Gnomewood Update: NEW CROSS-WALK!

Trail users at Alum Creek Phase 1 MTB trail can now cross Lewis Center Rd. more safely these days, thanks to COMBOs good friends at Delaware County Engineers Office, and Alum Creek State Park Management. These partners made a personal dream come true! If you have not recently visited P1, a new crosswalk and signs were successfully installed in late December 2017. Users now enjoy improved sight lines, a more firm/less slippery surface to cross over the drainage ditch, and a new and improved entrance trail spur. Many generous volunteers, including crews from BikeSource and COMBO, have also worked tirelessly to improve safety at this dangerous crossing.

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This is the first of two planned communications covering general safety tips as you, your family and friends enter and exit the beginner trail and GnomeWood Skills Park. As you ride/visit P1, consider these safety tips:

Only use the designated crosswalk area and new entrance spur to enter the trail. Please discontinue using the,‘old’, entrance/exit area.

The new Crosswalk and signs alone will not guarantee your personal safety as you walk, run or ride across the road. Always check both directions for motor traffic before you cross (as opposed to as you cross). Most motorists will not slow down or stop for you, so plan accordingly.

Parents, keep your children together, supervise all crossings, and cross together as a group. Children under the age of 14 comprise the highest rate of pedestrian casualties of any age group, according to NHTSA.

Know that some motor vehicle drivers traveling on Lewis Center Rd. will be drug/alcohol impaired, or distracted with mobile devices, or both. Note a few automobiles now operate without any drivers’ direct input. Recent news reports that some users may have the sensors that detect pedestrians turned off.

When possible, wear bright colored clothing improving visibility. If riding at dusk/dark, wear reflective clothing and ride with lights. Statistically, this is the time frame when the highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities occurs.

While Ohio Revised code (section 4511.46) provides pedestrians some legal Right-of –way rights, it is ultimately the responsibility of parents, cyclist and pedestrians to insure their own safety.

Crosswalks, when properly used by both pedestrians and motorist working together, can improve safety (compared to no crosswalk at all). Let’s all do our part as responsible cyclists to not aggravate motorist by always being courteous, showing respect (even if others choose differently). Is shaving a few seconds off your Strava time blowing thru the crosswalk really a wise choice? Delaware can easily remove the crosswalk if our user base consistently chooses to abuse it.

Rest assured, not all local motorists will be delighted with the crosswalk. Motorists may complain to Genoa/Delaware when they witness poor crossing behavior by pedestrians and cyclists. The new entrance and crosswalk area is still a,‘work-in-progress’, with a completion goal by the end of June 2018. We will keep you updated when the project is completed.

Forward progress at Alum Creek State Park Mountain biking trails is gaining positive momentum. In January 2018, Alum Creek installed a new port-a-potty at the P1 parking lot. Our key sponsors (REI and RKE) have noticed your hard work, and are open to continue funding improvements.

Get out and RIDE!

Dean KiltonComment