Up and down the coast line there are miles and miles of paved bike path. It’s there to give cyclists a safe place to ride along the beach without getting in the way of the pedestrians and other beach goers. I know this because of two things – on this path every 50 feet or so the words “BIKES ONLY” are printed in giant 4 ft block letters, sometimes accompanied by a “no walking people” icon; and because on every other pathway along the beach “No Bicycles” in posted clearly. You might think this would create a clear segregation that would be safer and more enjoyable for everyone. Yeah… not so much. Here are a few things I’ve seen on the “bikes only” bike path in the last week or so:
- People walking 4 abreast taking up the entire path.
- People pushing strollers and stopping every 5 feet to make sure the wind isn’t blowing sand on their kid.
- Roller bladers skating down the middle and weaving back and forth making passing unsafe.
- People walking their dogs, and letting their dogs take giant poos on the path.
- A family of 5 with rented 3 wheelers taking up both lanes and stopping constantly to chat with each other.
- People standing still in the middle of the path looking at the beach.
- People sitting down on the path, possibly to enjoy a picnic lunch.
- Surfers standing and talking in the middle of the path, holding surfboards in such a way as to block the entire path.
Of course suggesting to any of these people that they are not supposed to be on the “bikes only” bike path unleashes so much hell you’d think I was just imagining the signs posted everywhere.
As you might imagine all of this makes the bike path near impossible to use safely and creates some very dangerous situations. Of course the ample beach patrol and officers in the area do nothing discourage the use of the bike path by non-bikers. And to add insult to injury, even thinking of riding a bike on the pedestrian area will get the immediate attention of said authorities who will instruct you to get the hell off that bike right away.
The problem here really is mixed enforcement, why have the bike path if its a bike path in name alone? I mean, I guess it’s bragging rights for the city but in that case shouldn’t they be doing something to keep it somewhat bike friendly?