Wrong way on downtown C.R. trail

At the end of yesterday’s post, I mentioned learning that I’d habitually gone the wrong way on a section of trail through downtown Cedar Rapids.

I’m probably not alone.

Ron Griffith, Cedar Rapids bicycle coordinator, explained that some of us on Friday’s ride were going north in what is intended to be the southbound lane of a “boulevard” that runs from 4th Avenue SE, through Greene Square Park and the next block, to 1st Avenue.

Sure enough, the trail does separate to run along both sides of the railroad tracks. The thing is, when a pedestrian or cyclist approaches from the south, there’s nothing at 4th Avenue to indicate that one should make an awkward jog to the right (or jump the curb) to get into the northbound lane through Greene Square.

On my way home, I followed the intended path, which involves crossing back and forth over those railroad tracks a couple of additional times and is a little more convoluted than my usual, erroneous route. I wouldn’t even call it an inconvenience, but I’ve been through there countless times and learned just yesterday I’d always done it the wrong way.

I always thought that path on the east side of the tracks through the park and near the museum was just another sidewalk. So, apparently, do the numerous other trail users who stay on the west side of the tracks on their way north. Discussion at the end of the ride included some agreement that maybe larger signs in key places might be in order.

The engineering types who were riding along may have other takeaways from our Friday excursion. Mine was: “Well, I learned something new today.”

And went for a nice little bike ride.

Next time: Mrs. Smith is attacked from the air on a bike ride and a passing motorist states the obvious.

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1 Response to “Wrong way on downtown C.R. trail”

  1. 1 Larry Howe May 24, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I did know that the trail split in those couple of blocks but like you I almost never take the “correct” path. Most of the time the path that runs along Greene Square Park has bird crap on it. I also don’t like the convulsions required for “proper” passage. I most frequently just jump out onto the road well before all of that as I feel safer there than crossing all of the streets in the middle of the block. I really don’t like crossing 1st Ave at the trail. It seems to be quite confusing for most motorists.

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