UPDATE 05/26/12: Rumors are that residents on Pinnacle Valley Road are drawing up a petition that will limit cyclist use of the popular route to Pinnacle Mountain State Park and destinations beyond. I wanted to remind all users to follow the traffic laws whenever you are on the road. If you are on a bike, stay to the right, go single file during times of heavier traffic and obey traffic signs. Also, try to be nice, a wave at the residents or drivers, helping them get around you, etc. go a long way to public relations with both the locals and other drivers on the road.
I talked to those responsible for law enforcement in the Arkansas State Parks about Pinnacle Valley Road and the increase in bike traffic heading out to the park and beyond yesterday. (Actually, they contacted me about getting the word out.) It seems, as expected, the opening of the Two Rivers Bridge has brought a lot of cyclists out to the area for both mountain biking and road cycling.
They have seen a sharp increase in cyclists heading out Pinnacle Valley Road which has no shoulder, sidewalks or bike lanes and are concerned for their safety. Rangers with Arkansas State Parks carry the same authority and have the same training as Arkansas State Troopers and have jurisdiction over the entire state although when possible they leave most duties to the local law enforcement agency. The rangers at Pinnacle Mountain State Park plan to increase their presence along Pinnacle Valley Road in and around the park.
The plan is to watch for speeding, rolling through stop signs and other traffic violations for both motorized transportation and bicycles. This includes the stop sign at the railroad crossing near the East Summit Trail parking area and any other signs in the area. This is fair as we (cyclists) expect drivers to obey traffic laws we should be prepared to obey those same laws that also apply to us. I reminded the rangers about the 3 foot passing law and they were well aware of it.
It looks like the River Trail is on it’s way to being completed to Maumelle Park which should help the situation some. Plans are in the works to complete the trail all the way to Hwy 300 which will be a massive undertaking. Please obey all applicable traffic laws when riding on the road.