BUFFALO TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — The Little Buffalo Creek provides the soundtrack for a ride along the Butler-Freeport Trail.
It’s a wandering, tree-shrouded journey along an old railroad line cut out of the limestone valley in the mid-1800s. Its 21 miles have become a magnet for bikers, runners and walkers.
Portions of the trail are currently closed though for repaving, but many are not getting the message.
“I about got run over by a bicycle yesterday morning, unlocking the gate,” says foreman Joe Pistorius. “It was 5:30 in the morning and he was coming through on his daily ride.”
Despite orange barriers and “Trail Closed” signs, Buffalo Township Supervisor John Haven says people are going around them every day.
“We tried to make it as plain and simple as we could. Some are walking, some are riding, and we’ve had some runners as well,” says Haven.
What Pistorius finds amazing is, “They’re all educated, but they just can’t read, or won’t follow the signs they think are for everyone but them.”
Haven and Pistorius say the issue is safety. The paving machine that is putting down the new limestone bed takes up the entire width of the trail. Pistorius says any trail user coming around a curve and finding the paver go, “in the ditch. That’s it, in the ditch.”
Additionally, the big trucks bringing the finely-ground limestone have to often back up long distances on the narrow trail, and Haven says the driver “is watching his mirrors for the trail, to stay on the trail. He’s not watching for people on bikes or walking that aren’t supposed to be there.”
Pistorius says it’s happening a lot as users come “past you, beside you, in front of you.”
Haven says, “We don’t want any unfortunate incidents.”
So he’s hoping trail users will get the message and stay off the closed sections in the name of safety. The work is slated to be finished by Aug. 17, and he says there are plenty of other areas of the trail that can be used while the improvements are being made.