Safe Trails: Full Stop

2013.07.28 GrandinRd intersection 533x400

by Erick Wikum

In writing, a comma is used to indicate a brief pause, providing the reader with a chance to catch their breath (as illustrated in this very sentence). By contrast, a period is used to indicate a longer pause, a chance for the reader to digest the meaning of the sentence just read. In fact, a period is also known as a full stop.

In the context of road crossings on the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a brief pause versus a full stop takes on a whole different meaning. Recently, I bicycled north on the trail. As I approached the road crossing at South Lebanon, I scanned the roadway and noticed a car approaching from the left. And then, I sensed something else. To my great surprise, a trail user riding an e-bike approached from my rear, veered around me without saying anything, and zoomed across the intersection at full speed.

Now that’s a recipe for disaster, but here’s a recipe, including four tips, for crossing roads safely:

1. Come to a full stop.
2. Check left, right, and left again.
3. Proceed only when it is completely safe to do so.
4. Remain vigilant while crossing expeditiously.

If a car stops for you, ensure that cars in both directions have stopped. You may wish to wave cars through, or to remain back from the intersection until you can cross with no cars present. Also, for your safety and theirs, overtake other trail users on the trail, and not while approaching or crossing a road.

Road crossing may just be the most dangerous aspect of trail use. The only way to cross is with extreme care. Full stop.


November 2022

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