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Trails
#11
(05-14-2015, 10:41 PM)clasher Wrote: I hope the "and more" part includes some sensible connections with the cross streets.
Agreed. That plus similar attention from Waterloo where the situation is equally unacceptable.

Quote:I get that it's not a cyclist expressway but it's mostly used for transportation cycling
I hope you also "get" that the IHT was never intended to be "a cyclist expressway" or to be "mostly used for transportation cycling" or as a cycling racetrack. It's always been intended to be a multi-use trail to be shared with pedestrians. We're not all in a hurry. And we're not all just slow moving obstacles meant to be slalomed as quickly as possible.
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#12
(05-15-2015, 07:38 AM)ookpik Wrote:
Quote:I get that it's not a cyclist expressway but it's mostly used for transportation cycling
I hope you also "get" that the IHT was never intended to be "a cyclist expressway" or to be "mostly used for transportation cycling" or as a cycling racetrack. It's always been intended to be a multi-use trail to be shared with pedestrians. We're not all in a hurry. And we're not all just slow moving obstacles meant to be slalomed as quickly as possible.

LOL, pedestrians on the trail often walk or jog 2 or 3 abreast and snark at me when I ring the bell asking to go around, they need to remember that people are trying to get places instead of just being out to smell the flowers so it goes both ways. People walking their dogs with 10 metre extendo leashes that block the whole trail, jackasses in full road gear kit that blast by without even a bell or a shout. I could go on and on. Sharing the trail is the responsibility of everyone that uses it. I don't think the trail should be a bikes-only place and I use it to walk places too and have been doing so since the late 90s. As for being in a hurry I commute everywhere on an one speed cruiser that runners have passed me on, especially when I'm laden with groceries.

I didn't mean to say that the trail was only used for transportation cycling, just that the majority of people that ride on the trail seem to being doing so as transportation rather than recreation. I think a good share of the people that are walking aren't just out there for fun but are actually commuting too. I think casual recreational use of the trail can totally co-exist with pedestrians and transportation cycling. My ideas to make the road/trail interactions better for cycling also improve the safety of pedestrians. The gates that force everyone into a metre-wide opening are just dangerous and invite crowding and chaos and they are close to busy roads to make the situation even worse. The gate at Strange and the sidewalk that forces everyone to bunch up is also kinda dumb.

I think the Courtland crossing by the plaza is the worst, especially around 3pm on school days, the bus stop has a lot of people waiting there, the streets are busy and even if one dismounts you've still gotta push your bike through a crowd. There's plenty of room the city could buy a strip of land and at least make a wide sidewalk there.

There are also lots of places that the trail could be widened too, so maybe that is something that could alleviate crowding, especially in the stretch from Strange to Queen since there is a lot of traffic coming through the park and from the other trail that goes west to Fischer-Hallman.
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#13
(05-15-2015, 09:29 AM)clasher Wrote: LOL, pedestrians on the trail often...
Absolutely. I can tell you all sorts of stories about how some cyclists behave badly even towards pedestrians like me who stay to the right and try hard to share the trails with all other users. It would be a long saga. But the solution isn't to start a war but rather to find ways to coexist peacefully.

Quote:I didn't mean to say that the trail was only used for transportation cycling, just that the majority of people that ride on the trail seem to being doing so as transportation rather than recreation.
Even so they don't have any more right to use the trail system than other users. I got the impression that you were advocating for cyclists only. If that's not the case then we're on the same side. Let's focus our energies on making improvements to the trail system that benefit all of us.
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#14
(05-15-2015, 10:21 AM)ookpik Wrote: But the solution isn't to start a war but rather to find ways to coexist peacefully.

Yep. Everyone has stories about "cyclists" or "pedestrians" behaving badly. We know it happens.

I do think etiquette and user behaviour is a big part of how well a trail (or sidewalk, or bike lane, or highway...) functions, and in my experience people who are out for "recreational" walks seem less likely to be as conscious of their surroundings and observant of proper etiquette. I say this as someone who is usually on foot. If there is a perception among people who don't use active means of transportation that this is strictly a recreational trail, it might not seem important to them that they hold someone up briefly with their dog leash or walking three abreast. I think that, if they came to understand that some people are on the trail to get places, they would behave differently. I am unsure how to get that message across, though.
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#15
You've underlined the dilemma, is it recreational or an active means of transportation? I use it for both walking and cycling, and when a cyclist and passing, it is my responsibility to do it safely. I don't think it's fair for me to expect a group of friends to walk in single file, just so I can go at a considerably faster rate. If I ring my bell from a reasonable distance, they move and I pass. That reasonable distance becomes quite far, if I'm going at a considerable speed. I disagree with your hypothesis that "recreationalists" are less observant of their surroundings, they are simply in less control of the situation, as compared to the faster cyclist approaching from behind. It's the same dilemma as the cyclist sharing the roads with cars.

