Recently, an article by Troy Duffin of Avid Trails, a design-build company out of Park City, UT was referenced in a discussion on proposed mountain biking trails. In that article the supposed inability to share trails was discussed. Here is what Mr. Troy Duffin said regarding trail sharing:
I’ve always advised clients and agencies that, if possible, they should build separate trails for the various user groups… Directional trails help, but there are still vast speed differences between different users when moving in the same direction. I continue to believe that separate trails are the best solution. We need to accept that hikers, runners, and horses generally move at under 10 MPH (and often at 2 MPH or even slower), while aggressive cyclists often top 30 MPH. This is a massive speed differential, and creates substantial safety issues. Building bicycle-specific trails helps solve the problem, and also results in more enjoyable trails for bikes.
The article was surprising because Mr. Duffin has designed shared trail systems in the past (though based on their online portfolio, it appears Avid Trails have just done their first design of an urban system). The verbiage that Mr. Duffin uses is pretty clear that he does not believe shared trails are a positive idea. Mr. Duffin mention the inability of mountain bikers and hikers to share based on three factors: speed differences between groups, visibility and the attitudes of user groups.
So, is that the end of the story? This is a simple “yes” or “no” question, right?
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