I recently responded to a thread on a local forum about multi-use path etiquette, and thought this was a pretty good statement of why paths are bad for cyclists, so I thought i’d repurpose it for here.
That’s why I must object to the way some people behave on our bike paths. Of all the thousands of miles of streets and sidewalks in Madison, we bicyclists have only a few narrow paths which we can call our own. Yet every day, I pass dozens of non-bicyclists who take over these trails and treat them like their own personal playgrounds. They stroll two or three abreast, oblivious to the fact that they are blocking traffic from behind. They walk on the left side of the road, or suddenly lurch from the right lane to the left without a thought for what might be behind them. They walk dogs. They carry infants, push baby carriages, and let their young children roam unsupervised. It is at best a constant annoyance, and at worst a grave danger to everyone involved.
Bike paths may not be strictly for bikes, but they’re for people who want to move. If you’re jogging or inline skating, fine. If you’re just walking or goofing around, please use the sidewalk instead.
Your basic problem here is that you’ve fallen for the propaganda: those pushing the paths call them “multi-use paths” when they’re selling them to pedestrians or trying to get funding, and “bike paths” when they’re selling them to cyclists. Continue reading