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Share the Path: Safety on shared use paths

Share the Path: Safety on the Shared Use Paths
Members of this bike-friendly community came together September 4, 2014, at Sunset Park
to show their support for sharing our paths in the Centre Region. In large part this was a celebration of
newly erected signs on our shared paths that remind bicyclists, runners and pedestrians to keep right
except to pass, use audible warnings when passing, and be respectful of all users.

The “Share The Path” campaign kicked off thanks to residents like Ferguson Township's Jack Williams, 
who wrote a letter to the Board of Supervisors expressing his concern about safety issues on the multi-use paths.

The Centre Region municipalities have posted Share the Path signs at 46 selected spots on the regional
shared use path network. The signs are the result of a suggestion made by Ferguson Township resident
Jack Williams, who wrote a letter to the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors to express his concern
about safety issues. Williams asked the supervisors to consider signs reminding bicyclists to sound an audible warning when passing pedestrians, which is required by Pennsylvania law.


 

Share the Path signs remind users to:

  • Keep right except to pass
  • Be respectful of all users
  • Keep pets on a leash, as required

In addition, Pennsylvania law requires bicyclists to:

  • Wear a helmet if under age 12
  • Use lights after dark
  • Use audible warnings when passing

Pennsylvania requires bicyclists to warn walkers of their approach. Bicyclists who reach high speeds need to be aware they will be coming up fast on pedestrians. As Williams wrote to the township: “The accepted warning upon overtaking a pedestrian, in my experience, is a loud ‘Passing on your left!’ My wife and I have found it helpful, when we are biking ourselves, to also announce that two of us are coming. This reduces the risk that the pedestrian will unknowingly move into an overtaking bicycle’s path.”

He hopes that posting the Share the Path Centre Region signs will prevent serious accidents on the paths in the future. Williams said he has been nearly hit a number of times and believes the situation has become worse over the years, primarily because of distractions such as wearing headphones and using cell phones.

Learn more about Share the Path Centre Region