Forest preserve district cracking down on people misusing bike trails

8/25/2014, 7:40 p.m.
District police will conduct safety checks along the Hickory Creek Bikeway in New Lenox over the Labor Day weekend.

Forest Preserve District of Will County police officers will conduct trail safety checks over Labor Day weekend on the western branch of the Hickory Creek Bikeway in New Lenox.

Under the current General Use Ordinance, forest preserve district police officers can issue citations to speeding bicyclists. During this weekend’s safety check, however, police officers will issue warning tickets – not citations – to increase safety awareness on the trail.

The ordinance requires trail users to “travel at safe speeds and proceed at a slower pace when trails are in heavy use” and to “exercise proper judgment for the safety of everyone.” Also, trail users are prohibited against engaging in disorderly conduct that may “disturb or annoy others.”

In addition to the safety checks, the district also is urging all trail users to review its trail etiquette, which is posted at trailheads, on printed trail maps and online. Trail etiquette urges all users to be courteous and aware of other users. Bicyclists are advised to wear helmets and to travel at reasonable speeds. Other etiquette guidelines are:

  • Keep pets leashed.
  • Yield to others when entering, crossing or turning onto trails.
  • Higher speed users should yield to lower speed users.
  • Trail users going uphill generally have the right-of-way over users traveling downhill.
  • Stay to the right of the trail, when possible; do not block the entire trail.
  • Pass on the left, when safe to do so.
  • Give a clear warning signal before passing; wait for a response whenever possible.
  • Remember when using the trails, you are also an ambassador of the activity in which you are participating.

For more information on the District’s trails or trail use etiquette, call 815-727-8700 or visit ReconnectWithNature.org.