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Thread: Help Get This Guy Off The Trail!

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    I'm meh on this one too. I do have some problems with the electric skateboards only because it's usually not apparent that they are electric skateboards just by looking at them so I'm often surprised by their speed. It still takes a while for the brain to process that the skater hasn't been expending effort.
    Similarly, people who see Subby just think "old guy on bike" and are surprised by his speed.

  2. #12
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    You have to be going fast to even see him. Relativity, time dilation and all that.
    Last edited by Vicegrip; 06-20-2017 at 03:37 PM.

  3. #13
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    It's now my personal mission to signal to this guy if I ever see NPS police lying in wait. :\

  4. #14
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    Default Final Words From The OP

    Judging by responses so far, I appears I’m in a small minority on this. Fair enough, but a couple of responders asked me to further explain my objection.

    I would boil it down to these three things:

    1. The logic behind the rule. The prohibition of motorized vehicles on the MVT is the same as on all of our local recreation trails, as well as all the others I’ve been on in the US, Canada, and Europe.

    In each case, I’m quite sure the logic behind the rule is what I alluded to in the OP, “the inherent danger of motorized vehicles operating on a narrow, twisting, undulating path among pedestrians, cyclists, strollers, children etc.”. That logic makes unambiguous sense to me.

    2. If a line isn’t “bright”, it’s not a line. One response mentioned a debate between the “letter” and “spirit” of the law. I get that, and fully accept that in real life, we often dwell more in a world colored grey, rather than black and white — but not always.

    The problem with grey, is each person can now believe that they are individually empowered to define where the line is, or ought to be So with respect to this issue, who gets to say which motorized vehicles are OK on the trail, i.e., which ones conform to the “spirit” of the law, if not the “letter”?

    Are hoverboards okay, but not segways — why not? Mopeds? How about those miniature dirt bikes that kids ride? Who decides?

    3. Finally, for me, this flunks the “what if everybody did it” test. I alluded to this toward the end of the OP. If we’re willing to accept this one guy, because he is just one guy, and OBTW he’s not hurting anyone — then conversely, how many would represent “a problem”?

    Like you, I don’t have an answer to that rhetorical question. It’s for that reason I feel accepting the presence of even one prohibited motorized vehicle represents a step down a “slippery slope”.


    Looks like most folks disagree with my take on this. As I said up top — fair enough.

  5. #15
    lordofthemark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan K View Post
    Judging by responses so far, I appears I’m in a small minority on this. Fair enough, but a couple of responders asked me to further explain my objection. If we’re willing to accept this one guy, because he is just one guy, and OBTW he’s not hurting anyone — then conversely, how many would represent “a problem”?

    See, the problem is that law, by its nature, must deal with general cases. Yet life is variable and specific. So it often makes sense to ban things yet wink at exceptions. For example allowing jaywalking (yeah, I know the history) would probably not be good public policy. But tolerating reasonable cases of it is probably wise (note this is not the same as the debate about the Idaho stop, which HAS been legalized in a few places and which I personally think it makes sense to legalize).

    Now you mentioned that the guy in question hovers only in the AM. In the AM there is room on the MVT. If he were there at PM peak, I might join you in reporting him. MVT at Gravelly, and to a lesser degree from there to 4MRT, is close to capacity at PM peak on nice days. So I would exclude those without a legal right to be there even if they are behaving properly. Ultimately we need to press such folks to parallel alternatives.

    As for mopeds, etc, I don't know that anyone would ride them that slowly - and they could probably more easily go fast and use roads (though honestly I dont know much about hoverboards).

    We recognize the law makes its distinctions where it does. But I think we should prioritize enforcement on trails on bad behaviors, and vehicles that are too wide for the trail (one regularly traverses the WOD, so I am told) And we all know that bike advocacy has other things to worry about.

    Also you ask who decides. Since your "ask" is that we all report him to the NPS, obviously each person in position to report decides for themself. We can end up making different decisions on that. I mean I know there are certain places where I would report a vehicle stopped in a bike lane, that some of the other folks who post here think is no big deal.

    To put it another way - I think BobCo's parallel to ebikes is on point, and my opinion is similar wrt time and conditions. I think even well behaved ebikes ultimately do not belong on the trails, because we have, eventually, limited space, and ebikes are suited (better than pedalled bikes for the mass of nonelite riders) to go fast and thus to be able to use roads uncomfortable for most riders. But, other than a few trails at a few times, we have lots of room on the trails. Its better to widen the constituency for the trails. But, we already do have a few times and trails where we are about out of room, and in those cases I am less tolerant.

    This also applies to runners in bike lanes. And to cyclists on sidewalks. And even to people taking bikes on the metro.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 06-20-2017 at 03:45 PM.

  6. #16
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    I think you'll find cyclists tend to like blurry lines. After all, we object to being subjected to the same road rules as cars, focusing instead on danger posed, intent of laws, etc. You're right that motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails, but you're probably not going to find the support you seek for bright lines here. Now, if this person were to park their motorized hoverboard in a bike lane ...

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    I think you'll find cyclists tend to like blurry lines. After all, we object to being subjected to the same road rules as cars, focusing instead on danger posed, intent of laws, etc.
    So you're suggesting banning bikes from the trails as well? :P

  8. #18
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    Because rules?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #19
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    Note, though that IF this guy ends up in an accident, the letter of the law WILL matter in a civil case.

    That is a factor I keep in mind when tempted to violate the letter of the law as a cyclist or pedestrian.

  10. #20
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    I've seen this dude around the crystal city connector for a couple of years now. He's punishing himself enough already by looking that stupid on that thing, so I prefer to stay quiet and enjoy the situation.

    The fat old guy with the two stroke motored orange/red mountain bike on the other hand...

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