Lush deep shade and a gently curving scenic road are two landscape features that make the Natchez Trace Parkway a pleasant recreational route for both motorists and bicyclists. Those features that make traveling the Parkway enjoyable can sometimes reduce visibility for both drivers and bicyclists. New signs, funded through the Natchez Trace Parkway Association Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund, will raise motorist awareness and remind drivers that bicycles, as well as other motor vehicles, use the Parkway.
“The Parkway is a very popular tour route for all levels of bicyclists. We are counting on the new signs to alert motorists that there may be a bicyclist obscured by deep shade or riding around the next curve,” said Superintendent Mary Risser.
Two types of signs will be installed over the entire length of the Parkway. One is to alert motorists that the Parkway is a designated bicycle route, while the other is a reminder that cyclists are entitled to use one full lane. In some areas, signs instruct drivers to change lanes to pass bicyclists; however, drivers should never change lanes when the view of oncoming traffic is limited.
This project is one in a series of the Association’s “BE SAFE, BE SEEN” campaign to promote bicycle safety along the Parkway. Last winter, the Association and park rangers joined together to provide increased bicyclist visibility by distributing free bicycle safety lights and vests. The light kits, high visibility vests, and these new signs were all donated through the Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund established in the memory of Dr. Gary Holdiness, an avid bicyclist.
For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway Association Gary Holdiness Cycling Fund, visit www.natcheztrace.org. For more information about safety on the Parkway, visit www.nps.gov.natr or call (800) 305-7417.
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