Greenway Etiquette & Safety
It’s no surprise that more people are discovering Kosciusko County’s bikeways, shared-use paths, bike lanes, and trails. Some like to walk for exercise. Some like to bike for their health. Many walk and bike as great ways to get from here to there. And we know it’s important to share the road – but it’s just as important to share the path.
A typical shared-use path, often times called a greenway, is a paved trail that is completely separated from the roadway and may be used by bicyclists, inline skaters, skateboarders, joggers, and walkers. Greenways are typically built out as part of a network through public open spaces connecting parks and other recreational and neighborhood areas throughout a community.
These multi-use trails are for the recreation and enjoyment of all residents. A lot of people use the greenways, and they serve both as transportation and recreation corridors. The expansion and improvement of the riding and walking transportation system has led to an increase in the number of these users. As such, it is important for all users to share the trail.
To help improve your experience and safety when biking or walking, Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake strongly encourages all trail users to abide by the following safety guidelines:
- Be Courteous, Share the Trail & Keep Right: Please help us make the trail a friendly environment for all trail users by not blocking the path. Walk and bike on the right side of the trail to facilitate two-way traffic and using caution when passing other trail users. All trail users should respect other users on the facility regardless of their mode, speed or level of skill. Parents, please keep children from wandering into oncoming trail lanes to avoid accidents.
- Pedestrians Have the Right of Way: Faster moving trail users, such as bicyclists, rollerbladers, and skate boarders should yield to walkers and joggers. When the trail is busy, ride single file.
- Communicate Before Passing: Give a clear warning signal before passing. Signal may be produced by voice, bell, or horn. A bicyclist should politely yell, “On your left” before passing to alert those in front of them. Be aware that other people may want to pass you. Listen (not to your iPod—to the world!)
- Pass On the Left: Pass others going in your direction on their left. Look ahead and back to make sure the lane is clear before you pull out. Pass with ample separation. Do not move back to the right until safely past.
- Maintain a Safe Speed: Please slow down when rounding curves, passing other trail users, traveling downhill, where the trail narrows, approaching intersections or when conditions dictate. Bicyclists will typically be the fastest traffic on a trail. If your speed endangers other trail users, check for alternative routes or consider riding on the road. Selecting the appropriate location for your ride is safer and more enjoyable for all concerned.
- Use Caution at Street Crossings & Intersections: Please slow and stop at all street crossings and use caution when proceeding into the intersection, even when using a marked crosswalk.
- Keep Pets on Short Leashes & Remove Pet Waste: Dogs are welcome on the trail, but please keep them on a short leash in order to keep the trail safe for all users. Additionally, please pick-up after your pet. Bags are provided along the trail for waste removal, please deposit full bags in trash receptacles.
- Respect Trail Environment: Do not disturb the wildlife or the many native plants and wildflowers that grow along the Greenways.
- Respect Private Property, Stay on Trail: Please stay on the paved and marked trail adjacent to private property at all times.
- Be Safe: Because paths may be unlighted and somewhat secluded, it’s good to consider only using them in daylight hours and/or traveling with a companion.
- Wear a Helmet: It’s always smart to wear them, especially children, when on any public road, lane, or greenway.
- No Motorized Vehicles: Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the greenway at any time. However, please note that in order to maintain the trail you may occasionally encounter maintenance vehicles and lawn mowers on and alongside the trail.
- In an Emergency, Call 911
- Report non-emergency concerns to the City of Warsaw Parks Department at 574.372.9554 or the Town of Winona Lake at 574.267.7581
Remember, many accidents can be avoided if everyone exercises common sense. Be aware, be polite, and enjoy our greenways!