Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Multi-Use Trails' Yield Patterns

I've been troubled in the past by whoever decided to design the yield pattern on multi use trails. For those who don't know, it works like this: horses always have the right of way. That makes sense since they spook easier than walkers, runners, rollerbladers, and cyclists. Cyclists are supposed to yield to everyone and walkers (and presumably everyone else on foot or wheels attached to their feet) has right of way over cyclists but not horses.

Pedestrians should totally have to yield to cyclists. Especially on off-road uphill trails. Pedestrians can stop and start more easily plus they're more agile. Why should a cyclist have to go out of his/her way to give a walker the path? The walker should sidestep onto the grass and allow the cyclist to pass. In practice this is what happens a lot. If I'm walking/running on a multiuse trail, I will concede the right of way to a cyclist (and of course horses, but that rarely happens). That approach is way more efficient and practical. Why didn't the people in charge of designing the yield pattern see it this way?
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