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Public Set To Sound Off About Bike Path Problems

KERO: Public Set To Sound Off About Bike Path Problems

City Calls Upon Bike Groups To Solve Problems

Erin Briscoe - ABC23 Southwest Reporter
POSTED: 6:21 pm PST November 18, 2009
UPDATED: 8:58 am PST November 19, 2009

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The bike path is popular with walkers and cyclist. But when the two worlds collide, there could be problems.

"It had come to our attention that the bike path was beginning to be a multi-use path and there were some incidents between cyclist and pedestrians and that there were some uncomfortable feelings growing between cyclist and pedestrians," said Zac Griffen of cycling group Bike Bakersfield.

There are no signs anywhere along the 32 mile bike path stating the rules of the road, which is sometimes confusing to those who use the pathway.

"I think if we had signs indicating which way to walk, that would be helpful," said walker Gracie Bailey.

"Sometime you say, ’Bike left,’ and they move left, that means you’re going to be on their left, and bike back mean you’re going to be behind them. There’s a lot of communication that has to happen," said cyclist John Dover.

After receiving several complaints, Dianne Hoover, director Recreation and Parks, called upon cycling groups Bike Bakersfield and Kern Wheelmen along with the Kern River Parkway Foundation for help in setting up some guidelines.

One suggestion they came back with is to post signs with rules along the path.

"We’re hoping that the multi-use and multi user use courtesy, yield the right away to some of the faster people, stay to the right if you’re slow," said Hoover.

Another suggestion would be to put a speed limit in place.

A speed limit is something cyclist John Caldwell isn’t a fan of. "The bikers just need to use good judgment, when they need to slow down," he said.

"We all love the bike path, we all want to encourage it, and so sometimes we have to give up a little personal freedom to then gain a little greater freedom for us as a society," said Griffin.

The city wants to hear any suggestion you may have when it comes to improving the bike path.

They will be holding a public forum Thursday, Nov. 19 from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Franklin Elementary, 2400 Truxtun Ave.

Hoover said she will take all the recommendations to the city administrator.