By John Ray
Take even a short spin on the NWA Razorback Greenway and you’ll quickly notice quite a few prominently-placed signs. Besides the official ones, there are several sponsored by the Specialized Real Estate Group in a well-intentioned attempt to educate cyclists and facilitate harmonious interaction on the Greenway.
I appreciate their effort, but after a number of conversations with my friend Brian Hirschy, I wonder if they go far enough. So let’s take a look at what the signs say, and what could be added to make them really clear.
Specialized Signs Say:
SLOW DOWN…and you might meet a friend. Speed up, and you might meet a tree.
RELAX…(Frankie says!) (Says the guy in a aero helmet riding in the drop bars. – OCA add)
ENJOY THE RIDE! Just remember you’re not the only one on the Greenway.
Share the trail. Or, “Make room on the trail for everyone. This is not the parking lot at Whole Foods.” (I dig the the guy riding a wheelie on the wheelchair! – OCA add)
THREE’S A CROWD: STAY RIGHT & ALLOW ROOM TO PASS. Because trail companions are like margaritas: having more than two at a time creates a huge headache.
You love your dog. So keep your furry friends close. Instead, how about, “Keep your furry friends close. We love your dog, but not as much as we love not crashing?”
Use a light at night. Could be, “Baby, you’re a firework! But that won’t make you visible on the trail. Use a light and a bell at all times.
Then there are the the official signs:
TRAIL SPEED LIMIT 15. Unless it’s dark, or rainy, or there are kids around, or the elderly, or dogs, or squirrels, or snapping turtles, or…
NO MOTOR VEHICLES (Looking at you, scoot jockey. Leave your moped at the frat house.)
TRESPASSING UPON RAILROAD TRACKS IS ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS STAY ON TRAIL – Enough Said
TUNNEL AHEAD SPEED LIMIT 5 M.P.H. Could read, “Tunnel Ahead: Popular Spot for Spills. Slow Down and Frustrate the Squirrels Who Love to Laugh at a Good Crash-and-Burn.”
BIKEWAY NARROWS People and Things Don’t Be Extra Careful
BLIND CURVE KEEP RIGHT Assume Others Won’t
KEEP RIGHT GIVE WARNING WHEN PASSING: Even to the group of twelve deep in conversation while they slowly walk using both lanes; the college kid with headphones on and volume at full blast; the mom pushing a double stroller while walking a dog and talking on the phone; people on skateboards/crazy stand-up bike things/in motorized wheelchairs; through-hikers with loaded backpacks; ROTC regiments training at zero dark thirty; dogs, squirrels, turtles and skunks; even — maybe especially — other cyclists you intend to pass. (Bonus points for waving, scooting to the right and saying “Thanks!.” When coming around someone, give a pleasant double ring of the bell or a friendly “on your left.”)
We’re all in this together friends. So relax, and enjoy the ride.
Grace and peace, y’all.