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Trail speed limit signs

Commentary and photos by Stuart Macdonald


How fast is too fast on a multi-use trail? Many trail managers find it prudent to provide reminders to bicyclists to be aware of their speed. In the past only very experienced cyclists might have any idea of how fast they typically ride on paved or unpaved trails. At present cyclists and runners have electronic devices to track their speed as well as fitness facts.

A wide variety of signs are in use, from standard highway Speed Limit signs to signs that are part of the wayfinding design for a trail system. Stencils on walls and trail pavement provide another way to remind trail users to be courteous. The "Share the Trail" message is often included as well. It is still debatable whether cyclists should be kept to a certain speed or whether the real issue is slowing when approaching others on the trail. While rude and reckless riding can't be eliminated by a sign, a posted speed limit does give law enforcement personnel another tool to aid in enforcing safer behavior.

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