Local citizens who walk the bike path regularly seem consistently concerned that cyclists are not very friendly. Actually, the feeling is that cyclist are "rude" to walkers. So what are the rules? The common answer: There are none. We just expect everyone to treat each other with appropriate courtesy.

Now, in a perfect world, this might work. However, simply assuming mutual respect will happen has obviously not been working.

Our bike path has become more of a multi-use path, and with more people using it, the time has come to make improvements, such as signage that indicates where to be. The simplest rule to follow is that slower traffic stays to the right.

At times, this can be confusing. When a bicyclist says in a loud voice "on your left," he is trying to warn those ahead that he is about to pass you on your left side. If, as a walker or runner, we move to our right, the cyclist will be by us before we know it. Even on our roadways the slower traffic is always directed to stay to the right. So by following this simple rule and keeping our eyes and ears open, we can avoid problems on the path.

Slower traffic stays right. And I say to my fellow cyclists, slow down when riding in populated areas of the path.


Executive Director, Bike Bakersfield