Kewannee Recreational Trail

The Kewannee Trail is a 1.7 mile shared-use path that travels along a creek easement through the English Woods and Indian Woods subdivisions.

Click map to view in MapMyRide

Green highlights represent sections of trail that enhance access. (Click map to view in MapMyRide.)

At its east end, it connects to Cassel Creek Blvd., a road that comes off Hwy 436 and dead-ends in a condo complex. Points of interest at the corner of Cassel Creek and 436 are Hooters and the Semoran Skateway. The Skateway is a family destination, and the path connection provides a way to get to it via quiet streets, from all the Maitland neighborhoods.

Kewannee Park

Kewannee Park

Near its mid-point the path runs through Kewannee Park—a nice little commons, with a wetland nature trail, picnic area, playground and pond. It doesn’t provide much additional bicycle connectivity to this park from the nearby neighborhoods. It’s somewhat redundant to the residential streets, but it’s certainly good for skate-boarding, dog-walking, etc.

One of the things I like about this path is that it provides bicycle permeability to Wilshire Blvd. Using the path to get there from those neighborhoods is definitely faster and more pleasant than the alternative—Hwy 436. Since David’s World bike shop is located at Wilshire and 436, I used to use it a lot (before I moved).

Of course, the designers of this path did not create a seamless, easy connection to Wilshire. That would have required them to actually consider the bicycle a vehicle. The path connects to Wilshire via a concrete walkway and a narrow opening in a gate, with 2 bollards placed in the way for an added challenge. Because, OMG, someone might try to drive a vehicle onto the trail!

Well, at least it doesn’t close at sunset, like the 434 tunnel.

Trail ends, turn around.

The west end of the path dead-ends abruptly at Oxford Road. No effort has been made to integrate it into the road system (at either end). It dumps users onto a narrow sidewalk, making it difficult to access the road.

This is where I become very frustrated with the builders of these facilities. Every time a path is terminated this way, it sends a message that undermines the pyramid. The end of this trail screams, “Bicycles are toys! Bicycles belong on the sidewalk!” That message is received by the parents and children who use it. It becomes more deeply embedded in our culture as those people take it into their cars with them.

And why would they be encouraged to use anything other than their cars to run errands? Nothing about this path design suggests transportation. It is built as a place to play with your toys. Those of us who use parts of it as a transportation facility discovered that benefit by accident.

Facility design doesn’t have to be this way. It would be very easy to do it right. But the designers and public policy makers need to be educated. The toy bicycle culture needs to be replaced by respect for bicycles as vehicles and cyclists as drivers.

8 replies
  1. Mighk
    Mighk says:

    Today is the second day of our bicycle facilities design course. We’ll be sure to talk about this issue both during our on-bike tour, and/or during the paths section.

  2. Keri
    Keri says:

    I hope you’re showing them that abomination at the west end of the Blanchard trail… come to think of it, the sidepath at the east end sucks too.

    And STOP IT with the #@$#% bollards already! How many cyclists need to crash before they quit installing hazards at every road crossing?

  3. AndrewP
    AndrewP says:

    Sadly, there are idiots who will take their cars down these paths. I encountered one at night on Cady Way Trail just past Cady Way Park. Most disconcerting to be facing twin headlights and engine sounds coming at you like that …

    Um — Kerri, why would cyclists crash into bollards? Are we riding too fast? Don’t have control of our bikes? Guess I haven’t encountered enough of these to see them as a big problem …..

  4. Keri
    Keri says:

    Most of the cases I’ve heard about are when a few cyclists are riding together and the bollard is obscured from the view of a following cyclist. The cyclist nicks a handlebar on the bollard and is thrown down hard. Also, children and novice cyclists have a tendency to run into obstacles because they obsess on them — you hit what you look at. On of the girls I worked with on Saturday did this riding back from the Arena parking lot to the rec center. Fortunately, she was able to stop before actually hitting it, but she veered right at it.

    The Seminole Trail uses landscaped medians as it approaches intersections. Those keep cars off and create less of a hazard than bollards.

    The bollards on Cady way were removed after numerous crashes and some pretty bad injuries.

  5. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    What you just described, Keri, is how too many motorists risk injury to cyclists, in my assessment. Those riders on the edge of the roadway are obscured by the leading vehicle and those tailgaters have a much greater chance of striking a cyclist or person on a bike. I suppose educating a rider is the equivalent of removing a bollard.

  6. ChipSeal
    ChipSeal says:

    Fred, are you saying that an uneducated cyclist is as dumb as a bollard?

    (That gutter-bunny you passed the other day springs to mind!)

    I’m kidding of course.

    “I’m just kidding” said the pregnant goat.

  7. Rantwick
    Rantwick says:

    I couldn’t agree more about paths being seen as purely recreational, when 5 days out of seven they are in fact transportation infrastructure for many. Nice post.

  8. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    If you don’t think Bollards are a danger, go to:

    I’m sure you can find a lot more – I recall a cyclist in California getting hurt by one last year but couldn’t find it.

    Personally, I don’t see many paths as being more than recreational. I ride a mile or so on one on my new commute, but it’s more as a break from the rest of the commute than for any real transportational reason. I may ride that path more when it gets hot this summer – it’s got REAL GOOD SHADE, which is a major consideration for summer cycling in Texas. What can I say, I’m cheaply bought. Give me good shade and I’ll ride a MUP to get it!

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