With the return of warmer weather and increased traffic on the area’s trails, we want to remind cyclists of the importance of riding in a way that protects oneself and considers the rights and enjoyment of others. Last week’s collision on the CCT provides yet another reminder that on multi-use trails that cross roadways (another use), everyone has a role to play in keeping the interactions safe.
In October, WABA met with Councilmember Roger Berliner of Montgomery County, the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail, officials from the relevant parks and police agencies, and representatives of trail-adjacent civic assocations to discuss ways to make trail usage safer and more enjoyable for all. In the end, each group agreed to reach out to its membership to provide information on how to enjoy the trails safely.
So WABA will be out on Saturday, April 23rd providing information on trail safety and usage, biking in the region, and the future of the CCT–in addition to answering any bike-related questions you have for us. We will also be providing bells (while supplies last) to cyclists who lack them. By DC law, a bike must have a bell. And if you ride trails, a bell is a good idea even if not required in your jurisdiction.
We will be near the Georgetown and Bethesda CCT trailheads and roving along the trail informally from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, April 23rd. Stop by and say hello.
And in the meantime, cyclists, remember these trail safety tips:
- Ride right, pass left.
- Signal audibly when passing.
- Yield to pedestrians and oncoming traffic.
- Be sure there is space to pass safely before attempting to pass.
- Beware of dogs and their leashes.
- Children may lack the coordination to keep in a straight line. Pass carefully.
- Stop at stop signs, and ensure that it’s safe to proceed before crossing roadways.
And to non-cyclists, we hope that you will also help us to share the trails safely by following these suggestions.
- Walk on the right, and allow room for faster travelers to pass on the left.
- Be sufficiently aware of your surroundings to hear an audible warning.
- Know that “On Your Left” is a common audible warning by a bicyclist that means “I am passing you on your left.” It does not mean you should move to the left.
- Keep your dog controlled and on its leash.