Riding the Riverfront Trail

The Washington Park Board may consider establishing a speed limit on the Rennick Riverfront Trail after receiving complaints about cyclists riding too fast.

Commissioners brought up the speed issue during a regular board meeting Thursday, Oct. 4.

Other complaints have been made that some cyclists are not alerting others as they pass.

“If people don’t know they’re passing, they could get hit by a speeding bike,” said Darren Dunkle, parks director. “The concern is excessive speed and (cyclists are) not alerting pedestrians when they’re passing. We’re afraid someone is going to get hurt.”

Dunkle said he knows of several municipalities that put speed limits on trails, ranging from 10 to 20 miles per hour.

All cyclists are welcome to use the trail, Dunkle said, but are asked to follow trail etiquette and alert others as they are passing.

Cyclists can yell “passing on the left” or use a bell if their bicycle has one.

“If (people are) walking a dog or with a small child they may dart out,” Dunkle said. “It’s good to alert.”

To help combat the problem, Dunkle said he is working with the public works department to get a yellow stripe painted in the center of the trail. There originally was a stripe, however, it was painted over when the city sealed the trail.

“I think that will help. People will know to stay on one side or the other,” Dunkle said.

Dunkle added that establishing a speed limit doesn’t mean people would follow it.

“It still comes down to enforcement, but at least it would help,” he said.

One commissioner suggested adding a sign at the beginning of the trail with rules.

The board is working to review and update rules and regulations this fall and will discuss establishing a speed limit at that time, Dunkle said. The board will make recommendations for necessary changes, if any, at a later date.