like walking 3 abreast.
Things like unleashed dogs or dogs with excessively long leashes.
.......Things like joggers running up the middle of the path. Or, worse deciding to do a u-turn without regards to who they may be stepping in front of.
Things like the inability to understand such simple rules as: "All trail users keep right"
.......You can post all the signs with rules you like. Americans can't read. Or, at the very least, if they can, they are too special for "rules." Rules are for "the others."
Earphones, headsets, disregard for others, random ignorant banshee children everywhere...Good civics, sharing, concern for others isn't really what Americans do.
......Sorry.
Just callin' it like it is.
EVERY issue noted above ^^^^ is easily resolved by me with my almost 50yo Schwinn Approved bells. The tone is pure delight as reflected in the waves and smiles and "THANK YOU'" I receive when riding on the local MUPs. I ring as I approach a bend, I ring if I see someone ahead on a straight section EVEN WHEN THEY ARE FACING ME, I ring especially for dogs being walked whether leashed or not and find that often the dog perks up while the hearing impaired human does not.

Runners move to the side, walking couples either go to single file or split allowing me to pass between, even on the occassional bridge over a wet area they hug the railing AND USUALLY SMILE as I slow for passing.

BTW, passing is always accompanied with a "smile and thank you."
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Old 04-06-20, 04:21 AM
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Bicycles shouldn't be lumped in with pedestrians, in the same way bicycles shouldn't be lumped in with buses. MUPs are a cack-handed solution that fixes nothing, and often creates more problems.

It's almost as if city planners try for the worst or dumbest solution, and implement that.

Pedestrians and bicycles should be completely segregated and given priority over cars.

Unfortunately, the opposite is what happens, as cars are given priority over everything else, and everyone suffers because of it.
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Old 04-06-20, 07:04 AM
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The MUP closest to me is kept in good repair by the city. When this 60+ mile path leaves the town it is no longer kept repaired. Some sections close for years and other sections are slowly returning to nature. One section went to nice tarred pebble surface to a single thin path through high grass.
This is a classic example of funding a quick build and no funds to maintain it. As a result it is sparsely used in the rural areas. I won't bring up politics.
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Old 04-06-20, 07:59 AM
  #9  
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MUPs are bad because a great many people live in their own bubbles-- bubbles in which no other person or thing exists. They let the dog out to the absolute extent of the retract-o-leash with one hand while staring at the phone in the other. They step off of curbs into the road without so much as even raising their eyes from said phone. Recently, with the huge uptick in walkers/joggers, I've had them running in the bike lanes-- which would be fine-- but they're running with traffic, so I'm coming up on them from behind. On MUPs, they just run smack in the middle.

MUPs are great for bicycle use in off hours, and when the weather is bad. If it's a nice day out, it's just less stressful to go ride somewhere else.
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Old 04-06-20, 09:01 AM
  #10  
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Not all MUPs are created equal. Some are borderline dangerous. Others are inconvenient. Some are downright wonderful. In my case an MUP that can be dangerous in town becomes fantastic 3 miles further down the path. Some that are bad during certain hours are fine at different times of the day.

The one thing that is constant is that most of the pedestrians are fairly oblivious. Some of the cyclists are. Pedestrians, pedestrians with dogs, pedestrians with kids and kids on bicycles are very predictable in that they cannot be trusted to be alert and to be tuned into their surroundings. Knowing that we can adjust our actions accordingly. More signage may help, but there will always be those who don't pay attention to or don't understand simple signage.

Take a look at the photo of the MUP around Audubon Park. Even with markings that appear every 200 feet or so, you get pedestrians in the bike lane. Even with a steady flow of cyclists people will let their dogs and kids wander across the bike lane. People who want to enter or exit the loop often don't look for cyclists even when there is a steady procession. Now that center (ish) marking? Understanding it is completely out of the question. Even though that same marking on a roadway has a very specific meaning, the pedestrians have no friggen idea what it means on this path.

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Old 04-06-20, 09:35 AM
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I have no beef with the MUPs in our city at all. I ride them all the time. OTOH I understand the "M" in multiuse and expect to see any and all kinds of traffic, and I am very willing to share. Sad to say the people that are most against MUPs are the speed cyclist that think everyone else should just get out of their way!!!
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Old 04-06-20, 09:48 AM
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Pretty much everything already mentioned is what I hate about MUPs. But in addition, I've noticed that the ones I've been on are very narrow and curvy, creating a lot of blind spots, yet many idiots come screaming around the corners like they're racing the TdF. Also I've noticed that much of the pavement is being forced up by tree roots and just a bunch of potholes in general. And I hate stopping at all the intersections to yield for cars.

You're probably wondering how I have all this experience with MUPs here in Jax, Fl. We have a few, but my experience is from visiting family in the D.C. area, where they have a vast system of MUPs.

After well over a 100 miles on various routes around the DC area, I can emphatically say.....I HATE THEM!!!

