And with the return of daylight saving time this weekend, the Greenway will be that much more full of movement.
With the uptick in usage of the Greenway, there will inevitably be a few incidents of common courtesy ignored. A couple of weeks ago the city folks received an email from a biker who was injured while trying to avoid a group on the Greenway that did not move before she was right upon them. Forced onto the grass, the biker had to be picked up by a relative, unable to continue her bike ride due to her injuries.
According to her account, the incident could have been avoided had the Greenway patrons obeyed the posted “Rules and Etiquette” signs located along the Greenway. First on that list is to keep to the right side of the trail except when passing. The third item says for bikers to alert those in front of them of their approach. The injured biker stated that she clearly announced her arrival, but was forced off the trail nonetheless.
The last part of the first item of etiquette ends with this statement: “Don’t block the trail.” While pedestrians have the right of way, they don’t have ownership. Common courtesy dictates that the human and bike traffic should flow just like road traffic.
As many times as I have run the Greenway, the few times I have encountered a problem has been with groups that seem to ignore the fact this is a public Greenway. While a vast majority of the time walkers moving in the same direction pull to one side, there have been a few times when I have had to veer off into the grass because the entire Greenway was blocked.
When there is a group of four or five of us who run together, we like to run side by side to have conversation. But the understood rule is that we drop back or form a single line when we come upon others and give a courtesy shout when passing, which should be on the left, by the way, according to the “Rules and Etiquette.”
Another rule of the Greenway (on the “Rules and Etiquette” signs) is that all pets must be on a leash. While this rule is obeyed for the most part, it occasionally causes problems as pet owners allow their pets’ leashes to stretch across the entire path. This is what ultimately caused the biker to crash.
I, too, have come upon pets with the leashes extended across the path and this creates an extremely dangerous situation for a biker or runner who may not see the leash before tripping over it. This is especially true for the early morning, before-sunlight Greenway patrons.
In response to this incident, the city has installed three more “Rules and Etiquette” signs at strategic places. The next time you are on the Greenway, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these helpful hints.