Bike / Walking / Jogging / Blading / Skating Safety: Guide To Bike & Multi-use, Non-Motorized Trail Etiquette
by David Mozer
User Guidelines For Multi-use Trails
Trails (or paths) for non-motorized use have become very popular resulting in congested and potentially hazardous situations. Regardless of whether you are bicycling, walking, jogging, or skating, if you follow the same set of rules as everyone else, your trip will be safer and more enjoyable.
Help make the multi-use trails safe for everyone by using the following guidelines:
All trail users, including bicyclists, joggers, walkers, wheelchairs, skateboarders, bladers and skaters, should be respectful of other users regardless of their mode, speed or level of skill.
Travel in a consistent and predictable manner. Always look behind before changing positions on the trail.
Don't Block The Trail.
When in a group or with your pets, use no more than half the trail so as not to block the flow of other users.
Stay as near to the right side of the trail as is safe, except when passing another user.
Pass On The Left.
Pass others, going your direction, on their left. YIELD TO SLOWER AND ON-COMING TRAFFIC. Use hand signals to alert those behind you of your moves. Look ahead and back to make sure the lane is clear before you pull out and pass. Pass with ample separation and do not move back to the right until safely past. REMEMBER: KIDS AND PETS CAN BE UNPREDICTABLE.
When stopping, move off of the trail. Beware of others approaching you from behind and make sure they know you are pulling over.
Give Audible Warning BEFORE Passing.
Give a clear signal by using voice, bell or horn before passing. Give the person you are passing time to respond. Watch for their reaction. So that you can hear these signals, don't wear headphones on the trail.
Obey All Traffic Signs And Signals.
Use extra caution where trails cross streets. Stop at all signs and intersections and be cautious when crossing driveways. When entering or crossing a trail yield to traffic on the trail.
Use Lights At Night.
Be equipped with lights when using a trail at any time from dusk to dawn. Bicyclists should have a white light visible from five- hundred feet to the front and a red or amber light visible from five-hundred feet to the rear. Other trail users should have white lights visible from two-hundred fifty feet to the front, and a red or amber light visible from two-hundred fifty feet to the rear.
Don't Use A Trail Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Drugs.
Don't overestimate the safety of any trail. You may need all of your reflexes quickly -- don't have them impaired.
Be Respectful Of Private Property.
Trails are open to the public, but often the land on the side of the trail is private property. Please respect all property rights.
Clean Up Litter.
Do not leave glass, paper, cans, plastic, or any other debris on or near a trail. If you drop something, please remove it immediately.
Have You Outgrown Trails?
Trails have engineering and design limits. If your speed or style endangers other users, check for alternative routes better suited to your needs. Selecting the right location is safer and more enjoyable for all concerned.
Always Exercise Due Care And Caution.
The International Bicycle Fund is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation. IBF is funded by private donation. Contributions are always welcome and are U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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