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Multi-Use Trail Etiquette: Share the Trail

Have you walked down a multi-use trail and felt your heart jump as a cyclist whizzed past you with a narrow miss? Or have you been on a bicycle and almost crashed because a walker or runner wearing headphones, not paying attention swayed into your path? High trail volume can sometimes create problems when walkers, runners, and bikers don’t follow proper multi-use trail etiquette.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes or on their bike seat for a minute and realize that we all need to be safe and courteous when using the trails.

Here are some simple ways you can make sure everyone stays safe out on the trails, whether you’re biking, running, rollerblading or walking:

  1. Stay right, pass left – Be aware of those around you; walk or ride on the right side of the trail unless passing.
  2. Leave room for others to pass – Whether walking or biking, leave enough room for others to get around you. Don’t bike and walk in large groups spread across the trail, and always yield to oncoming traffic.
  3. Use you voice or bell when passing – Avoid startling people when passing, let them know you’re approaching with a bell or by yelling out “on your left”, before you’ve arrived.
  4. Go slow when passing – If there’s other people on the trail, either biking or walking, reduce your speed when going by.
  5. Be visible in low light – In lower lighted situations or dusk/dawn, make sure you’re seen from all sides by wearing reflective gear or lights.
  6. Keep pets close for their safety and others – Retractable leashes can easily become hazards on busy trails, keep pets safe by keeping them close.
  1. Stop, look and listen for motor traffic before proceeding across the road! There are locations where the trail crosses streets with motor traffic. Often these intersections are marked with stop signs for trail traffic, but the crossing motor traffic does not have to stop.
  2. Don’t litter along the trails – Leave only footprints (or tire tracks); take only pictures.
  3. Wheels yield to heels – Just as automobile drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in Florida, so must bicyclists. Don’t ride your bike at higher speeds in crowded areas. Very fast riding is inappropriate for crowded trails and should be done on public roadways.
  4.  A word about electric bikes – We love seeing more people who might not be able to cycle a longer distance out on electric bikes. However, e-bike riders must be mindful of the speed of their bike. Class III e-bikes (those that can exceed 20 mph unassisted) are not made for multi-use trails.

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