motor vehicles on trails
I saw this guy, Thursday at 8pm, cruising along without pedaling at about 15mph on the Eliza Furnace Trail from Grant St to the Hot Metal Bridge on a motorcycle with pedals (or bicycle with gasoline engine). His exhaust was stinking up the trail for the rest of us. I pedaled fast, caught up to him, and asked him “Did you know that motorcycles aren’t allowed on this trail?” He acted surprised, stopped, and perhaps turned around.
I hope he learned his lesson.
Stinking it up worse than 376 running next to it? Would it have been ok if it was electric? Or if he was pedaling and not using the engine? I’m torn about how I feel. I’ve seen human power going faster than 15mph, so it didn’t sound like he was recklessly careening around people and bikes at excessive speed. I probably would shrug and ride on in that situation.
People should know they aren’t supposed to be using the trails with motorbikes, moped, etc. I think Paul did the right thing. It sounds like the guy just didn’t know.
I’ve seen quite a few of these lately. Personally, I don’t I like them, but I don’t think they are going to cause the world to implode either. My main hang-up is that a bicycle with an engine going 20mph has to be way more dangerous than driving a small scooter at 20mph due to tire & brake size, etc. So I wish the people driving these things would just go out and buy a small 50cc scooter that would handle better and be safer.
As for riding these things on dedicated bike/pedestrian trails; as long as they do so in a safe way (i.e. the speed of the rest of the trail users), I guess I wouldn’t get too worked up about it.
So where do electric bikes fit into this equation? They can certainly go as fast.
In an odd way, it reminds me of what I’ve said to some wood be cyclists…
“I understand that you ride on the sidewalk because you’re probably uncomfortable on the street, but you need to realize that you are more visible and predictable riding on the actual road… and it’s safer for pedestrians.”
“You should be riding with traffic, not against it.”
It seems like an innocent mistake made by not connecting the dots.
I wouldn’t want to smell burning gas from a small engine either. Electric would be better in this scenario… but the second a path gets clogged up with electric vehicles that don’t want to use the proper roads that opinion won’t hold up. He could be taking the “scenic route” but odds are it’s a dis-comfort riding on the road thing.
If I’m wrong, then nevermind… but if I’m correct, then he is just one more potential ally for better infrastructure and we should be careful not to alienate such a person while still making a point that it doesn’t belong on the trail.
I don’t like the idea of any cycle with a motor on the trails. I can’t stand those two stroke motors that do indeed stink and are not even available for lawn mowers because they pollute so much. Hope that doesn’t become some trend.
I don’t have a problem with electric bikes on trails. Not so noisy, etc. But most of the people using them should just HTFU.
This article was up yesterday:
Does that mean that even though it’s technically a bike (with that law) it has a motor which is not allowed on the trail so therefore it can’t be on it?
the rules for most of the GAP trail say that for handicapped people, “in addition to continuing to allow wheelchairs, the new rules permit electric bikes powered by no more than 250 watts, weighing less than 100 pounds, less than 36 inches wide with pedals that can be manually operated. Those types of bikes generally are rated at a top speed of 15 mph, which is the limit on the trail. Motorized vehicles with internal combustion engines or without manual pedaling capability will continue to be banned.”
His gasoline engine was indeed stinking up the trail worse than the adjacent freeway.
Seems an appropriate time for this article:
“Motorcycle” in pa is above 50cc… this dude is not that.
I think that if they allow battery operated bikes on trails and roads,
we could get A LOT more bike commuters from Greenfield and SQ hill
who dont commute now simply because they cant handle the hill at
the end of the jailtrail.
Complaining about pollution during rush hour on the jail trail is futile.
Could you discern the difference between his engine and the 1000’s
of other cars idling 5 feet over?
I cut down through panther hollow on my 150 scooter. I go about 6
mph in 1st gear. If this makes me a shitty person so be it. Being
on a vehicle like this is a lot better for the world and cycling than
somebody rolling solo in a car.
Two stroke engines do dump a bunch of gas into the air. I can easily imagine one of them being smellier than a lot of cars some distance away with four stroke engines and catalytic converters.
Coming up Greenfield Ave can also be a bit intimidating because the uphill lane is fairly narrow and has no shoulder.
I just take the sidewalk uphill since I am only going a few mph anyway. (For this, it’s actually nice that Swinburne St Bridge is closed since I don’t have to stop for that intersection. [You would have to have a death wish to ride the Greenfield Ave sidewalk and not come to a stop at Swinburne St. when it is open to traffic.])
I’ve thought about an electric assist bicycle for my wife. Plenty of downsides to the idea, weight, cost, less exercise, lack of multi-mode ability. Also had my doubts about whether they were allowed on trails (or should be).
But if they are, maybe it is something she’d be more receptive to than having to huff it without an assist, and any trips in the jeep grand cherokee that get replaced become big money saver, gas, maintenance, and parking wise. Does anyone have any experience with these? Granted, quite possibly is just the best day ever but any actual experience reports probably tell a little more than a marketing photo.
I am fully against any gas powered vehicles on the trails. I like to see more and more bikes, but not ones with stupid motors on them. Two cycle motors are horrible and stink. I don’t think we need that crap on the trails. Electric? I guess, but I don’t get it. Just get a bike with gears and take your time.
