On which side of the trail should walkers be?
Occasionally I have a discussion with walkers about which side of the trail they should be on Should they be on the right with the bikers or on the left facing oncoming bikers? As children, we learned that when we walk on a road, we should walk toward traffic to make sure cars are not driving over the edge of the road where we are walking. We might, therefore, assume that we should do the same when walking on a trail.
However, a trail is not a highway, and the safest way for bikers and walkers to interact is for both to use the right side of the trail.
Here’s the general rule.
Walking (and biking) on a multi-use trail like the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail (no motorized vehicles): Walkers (and bikers) use the “keep right except to pass” rule. When a walker or cyclist wants to pass (just like driving), they use the left lane and only pass when no one is coming and there is no curve.
In addition, bikers need to signal their approach to walkers with a bell or a verbal warning like, “Passing on your left,” and walkers should acknowledge that they’ve heard the warning by raising their left hand — not a law but a gesture I’m promoting — and moving right, if necessary.