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Los Gatos Creek Trail Etiquette

Los Gatos Creek Trail use - a few pointers to help keep everyone safe when on the trail.

I've been a very frequent user of the Los Gatos Creek Trail, from Meridian Avenue to Lexington Reservoir for two years now, averaging my visits about twice a week. 

I think that it would greatly benefit all users to remain conscious of rules of use and some common etiquette and safety methods to prevent accidents. 

While everyone should be aware of the official rules, I feel it necessary to highlight some conduct that we should all engage in when using the trail.

Bikers:

  • Only pass on the right.
  • Warn others on the trail when you approach to pass.
  • Do not pass on blind corners.
  • When passing, make sure to check behind you to make sure others are not already doing so.
  • Use extra caution when near playgrounds and other areas where there are kids.

Pedestrians/Runners:

  • When going to pass another on the trail, make sure to look behind you to be aware of bikes. Bikers should warn and yield to you, but not all do as they should, and this could easily prevent accidents.
  • Always stay on the right half of the trail except to pass. If there are multiple people in your party, make sure to keep the left half clear for those needing to pass.
  • Keep children on the right hand side away from the oncoming traffic and cyclists.
  • Do not cross the trail without looking both ways, even if you don't hear anyone coming, especially at blind corners.
  • Be aware of areas in which cyclists may not be able to see you.
  • If you decide to stop to visit or enjoy the trail, step off at a safe place to allow thru traffic.
  • If you are in a large group, remind others to stay on the right side of the path. 

Dog Walkers:

  • Keep your dog on a leash. Even a well behaved dog can become frightened by those running, on bikes or skateboards.
  • Keep dogs on the right hand side when you walk them. A leash extending across the trail can become a serious hazard.
  • Cycling with a dog on a leash is very dangerous. I believe someone was killed in an accident a few years ago, in fact. It also may be against the rules. Please assess this situation and consider its impact if it's something you want to do.

As a cyclist, runner and hiker, I've experienced the trail traffic in many ways.  Also, while it may be the obligation of others to maintain trail etiquette and rules, they may not always do so. For your own safety, consider this but also encourage others to be safe.

Let's keep the trail safe for everyone. Also lets remember that even though someone may be a dog walker, hiker, runner or biker, it does not mean that their bad etiquette is representative of the whole group. We're all people!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

AR October 03, 2012 at 05:09 PM
re-read your own rules...you want cyclists to pass on the right, but you also want slower pedestrian traffic to stay as far right as possible. this makes no sense. bikes have always passed on the left with an announcement.
Gabe Roberts October 03, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Thanks for catching the mistake. Of course I meant that cyclists should pass on the left.
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) October 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Hi Gabe, I'm trying to get a hold of you. Can you email me a phone number? Basically need you to add a head shot to your profile and a little bit about you in your bio box. That way our readers know something about who's writing this awesome blog. Thank you! Appreciate your contributions on the site! Also running in Saratoga Patch!
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) October 03, 2012 at 07:55 PM
LOL, Vikki, love the photo you just added to this post! Thanks!
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz October 03, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Why not just pick it up instead of leaving a note. People are going to do what they want to do. When my little Kori-Panda was still around. I curbed her poop & everybody ells es. That takes care of the problem, no?
Esmée St James October 04, 2012 at 12:10 AM
LOL! That's hilarious, Vikki. It does look monstrous, doesn't it... Nice Photoshop work. I'm with you on the scoop 'n' poop rule, why put it in a blue baggie only to drop it on the ground further along? Do people do this at home?
Gabe Roberts October 04, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I agree about the dog poop, that there is no challenge to bringing it to the nearest garbage can, which are located frequently on the trail. It's a half step above leaving the poop alone, but is still no different than leaving one's garbage on the trail. There's really no excuse not to carry it, since clearly they had the foresight to bring or find baggies. By the way, the pic is great Vikki.
Jill Birmingham October 05, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Proper dog training is for your dog to walk or heel on your LEFT side, not your right side.
Melissa Pugh October 05, 2012 at 09:02 PM
That dog poop photo is hilarious. I can't believe you had the guts to get that close to it. Good advice, Gabe. When I am running and a cyclist says, "on your left", I always thank them in hopes that other's will hear and take note. Also, when cycling make sure to issue your warning well ahead of time and try not to scare the pedestrians.
Steve High May 18, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Under California law, vehicles travel on the right and pedestrians on the left (facing traffic). Since bicycles are subject to the same laws as other vehicles, why should trail pedestrians walk with cyclists speeding silently behind them? I want to see them coming so I can dive into the bushes to get out of the way if needed.

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