Ours here in Florida aren't near as bad, mainly because they're wider and not as congested, but I still stick to the roads where I can ride like I'm racing in the TdF



P.S. I have no ill will towards MUPs; I'm glad there are these places where people can take their kids to ride away from traffic. It's the idiots who expect to ride like lance that really irks me.





.
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Old 04-06-20, 10:11 AM
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All the above with an expansion on "stopping for cars":this is actually contrary to the rule of cars stopping for the crossing. Add to that, cars entering/stopping/rolling through the crossing while focussed on cross traffic, hurrying, texting, calling, eating, et al.
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Old 04-06-20, 10:20 AM
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Right now? Simple. It is far harder to maintain the 6' on them than it is on the road where every passing motorist is sealed in a metal box.

And anytime, not just the COVID months, the fact that slowing to safely pass kids and clueless pedestrians gets old.

Ben
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Old 04-06-20, 10:33 AM
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I prefer MUP's to door-zone/Turn lane bike lanes, FWIW. I'm not going to have a driver door me or hook me on the MUP, and around here they're constructed to maintain flow and minimize street crossings.
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Old 04-06-20, 10:45 AM
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Everything has its annoyances. I'll ride where I am allowed whether that be in car traffic, the Diamond lane, painted bike lanes, separated bike lanes or MUPs.

I'll bet dollars to donuts that most of the pedestrians on those MUPs are also drivers so their sense of entitlement and anti-cycling attitude is the same as behind the steering wheel.

As a cyclist, you have to be aware and avoid collisions.
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Old 04-06-20, 02:51 PM
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Jim from Boston
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So what's your beef with Multi-Use Pathes?
Originally Posted by speyfitter View Post
Many cities seem to look at multi-use paths as the inexpensive low hanging fruit solution in the quest to create bike infrastructure...

While such paths have proven to work somewhat well as bike infrastructure where pedestrian volumes are low and if they serve transportation cyclists in key geographical areas, as soon as pedestrians are present in moderate to high volumes the multi-use path becomes almost worthless as bike infrastructure. There have been some studies done on this that seem to suggest that MUP's are also quite dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Many MUP's do not have any markings on them that discern where cyclists/wheeled traffic are to travel and where pedestrians are to travel. This "witches brew" is often problematic and tends to create more conflict as one of the user groups becomes present in larger numbers.

ON the flip side I have seen some more successful examples where simple painted lines and signage of where pedestrians are to travel and where cyclist are to travel that seems to work well.

With enough cyclist and pedestrians on the path, they serve to act as advocates in a sense and remind the other user group of their place and there seems to be fewer conflicts with such simple measures.

So I'm curious what is your beef with MUP's?... Are they part of a cities evolution towards more separate bike infrastructure?..I'd love to hear your take!
Originally Posted by base2 View Post
The only problem with MUPS is the pedestrians that have no concept of sharing or regard for others use of the same space
Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Bicycles shouldn't be lumped in with pedestrians, in the same way bicycles shouldn't be lumped in with buses. MUPs are a cack-handed solution that fixes nothing, and often creates more problems.

It's almost as if city planners try for the worst or dumbest solution, and implement that.

Pedestrians and bicycles should be completely segregated and given priority over cars.

Unfortunately, the opposite is what happens, as cars are given priority over everything else, and everyone suffers because of it.
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
MUPs are bad because a great many people live in their own bubbles-- bubbles in which no other person or thing exists....

Recently, with the huge uptick in walkers/joggers, I've had them running in the bike lanes-- which would be fine-- but they're running with traffic, so I'm coming up on them from behind. On MUPs, they just run smack in the middle.

MUPs are great for bicycle use in off hours, and when the weather is bad. If it's a nice day out, it's just less stressful to go ride somewhere else.
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Not all MUPs are created equal....Some that are bad during certain hours are fine at different times of the day.
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Everything has its annoyances. I'll ride where I am allowed whether that be in car traffic, the Diamond lane, painted bike lanes, separated bike lanes or MUPs.

I'll bet dollars to donuts that most of the pedestrians on those MUPs are also drivers so their sense of entitlement and anti-cycling attitude is the same as behind the steering wheel.

As a cyclist, you have to be aware and avoid collisions.
I have previously posted:
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
If we ride often enough on MUPs we've all seen people parking in the middle of the path to chatter with another cyclist/jogger/dog walker, etc., mess with their phones, tie their shoes or loiter for no apparent reason.

And we've all seen wannabe racers riding too fast for conditions, sometimes two abreast, sometimes in mini-pelotons and not giving any consideration to other users -- slower cyclists, old folks walking with canes or walkers, families with strollers and toddlers and dogs on 50 yard retractable non-leashes (the dogs too), etc.

That's life on the multi-use path. Always been that way. Always will be. It's just the nature of the thing...Jerks are gonna jerk. But most folks are pretty cool about using the MUP. I prefer to keep the latter in mind.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
1+…Nicely said. ...My own thought is that a MUP is not so much a commuter route, or training venue, but a pastoral park, where people can enjoy themselves without too many worries, and needn’t be always vigilant, as is a cyclist on the Road.