You have put the emphasis on the walker with your comment "I think that, if they came to understand that some people are on the trail to get places, they would behave differently. I am unsure how to get that message across, though." It is your opinion that "getting places" is more important. Therefore, the debate needs to decide on either recreational or as an active means of transportation.
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#16
(05-15-2015, 11:17 AM)schooner77 Wrote: You have put the emphasis on the walker with your comment "I think that, if they came to understand that some people are on the trail to get places, they would behave differently. I am unsure how to get that message across, though." It is your opinion that "getting places" is more important.

I don't think you should tell me what my opinion is. That doesn't happen to be it. In my opinion, the trail is going to be attractive to both recreational and transportation users, so both should be respectful of the other. I didn't say that "getting places" is more important; but people doing it will probably want to move faster than people who aren't.

You point out how you accommodate recreational users of the trail when you are using it for transportation; that's what I'm saying, that each should accommodate the other. Someone on foot should be aware that they may need to move to the right of the trail if someone is coming behind them moving faster than he or she is. I honestly believe that, when they don't, it's sometimes because they aren't aware that there are other people on the trail for whom it is being used as transportation.
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#17
When cycling, I just avoid going on multi-use trails in the first place. I'm usually going fast and as a pedestrian, I don't appreciate people bombing past me, so I try to avoid doing the same to others.

I have noticed, though, that when I run, similar problems arise. I always call out "on your left" or something if approaching walkers on the sidewalk who are blocking the way. Usually the reaction is to turn around to see who was calling out, react in shock that there is a runner, and then move around in confusion while I run past them on the grass next to the path because it took them too long to react appropriately.

I think it's incumbent on all users of trails and sidewalks to be respectful of other users. In the case of slower people, that includes being prepared to move out of the way when someone approaches from behind. It shouldn't be a shock that a runner or cyclist might be overtaking you, and you should be prepared to make way when they do.
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#18
(05-15-2015, 12:09 PM)jamincan Wrote: When cycling, I just avoid going on multi-use trails in the first place. I'm usually going fast and as a pedestrian, I don't appreciate people bombing past me, so I try to avoid doing the same to others.

I have noticed, though, that when I run, similar problems arise. I always call out "on your left" or something if approaching walkers on the sidewalk who are blocking the way. Usually the reaction is to turn around to see who was calling out, react in shock that there is a runner, and then move around in confusion while I run past them on the grass next to the path because it took them too long to react appropriately.

I think it's incumbent on all users of trails and sidewalks to be respectful of other users. In the case of slower people, that includes being prepared to move out of the way when someone approaches from behind. It shouldn't be a shock that a runner or cyclist might be overtaking you, and you should be prepared to make way when they do.

Multi-use may be the most that's politically feasible in KW at the moment, but separate walking and cycling tracks do exist elsewhere (e.g. Montreal) and they do separate different uses. As you point out, there's still the question of intent: some people on foot are going to be faster than others. To some extent, utilitarian trails have different routes than recreational trails too, so that helps. But I think we should do all we can to minimize conflicts between different modes, and a lot of it is in infrastructure design.
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#19
Pedestrians in the areas around the iron horse have lots of sidewalks they can walk on as well as a few parks that are mostly free from cyclists too. Lots of people drive to Victoria park with bikes on their car and then go riding on the trail. To me that says the city needs to build better trails in other parts of the city too and connect the trail network much better. There's very few places in Kitchener that I can think of that cyclists don't have to share the space with other forms of transportation/recreation, so yeah I don't mind if the Iron Horse is improved more for cycling than pedestrian use, the older part of the city has an extensive sidewalk network. Even so I think the trail can be shared by walkers and bikers even if they are doing it for transport or recreation. Personally, I enjoy commuting by bike or foot, so it's always both for me.
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#20
The iron horse trail is closed for construction between Union and Park St. This is great news as this section of the trail is long overdue for some TLC.
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