Contributed by Eric Meyer
One of the statements in the Lake Heritage Survey conducted last year that drew significant disagreement was “Roadways are respectfully shared by all users, including drivers, walkers, joggers, bicyclists, etc.” Nearly one-third of our members feel that there is room for improving how we “share the road”. A group of residents that met a few times a couple of years ago developed (and the board has reviewed) the guidelines listed below for sharing our roads. These have been published in the newsletter before, but they are the kind of thing that are good to refresh at least once a year. Also, some information from the “America Walks” website reinforces the need for caution and for obeying our speed limits. The article explains that when it comes to pedestrian safety, speed matters: only 5% of pedestrians would die if struck by a vehicle travelling 20 mph or less. At 30 mph, there’s a 40% chance of fatal injury if struck, at 40 mph the chance of dying increases to 80% and at 50 mph it reaches 100%. So let all of us, pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist, be courteous and neighborly and share our roads for our pleasure and safety.
Guidance for Pedestrians:
1. Always walk/jog on the left side of the road, facing into traffic.
2. Stays as far to the left on the road/shoulder as is safely possible. As a consideration for drivers, you may want to move off the road when possible to do so, but it is not required.
3. Make eye contact with on-coming traffic – make sure they see you
4. Wave thanks if they stop or move over for you.
5. Walk single file when any cars are approaching
6. If out after dusk, wear reflective clothing and/or carry a flashlight
7. If you have a dog or young children accompanying you, make sure the drivers see them and that they are to your left.
8. Beware of cars pulling out of driveways, they are focusing on looking for on-coming traffic, not pedestrians, make sure they see you or Stop.
Guidance for Bicyclists:
1. Always ride on the right side of the road with traffic
2. You are considered a vehicle like a car and need to obey all traffic rules; stop signs, yield signs…
3. Ride single file when any cars are approaching
4. Children under 12 must wear a helmet
5. If out after dusk, wear reflective clothing and have lights and reflectors on your bike
6. If your lane is blocked (maybe by a delivery truck) and you need to pull into the other lane to get around, yield to oncoming traffic – they have the right of way, it is their lane.
7. Teach your children about bicycle safety and the rules of the road.
Guidance for Automobiles:
1. Obey the posted speed limits and all traffic signs
2. If your lane is blocked (maybe by a delivery truck) and you need to pull into the other lane to get around, yield to oncoming traffic – they have the right of way, it is their lane.
3. When approaching a bicyclist from behind, only pass if you can give them 4 feet of clearance on your right. By state law it is permitted to cross the solid yellow line to pass a bicyclist when safe to do so.
4. When passing a pedestrian oncoming in your lane, slow down, make sure it is safe to move over to give them 4 feet of clearance before passing. If you cannot move over, then please stop until the oncoming traffic clears so that you can give them 4 feet of clearance when passing. Be particularly careful if the pedestrians are children or are walking dogs – these may require slower speeds or more clearance. Please realize that a pedestrian is not required to move off the roadway and may not be able to readily do so due to fitness level and/or the terrain.
5. Wave back if they wave to thank you.