The following is an INITIAL DRAFT, posted for public comment, of MUP usage guidelines. The intent is to create a simple set of guidelines to make us all safer in our use of the ever-more-congested MUP.

This is not comprehensive — it was drafted off the top of my head with some input from local MUP users. Please add your thoughts and suggestions using the blog’s comment feature, or email me direct, and we’ll get this together for inclusion in the fall Rec Guide.
— greg blanchette
aimless1@mailcan.com

MUP usage guidelines
As the name Multi-Use Path (MUP) suggests, the path is intended for mixed use. As more people use the path in a variety of ways — walking, running, biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, strollering — there is more potential for accident. These guidelines for MUP use will promote safety and minimize conflicts.

  • All MUP users should travel on the right side of the path. When passing someone, pass to the left.
  • Cyclists should have a bell or horn (voice also works but gets tedious) to warn pedestrians when overtaking.
  • At night, cyclists MUST have front and rear lights, to see where they are going but especially to let other riders, drivers and pedestrians know they are coming. Serious collisions have happened because of a lack of lights on bikes.
  • At night, especially on the darker sections of the path (south of the Esso station), pedestrians should carry a light too, or at least wear light-coloured clothing.
  • When hearing a bell behind them, pedestrians should automatically move to the right side of the path, single file, to let the bikes pass. Please don’t stop in the middle of the path and turn around to look.
  • There are a few blind corners and swerves on the MUP, and cyclists should slow down when passing through them.
  • When cycling out of town (south), riding on the west shoulder (ocean side of the road, opposite side to the MUP) is safest up to Industrial Way, where the shoulder disappears entirely; then cross onto the MUP.
  • Because of its mixed use and many obstacles, the MUP is not appropriate for high-speed cycling. When moving fast, experienced cyclists should travel on the road shoulder, rather than on the MUP.
  • Skateboarders should use sensible caution, bearing in mind a skateboard’s limited turning and stopping power, and yield to other MUP users.

What drivers can do:

  • When pulling out of a driveway, stop before the front of your car blocks the MUP and check for cycle traffic.
  • At night, when you see an oncoming cyclist drop your high-beams. It makes a big difference to how well the cyclist can see that narrow bike path.

MUP improvements

  • District staff should keep the west shoulder (heading out of town) clear of gravel up to the Esso station so cyclists can use it safely.
  • Repaint the white edge lines where needed, especially in the dark sections south of the gas stations.
  • Reminder signs on the pavement to “travel right, pass left.”
  • Repair the potholes and root ridges.
  • Fix ridges and pavement drop-offs that could spill a bike.
  • Widen the narrow sections.
  • Put reflectors or white paint on the telephone poles close to the MUP (particularly at swerves), so they show up better at night.
  • Property owners should trim back bushes at driveway entrances so MUP traffic is visible, along with other bushes that overhang the MUP.

Cycling Advisory Group

  • * There should be an advisory group of dedicated lifestyle and casual cyclists providing input to the district on all cycling-related initiatives and infrastructure.
  • The advisory group should run a regular survey of the MUP to identify places and features of particular concern to cyclists.
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