A few years ago I went on a walking tour of the Boston’s Emerald Necklace park system designed by the great 19th century landscape architect Frederic Law Olmsted with the concept of a Promenade in mind. According to the Park Ranger, it was planned “to take a leisurely walk, ride, or drive in public, especially to meet or be seen by others (Oxford Dictionary).

The strollers would be dressed in their best clothes, and running and horses (? bicycles) would be discouraged.


My own Golden Rule of Cycling is “Do unto the Pedestrians, as you would have the Cagers do unto you.
Originally Posted by genec
I find it quite interesting that so many "avowed cyclists" here fail to see the parallels between MUP users and roadway users, and fail to offer the same courtesy to MUP users in front of them that they expect from motorists overtaking those same cyclists on the roadways
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I posted earlier on this thread:IMO the vast majority of pedestrians on a MUP / Bikepath are more likely motorists rather than cyclists, and do not share the opinion that they do not belong on the Path....

So I don’t expect pedestrians to show the same respect to cyclists, as we have to show toward cars i.e. “share the road.”

Especially since those users likely paid more to construct the Path as their refuge from driving.So why should cyclists, likely the minority of users, take over these public spaces?
↓↓↓↓

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-06-20 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 04-06-20, 02:57 PM
  #18  
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The only person I trust on MUP is spandex biker moving and the serious jogger. Those guys/gals are predictable.

Slower biker/commuter/family biking you never know when they are going to change lanes. Either coming at you or when you try to pass them. The groups of people that walk on the middle line or even sometimes cross it. grrr...
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Old 04-06-20, 03:10 PM
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Horse apples!
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Old 04-06-20, 03:11 PM
  #20  
Jim from Boston
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ɅɅɅɅ
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Courtesy on the bike paths"....

Now, my viewpoint on MUPS is influenced by living in the genteel city of Boston, where the MUPS are indeed public parks; and wide paved routes.

Last week, I visited Washington DC and checked out the widely touted Rock Creek trail (see photo), at least in the vicinity of Dupont Circle, where the bikes seem to be definitely second class. That segment is narrow with a two lane high-speed roadway on one side, and a wall of leafy green on the other.




That photo was an early Saturday morning. The path looks more utilitarian than pastoral, for runners training, and likely for cycle commuters to avoid notorious Washington traffic. Courtesy, even deference seems to be only means of coexistence.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 04-06-20 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 04-06-20, 03:28 PM
  #21  
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Everything listed has been an issue for me at one point or another, but I think what bugs me the most, I mean the MOST is people wearing earbuds that CAN NOT HEAR anything else going on around them. I don't have a issue with earbuds but if you use them and can't hear anything else, that bugs me!

I say on your left but can't hear because of the music. Two wide runners both with earbuds neither aware of anything and not being polite about giving space. I have on one occasion to a really annoying person not paying attention at all rode beside the person, pulled out the earbud and yelled, I mean yelled ON YOUR LEFT.

I understand they have as much right to the trail as anyone else but be polite.... I avoid the MUP on weekends, just too busy to be fun for me.
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Old 04-06-20, 03:54 PM
  #22  
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There was a time not all that long ago when there were no bike paths, bike lanes or dedicated "exercise paths". We have it good now, really good. I've been riding on the road since 1974. We should grateful for what we have now. Instead of complaining, form a volunteer Pathway Coalition in your area made up of riders, walkers, joggers, etc and find common ground.

Yes, it's a hassle riding on multi-use paths but that is what they are. Everyone has to get along on the same path. I had to adjust my attitude many years ago when there were no paths just to survive my 40 mile loop outside Cleveland Ohio in 1974. I try to carry that same attitude today on every ride.



-

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Old 04-06-20, 03:56 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
.., but I think what bugs me the most, I mean the MOST is people wearing earbuds that CAN NOT HEAR anything else going on around them. I don't have a issue with earbuds but if you use them and can't hear anything else, that bugs me!
This^^^^^^^^^
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Old 04-06-20, 04:09 PM
  #24  
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I wish I could find the video, but there was footage from a cyclist on a MUP where he began to overtake a headphones-wearing runner, and despite giving that runner plenty of room they abruptly made a U-turn. It resulted in a nasty collision.

Edit: Found it. https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=32d_1463120880

Last edited by JW Fas; 04-06-20 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 04-06-20, 04:17 PM
  #25  
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When I know there will be a lot of people on a MUP I avoid that MUP completely. Too many MUPs are too poorly designed to be safe and with pedestrians plus pedestrians with dogs on long leashes, a person on a bicycle can't or shouldn't be riding at a high rate of speed. A bicyclist on a MUP must be prepared to stop anytime and to be able to stop instantly.I don't enjoy riding on a MUP so I try to avoid them whenever possible.

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