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Editor's View: New trail rules vex reader

By: Don Chaddock, Managing Editor
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Sometimes, a week of vacation can help put some things in perspective. First, I have great kids who fill me with a lot of joy. Second, I work with some great people who have their hearts in the right place. Third, I have a lot of writing to do to make up for taking a week of vacation.

First, let’s start with the Folsom Rotary Annes 26th annual Crab Feast. This bash always proves to be a lot of fun and tickets are reasonably priced.

Candy Miller said the Annes partner with the Folsom Rotary Foundation to bring the feast to the community. Be sure to reserve this on your calendar: 6 p.m., Feb. 2, at the St. John’s Parish Hall on Montrose Drive in Folsom. The evening kicks off with no-host cocktails followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

You’ll also find dancing and a raffle for prizes.

Tickets are $45 per person. For more info, call Candy at (916) 988-7699.

I hear The Murer House Foundation is looking for a 1920s-era couch and refrigerator (circa 1930s) for the museum at 1125 Joe Murer Court in Folsom. Find them on their Facebook page or call (916) 985-3250 if you have one you can donate.

To the right or left?

Finally, let’s turn to a reader who is upset about the trail markers indicating pedestrians should walk on the left, cyclists pedal on the right.

Debbie Rabourn, of Folsom, writes, “The chatter on the trails is ‘who decided to change the rules’? We’ve been adhering to the same rules of all parks, trails and city streets for god knows how long in the state of California. I know for me I’ve been enjoying the outdoors for over 30 years and the rules and laws have always been; you walk to the right and share the trails/streets with all groups whether you are walking, cycling or running. ... I’d like to know who decided to change the rules and why the City of Folsom thinks they should have their own rules or be any different. I challenged this when an article was written in the Folsom Telegraph some time ago and never received a response from the Telegraph. … I feel the markings are wrong on the trails and should be changed or eliminated all together.”

I decided to take a look at the issue. In Minnesota, according to the state website, the same rules as the road apply. Keep to the right, faster traffic passes on left. So cyclists would pass walkers.

So I looked at Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources. This is what they write, “Stay to the right and pass on the left. Always look before changing positions on the trail. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots.”

I did a little more digging. Surely I would find something with the same rules as Folsom. Other states or parks offer a common sense approach, advising trail users to be polite. Most say cyclists should yield to hikers and horses.

Finally, I checked ibike.org, part of the International Bicycle Fund, and they had this to say, “Stay as near to the right side of the trail as is safe, except when passing another user.”

In my personal opinion, Debbie has a point. If everyone else is using a different set of rules, we’re begging for disaster on our trails, especially considering how many people come from outside Folsom’s city limits.

Editor Don Chaddock can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com.