Safety a Priority as Motorists, Cyclists and Pedestrians are Urged to Slow Down Near Crossings
LA PLATA, Md. (Sept. 1, 2009)—The Indian Head Rail Trail has quickly become one of Charles County's main attractions for walking, hiking and bicycling enthusiasts. Pedestrian and cycling traffic has increased significantly as more and more people travel on or near the trails, making safety an absolute priority. The Charles County Sheriff's Office is reminding motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to stay safe and take precautions when nearing parts of the trail that cross county roadways.
Officers recently conducted speed enforcement near three of the trail's crossings: Pomfret Road (Route 227), Bensville Road and Bumpy Oak Road. These crossings were identified by cyclists, motorists and officers as areas where speed was a major concern. In a five hour period that spanned over Saturday, Aug. 29 and Sunday, Aug. 30, officers issued 68 warnings and citations to motorists traveling at least 15 miles over the posted speed limit near the crossings. In addition, 28 citations were issued
Monday morning near the Pomfret Road (Route 227) intersection in which violators exceeded the 40 mph speed limit with speeds ranging from 53 mph - 71 mph.
Officers will continue conducting speed enforcement - including radar - in and around the trails to remind drivers to slow down, obey the speed limit and be on the alert for bicyclists and pedestrians. Temporary speed trailers will be utilized in some areas to warn people of their speed and the upcoming crossing. Cyclists are reminded that they operate under Maryland law meaning they have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles including stopping at red lights and stop signs - some of which are located at the exit of trails prior to crossing a roadway.
Once an abandoned railroad corridor, the trail is currently being converted into a 13 mile-bike trail eventually connecting the Town of Indian Head to Route 301 in White Plains. There will be a total of 12 road crossings associated with the trail: Theodore Green Boulevard, Middletown Road, Mattingly Avenue, Indian Head Avenue, Blair Road, Woodland Drive, and Arthur Ross Place, Routes 227, 224, and 225, and Bumpy Oak Road.
For more information about the Indian Head Rail Trail, including the terrain, routes and crossings, visit www.charlescountyparks.com.
Source: Charles County Sheriff's Office