New posts

Who has right of way on a trail?

Jan. 24, 2009, 8:59 a.m.
Posts: 180
Joined: April 26, 2004

who has the right of way
uphill biker or downhill biker?
think of Bridal Path and LOC for example

Jan. 24, 2009, 9:03 a.m.
Posts: 11680
Joined: Aug. 11, 2003

Steve,

In the example I cited from Grand Junction, the trail is signed as biking only. Users are warned that riders will be coming down the trail downhill and are warned to keep their heads up.

In some other examples from Tahoe, the US forest service has grandfathered some downhill-only trails and also provided the warning.

In Tahoe and Grand Junction most trails are multiuse. Very few trails are biking-primary or biking-only. The same would apply in North Van.

None of those examples have implied in any way that this signage gives bikers carte blanche to run over hikers or other trail users. This discussion is confined to trail designation. I'm not sure why you're citing the loaded words of blasting past a "pedestrian at mach speed" which has very little to do with trail signage and/or designation.

I missed this quote.
I agree with everyone, a designation would help, but what does that do short-term? People who hike the trails will still be hiking on the trails because a: People don't read signs too well, and b: They are used to the access. While the designation may alleviate legal concerns, it still doesn't take away how much it will suck to hit someone.

This all said, I've seen many hikers on trails, and nearly all of them have stood off the trail, a lot have commented that I didn't have to slow down, but I still did for courtesy.

Having a bike specific trail that you don't need to worry about hikers is a nice idea, but the trails that I rip down aren't really hikeable trails anyway, so it's a self resolving issue.

Jan. 24, 2009, 9:11 a.m.
Posts: 18129
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

who has the right of way
uphill biker or downhill biker?
think of Bridal Path and LOC for example

Uphill for sure!

Jan. 24, 2009, 10:55 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Feb. 2, 2005

A "mountain bike" trail should mean bikers have the right of way. If it is multi-use, then yes I agree that we should yeild to hikers. But not on a designated mtn bike trail.

It shouldn't be a question of whether hikers should yeild to bikers on bike trails, it should be a questions of which trails end up being classified as multi-use, hiking only, or biking only.

Besides, why would NSMBA take the point of view that we should yield to everybody on the trails their volunteers worked hard to build for mountain bikes?!?! To me, that feels like a betrayal of the hard work everybody has put into the trail network up there over the years to make it the way it is today.

With all that said, in my experience working on lower fromme, its a reality that hikers and locals are always going to use the trails down there to walk their dogs and get some exercise - it's their backyard. So there are many areas where we have planned or build a way for hikers to get around a feature on the trail. But there is no way when I am charging down lower crippler that I am going to stop at the top of the roller coaster for buddy walking his dog to cross the trail.

Designating that bikers should always yeild to hikers on ALL trails is just going to cause more drama and whining from everybody.

I support the above statement.

why should the government spend billions of our tax dollars on roadwork and sidewalks, and then have the audacity to give pedestrians the right of way, even when crossing the road, which is designated for vehicles?

If I'm driving down the street and someone runs out in front of me and I hit them,
I am not at fault.

There is a assumption that the pedestrian trying to cross the road give the cars
some time to stop. Also, cars are driven on streets that have pedestrian "trails"
right next to them.

I think a better analogy is if you get hit walking on the freeway, you are at fault
not the car.

It's a matter of expectations. If I'm riding a mtb trail (marked as such top and
bottom) I have no expectation of meeting a hiker or horse. Will I try and stop
to avoid a collision? Sure, just as I would try and avoid a pedestrian on the freeway
(highway, not sure if there's a difference in Canadian vernacular).

The same way if I'm sharing a trail (like I share a area when I drive downtown),
then I have a real expectation of meeting another user.

The same way if I'm riding my bike on a hiker only trail (or driving my car on
the sidewalk), I would be negligent (grossly so).

As far as meeting other bikers, there are trails out there that are DH specific.
You should have the "right" to fly at mach chicken blowing through turns like
some hyperactive pinball. If I decide to ride my bike up such a trail, I'll get the
hell out of the way. If I'm riding down fast, I will try and stop as to avoid a collision,
but I would 'feel' I had right of way. Back on Kauai the trail we had was used
as a DH trail (99% of the time), but some of us would ride up for some exercise.
I could hear someone riding DH ~ a minute before they were upon me, and
I would get out of the way and wait for them to pass.

