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Bike Trails are for bikes.

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Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby flarosa » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:53 am

Ah, early spring weather in Madison. The perfect time to pump up the tires, squeeze into the spandex, and tool around the Isthmus on Madison's famed bike trails.

Until you encounter the first group of people walking three-abreast across both lanes. Or the couple with four children wandering out of control. Or the ladies pushing baby carriages. Or the dogs.

What's up with these people? There are thousands of sidewalks all over the city, dozens of public parks. Why must they treat my road like a playground? Are they oblivious to the danger posed by speeding bicycles? You wouldn't let your children wander across East Washington or walk your dog in the middle of the Beltline.

I'm sure thirty people are going to chime in and remind me that the bike routes are "mixed use recreational trails" that are designed for "everyone". Baloney. They are bike trails, and the only reason the law is written that way is so Republican senators who represent the SUV and Pickup-truck crowd wouldn't vote against the funding. In Madison, we know better.

Let's get it together and use some common sense, people. Walk on the sidewalk. Horse around in your backyard. Take your kids to the park. Let the bike riders have one small place where we can pedal without the constant threat of being flattened by an office supply truck or some Republican in an SUV. Is this too much to ask?

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Galoot » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:40 am

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.

If you are going so fast that you have trouble slowing down for others on the path, then get over on Seminole and ride out to Paoli, on the roads.

Jeez, I hate even having to respond to such a trollish OP.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:01 am

Someone tell that to the bikes I'm dodging in my car everyday on Hwy S which runs almost the same route as the Military Ridge trail. It's a two lane 55 mph road with lots of blind curves. If I were on a bike I would take the bike trail.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Deitrich » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:14 am

Sorry Frank. I know you're in serious training for your triathalon and you just bought your spiffy new riding spandex. Just learn other people use the path and its not just for you. I bike and jog on them. I let bikes pass when I'm jogging and I give a friendly "on the left" when I'm passing pedestrians.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby rrnate » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:25 am

Share the road = share the path.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:35 am

Seems like we have to have this thread every spring. It's like seeing the first robin.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby pjbogart » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:47 am

When I'm biking, I don't mind pedestrians on the bike paths. When I'm driving, I don't mind bicyclists on the road. What burns my ass is going down South Seminole or Syene/McCoy and having to dodge bicyclists when there's a freakin' bike path ten feet from the road! Why did we spend all that money building the bike path if you're just going to use the road anyway?

The bike path provides safety and convenience for both bicyclists and motorists. Use it.

As for the Robins, great. Four months of non-stop warbling. I need to get a cat.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby fennel » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:54 am

pjbogart wrote:What burns my ass is going down South Seminole or Syene/McCoy and having to dodge bicyclists when there's a freakin' bike path ten feet from the road!
Your physician would say, rightly: Don't drive down South Seminole or Syene/McCoy!
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:02 am

pjbogart wrote:...there's a freakin' bike path ten feet from the road! Why did we spend all that money building the bike path if you're just going to use the road anyway?
Couldn't this same sort of logic be used for the OP? There's a sidewalk within about 1 block of most sections of the bike path. Stroller People could just go to the sidewalk and keep out of the way of speedy bikes. Safer for strollers and for bikes.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby jman111 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:19 am

Just as some automobile users unjustly direct their ire at all bikers, it seems the OP does the same with non-bikers. Just as bicyclists shouldn't ride three abreast on busy highways, neither should pedestrians leisurely stroll while blocking the entire path.

It's about understanding how your actions impact others. Empathy. Awareness.

Can't we all just get along?
Last edited by jman111 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Ducatista » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:40 am

Stebben84 wrote:Seems like we have to have this thread every spring. It's like seeing the first robin.


Yep. Here's a post from the late-June 2009 version of this thread, also started by flarosa:

Kenneth Burns wrote:Snippy TDPF threads about bicycling are one of my favorite summer rituals. How long can we make this one go?


Good to see you're cranking up the ol' whiny bike thread early this year, flarosa!
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby gargantua » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:55 am

Hate to admit it, but I sort of sympathize with the OP. As another poster touched on, the real problem is people's seemingly total lack of awareness of others. People shouldn't walk three abreast, they shouldn't wander all over the path, and they should be aware of their surroundings. If only bike paths were the only location for thoughtless people. You know the ones.....can't quite seem to stay in their traffic lane, can't seem to shop without blocking the entire aisle at the supermarket while staring in slack-jawed wonder at the label of the same can of beans they buy every other week.

Boy, that was fun. In other news, cardinals are busy building a nest right outside my window.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby rabble » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:06 pm

I have analyzed this issue and reached a conclusion that is absolutely true, solves nothing, and will cause annoyance on all sides of the issue.

The problem is not who should or should not be using the bike paths. It is too many users of the bike paths. Put another way, the bike paths are too narrow and have too few lanes.

When the paths first opened we didn't have these complaints because we didn't have enough traffic to annoy enough people.

Now we do.

Too bad for us.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:10 pm

Toll bike lanes.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:15 pm

rabble wrote:The problem is not who should or should not be using the bike paths. It is too many users of the bike paths. Put another way, the bike paths are too narrow and have too few lanes.

Is it time for some four-lane bike expressways? Even just plain wider lanes like you suggest might help. But you still get areas like the Lakeshore Path, where the lanes are clearly marked pedestrians or bikes-only and you have people wandering around in the bike path.
gargantua wrote:Hate to admit it, but I sort of sympathize with the OP. As another poster touched on, the real problem is people's seemingly total lack of awareness of others. People shouldn't walk three abreast, they shouldn't wander all over the path, and they should be aware of their surroundings.

This is true. The issue isn't with drivers vs. bikers vs. pedestrians, it's with assholes who don't know how to responsibly behave in their chosen mode of travel.
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