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Trail etiquette spelled out for pedestrians, cyclists

By: Ashley Whittingham Telegraph Staff Writer
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The city of Folsom is taking action to pacify the battle over the trails between cyclists and hikers. The Public Works Department, under the direction of the city Parks and Recreation Department, is stenciling the trails to let residents know which side to use. A common misconception for pedestrians is to keep right on the trails. A more safe and efficient practice on shared trails is for walkers and runners to keep left. This way, pedestrians can see oncoming bike traffic while preventing approaching cyclists from dangerously swerving around or crashing into them. “I believe that walking on the left is safer because then bicyclists have a better view of what’s behind you and can more safely maneuver around pedestrians,” said Jay O’Brien, Folsom resident and avid trail walker. The stenciling undertaking began as an Eagle Scout project, according to Folsom’s Trail Coordinator Jim Konopka. The marking of the city’s approximate 32 miles of bike trails is expected to continue over the next year or two, he said. “The project has already begun. Its completion is dependent on city funding,” said Jim Kirstein, president of the Friends of Folsom Parkways. As Folsom’s population continues to grow and more residents begin to discover the trails, the risk of collisions also increases. “As the trails become more popular, the number of issues also rises. We are trying to make it as safe as possible out there,” said Konopka. When trails are shared by bicyclists and pedestrians, both safety and courtesy issues arise. “My wife and I walk pretty much every day. This is a politeness issue,” said O’Brien. Bicyclists’ pedaling at dangerously high speeds has also been a reported issue for the Folsom trails, according to Konopka. “Cyclists should be constantly aware of being at a safe speed. When the trails are shared, everyone needs to accommodate each other,” said Konopka.