Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Gang -
I have a general question about paved trails in an urban area....
Here in Central Indiana we have a trail known as the Monon Trail...
http://www.indianatrails.org/Monon_Indy.htm
It's basically an old rail-to-trail converted into a nice paved, straight, multi (walker, skaters, and bikes) use trail that goes North to South straight thru the north side of Indy. I know that certain sections of the Monon Trail get OVER used.... Congested with Moms walking their strollers and their dogs, joggers, rollerbladers, families (including 4 and 5 year olds) riding their bikes as well.... ETC.

Recently there has been a local govt. vote regarding Speed limits on this trail and how they are to be enforced... Basically, the speed limit is 15 mph and the local Bicycle Cops are now expected to issue $50 tickets to anyone breaking that speed limit. The speed limit has always been 15 mph on this trail to my knowledge but it's never really been enforced... I know that several roadies avoid these kinds of trails anyway due to the foot traffic but I just have a few questions and I would love some suggestions.

My questions are:
Do other cities have these type of limitations placed on their Multi-Use Trail systems? Are there fines ($50 ticket) associated with being too FAST for the trail or for being wreckless while surrounded by the masses? And finally, does anyone have a trail system in place that has a variety of speed limits... congested areas are 10 or 15 mph areas and then in the less congested areas the speed is allowed to increase?

I doubt that I can change the system, I'm just one guy that rides a bike...
I don't even ride on the Monon Trail more than commuting, but that speed limit will mean that I slow down for almost half of my commute time into work... Or pay $50...
Anyway, any thoughts regarding this would be really appreciated.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,360 Posts
Far as I know, it's pretty selective around here.

I haven't ever seen or heard of anybody being cited in Reno, though the cops say they have the technology. Our only real MUT is along a river, and access for the radar etc. would be sort of a pain unless they had a real reason to do it. So far I don't think they do.
FWIW, though, I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen this summer. Our population is growing fast, and there's increasing pressure on public facilities. There's an inherent problem with 20mph bikes and 2mph strollers on the same 8-foot-wide path, plus we seem to have a disproportionate number of cyclists who think everybody should clear the way for THEM. There were a couple of bad ped-bike crashes last year. Won't take many more of those to bring a crackdown.
 

·
Government Mule
Joined
·
1,326 Posts
I ride on the Monon once in a while, and heard the same on the radio today. Maybe they will give 10mph leeway to bikes like they usually do to autos. Probably too many hard core roadies blasting through Broad Ripple full speed ahead. Sometimes I take my three speed out on that trail, since I just go there to cruise along anyway, but there are some long stretches where you rarely see any peds. It will be a shame to have to observe that limit on the whole trail, but it sounds like the train is leaving the station and all we can do is get on board.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
20km for paved common sense for cinder

Here in Ontario I belong to a trail commitee for our town so I have been digging into speed limits for different parts of the province. It looks like most municipalities like the 20km speed which is 12mph and most rail trails running from town to town are as fast as the cinder will let you. My wife and I ride a 45km cinder and screening trail a lot and above 30km you are kind of floating along with marginal control.
As a trail organizer I don't want to see speed limits have to be enforced and so far our weekly complaints don't include many about speed
RCA
 

·
Scary Teddy Bear
Joined
·
14,791 Posts
Here

RCA said:
Here in Ontario I belong to a trail commitee for our town so I have been digging into speed limits for different parts of the province. It looks like most municipalities like the 20km speed which is 12mph and most rail trails running from town to town are as fast as the cinder will let you. My wife and I ride a 45km cinder and screening trail a lot and above 30km you are kind of floating along with marginal control.
As a trail organizer I don't want to see speed limits have to be enforced and so far our weekly complaints don't include many about speed
RCA

In SE Minnesota, we have many bike paths, but most of the roadies I know would not utilize them, they tend to be narrow, congested with runners, pedestrians, and casual cyclists. I actually tried to ride them once on my road bike and scared the hell out of myself and several others......I'll stick to the roads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Sprocket - Matt said:
Hey Gang -
I have a general question about paved trails in an urban area....
Here in Central Indiana we have a trail known as the Monon Trail...
http://www.indianatrails.org/Monon_Indy.htm
It's basically an old rail-to-trail converted into a nice paved, straight, multi (walker, skaters, and bikes) use trail that goes North to South straight thru the north side of Indy. I know that certain sections of the Monon Trail get OVER used.... Congested with Moms walking their strollers and their dogs, joggers, rollerbladers, families (including 4 and 5 year olds) riding their bikes as well.... ETC.

