Walking SA joined with representatives of other trail user groups today at Shepherds Hill Recreation Park to commend the adoption of the “I Share My Trail” message.
We encourage all trail users to consider the safety of other users to create enjoyable trail experiences for all.
The campaign was launched by Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation and Annabel Digance, Member for Elder, in conjunction with Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Walking SA, Trail Runners SA, Bike SA, Horse SA and Gravity Enduro Mountain Bikes.
We encourage all trail users to consider the safety of other users to create enjoyable trail experiences for all. Sharing of trails depends on mutual understanding and respect from all users. The aim is to ensure everyone, including walkers, trail runners, cyclists, mountain bikers and horse riders have a safe and enjoyable experience using shared trails.
Shared trails work well for low-volume, low-speed trails and those with good sight distances. They can also bridge hard or expensive-to-fix gaps in trail networks. Bike trails can often be shared with walkers where bike speeds are kept low. Providing for more trail users broadens the funding and support opportunities, allowing for a greater investment in the development of new trails and maintenance of existing trails.
Not all trails are suitable for sharing, and care must be taken to separate fast and low-speed traffic. Walkers don’t feel safe on trails used for downhill mountain bike riding or the kind of fast flowing trail that some mountain bike riders prefer. Walkers are generally not attracted to commuter paths with fast moving or high volumes of bicycle traffic. High numbers of walkers on these trails can also impede and annoy bike riders.
There are important roles and benefits of shared trails, but there are also places where some form of separation can be cheaper as well as better for everyone’s experience of the trail. Low-speed, walking-only trails in the right place, have little impact on the environment, cost almost nothing to construct and require little maintenance.