ROANOKE, Va. – As more people spend time outside during the coronavirus pandemic, Roanoke’s greenways are becoming more crowded, which is causing some problems.
“We came the other day and it was packed and that was early morning,” said Terry Flanary, who walks weekly on the Roanoke River Greenway.
“We try and go on the weekdays because the weekends are rough,” said David Nova, who bikes on the greenway each week.
Roanoke Valley Greenways Coordinator Liz Belcher said usage is up more than 200%.
“It’s just like a highway, you know. If you have more cars, you feel more crowded and you have more possibility of an accident,” Belcher said.
The biker versus walker conflict dates back years. The rivalry has been amplified by bigger crowds.
“They really move it. They’re going fast but they’re respectful but they’re still going fast and if you don’t go to the left, then you go to the right, you may have some problems,” Flanary said.
Now the city is launching a new campaign, #GreenwayGoals, with some creative messaging.
Signs placed along high-traffic areas remind people of the rules.
“Your dog is cute. Their poo is not.”
“Oh hey there Lance. We didn’t know you were training for Le Tour de France. We’re gonna need you to slow it down or take it to the road.”
“We love a game of red rover as much as the next person, but let’s move it to the park. Shall we?”
“Everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten: Share and don’t hit,” said Belcher.
“Practice good etiquette, be considerate of other people and have a good time while you’re doing it,” said Nova.
“Just be respectful and I think you’d enjoy it and you can social distance and enjoy the sunshine,” said Flanary.
This is not the first campaign the city has launched to encourage good etiquette on the greenways.
In the past, they’ve put up other clever signs and even distributed bike bells.
Click here to learn more about #GreenwayGoals.