ROBERT SCHOLLAERT, San Clemente
I walk the beach trail just about every day and get to enjoy the scenic beauty of one of the top attractions in San Clemente. Along with the physical benefits of the walk, there is also a social aspect of meeting acquaintances along the way who are also enjoying the trail. The negative side of the walk is dodging out-of-control bikers, and I see near-miss events with these bikers and walkers every single day that I walk the trail. I cringe to think that a toddler will be run down when darting from a parent’s grasp, with the end result a serious injury or fatality.
I am a retired safety professional with more than 42 years of experience in industry. We utilized the safety pyramid concept quite a bit to help in accident prevention. The safety pyramid concept is a tool that relies on monitoring near-miss events and making appropriate changes to reduce the probability of a serious or fatal accident. I can tell you that in my former career, we would have eliminated bike travel on the beach trail long ago. I recognize that there is a speed limit for bikes, but it’s unrealistic to believe that it can be enforced. The amount of near-misses that I see every day on the trail with out-of-control bikes is definitely predicting a serious accident or fatality in the future. The danger has increased exponentially with the introduction of electric bikes. It’s up to the city to determine if a toddler’s life is more important than allowing bikers to utilize the beach trail.