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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!