SAM COCHRAN, San Clemente
My experiences on the San Clemente Beach Trail are totally different from those expressed by letter writer Robert Schollaert. Mr. Schollaert states that he dodges “out-of-control” bicyclists and witnesses “near-misses” every single day he’s walking the trail.
However, in my more than 1,200 rides on the trail over the past five years I have never so much as touched a pedestrian, let alone witnessed a collision or even a serious verbal altercation involving an “out-of-control” bicyclist and a walker. Do “near-misses” occur? Occasionally, yes, because the trail is quite narrow at several locations, forcing pedestrians, parents with strollers and bicyclists to share these confined corridors. Under these conditions, I either walk my bike or proceed at a very low speed. Reasonable speed limits and peak-season prohibitions against riding certain stretches keep the vast majority of users happy and willing to share the trail. Thus, most days go by without my observing high-speed “near-misses.” That said, there are some bicyclists who disrespect the trail rules by speeding and refusing to walk their bicycles in designated walk-only areas. Responsible bicyclists believe such miscreants should be swiftly cited and fined, rather than ignored or merely warned. Regrettably, there appears to be little enforcement of those rules by our Sheriff’s deputies and city staff.