I'm not a aggressive asshole rider when I ride, I'm courteous to other trial users.
Even the slow ones that climbed down the entrance stunt to DM and are pushing
their bikes up the step up because they didn't have enough speed. But I do
think that making a rule that says biker will always stay out of the way of all
other users will either dumb down mtb trails, or lead to more illegal trail in
more remote areas. It will also lead to more ignorance among the hiker/horse
rider sect. They will then feel that they have no responsibility at any time on
any trail…that will lead to ignorance and conflict.

I have yet to meet a "bad" hiker/horse rider here in BC, but I have back on Kauai.

There needs to be:
Hiker only trails (no bikes)
hiker/horse trails (hikers get out of the way of horses)
multi-use (bikers get out of the way of everyone else)
biker only trails (no hikers or horses)
biker/mtx trails (mtx stay out of the way of bikers)
and
mtx only trails (no bikes/hikers/horses allowed)

…in a perfect world.

.
.
.
.
"i surf because, i"m always a better person when i come in"-Andy Irons
.
.

.

Jan. 24, 2009, 2:20 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: May 30, 2007

Its a dead heat with complicated being a little ahead.
That is because the people who want to make the rules must be slow. I prefer riding I'll be polite. I won't let the lawyers catch me.

Jan. 24, 2009, 8:43 p.m.
Posts: 3989
Joined: Feb. 23, 2005

My 2 cents worth:

As long as there is clear, understandable and sufficient signage that the trail is primarily for mountain bikes, then bikers should be designated to have the ROW and other users should step aside. However, and because nothing is ever black and white, this does not absolve bikers of all responsibility for politeness, an opportunity to improve our image and it does not mean bikers should blast past other users to demonstrate their awesomeness without due regard.

An important aspect of this issue is that we will need very clear and concise signage so that all users can understand what trail use and ROW means. More detailed explanations should be provided at trail access points, on why trails are designated for certain primary uses and what is meant by ROW and trail etiquette.

I do think the ROW should be clearly established rather than letting users decide on the spur of the moment who has the ROW, which could lead to confusion. This is one reason why, even if I had the ROW, as precautionary measure, I will always pull over and offer up a [HTML_REMOVED]#8220;hello and [HTML_REMOVED]#8220;Great day to be in the woods, eh[HTML_REMOVED]#8221;. This is also why I voted bikers should yield, even though I believe bikers should have the ROW on properly designated trails. Obviously the rider has to assess if trying to stop and pull over on a steep challenging section of trail is worth the risk to their own personal safety compared to the other users or the net benefit gained from showing some politeness.

The overwhelming majority of hikers I come across, want to give me the ROW, even though I am obviously on a multi-use trail (such as the BP) and I have pulled over and stopped. Sometimes I have to insist they walk past. Therefore on trails clearly designated as mountain biking-primary use, I do not think that the majority of hikers would resent the biker having the ROW. There will always be a minority of users, who expect everyone to give way to them because they [HTML_REMOVED]#8220;own the woods[HTML_REMOVED]#8221;, but the number is pretty small, maybe just one person actually.

I do not think any trail should be limited to any specific user group. Therefore, none of this XXX only, exclusion crap. Trails on public land should be open to all users, but a ROW should be established based on primary intended use. Therefore, I believe the NSMBA should be very resolute in trying to designate as many trails as possible for bike primary use, if that was the original intended use of the trail. Any trail created by bikers, for bikers and maintained by biker should be automatically designated a bike primary use trail; with the ROW going to bikers. However, there will have to be some give and take based on site-specific conditions. For example, Natural High fits the above category, but because of its location low down on the mountain I personally would have no problem having this trail designated as multi-use and the ROW sign at the beginning of this thread should apply.

Please let me demonstrate the ride around; really it's no trouble.

Jan. 24, 2009, 9:56 p.m.
Posts: 6328
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Therefore, I believe the NSMBA should be very resolute in trying to designate as many trails as possible for bike primary use, if that was the original intended use of the trail. Any trail created by bikers, for bikers and maintained by biker should be automatically designated a bike primary use trail; with the ROW going to bikers.

