Chicken-Fried News: Road block

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The dirt trails at Bluff Creek Park could now be called a road to nowhere for Oklahoma City runners and pedestrians.

News9.com reported that the Oklahoma City Trails Advisory Committee decided in December it was necessary to begin banning walkers, runners, dogs and the use of earbuds from the dirt trails near Lake Hefner’s north shore after a city survey showed that several people have had accidents in the area.

The OKC Parks & Recreation Department plans to post signs listing the new trail restrictions sometime later this month.

Bikers, of course, move at a much faster rate than even the most skilled trail runner. Coming off a blind turn, bikers can have very little time to react to a pedestrian.

Does that mean an all-out ban should be imposed on nonbikers? Many of those in the Facebook group Keep OKC Parks Free and Open to All think a total restriction on trail runners is too extreme.

The nearly 700-member group states its goal is to “convince city hall to reverse this decision.”

Tegan Malone, president of Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship, which maintains the Bluff Creek trails, told News9.com that she believes the decision was rushed and the city should have involved her group in finding an alternative solution.

Unless the city can be convinced that a better option exists, the ban will remain in place. However, Parks & Recreation told News 9 the rules are voluntary and cannot be enforced by the city.

Instead, we’d like to suggest some signs and see that ban lifted. How about: “Walk safely! You might not get a second chance!” or “Earbuds on board!” or “Be aware! 70 percent of all people are caused by accidents!” or “Safety third! OK, OK, it probably should be first! … Yeah, safety first!”

Gazette Staff

This article was written by the Oklahoma Gazette staff. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story headline in your subject line.

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