One of the greatest gifts our region has is the Farmington Canal Rail Trail. This former railroad track that has been converted into a mostly flat and almost completely paved bike trail connects the Elm City to the Massachusetts border and provides thousands of people enjoyment all summer long. It may also become a spot where New Haven bicycle accidents happen if inexperienced riders are on the path and not following the generally accepted rules of the road.
If you’re headed out to explore this gem of a bike path you will want to do so with the knowledge that is required to do it safely and without incident. Here are some tips you should remember when you head out on your first excursion along this wonderful bike path.
1.) Always stop at street crossings. As you might expect, a bike path that travels such a distance, does often cross streets and therefore you will need to stop, get off your bike, look both ways, and cross safely to continue on your way. If you do not do this, you could end up not seeing an on-coming car and this could put you in a precarious situation.
2.) If you are planning on passing someone who is in front of you you should either use a bell that is on your bike or call out which side you will be passing on. If you are planning on passing on another rider’s left hand side, you will want to call out “on your left” a few feet before you are actually about to pass them. If you don’t do this it is possible you may startle the rider as you pass them by, causing them to get into an accident or they may not see you coming and swerve into the left lane as you’re passing which could cause you to get into an accident.
3.) Always stay to the right. The Farmington Canal Rail Trail, like most bike trails is two ways so there is on-coming bike traffic. In order to keep all parties safe, you should always ride to the right of the bike path. As others pass you, they will be able to see you and you will be able to see them.
Riding your bike on a rail trail can be much safer then riding it through the streets of the city of New Haven, but it is not free from danger and chances at getting into a New Haven bicycle accident. The good news is that if you take the time to follow some very simple rail trail etiquette you’ll be able to get to your destination with a lot of fun and without a scratch to be found.
All of us here at Loricco Law Firm hope you have a wonderful summer with lots of great outdoor activities planned. Stay safe and if you ever run into any issues, don’t hesitate to call.