We’ve had this debate for years back in Iowa. In Arizona, we Tucsonan’s don’t quite hit the mark calling these paths “bike” paths, when in fact they are “multi-use” paths. If they were limited to bicycles, the problem would be moot. Instead there are people pushing baby carriages, walking dogs on extending leashes, inline skating, loafing along on hybrids and beach cruisers, or people just coming on and off the path. In other communities, the intended use of a multi-use path is to provide suburbia with a place to enjoy being outside without walking on the roads. I always thought that's what sidewalks were for?
If we already have roads and sidewalks, my question is why do we need to spend public funds for a third chunk of blacktop anyway?
We don't need bike or multi-use path at all. Bikes should ride on the road and pedestrians should walk on the sidewalk.
But with that said, I think if a bike is on one of these paths, especially in populated areas like the Rillito, we should not be riding at training speeds. Even if the path appears to be clear. There are so many twists, turns, narrow bridges and blind entrances that we can’t know what’s ahead. The possible exception is a very rural path such as the Santa Cruz where it's mostly cyclists and you can see for miles.
Most “racer” types that I know use the paths to get to and from a training destination.
I think spending money on paths to move cyclists off of public roadways is misuse of public funds. Remember, fellow cyclists, we are not “in” traffic, we “are” traffic. We should be lobbying to use the entire lane where there are no bike lanes and not be forced to “single up” so that motorists think they can share the lane with us – putting cyclists in danger. Instead cars should be required to pass a group of cyclists just as they would another slow moving vehicle; by changing lanes. I drive a car more miles in a year than I ride a bike. Trust me, it's not hard to pass a bicycle, or a group of bicycles.
Somehow, here in Tucson cyclists are considered guests on the road. The only place we are tolerated is either on a path or in a narrow bike lane filled with gravel, glass, thorns and other road debris.
Once in a while I see a cyclist roll through a stop sign or fail to signal. So big deal. I see that all the time with motorists. How about we stop hating on cyclists for being human? Should we strive to be better than average? Yes. But why do we expect cyclists to be any more holy than the rest of the general public? Certainly no reason to relegate us to a multi-use path forced to navigate around some spastic Labradoodle on a 25' extend-a-leash.
Instead of building bike or multi-use paths, how about if we re-appropriate the funds and just fix the uber-crappy roads and bridges here?
Sometimes some things that seem to be "bike friendly" are in not very friendly at all.
|Not sure why we needed to build another cement path when there is a perfectly good right next to it?|