Bike Trail Speeding

This article from Sacramento News & Review—about speeding on the trail where walkers also like to amble along, including mothers with baby carriages—points up the necessity to construct separate trails for walkers, horse and bike riders.

Here is what we wrote in our 2008 research report: The American River Parkway: Recreation, Education and Sanctuary, A Vision and Policy Primer


An issue that has long festered on the current trail arrangement in the Parkway is the lack of safe and enjoyable trail space for walkers and equestrians comparable to the paved trail used predominantly by bike riders, who naturally feel it is their trail.

One good trail layout is that suggested by the Central Valley Rails to Trails Foundation and it is a good place to start discussions for the Parkway.

From their website at here is what they have come up with.

It is a trail space approximately 40 feet wide, with 12 feet for bikes, 3 feet of plantings, 10 feet for walkers, 3 feet of plantings, and 12 feet for horses. (p. 15)

Retrieved December 25, 2014 from

An excerpt from the SN&R article.

A thought crossed my mind this past Saturday afternoon, while speeding at nearly 26 miles-per-hour down a hill on the American River Bike Trail:

“Wow. It’s been only days since those storms, and the trail is in top shape, clear of dangerous debris—which could kill a guy like me, especially at this clip.”

But it’s no magic that the bike trail, from Discovery Park all the way to Folsom, consistently is in excellent riding condition. This is the work of the county rangers and the parks departments.

Remember “hella storm”? Yeah, it was hella underwhelming. But on the bike trail, there were major issues: flooding, fallen trees, mud and leaves (which can cause even a pro cyclist to fishtail and crash).

Yet rangers were out there in trucks during the heart of the wind and downpour, keeping an eye on the trail and the parkway. I saw their cars perched atop the levies. And, as soon as the storm ended, rangers were out moving trees and shoveling mud. Impressive.

I’m a rookie cyclist. This past August, I purchased a road bike. And now, along with 5 million other annual visitors, I’m a major advocate for the enjoyment and preservation of American River Parkway and bike trail.

What’s more fun than flying from Midtown to Goethe Bridge on a weekday before work? Or clearing your mind and pushing your legs to the limit while taking in the twists and turns and shaded tree groves between Ancil Hoffman Park and Sunrise Boulevard?

Retrieved December 25, 2014 from

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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