Celebrate the Cape Region’s magnificent trails
In a contentious recent meeting at Lewes library, dozens of people told state and local officials that too many cyclists on local trails were traveling too fast and not even slowing down where the trail crosses roadways.
Lack of visibility at trail intersections, notably Old Orchard Road, was also cited as a hazard, for those on the trail and for motorists.
Adding to safety issues is a lack of clarity as to who has the right of way at crosswalks and whether cyclists are required to stop – an issue not clearly resolved even during the meeting.
The law is wordy, but the idea is clear. If no traffic is coming on the road, cyclists are not required to stop – but cyclists are required to slow down to see whether a car is approaching. If so, they must stop until it is safe to enter the crosswalk.
That’s common sense, and if there is anything this trail needs, it’s common sense. That and a little patience will go a long way to making the trails feel safe for everyone.
People who do not feel safe will not use the trails, and that would be a tremendous loss.
There may be issues to resolve as people become accustomed to trail use. Still, most trail users – by far – are courteous and helpful. Let’s not allow a few close calls to set a tone of chaos.
Our trail network offers a spectacular passageway away from crowded highways through the shade of tall trees to broad farmland and marsh, and on to the wide-open vistas of Cape Henlopen State Park. From there, the panoramic Gordons Pond Trail continues to Rehoboth, where trail users can connect to the tranquil Junction and Breakwater Trail to return to Lewes.
Let’s fine-tune signage and promote trail courtesy so everyone will feel safe.
Above all, let’s celebrate our magnificent trails – which rank among the most beautiful anywhere in the world.