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City of Renton Launches New Initiative to Emphasize Trail Safety

May 25, 2010

For more information contact:

Kelly Beymer, Parks and Golf Course Director 425-430-6617
Kent Curry, Commander, Renton Police Department 425-430-7555
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569, cell 206-491-8158

Reduced Speed Limits, Trail Striping, Additional Signage
Police to get tough on offenders

RENTON, WA—The City of Renton has launched a comprehensive program to enhance overall safety in its trails. The new initiative will include reduced speed limits, trail striping, additional signage, education and outreach on trail etiquette, and rigorous enforcement of reckless behavior.

After a tragic accident on the Cedar River Trail that involved a collision between a bicyclist and a pedestrian the mayor initiated a detailed review of all rules and ordinances related to parks and trails, along with a comprehensive assessment of best practices used in other jurisdictions.

“We have over 13 miles of multi-use trails in our city and we need to make sure that all our users have a safe and enjoyable experience,” said Mayor Denis Law.  “This is not about rules and regulations to restrict bicycles. This is to enhance and promote safety for all users whether they are walking, hiking, jogging, rollerblading or biking. Most people on our trails are very careful. Our comprehensive program will send a message to the few reckless people who fail to be mindful of other users.”

The trails safety initiative includes the following rules for multi-use trails in Renton:

Revised Parks Rules: These rules will be in place soon after City Council adopts a resolution to support the changes.

  • Reduce speed limit from 15 mph to 10 mph
  • Establish a dismount zone for bicycles on the Cedar River trail between the library and the Renton Senior Activity Center.

Trail Striping and Enhanced Signage

  • Implement a dashed center line on the Cedar River Trail from 149th Avenue SE going west to the trailhead below I-405, and from the Renton Senior Activity Center (Logan Avenue) to N 6th Street. This dashed line will denote a separation of trail users to stay to the right of the line unless passing.
  • Signs will be posted at all access points stating the speed limit of 10 mph (currently no bicycles are permitted on the trail from N 6th to the mouth of the river due to reduced trail width).
  • Implement solid yellow center line to signify “No Passing Zone.”
  • Implement warning marks on pavement approaching bollards.
  • Post additional trail signage that is universally understood and consistent with other cities and King County.

Education and Outreach

  • Provide flyers and information on trail etiquette at kiosks and dispensers along the Cedar River Trail.
  • Promote a comprehensive trail etiquette educational campaign.
  • Conduct targeted outreach with local bicycling organizations and event coordinators to inform their members about the new rules and encourage trail safety.
  • Set up patrols by police cadets on the trails to assist with education and remind trail users to stop inappropriate behavior.

Enforcement

  • Enforce the new speed limits on the trail once posted.
  • Offenders will be issued a warning for the first two weeks once enforcement begins.  
  • Issue citations for additional traffic infractions such as running stop signs, etc., that occur in various areas of the city including Lake Washington Boulevard.

These recommendations were based on a comprehensive study by an interdepartmental city team with input from citizens and various trail users. The city’s interdepartmental team will perform a three month evaluation of initial implementation and identify other changes and adjustments if needed.  Annual evaluations will be scheduled thereafter.