Recently there has been a local govt. vote regarding Speed limits on this trail and how they are to be enforced... Basically, the speed limit is 15 mph and the local Bicycle Cops are now expected to issue $50 tickets to anyone breaking that speed limit. The speed limit has always been 15 mph on this trail to my knowledge but it's never really been enforced... I know that several roadies avoid these kinds of trails anyway due to the foot traffic but I just have a few questions and I would love some suggestions.

My questions are:
Do other cities have these type of limitations placed on their Multi-Use Trail systems? Are there fines ($50 ticket) associated with being too FAST for the trail or for being wreckless while surrounded by the masses? And finally, does anyone have a trail system in place that has a variety of speed limits... congested areas are 10 or 15 mph areas and then in the less congested areas the speed is allowed to increase?

I doubt that I can change the system, I'm just one guy that rides a bike...
I don't even ride on the Monon Trail more than commuting, but that speed limit will mean that I slow down for almost half of my commute time into work... Or pay $50...
Anyway, any thoughts regarding this would be really appreciated.

As I understand it this Speed Limit is only for the Carmel portion of the trail. IndyParks has said they have no intention of doing the same for the Indianapolis section of the trail.

That said, The Monon trail is a bad place for any kind of cycling (or skating) over 10 mph. There is way too much pedestrian traffic and anything faster than 10 mph most times of the day is dangerous.
 

·
jaded bitter joy crusher
Joined
·
19,723 Posts
When I used to live in Boulder, there were posted speed limits on a lot of MUTs because they had had serious problems and accidents between cyclists, roller-skaters, and pedestrians. You could get a hefty fine for riding too fast.

No biggie for me because the roads were so good I didn't really want to waste time cycling on a MUT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
SW Wisconsin

physasst said:
In SE Minnesota, we have many bike paths, but most of the roadies I know would not utilize them, they tend to be narrow, congested with runners, pedestrians, and casual cyclists. I actually tried to ride them once on my road bike and scared the hell out of myself and several others......I'll stick to the roads.
Hmm. I don't remember seeing a speed limit on the Wisconsin Trail System, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. OTOH, I generally am not going all that fast on limestone trails. On the local city trail (La Crosse)--I don't know. If there isn't anyone around, I go pretty fast--but on nice days when joggers and dog-walkers abound, I slow down. No point in hurting someone or getting hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I personnally only ride the Monon when it is like 20 out and windy, so maybe 2x's a winter or so, and I usually am on my mtb. The last time I was out there about a month ago, as I came cruising down probably 15-18mph most people (there weren't many because it was cold), looked at me like I was mad max buring through the dessert in my dunebuggy or something. I knew that trying to get a good "workout" on a paved path like that was not going to happen, so I'll probably not bother to go back unless I'm with my wife and just cruising BR or Carmel. On a side note, it should be noted that this path especially between Broad Ripple and Carmel (serveral miles) is so conjested if it is even a semi-nice day that it's not even fun, it's like trying to drive rush hour in Atlanta or something. If they are going to enforce speeds then why not give tickets out to people that walk in the middle of the thing or 4 abreast....those are the real dangerous people imo. Basically the Monon is what it is, it's a city park project not a velodrome...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
YES in Denver, sort of......

The main MUT through the center of town (the Platte River trail) has a posted speed limit of 15 mph on most of the trail. Although I personally have never been clocked, several friends have mentioned that cops periodically use radar guns to check the speeds of cyclists and usually shout out a "SLOW DOWN" warning to those going too fast. What I don't know for sure is whether or not they actually issue citations. Anyone know for sure?

When I ride this trail, I usually zip along at 18-20, unless it is crowded, in which case I slow down to avoid accidents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds like the basic common sense rules would do...

Thanks gang.
I kinda knew this would be the response to my posting.
Keetowah - It sounds like we use the Monon for the same thing... And about the only thing it's really good for in the mind of a cyclist... Ride my mt. bike along side the kiddies...