Tehre was a guy caross the street from the had a gas motor assited bicycle.
I live at Parkview Ave just north of the Blvd of the Allies.
This bike was SO LOUD that , when he went down over the Swinburn St Bridge, I could hear whether he went right or left at Geenfield.
I’ve also seen electric bikes cruising down the sidewalk and around corners at maybe 15 mph.
That being said, I turned 60 this year. In a decade or two, I’m probably going to use an electric assist for the hills. (and maybe a recumbent tricyle.)
FWIW, some guy does ride a gas-engine assisted bike up Greenfield Ave around 11pm
Whenever we used to get there around the same time (before I moved to Braddock) his assist would kick my ass. It was kind of whiny
I thought you guys might have been talking about the train track trail between the bottom of the Homestead Grays Bridge and Braddock, because trucks go through there regularly to either fish/dump trash/bring their dune buggies/etc
There was a bollard and gate out there, but first somebody broke the lock that was on it, and then when somebody put a chain somebody else ran over the bollard
@byogman, I don’t have any experience with these things at all, but I think there are two styles of electric bikes; one where you can just hit a button and go, and some that are truly an assist and only kick in if you are turning the pedals.
The stretch between Duck Hollow and the Rankin Bridge (which, I think, is the bit that you’re talking about) is free territory. Anything goes. Until the people responsible for such things get around to aligning a bike trail, it’s ok for anyone to do whatever they want (except, I guess, visiting the steel mill).
Going through there I’ve had people roaring up at me in ATVs (scary) and there’s always been trucks just parked (I assume with owners off fishing, or something). Sometimes a gang of roving teenagers…
But you know, I kind of like that stretch. It’s one of the more fascinating bits of Pittsburgh.
Every urban landscape should have such terrains vagues . Places where people can (more or less) do anything they want, without being forced into arbitrary constraints of proper behavior. (Keeping in mind that hurting others is always out-of-bounds.)
Interesting article from Holland: http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/the-moped-menace-in-the-netherlands/
helen s wrote:So where do electric bikes fit into this equation? They can certainly go as fast.
It depends. I know one owner of self made electric bike and his bike is capable to go 55 mph pretty easily and for a long time. Bike just has enough LiPo batteries on it and something like 850 Watts motor.
Not sure what my reaction would be to the original situation, I’d have to experience it. If the thing was properly muffled and the guy wasn’t flying and acting like a douchebag, I probably wouldn’t bat an eye.
Since I started biking and using the bus seriously in about ’08, I have halved my personal car use, probably 20% family-wide (my wife drives a shitload, and that’s never changing. She is a more typical American). If I got an electric assist cargo bike I could probably halve it again, and I used to dismiss elec assist.
I was riding into town one day and right during my regular life-threatening traverse of the West End Circle/W Carson Street passage, a guy silently wafted down W Carson on an assist cargo bike right in traffic, about 20-25 mph, like angels were pushing him. It was lovely.
@mikhail: LiPo = Lithium + Polonium. This is in Russia, right? (I hope).
Lithium polymer, I think you’ll find.
Polonium is usually restricted to space probes, laboratory experiments, and seasoned salt FOR MEN.
I’ve heard that sometimes those russians add it to a tea. :F
Nice Reddan, it’s been a while
Fun fact: Polonium powered bikes have been banned in bike polo
on Mon around 7:30 am I saw two motorcycle cops riding eastbound on the Eliza. They we’rent going very fast, but seemed odd since both the parkway & second ave were pretty empty,
Then after work, I rode behind a Venture Outdoors pickup truck driving on the northside trail from around the kayak rental out to the far edge of the houses. they may have been transporting goods to the rental location, but were still driving on the trail.
There was a big overnight op on the hillside over the parkway, they had cops all over the hillside and helicopters hovering around. Probably related?
EMT’s on motorcycles were headed East on Jail Trail this morning. I don’t see a problem with it.
I saw a guy who parked his car under one of these pillars to go fishing yesterday. He must’ve come off the highway, drove onto the trail, squeezed thru a section next to the river not much wider than his car.
Lou M. wrote:EMT’s on motorcycles were headed East on Jail Trail this morning. I don’t see a problem with it.
I saw them before and I DO have a problem with it. WTF, we only have a little bit of trail around here. Get the crap off the damn trails. Goodness, can’t cyclists and joggers have a little spot of the f’n city? NO, I DON’T want them on there period!
Forget about our space vs. theirs, it’s just dumb.
If it’s not an emergency, they’re not special, and it goes without saying that any motorist should be following conventional rules of the ROAD.
If it is an emergency, don’t they have flashers/sirens to get through traffic and lights? The trails are narrow and aren’t made for heavy vehicles and speed. Roads are, go everywhere, and with these aids seem like they ought to be the fastest thing possible. And nobody on the trail anticipates something moving fast around a bend, over the next rise, whatever, so they’re creating a real danger.
The only reason I can see that an EMT vehicle should be allowed on the trail is if they’re responding to an emergency on the trail itself.
Is there any reason to think they weren’t heading to an emergency on the trail? I agree that they shouldn’t be using it just to get from A to B quicker.
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