In the few times we’ve ventured onto Minneapolis bike paths, we have not had pleasant experiences.
We are old and like to bike, let’s say, slowly. We like to enjoy the scenery and if we ever had dreams of pretending to be in the Tour de France, we’re too old to recall.
We found fairly quickly that Minneapolis bike paths aren’t for the likes of us and we were scolded for being slow.
How slow? We were probably riding about 10 miles per hour or slower, which, as it turns out, is the speed limit on Minneapolis bike paths — observed, apparently, only by people too infirm or disinterested to ride any faster.
It’s an unenforceable ordinance, the Minneapolis Parks police chief says, and today the parks board will consider doing away with it, the Star Tribune reports.
“If you’re out there with your kids, you don’t want people racing by you,” said Liz Wielinski, president of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, tells the Star Tribune. “If you’re out there at six in the morning when no one else is out there, why should you go 10 miles per hour?”
Good points. If only all the riders employed the common sense and logical thinking she does.
But the speed limit is a joke, as evidenced by the fact the police chief can’t recall anyone ever writing a ticket for speeding. And he’s been there over 20 years.
But it leaves a lingering question. Who belongs on a bike path?
Anthony Taylor said that he avoids parkway bike paths because he typically cruises between 15 and 20 miles per hour.
He added that dropping the limit is one sign that such pathways are now part of a larger commuter network rather than the recreational paths they were built to be.
Most adult cyclists, he said, are capable of riding between 12 and 15 miles per hour.
Which puts some of us in the way.
If no one is enforcing an ordinance, there’s no reason to have a sign. Perhaps it could be replaced by a new one: “Be Nicer.”