That was and hopefully still is the goal of the NSMBA.

Looking to ride the shore but don't know where to go?

Get a copy of the Locals Guide to North Shore Rides!

Follow MTB Trails on Twitter

Follow Sharon and Lee on Twitter

Jan. 25, 2009, 6:09 a.m.
Posts: 453
Joined: Aug. 23, 2003

Hey Knnn what do you mean by multi use? Just riders and hikers or riders/hikers/horses/anyone who wants to use said trail.

Disclaimer. Anything written above this should not be taken literally, its called sarcasm you idiots.

Jan. 25, 2009, 7:20 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

There needs to be:
Hiker only trails (no bikes)
hiker/horse trails (hikers get out of the way of horses)
multi-use (bikers get out of the way of everyone else)
biker only trails (no hikers or horses)
biker/mtx trails (mtx stay out of the way of bikers)
and
mtx only trails (no bikes/hikers/horses allowed)

…in a perfect world.

This has been suggested in the recent issue of Mountain Biking. Though the reason used was based on the reality that some trails are better off being one user only either based on terrain or number of users. There are some trails in BC that will be Hiker only simply based on terrain. The Grouse Grind and the Trail to Wedge come to mind.

who has the right of way
uphill biker or downhill biker?
think of Bridal Path and LOC for example

The Freetard with the biggest dick has the right of way.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Jan. 25, 2009, 9:29 a.m.
Posts: 2254
Joined: Aug. 25, 2004

I do not think any trail should be limited to any specific user group. Therefore, none of this XXX only, exclusion crap. Trails on public land should be open to all users, but a ROW should be established based on primary intended use.

I agree with everything you posted except this point. Not even the Ministry of Tourism trails study committee agrees with this.

Opportunities for all users, not every opportunity for all users. Otherwise we'll end up with Moab.

I think most people here agree that common sense needs to prevail when using the trails. If you're riding your bike, be alert and stop or at least slow down when approaching others (regardless of what they are doing on the trail). Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between hikers and trail workers until you're right up to them. Would you want to piss off and/or run over a trail worker?

The problems come when close calls or accidents happen. The former brings negative impressions of the other user group, the latter brings potential lawsuits. Obviously everyone would like to limit both. ROW signage would go a long way to educate people, but a change to the occupier's liability act must be made to limit liability. I think the NSMBA should be pushing for the legislation change just as hard as they push for biking trails. A change in this act will also greatly help with trails on private lands which is at least a double win.

Jan. 25, 2009, 3:17 p.m.
Posts: 3989
Joined: Feb. 23, 2005

Hey Knnn what do you mean by multi use? Just riders and hikers or riders/hikers/horses/anyone who wants to use said trail.

I agree with everything you posted except this point. Not even the Ministry of Tourism trails study committee agrees with this.

Those are good questions and points. I guess when I say multi-user I mean all non-motorised users, and therefore I have been including horses.

I recognize that horses do a huge amount of damage to trails compared to hiking and biking. However, because of topography I don't think there will ever be very much horse traffic on the trails, therefore this should not be a significant issue. The only time I have seen a horse in 4 years of riding on Fromme was at the top of 7th secret, which surprised the hell out of me but was also pretty cool to see. I recognize that this may be more of an issue at other riding/hiking locations.

A greater concern is bikes or dog walkers spooking a horse which could cause significant injury to both riders, walkers and the animals. If I ever see a horse I always stop and dismount ASAP or lease a dog, screw whoever has the supposed ROW.

Due to my involvement in trail building and the local residence association in North Van, I experience anti biking prejudice on a fairly regular basis. Therefore, I am sensitive to the issue of banning specific users from the mountain and am conflicted by thoughts about restricting any form of non-motorised user from trails, particularly considering many of the trails are on _public _land.

I am also concerned that if one type of user is banned from using trail, it establishes a precedence for bikers to be banned from using certain trails or in some instances whole areas of a mountain (Mountain View Park for example). I would hope that bikers would never be excluded from any trail (unless all users were similarly excluded), just restricted in the way they ride, based on clear guidelines and ROW.

