What's the safety solution for the W&OD trail?
A jogger and cyclist were sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries recently after colliding on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Falls Church. It was just the latest crash on the trail. Even cars are occasionally creating havoc.
We asked readers what should be done to improve safety on the multi-use, 44-mile pathway that stretches from Arlington to Purcellville.
Reader Joe Brewer has a swift solution. “It's not a road built for a road race,” he wrote. “Outlaw the bikes, problem solved!”
A few readers mentioned insurance requirements for cyclists and/or joggers. It was one of several suggestions from Chris White. “Mandatory liability insurance for all bikers would be a start,” he wrote. “A test to establish knowledge of the rules of the road, and who, or what, has the right of way under which circumstances. Registration for users coupled with issue of Tee-shirts with numbers on the back for identification purposes. Video cameras at hotspots.”
People need to pay attention to their surroundings, writes reader Frank Mikolajczak. “Education about etiquette on the paths would go a long way for both riders and runners,” he said. “Share the path.”
Steve says cyclists are behaving badly: “From trying to overtake someone on a blind curve to riding abreast in both lanes to talk to their friends, cyclists just show a complete lack of awareness and respect for the fellow trail-users.”
Cyclist Dave Smith says he can’t compete with joggers zoning out. “More often than not, the walker and jogger are two or more abreast and have ear buds. A cyclist bell isn’t going to be heard and yelling doesn’t always work,” he wrote. “Even when I give an audible warning, the walker/jogger then jumps into my path.”
Deana Demichelis sums up how several readers reacted: “It's too bad that the small amount of people who don't appreciate what the trail has to offer and choose to be bullies rather than enjoy what they have, which is priceless.”What do you see as the main safety problem(s) on the trail? And what can be done about it? Tell us in the comments section below!