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Trails need more safety tweaks

August 7, 2020

Serious crashes can and do occur on the bicycle and pedestrian trails of our area. Bob Brooks had the unfortunate experience to attest to that. 

On July 4, Brooks collided head on with another cyclist on the Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail, seven-tenths of a mile from where the trail ends near Route 9. 

He only knows that because a phone app he uses recorded the 45-mile ride he was on that day. He remembers nothing else. “I passed out,” he said. 

That can happen when you break two bones in your neck, a bone in your spine, two bones in your left leg and your right jaw. He will be in a neck brace for at least six months. 

Brooks still doesn’t know who he collided with. He heard that the unidentified rider was airlifted to Christiana’s shock trauma center in serious condition. Calling the crash a miscellaneous victimless incident, police, said Brooks, would provide no further information.

That’s unfortunate. If more details were available - names not necessary - the public could gain insight on possible safety measures that could be taken to avoid such incidents in the future. 

Brooks said the biggest problem with local trails is that they are not marked with lines to show bicyclists, especially, or walkers where they should be. “That and earphones. They’re insane whether you’re running or walking.”

A few other safety suggestions from the Cape Gazette. As mentioned at a Five Points Working Group meeting recently, all intersections of trails and roads should have stop signs for trail users and should be absolutely observed by cyclists and walkers. 

All trails should have a speed limit of no more than 12 mph. People of all ages and experience levels use the trail. Those riding faster should stay on roadways and shoulders where their speed won’t jeopardize those less experienced. 

Signs should be posted requiring the good sense of cyclists wearing helmets.

Our trails are popular for many reasons but a few more safety tweaks are needed to make them less dangerous. 

 

  • Editorials are considered by the editorial board and written by Dennis Forney, Publisher Emeritus, with occasional contributions from other board members: Trish Vernon, CoPublisher and Editor; Dave Frederick, Sports Editor Emeritus; Jen Ellingsworth, Associate Editor; Nick Roth, Sports Editor; and Chris Rausch, CoPublisher and General Manager.

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