Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Three Simple Rules

A couple of weeks ago, I was meeting Rob Stephens for lunch. Rob is the chairman of the Arkansas River Trail Task Force and is an advocate of "Leave No Trace", in addition to his other volunteer activities. We swapped a couple of e-mails setting up lunch and during the course of that exchange, Rob asked me to come up with three simple suggestions to reduce conflict on the River trail. I responded with three very sensible suggestions like, "jerk out the earbuds of the oblivious runner who stepped in front of you in spite of repeated warnings". Well, that was one of my less sensible suggestions, actually, for avoiding conflict, but I will admit that the suggestions were less succinct than what Rob was looking for. As I cruised the River Trail that evening, I did manage to come up with 3 simple rules that I think pretty much cover safe, appropriate trail behavior.

Be Alert.
Be Polite.
Stay Right!

 I believe that those suggestions are simple enough that kids will be able to teach them to their parents.

I also volunteered Willie to be the official spokesdog. In addition to the 3 simple rules, Willie can advise dog owners of things like, "Don't kid yourself. I'm going to poop on the bridge. Take a bag."Willie is full of sensible ideas and, yes, he would poop with certainty on the bridge.

5 comments:

Merc said...

Your post reminded me of a question Faith and I debated the other night. Why doesn't the river trail have a painted center line the whole way? That would provide a visual cue that we all habitually follow to stay to the right.

JBar said...

I have been involved in many discussions regarding user conflict on the trail.(First, let me say that the degree of true conflict is usually overstated. We all like to bitch, but few of us are really mad about anything.) I've heard proposals for speed limits, writing tickets, speed bumps, banning bikes from the bike path, etc., and the only one that I think would actually make things better is the simple line, at least in heavily used areas. Unlike the other suggestions, it applies in all conditions, it doesn't require monitoring, and it doesn't create an obstacle. It is a simple reminder that the trail has two-way traffic. A few reminders to "Stay right" and our little corner of the world would be a slightly happier place. And don't forget to "be alert" and "be polite" while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

People saying hi as you pass, chit-chatting with strangers while resting. Those you see doing this are already defusing conflict by creating a good atmosphere. That is an important foundation. Thanks for the post JBar.

Anonymous said...

^True I always say hi, howdy, etc. instead of the alarming\confusing "ON YOUR RIGHT!!!!"...I save that for MTB races....

dewonn43 said...

I like the center line - it works on the BDB (even though it was an after thought) and I always say "hello" instead of the somewhat alarming - ON YOUR LEFT ... It helps to say hello early enough to give walkers time to step into your path and then realize they are not the only ones on the trail and then Step back to the right & smile as you go by ...