Multiuse trails: Left or Right side walking?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Kab, Oct 5, 2003.

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  1. Kab

    Kab Guest

    I'm sure this has been addressed ad nauseum, and I searched the Google Usenet archives, but I have
    yet to find a definitive, sensible answer.

    I am a bike rider, walker/hiker, and dog walker. My position is that all pedestrians, including dog
    walkers, walk on the LEFT on multiuse trails so that they can see oncoming bike riders AND, more
    importantly, keep their unruly dogs under control by blocking them with their body to prevent them
    from charging into the trail. Dogs are trained by convention to walk on the left of their handler,
    so it makes sense for the handler to walk left to maintain trail safety.

    This, coupled with the convention of walking to the left on roads with automobiles to face traffic,
    seems to make it sensible to adopt the rule of walking left on multiuse trails.

    Many multiuse trails do not specify rules. Those that do sometimes say for all traffic to move on
    the right side. For dog walkers at least, this is a potential hazard. And bike riders have to deal
    with pedestrians not looking at oncoming traffic.

    In malls and parks with no bicycles and dogs allowed I can understand the natural tendency to walk
    to the right (and face oncoming Japanese and British tourists).

    Is this sensible or am I tilting at windmills?
     
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  2. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    >I am a bike rider, walker/hiker, and dog walker. My position is that all pedestrians, including dog
    >walkers, walk on the LEFT on multiuse trails so that they can see oncoming bike riders

    On our local trails there are posted rules. All slow traffic is on the RIGHT.

    You know this makes sense. Bike trails are not that wide. If "pedestrians" walk on the LEFT,
    that makes essentially a slot on both sides of the trail for pedestrians. Actually, more then
    that because most pedestrians come in at least pairs and walk side by side. A bike trail is just
    too narrow to allow pedestrians walking on the LEFT with cyclists on the RIGHT. These things are
    not 4 lanes.

    >AND, more importantly, keep their unruly dogs under control by blocking them with their body to
    >prevent them from charging into the trail.

    Unruly dogs have absolutely no place on multiple use trails. PERIOD!!! If a dog has a tendency to
    charge anyone, they should not be out in this kind of setting. In my observations on the local
    trails though, the dogs are pretty well behaved. I have yet to see one try to pursue my bike.

    >This, coupled with the convention of walking to the left on roads with automobiles to face traffic,
    >seems to make it sensible to adopt the rule of walking left on multiuse trails.

    Again, multiple use trails are different. They are not nearly as wide as roads and there just is not
    the space to conveniently allow for such.
     
  3. Pat

    Pat Guest

    x-no-archive:yes

    In our local "bike path" (this path has signs telling people Bicycles Only!) the pedestrians walk on
    the right. Why? because the convention for vehicles is to pass on the left. Dog walkers frequently
    take up the entire bike path, and certainly all the Skaters take up the whole path with their wildly
    swinging arms and their swaying back and forth. Oh well, at least they can't gripe at the bike
    riders because the signs remind people it is a Bicycles Only path....

    Once, I saw a young woman pull her Great Dane off of the path and wrap the leash around his
    muzzle while holding him around the chest with both arms. That made me a bit leery of what the
    dog might do!

    Pat in TX
     
  4. Badger South

    Badger South Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Pbwalther <p[email protected]> wrote:
    >>I am a bike rider, walker/hiker, and dog walker. My position is that all pedestrians, including
    >>dog walkers, walk on the LEFT on multiuse trails so that they can see oncoming bike riders
    >
    >On our local trails there are posted rules. All slow traffic is on the RIGHT.
    >
    >
    >You know this makes sense. Bike trails are not that wide. If "pedestrians" walk on the LEFT,
    >that makes essentially a slot on both sides of the trail for pedestrians. Actually, more then
    >that because most pedestrians come in at least pairs and walk side by side. A bike trail is just
    >too narrow to allow pedestrians walking on the LEFT with cyclists on the RIGHT. These things are
    >not 4 lanes.
    >
    > >AND, more importantly, keep
    >>their unruly dogs under control by blocking them with their body to prevent them from charging
    >>into the trail.
    >
    >Unruly dogs have absolutely no place on multiple use trails. PERIOD!!! If a dog has a tendency to
    >charge anyone, they should not be out in this kind of setting. In my observations on the local
    >trails though, the dogs are pretty well behaved. I have yet to see one try to pursue my bike.
    >
    >>This, coupled with the convention of walking to the left on roads with automobiles to face
    >>traffic, seems to make it sensible to adopt the rule of walking left on multiuse trails.
    >
    >Again, multiple use trails are different. They are not nearly as wide as roads and there just is
    >not the space to conveniently allow for such.

    It's a jungle out there. A zoo. My wife and daughter were scared by a girl with an unleashed great
    Dane that was charging people; but they were not as frightened as an elderly man who actually ran up
    and hid behind my wife when this horse charged him. My wife demanded to know why the girl didn't
    have him on a leash, and she just whined 'sorry', but was back the next day same story.

    Yesterday, I had a dog leap at me as I passed and then he chased me down the trail for a good
    100feet, right at my front wheel looking for a taste. The trail clearly says 'leash', but one
    section is 'unleashed' on T,Th,Sat. It seems there's a lot of dog owners on the city council and
    they're -very- vocal.

    I don't understand it, b/c the dog owners are going to be liable if the dog hurts someone. ;-(

    -B
    --
    Email Replies to johnson<nospm>01j <att> ntelos <dott> net
     
  5. "kab" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm sure this has been addressed ad nauseum, and I searched the
    Google
    > Usenet archives, but I have yet to find a definitive, sensible
    answer.
    >
    > I am a bike rider, walker/hiker, and dog walker. My position is
    that all
    > pedestrians, including dog walkers, walk on the LEFT .....

    I'm with you, but it's probably a lost cause. Bicycles are vehicles, and a bike path is a pathway
    for vehicles, in other words a road, although a road on which some kinds of vehicles are banned,
    rather as New Jersey bans motorcycles from the Garden State Parkway.

    True, it's generally a very narrow road, with a notable tendency to attract the ignorant and the
    stupid, but that should change neither the law, nor the reasons for it.

    Jeremy Parker
     
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