Give pedestrians the right of way on the trails
Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 11:15 am
Your bicycle bell and your voice are great ways to make sure you don’t sideswipe a jogger on the city’s trails, advises a municipal enforcement official.
Over the past several weeks, the Gazette has received comments and letters about cyclists, skateboarders and long boarders not yielding to pedestrian traffic on the city’s trails.
People need to realize the rules of the road apply to the Red Willow Trail system and pedestrians have the right of way, says Stu Fraser, supervisor of the city’s peace officer program.
“The slower the traveller the more that they’re expected to be given the right of way,” he says.
Under the City of St. Albert Traffic Bylaw, trails fall under the definition of a highway.
Regardless of the mode of transportation you are using – bicycle, skateboard, long board, roller skates or roller blades – yield to slower moving traffic and move off to the side of the trail for less mobile users. Also move off the trail when stopping.
Trail etiquette states that all users must keep right except when passing or turning left.
Make your intentions known, says Fraser.
“If you’re going into a curve, that people may not necessarily recognize your presence.”
“You can’t just assume that ringing the bell on your bike will be enough. Generally people announce ‘On your left’ or ‘Passing left’ is common courtesy.”
Fraser says people need to be aware not only of their personal circumstances but also that they are in a public area.
“I find that people get absorbed because the parks are calming and are a fairly serene surrounding,” he notes. “They sometimes fail to give consideration there are all different types of users out there … it could be our seniors who are mobility restricted that aren’t going to be able to react as quickly to a surprise that comes.”
Pedestrians also need to take responsibility and share the trails, says Fraser.
“No pedestrians should act in a manner so as to obstruct, interfere or prevent the passage of vehicular or other moving pedestrian traffic.”