Katy Trail Invokes Renton’s “Trail Calming”

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Are slower speed limits on multi-use trails frequented by bicycles the right solution?

Much soul-searching is going on after a 28-year-old Texas jogger was struck by a bike and later died. The woman was wearing “headphones” (earbuds?) and turned quickly in the path of a bike whose rider apparently was trying to warn her of passing.

Now the East Dallas blog, citing Renton’s speed reduction on the Cedar River Trail following the cycling-caused death of an elderly woman earlier this year, wonders if similar curbs should be placed on the White Rock Trail.

Our experience is that trails self-regulate pretty well, as in the case of the Burke-Gilman and Green Lake bike-pedestrian paths. But with more people cycling and using bikes for transportation as much as recreation, conflicts are bound to keep growing. Renton’s 10 mph speed limit pretty much consigns commuter and transportation bikes (along with experienced cyclists of all stripe) to alternate routes, which the city should speedily provide.

At Green Lake, conflicts were greatly reduced by ringing the lake with on–street bike lanes that faster cyclists could use instead of the bike path. More thoughts from Jonathan Maus at BikePortland.org:

Yes, it’s important for path users to share, but the larger issue here is that there are simply not enough non-motorized corridors…

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1 thought on “Katy Trail Invokes Renton’s “Trail Calming””

  1. The problem with the Cedar River Trail as a commuter is that there is no good alternative streets once it crosses under 405. I used to ride the 169 Maple Valley Highway but it was only possible when there was a rail road bridge over it and thus created a giant traffic jam and slowed traffic to 5mph or less.

    10mph is fine for passing pedestrians but too slow for the whole of the trail from Maple Valley to Renton.

    On the part down next to the river, I used to ride that at about 5mph. The bricks are slick when wet and there is no place for a pedestrian to step out of the way. But it’s only about a 1/2 mile of trail so time wise it makes no difference.

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