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Monday, May 14, 2012

Tamaques Park: Right of Way and Rights of Safety

     At last week's Westfield Town Council meeting, resident Barbara Ruvolo thanked the town council for their efforts after she had brought to their attention an ongoing safety concern in   Tamaques Park.  Her concern was for pedestrians, like herself, and the dangers they face due to aggressive cyclists that use the park for its continuous loop that measures just under a mile in length.  As a result of Barbara Ruvolo's efforts to bring awareness to Westfield's governing body, signs have been posted in Tamaques Park warning not only motorists, but also cyclists, that they are to use the right lane only when travelling around the park's paved road. 
     This is a step in the right direction to increase safety in Tamaques Park for the "traveling public" whether it be by foot, rollerblades, bicycle, or car.  With no pun intended, the words "right direction" should be considered by all that use the road for walking, jogging, rollerblading, and cycling.  On many occasions, those going in the opposite direction of the flow of most of the "traveling public" have caused confusion while trying to avoid an accident.  An un-intended game of "chicken" will ultimately result in a collision that can be avoided if common courtesy is considered. 
     Several years ago Tamaques Park had a gravel dust walkway/path installed that allows pedestrians to walk the perimeter of the park, off the paved road, without the worry of vehicular traffic or an occasional "aggressive cyclist" causing mayhem.  Soon after, vehicular traffic was confined to the outer lane of the two lane road.loop around the park because pedestrians, joggers, rollerbladers, and cyclists all continued to share the paved road instead of the path, and the congestion at peak hours was an accident waiting to happen.. 
     The speed limit in Tamaques Park is 15 mph and needs to be enforced by police.  Motorists also need to lay off the horn when cyclists are riding in the right lane, which is now mandated by the new signs.  In the past, motorists have honked their car horns at cyclists travelling in the right lane which has a 15 mph posted speed limit.  It's no longer a matter of who has the right of way; its a matter of using the road the right way so as to avoid a tragic accident.  Everyone has a right to be safe and enjoy all the park has to offer.  


  1. i'm tired of the people that walk the opposite way or clockwise around the park and in the middle of the road.

  2. Thank you Ms. Ruvolo for doing something about a very dangerous scenario that could become a tragedy if not addressed.

  3. But my question (as it was on the article in The Patch about this) is that now I'm supposed to ride bikes with my 1st grader in the car lane?

    1. If you go by the "letter of the law" you are supposed to stay in the right lane shared by cyclists and motor vehicles.