West Homestead Police Patrolling GAP Bike Trail
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With the completion of the Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail, local bicyclists and hikers can travel from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.
But police in West Homestead are worried about the stretch going by The Waterfront and are out to enforce the “rules of the road.”
Some get it and some clearly don’t. That big red sign with the four letter word means just what it says, “stop,” whether you’re on two wheels – or four.
“Our greatest fear is that one of the bicyclists is gonna get hit,” says Officer Charlie Rozzo.
The Waterfront is always busy – but an explosion of bicycle traffic along the sidewalks which double as the “GAP trail” is becoming a real concern.
“On the weekends, Friday – especially Saturdays and Sundays at The Waterfront we have thousands of bicyclists,” said Rozzo.
West Homestead Mayor, John Dindak, was taking no chances.
“I’m a believer in live and let live, but once you alert me to the fact that there’s a problem – public safety, whatever, I have to react,” he said.
West Homestead’s two Police Bike Patrol officers are trying to educate cyclists about the importance of minding the new signs.
“Verbal warnings right now,” Rozzo said. “We don’t want to hand out citations unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
Seasoned bicyclists Shannon Katanick and her brother Chad Hirosky and their daughters blew past the stop and through the intersection.
Says, Hirosky when asked about the “stop” signs on the trail, “I see their point. There’s a public safety concern with biking on these trails.”
But he believes he knows what’s best as Margaret’s Dad.
“I like to get out in traffic first before my daughter comes out because she’s so small a lot of people can’t see her,” he said.
“There’s no courtesy for people at all anymore,” says Katanick, “So – as you saw when I was coming across the street – I stood up taller so people could see me, because nobody stops.”
Bike Patrol officers are still researching the legality of issuing $10 citations.
Whether you’re a motorist or a cyclist, these signs are here for your safety – and above all try to be courteous to each other – that may be the most important “Rule of the Road.”
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