BTW - The Vote Passed. Carmel's 5 mile stretch of the Monon will have an enforced speed limit. Maybe I should look into becoming a bicycle cop in Carmel.... At least I'd be able to ride a bike all day... even if it is a 50 lb Trek Mt. Bike. ;)
 

·
Squirrel Hunter
Joined
·
3,806 Posts
Crystal Ball

Sprocket - Matt said:
...BTW - The Vote Passed. Carmel's 5 mile stretch of the Monon will have an enforced speed limit...
Too bad the morons on City Council forgot to look into the official crystal ball before voting. After a few $50 tickets the bikers will move off the trail and begin congesting the roads. Wait until all those soccer moms in Carmel Cargo Trucks have to navigate around cyclist driven off the trail. Of course they will be driving their kiddies to the trail head so they can walk on the trail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
The Twin Cities has a number of paved trails throughout the area. Most do not have speed limits. The oldest trails in the area are around the Minneapolis Lakes. These city parks were established in 1883. The trails around the lakes and along Minnehaha Creek have a 10 MPH speed limit and many sections are one way travel. Most of the trails have seperate bike and pedestrian lanes. Never the less it can get crowded. Adjacent to all these 10 MPH trails is a Parkway that has a 25 MPH speed limit. I've never experienced or met anyone who's been ticketed but I have heard people say it happens.

Very few roadies use the speed limited trails, lots use the parkways. The biggest danger on the Parkways I think is getting doored. Lots of people park their cars on the parkway then walk around one of the lakes. Therefore, there's always lots of comings and goings from the parked cars.

Minneapolis has been pretty good about providing good alternatives whenever they've put a limitation in like a speed limit or a one way restriction. Minneapolis also has two bike freeways. They have limited access points and they've done a good job of limiting intersections with car traffic. They have dedicated bike only lanes and one of them actually has a center grass median between East and West bike traffic. These don't have any speed limit I'm aware of. On the longest one it's not unusual to see a heads down tri guy on the bars hammering away.
 

·
Scary Teddy Bear
Joined
·
14,791 Posts
Exactly

keetowah said:
I personnally only ride the Monon when it is like 20 out and windy, so maybe 2x's a winter or so, and I usually am on my mtb. The last time I was out there about a month ago, as I came cruising down probably 15-18mph most people (there weren't many because it was cold), looked at me like I was mad max buring through the dessert in my dunebuggy or something. I knew that trying to get a good "workout" on a paved path like that was not going to happen, so I'll probably not bother to go back unless I'm with my wife and just cruising BR or Carmel. On a side note, it should be noted that this path especially between Broad Ripple and Carmel (serveral miles) is so conjested if it is even a semi-nice day that it's not even fun, it's like trying to drive rush hour in Atlanta or something. If they are going to enforce speeds then why not give tickets out to people that walk in the middle of the thing or 4 abreast....those are the real dangerous people imo. Basically the Monon is what it is, it's a city park project not a velodrome...
the only time I ride the trails here is with my wife, we have a couple of very cheap mountain bikes that we bought from shopko I believe, and when we want to just cruise slowly or ride a leisurely ride with the neighbors, we will often ride those and ride the bike paths, but we are also only doing about 10mph at the most...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,130 Posts
... we have an extensive system of trails in SW Ohio and in my experience, most don't have a posted speed limit...

One, however, comes to mind, is the Little Miami Scenic as it passes through some congestion areas (the trail is approximately 70 miles long). Indeed, in the village of Yellow Springs, which, especially on weekends, is a chokepoint (multi users from hikers, equestrian, bladers, peds, etc.) they have a posted limit of 20MPH within the village limits... and have been known to "enforce" with radar on occasion (the trail parallels a road through it's last mile into the town center and a cruiser may sometimes be perched alongside).

I've never had probs (southbound is a slight downgrade so it's very easy to exceed 20MPH... plus, there are a couple of street crossings in town that are relatively dangerous, but often blown by cyclists) but have seen cyclists and bladers (some of them guys and gals are fast on the downgrade) seemingly ticketed.

My only experience came with a park ranger (in a cruiser) south of Corwin... who wanted to cite me for blowing a stopsign (arguably, a dangerous intersection that I was familiar with and proceeded at my own risk). I slowed just enuff to hear him warn me that I could have points issued against my driver's license (which I'm still not sure is actually possible since I wasn't driving!!!) then kinda ignored him... sped to the next interesction (which was about a quarter mile away yet still visible from his position) and blew through that one too... expecting a pursuit (none occured). I'm not advocating breaking a law per se... but an argument of self determination (again, I was very familiar with this intersection and knew that, if you paid attention, you could cross at speed without incident). Sometimes, riding, especially long distances and at speed, have a rhythm that is difficult to explain to non cyclists. It's just not as "easy" to drop from 27 to 0 and resume pedalling as it is to press on a gas pedal (both physically and mentally).

OK, off my rebel soapbox.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top