We Have to Talk About Proper Greenbelt Etiquette
As someone who probably uses the Greenbelt more than the average person, I've tried to hold my tongue but I just can't anymore.
For the record, I didn't want to write this post because I know there will be at least one person who'll say "You runners think you own the Greenbelt." Sorry cyclists, we've actually heard you say this out loud as you speed past us without so much as a courteous "on your left." I tried to let the behavior I experienced on Memorial Day roll off my shoulders. After all, it was a holiday and the weather was perfect. I should've been happy to see so many people getting out and getting active. In reality? I was pissed that I had to keep coming to a complete stop because of gaggles of kids on bikes swerving back and forth across the lanes and groups of walkers spanning four abreast. Angrily, I cut my run short and walked back to my car fuming while repeating "It's a holiday. It's not always like this" in my head.
But it has been...every single time I've been out since the weather warmed up. Just last week, there were four kids on scooters weaving back and forth on the Friendship Bridge leaving no room for anyone, pedestrian or cyclist, to get through. One of them clipped my shoe and I almost fell as I was trying to get to the other side of the bridge. Where was mom? She was on the phone, not paying attention to the kids at all. After that incident, I posted "tell me something that annoys you about the Greenbelt" on my Facebook page to see if anyone else noticed how bad it's been this year or if I'm indeed taking some sort of crazy pills. The verdict? I'm not alone!
Stephanie, Rachel, Kira, Elisha, Aaron, and Angela also said they can't stand large groups of people who spread themselves across the entire Greenbelt and won't move over when you say you're passing them. Brii, Anja, Barb, Jeanette, Brett, Christie, and Hawley all had issues with bicyclists using the Greenbelt like a race track and not signaling when they're about to pass those on feet. Maegan brought up a great point about dogs on retractable leashes and Kathy noticed the increase in the number of motorized bikes on the path. See...I'm not taking crazy pills!
So what is considered proper etiquette on the Greenbelt? Believe it or not, the City of Boise actually has a list of "rules" to follow. I think we all need a refresher course!
Greenbelt Etiquette "Rules"
- Pedestrians have the right of way at ALL TIMES. Cyclists and in-line skaters must be aware of those on feet.
- All Greenbelt users should stay TO THE RIGHT and use caution at bridges and blind corners.
- Pedestrians should walk NO MORE than two abreast.
- Motorized vehicles are NOT permitted on the Greenbelt. However, on the City of Boise's 25 miles of Greenbelt, battery assisted E-bikes are permitted but may not be capable of reaching or exceeding 28 mph.
- Dogs are allowed if and only if they are on a leash. That leash may NOT exceed 8 feet. You are responsible for picking up their doo-doo.
- Bicyclists and in-line skaters are encouraged not to do serious training or maintain fast speeds on the Greenbelt. Competitive events for skaters and cyclists are NOT allowed on the Greenbelt. Foot races are, so don't harass people wearing race bibs.
- Cyclists and skaters MUST notify others when passing. That means you should use that famous, verbal "on your left" or a bell, horn, etc. If you're passing, you're responsible for doing so clearly and not hindering approaching Greenbelt users.
- Smoking is NOT permitted within 20 feet of the Boise Greenbelt. (We had someone mention they live with asthma and this makes it even worse when she's trying to run. We've got your back, girly.)