By Art Liberman
While walking along the Bol Park shared path, I have had a number of close calls with bicyclists riding at excessive speed. When I mention this to other residents, some tell me that they, too, have had similarly uncomfortable experiences. And I know of two Barron Park residents who were struck and knocked down while they were walking in the park by students who were riding their bikes carelessly.
Most bicyclists are responsible, careful and attentive. Some bicyclists call out as they approach, and others ring their bell. That’s a basic requirement, but ‘yell or bell’ is not enough if a bicyclist is riding at high speed on a path where there are also elderly walking slowly, kids on tricycles, toddlers running over the hill from the play area, families pushing strollers to the donkey pasture, and folks walking their pets. I am a bicyclist myself, and I often ride around the neighborhood and along this path. I am aware of the hazards a fast moving bicycle poses to pedestrians; it is a disaster waiting to happen.
The solution is simple. Bicyclists must SLOW DOWN when they are near pedestrians. Bicyclists need to know that the path is to be shared with pedestrians and that they need to slow down. To reinforce that message, I am advocating that the Parks Department place the following sign (based on one that’s on a path in the Los Angeles area) at the path entrance and at a number of places along the path:
The Bol Park path is a ‘Shared Path,” not just a bike path. Bicyclists may not realize this and, from the sign currently at the path entrance, be under the mistaken impression that they have exclusive rights to the path: