New signs remind trail users in Fredericton to stop before crossing streets

Trail users in Fredericton are being reminded to stop before crossing the street.

New signs have been installed to alert cyclists and pedestrians that motorists have the right-of-way. 

It's a situation that's been causing confusion in recent years, according to Fredericton traffic engineer Jon Lewis.

"We've been getting a number of complaints from both trail users and from vehicles on the roadway," Lewis said.

Gary Moore/CBC

There are stop signs at the end of the trails, but until now there wasn't clear instruction about who has the right-of-way.

Lewis says cyclists and pedestrians often think they have an automatic crosswalk when crossing the road to connect to the next trail section, but they don't. 

Right-of-way confusion

Susan Saunders walks on the trails regularly and thought pedestrians had the right-of-way.

"I always stop and look both ways because I don't trust that people [motorists] are going to know I'm there. And I assumed they were supposed to stop."

Beth Snow also thought pedestrians had the right-of-way when leaving the trail.

Gary Moore/CBC

She admits to only slowing down before crossing the road on her bike.

"I stop if there is a car there, otherwise I roll through. So I don't observe the stop sign."

Lewis said the city used to paint trail markings on the streets at crossing points. He said people confused the marking with crosswalks.

"So a couple of years ago we removed those and we've made some changes to try and clear up confusion about the trail crossings. But also make other upgrades in addition to try and make it safer," he said.

The city stopped painting those signs in 2017. At some intersections, the faded markings are still visible.

Clearing up uncertainty 

Saunders said the new signs installed by the city should help clear up any confusion.

"[It's] very clear as to who was to do what," she said.

According to Lewis, police can enforce the stop signs. But he said the idea of the new signs is awareness.

He said there are 20 new signs installed, covering about a third of the trails in Fredericton.