Certainly this is an issue with many shades of gray and Matt is to be applauded for starting this post. Hopefully the NSMBA can use this thread to gauge rider and member sentiments regarding this issue in preparation for discussions with the District and other stakeholders (ARRG ?) in the near future.

Very good point regarding the Occupiers Liability Act, I whole heartedly agree.

Please let me demonstrate the ride around; really it's no trouble.

Jan. 25, 2009, 10:24 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Dec. 7, 2008

Excellent discussion we have going here. I truly think everyone should ease up on Mr. Bond and realize he is honestly trying to gather constructive feedback and has bikers best interests at heart.

As far as ROW goes, it all comes down to common sense really. Hikers are not retarded and a lot of them are also bikers present or past. They know when it's appropriate to step aside or when to expect bikers to do the same. If we all just relaxed a little bit and realized that hikers and bikers do not represent diametrically opposed groups, but rather people who are both out to enjoy the great outdoors in their own ways, it would improve relations dramatically. Let's embrace hikers and welcome them to use our trails (and welcome them to visit our trail days, too ;))

Personally I have no problem with hikers using a trail that I have built/maintained with the primary purpose being to improve the riding experience. Horses and motocross is a another matter entirely and as previously stated not compatible with the vast majority of trails on the North Shore.

When building a trail it is important to consider the demographic of the users and work accordingly. The staircase that you spend a couple of days building to allow hikers to safely negotiate a steep section can make a great impression on hikers, as well as allow them an easy alternate path to take that will minimize or eliminate the need to worry about ROW.

Jan. 26, 2009, 1:19 p.m.
Posts: 18059
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I am also concerned that if one type of user is banned from using trail, it establishes a precedence for bikers to be banned from using certain trails or in some instances whole areas of a mountain (Mountain View Park for example). I would hope that bikers would never be excluded from any trail (unless all users were similarly excluded), just restricted in the way they ride, based on clear guidelines and ROW.

there are trails that bikes are banned from however - singing pass trail in whistler is one of them. i'm pretty sure there are many trails that are "hikers only".

Jan. 27, 2009, 12:07 p.m.
Posts: 1213
Joined: Feb. 23, 2004

Such an excellent thread….

Vedder Mountain Trails Association (VMTA) in Chilliwack has had to deal with this issue. Our association is an unholy union of trail users representing FVMBA, Chilliwack Outdoor Club (hikers), Back Country Horsemen of BC, Vedder Running Club and Cascade Offroad Club (dirtbikes). Prior to our existence, all users on Vedder Mountain were regularly in conflict over trail use (many of our trails started as hiking and horse trails and were co-opted by moutain and motor bikes over the years). Our rule of thumb is to help educate trail users about appropriate trail use, and when on multi-user trails, typically motor bikes yeild to everyone, and hikers/runners are at the other end of the continuum. This is roughly based on inertia (and damage-causing) potential (motor bikes moves faster and have greater potential to damage those who do not). We realize that this does not relieve the hiker from the responsibility to get out of the way where possible. So, on a trail, the mountain biker would mostly need to yield to the hiker (and certainly the horse rider, who would also have to yield to the hiker). This rudimentary framework has helped to quell a great deal of the conflict on the mountain. 5 years ago, shouting matches and wholesale ugliness regularly occured between the various users. This is now a rarity and we rarely have motorbikes venturing on to mountain bike only trails. A little 'yielding' has yielded some mutual respect and harmony. We even get users from these other groups out helping us mountain bikers on our trail days. The cost to me has been the need to very occasionally slow down and exchange a few friendly words with the other users as I pass them in a reasonable manner for a matter of seconds.

"Walk a mile in another man's shoes. Then, you'll be a mile away from him and have his shoes."

http://www.valleyvetservices.com
www.vmta.ca

Jan. 27, 2009, 3:03 p.m.
Posts: 3989
Joined: Feb. 23, 2005

there are trails that bikes are banned from however - singing pass trail in whistler is one of them. i'm pretty sure there are many trails that are "hikers only".

Any idea why the bike ban on these trails, perception of safety or environmental impact?

Please let me demonstrate the ride around; really it's no trouble.

Forum jump: