In typical Rochester fashion, “summer” struck unexpectedly a couple weeks ago. (I missed it, but where I was at the time—Philadelphia, for the Eastern Communication Association conference—it was even hotter.)
Just as quickly, however, the warm days were replaced by more “seasonal” weather. Even so, RIT walkers, joggers and bicyclists have emerged from winter hibernation and begun circling the campus. And that’s why I want to return to a topic from a blog post of mine of a few months ago.
Last summer, writing about the completion of RIT’s new “multi-use” trail—along the inner side of Andrews Drive from Wiltsie Drive to Gleason Circle (a project championed by Student Government)—I predicted that the trail would save a few lives.
But for those lives to be saved, the multi-use trail needs to be used. (Yes, this means you, bikers.)
Understandably, each fall brings a new crop of students, faculty and staff who might be unfamiliar of RIT’s norms (as evidenced by the number of bicyclists straddling the shoulder this spring). So, for the benefit of those who don’t know, the trail was designed for and intended to accommodate recreational walkers, runners and bikers (see News & Events article, “New stretch of path for pedestrians, bikers,” June 19, 2008).
I can almost hear the response from a few bicyclists—some of whom might not want to be slowed down by pedestrians or place walkers at potential risk. Plus, truth be told, it’s not against the rules for bikers to use the road or shoulder. Common sense suggests, however, that you’re safer on the trail (just remember to be aware of and courteous to pedestrians).
“Courtesy wins the day and bicyclists should warn walkers whenever possible as they approach, saying ‘on the left,’” suggests Chris Denninger, RIT Public Safety director. Denninger adds that bicyclists are encouraged to utilize the multi-purpose trail, particularly on certain areas of campus, and he urges them to follow the National Safety Council’s “Safe Bicycling” guidelines.
For the record, my admonition about using the trail (and keeping out of harm’s way by staying off roadways) comes from the perspective of an occasional campus bicyclist. I’m one of you—and I use the “multi-use” trail.
Have a great weekend!