Those charity walkers on the West River Drive do not share the road -- they take up the entire thing, and usually the multi-use trail as well. Their organizers make no provision for the rest of the users of this space, and the participants often labor under the misapprehension that the spaces are closed to cyclists and don't make much of an attempt to share the road.
I think the city ought to re-think the issue of charity runs and walks on the Drives, anyhow. It was one thing when there were only a couple of them, but just look at that list. It's practically every weekend. When is the rest of the walking / blading / cycling city supposed to enjoy that little strip of closed highway?
As I said, upthread, I've pretty much voted with my wheels. I'd rather cycle through the purportedly scary slums of Point Breeze than try to navigate around the various users of the trails. Then I get my cardiovascular workout at the decidedly untrendy FDR Park (aka The Lakes), where people actually manage to share the road with grace and good humor. I probably shouldn't mention that too often, lest it be "discovered."
[QUOTE=lbphilly;289303]Very true. It does deserve its own thread.
Those charity walkers on the West River Drive do not share the road -- they take up the entire thing, and usually the multi-use trail as well. Their organizers make no provision for the rest of the users of this space, and the participants often labor under the misapprehension that the spaces are closed to cyclists and don't make much of an attempt to share the road.]
Unless told differently that is exactly what people think. Because it makes sense. The city needs to re-look this for many reasons. But i'd doubt they will give up the income to move the walks. That said. It still does not excuse cyclists from zipping in and out of grandpa, small children, and fido. That's just human decency.
Again, either the city should close the WRD during the walks or move them. Simple. There are far too many people to have both in the same space.
Please explain to me why it's so much more important for suburban families to honor their loved ones than for city residents to enjoy their parks.
LB - i've been partially living in philly since 1987 (half here, half NYC) and moved here in 2002. I am in no way a relative new comer. When you say things like that its patronizing. Even 8 years within a city does not make you a new comer. Please stop doing it every time we have a disagreement.
The way the city sets this up makes these difficulties. If they are going to grant permits for walks to happen then bikes should not be allowed to use FDR at the same time for safety reasons period. Its simply common sense. So either move the walks or close the area down to bikes for a few hours. The two together are not good.
If someone who has been around as long as i have doesn't know this because, its just insane that it's been allowed to happen, why would you think an entire suburban family would? Or even someone living in a different part of the city? If they are not told they would have no other choice but to think as i did. And i knew the roads are open and closed at various times and why. It is a perfectly reasonable thought. Also a lot of these participants are indeed city dwellers who are not aware the city has acted so irresponsibly to put people at risk. They have paid taxes for the park as well.
The rest is just human decency. You don't put people at risk over your right to pleasure. Human lives and well being are worth much more than your sunday ride on WRD. Even if the city has done something stupid. If it were cars there during bike hours it would be the same thing, which is why its closed. this situation is no different.
If you have problem with the set up as arranged by the city, go to them and change it. Meanwhile possibly running over tourists or mourners (as much a it may be a fun sport) is not a viable alternative.
Last edited by Gladys; 11-03-2010 at 09:56 AM.
The rest is just human decency. You don't put people at risk over your right to pleasure. Human lives and well being are worth much more than your sunday ride on WRD.
I think we all agree with this. I think bicyclists and runners just ask that walkers have the decency to give us some space. We're not asking for a lot. Again, the Philadelphia Marathon has 20,000 participants including elite athletes and manages to leave the trails open for runners and bicyclists. If walkers don't have the decency to provide room for others to get by, bicyclists and runners will be stuck trying to get around them.
If Desolate and I agree on something then you know that the opposition is in the wrong. Just sayin....
There's a big difference here, if two motorists get in an accident here at 20-25 mph, it's a fender bender, but chances are that the driver will be unharmed. A car and a bike hit each other at the same speed, or a bike hits a walker at that speed, and someone's getting seriously hurt.
This is, not to put too fine a point on it, a load of crap. City street predate the automobile by a couple of centuries, and bikes traveled those streets a couple decades before cars as well. Bicyclists have all the same rights to the roads as motor vehicles, with certain exceptions such as limited access highways (which are clearly marked). The DMV has a section in the Driver Manual about this. You'll find it on pdf page 25, manual page 55 here:
As a motorist, you have every right to deprecate those cyclists who do not obey traffic laws. You do not have a right to deprecate those who obey the laws. I could say that I "hate motorists" because enough insensitive swine have blared their horns at close range that I am partially deaf in my left ear. Or because they have attempted to force me off the road and then bellowed at me to get up on the sidewalk where I "belong." But it would be inaccurate, and unfair to motorists such as the driver of a large truck who stopped his truck in such a way as to block two lanes on 34th St just north of Grays Ferry today just so that I could make a lane change.
