Bicyclists break rules on trail creating hazards

Rules not followed on trail

Some pedestrians call it a hazard: bicyclists riding on the popular Rotary Trail in downtown Birmingham. A viewer emailed Fighting For You to see if we could get a resolution.

At 26 feet across, the trail is simply not wide enough for bikes or skateboarders to travel along with pedestrians. The signs at the entrance clearly say neither is allowed. But many don't notice the restrictions or simply ignore them.

Caps is in charge of patrolling the trail. "Technically bikes are not supposed to be on any sidewalks in the downtown area," explains Douglas Stewart.

"It's hard to hear or get out of the way," says Cheryl Morgan with the Rotary Trail. As a walker on the trial, she says she sees violators all the time. And as the trail nears its one year anniversary, they plan to respond to the complaints. One idea is adding large banners to the entrances to remind people of the rules. "A kid or tricycle, strollers we love, but bicyclists should dismount or park their bike," explains Morgan.

So where should they ride? Stewart says there are marked spots on the roadway which should be shared by vehicles and bicyclists. Riders can also use the stands at the beginning of the trail to lock their bikes up while they walk.

Violators could be ticketed, but nobody's looking to hand out fines just spread the word about the importance of following the rules.

We've also gotten questions about when the trail will extend up to 41st in Avondale. This summer a group of Auburn students will come up with alternatives. One possibility is closing the road that runs by the railroad tracks on Saturdays to allow for pedestrians and bikes.

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