When It’s Wise To Walk Your Wheels

A variety of signage, ranging from polite reminders to harsh prescriptions.

Their are times when segments of our multi-use trails get quite busy and it’s wise to walk your wheels. There are also some places where wheels are not to be ridden at any time, for the safety of people of all ages, all abilities.

While the current sign in the Tunnel (upper left, above) suggests you can ride at walking speed, the Tunnel Committee and Cycling Advisory Committee agreed over a year ago that cycling in the tunnel would be restricted for a number of reasons:

  • People walking, especially families with young children, are distracted by the lights, paying attention to the tunnel walls, taking care to avoid tripping on the dark curb, and quite often, looking up!
  • Even when riding a bike at walking speed, maneuverability in the tunnel is quite limited; brushing a tire against the dark curb or a handlebar against the wall could easily lead to a fall and injury – for you and others.
  • The Tunnel is often busy and best enjoyed at a slow walk.

So please, when visiting the Tunnel, “Walk your Wheels”. That includes your bike, your unicycle, your scooter, and your skateboard.

There are a few other places where riding a bicycle is expressly prohibited as well, even if not signed. These include the sidewalks along King Street downtown, the Brock Trail walk around Blockhouse Island, and the Brock Trail boardwalk along the River in Hardy Park.

Visiting Downtown Brockville on an “open streets” day when King Street is blocked to vehicles? Walk your Wheels – riding through a crowd of meandering families begs calamity.

At all other times on the Brock Trail, generally accepted trail etiquette applies:

  • Those walking have the right-of-way
  • When on wheels, yield to those walking
  • Keep to the right so others can pass; yes, that includes when walking your dog
  • When walking your dog, shorten the leash when passing or being passed
  • When riding your bike, unicycle, scooter, blades or skateboard, ding your bell or call out to those you’re about to pass, e.g. “Passing on your left!”
  • when riding, keep speed slow – below 20 km/h, and slower when nearing people walking.

Please also note that none of the restrictions on wheels apply to those using mobility assistance devices.

Let’s act together to make sure our shared pathways remain attractive, comfortable and safe for those of all ages and all abilities.

Author: Alan Medcalf

Alan is a post-corporate, volunteer, community builder living in Brockville, Ontario. He seeks to create sustainable lifestyle advantage for the community by creating opportunities for more people to choose to walk and to ride bikes. He promotes the health, social, environmental and economic benefits of active mobility.