As for Gladys and West River Drive closings: I am still not certain that she is aware of my principal point, which is that if virtually all the mornings when the Drive is closed from the Art Museum to Sweebriar Cutoff are given over to charity walks etc., then the original purpose for which the Drive was closed is thwarted. If I change the time of my ride to accommodate the charity events, I lose the opportunity to bike on the Drive without worrying about motor vehicles. Thus, in effect, Gladys' walk is deemed more important than my bike ride because her good cause is more important than my physical conditioning. I'm picking on Gladys right now because she brought it up, but it applies to all the participants in all the events that close the Drives. By the way, I searched for a list of Drive closings online several times some years ago, but didn't find it. I'm happy to see it's up. Folks might want to look at the landing page, which says nothing about the Drives being reserved for the exclusive use of these events: Fairmount Park . I was part of the team that campaigned for this closing and fought off the counter campaign (which was based on the premise that [white] out-of-towners were coming in and depriving "the community" of use of the Drives, and that the multi-use path was fine for all recreational users). So it's particularly galling to me that I'm driven off by so many other events.
Oh, and I'm not an 'agrieved group,' although some might say that I'm large enough to qualify as a group in my own right. I'm an aggrieved person. I catch it from the thoughtless motorists and I catch it from those thoughtless walkers who saunter with their triple wide strollers, or five abreast, or plugged in with their iPods, oblivious to me ringing my little bell and saying excuse me until I finally shout "YO!" -- and then they glare at me, totally unaware that this is the fourth or fifth time I've tried to get their attention.
[Kaotic -- an amalgam of chaotic and Kaopectate, I suppose, and descriptive of that user?]
Love this thread.
Glad to be of service. Its the little things in life that make it interesting. I've had my popcorn out many a time. but i never realized there was an icon!!
As for Gladys and West River Drive closings: I am still not certain that she is aware of my principal point, which is that if virtually all the mornings when the Drive is closed from the Art Museum to Sweebriar Cutoff are given over to charity walks etc., then the original purpose for which the Drive was closed is thwarted. If I change the time of my ride to accommodate the charity events, I lose the opportunity to bike on the Drive without worrying about motor vehicles. Thus, in effect, Gladys' walk is deemed more important than my bike ride because her good cause is more important than my physical conditioning. I'm picking on Gladys right now because she brought it up, but it applies to all the participants in all the events that close the Drives. By the way, I searched for a list of Drive closings online several times some years ago, but didn't find it. I'm happy to see it's up. Folks might want to look at the landing page, which says nothing about the Drives being reserved for the exclusive use of these events: [url=http://www.fairmountpark.org/mlk_closure.asp]
No I get it. You are not hearing me that I get it. I HEAR YOU. whew.
I will reiterate again.
Obviously, the city has set this up in such a way that it is unsafe for everyone. The walk participants assume, apparently wrongly, that the space for those few hours is for the use of the charity walk (that is open to the public, it is not a private event). It's not an unreasonable assumption and they are given no instruction otherwise.
If how the space is used is a huge issue for cyclists - which apparently it is. Then go to the city and change how it happens.
Either it is used exclusively by the charity walk, which pays for the use.
Or make it clear to the renting organization they are not paying for the use of the space. What they are paying for I am not sure at this point.
Tell them to have the organization follow the example of the marathon. Which apparently has this down. Unfortunately the marathon runs in one direction, does it not? Or does it go up and down WRD. I don't know.
The thousands of people in these walks on any given day are instructed to walk up one side of the road and down the other, with a police car at either end of their walk. This gives them the impression they have nothing else to look out for. If a police car blocks off a road for you at either end - it's not insane to think the space is yours to use.
So if it’s a huge issue to cyclists - FIX IT. Go to the city and perhaps
1. Get them to make sure there is adequate room set aside for two late bike traffic in addition to the thousands of walkers.
2. Put the charity walks elsewhere. (Where I have no idea).
3. For the safety of the participants if neither 1 nor 2 doesn't happen the city should, in my opinion, close down the path for the renting charity walk, especially since that walk is open to the public. Roads are closed all the time for events... its not unusual. May not be popular, but is not unusual.
I AM NOT SAYING #3 IS WHAT THE OUTCOME SHOULD BE.
What I am saying is, whatever makes the use of the space safe for everyone concerned is what needs to happen. Clear?
Right now it’s not safe for anyone during these events. Not the cyclists or the walkers. Again, it’s just a horrible tragedy waiting to happen, followed by an ample lawsuit in the making.
Whatever the policy, it needs to be made abundantly clear and enforced, for the safety of all the parties involved. I can tell you as a participant nothing was told to us.
I don't walk on WRD because it’s a bit too deserted for me. This was the first time I had been on it, not in a car.
As bikes become more of a mainline vehicle for the city, the rules of conduct for all involved need to made abundantly clear, for the safety of everyone.
Meanwhile - until all that is done.
Cyclists have to have the common human decency not to run over or into grandma, grandkid or fido.
For God sake's if you’re pissed off about this - go do something about it to get it fixed. Don't take out your rightful frustration on the participants who have no idea why you are pissed.
Good God I hope that’s clear. I want it safe. However that happens, that’s what I want.
Where's my pop corn. For that aria I want a bow and applause from all i've entertained.