Tell Us: What Are the Rules of the Road—er, Trail?

How do you share space on mixed-use trails?

Photograph from

Kate over at NaturaStride put up an interesting blog post today about trail-use etiquette—you know, the unspoken code of conduct between cyclists, pedestrians and runners on mixed-use trails. Kate, a runner, writes about a collision she recently had with a cyclist on the Schuylkill River trail. The crash left her more than a little shaken up and with some wicked road rash to boot.

Her post brings up an interesting topic of debate for those who regularly use off-street trails: What rules should bikers, rollerbladers, runners, and walkers—including those pushing tanker-size strollers—be expected to follow? Is it safe for these groups to use a trail at the same time? Should people whizzing by at speeds faster than, say, five or six miles per hour, be banned or fined? Or maybe there should be “bikes only” and “runners only” and “walkers only” days?

Kate and the cyclist she collided with—she admits that there was fault on both sides—were lucky to have come out relatively unscathed. A Google search turns up all kinds of stories of trail accidents with more dire consequences, including death.

So it begs the question: What kinds of rules would you like to see in place (and enforced) on Philly’s mixed-use trails? And have you ever had a run-in like Kate’s?

Tell us your thoughts and stories in the comments.