Safety on the Trail
A "Letter" to Capital Crescent Trail Users
As a result of your hard work and generous contributions our trail is a beautiful and heavily used success. Bikers, bladers, joggers, runners and walkers, commuters and recreation users of ALL SPEEDS and AGES enjoy its 'car-free, park-like setting'. Unfortunately 'car-free' does not mean 'danger-free' and success has brought congestion and increased danger to the trail. Serious accidents involving hospital convalescence and police investigation have occurred.
Our trail has over 1 million users per year, is quite congested at times, and has users moving as slowly as 1-2 miles an hour up to 20 - 25 milers an hour. We are experiencing an increasing number of serious accidents on the Trail and we urge ALL users to exercise greater caution, courtesy and alertness.
Please follow the safety tips below:
- STAY ALERT, turn off your iPOD
- Stay to the right
- Do not block the trail when stopping
- Do not block the trail by going 3 or 4 abreast
- Look behind you from time to time
- Pass only after looking behind you
- Pass only after a loud warning
- Pass only on the left
- Pass only if you have a 2 foot clearance
- When dark, wear reflective clothes
- When dark, carry a light
- Yield to others when entering the trail
- Yield to others at crosswalks
- STOP at stop signs, they indicate dangerous cross car traffic
- PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN, keep them to the right!
- Do not let your children ramble freely across the trail
- Stay immediately behind or to the left of your children
Bikers and Bladers:
In addition to the above:
- Keep safe, reasonable speed
- Adjust speed to trail congestion and surface conditions
- Be predictable
- Wear a Helmet
- Warn with a loud bell, whistle or voice at least 2 seconds BEFORE overtaking someone
Hikers and Walkers:
- TURN OFF your iPOD
- Do not read while on the trail
- If warned before being passed, call out "Thanks for the warning"
- If NOT warned before being passed, politely call out "Please warn before passing"
- Keep your pet on a very short leash (required by law!)
- Keep your pet to the right
- Treat your pet as you would a child
Be safe after dark and use a strong light -
Cyclists: Please, do not use a flashing strobe light as a headlight.
Trail users are reporting that the flashing white strobe lights some cyclists are using as headlights can be disorienting and are very irritating. Cyclists, please use a headlight with a steady beam aimed low. We are all safer if no one is confused or blinded by your light.
Emergency Telephone Numbers:
| From any location on the CCT:
|| 911 (identify location & nearest mile marker)
| In D.C.: US Park Police
| From Bethesda to D.C.:
Montgomery County Park Police
| From Bethesda to Silver
Montgomery County Police
To Report Unsafe Trail Conditions:
| At any location on the CCT:
Leave a message on the
Coalition hotline, or
contact the Coalition by email
| In D.C.:
call the National Park Service,
or send an email
| From Bethesda to D.C.:
Montgomery County Parks Maintenance
| From Bethesda to Silver Spring:
Montgomery County Services
(specify that the Georgetown Branch Trail is maintained by MCDOT, and NOT by Parks.)
If you have witnessed an accident on the Trail, please send a brief description to us at email@example.com. We will share your story on this website. We will edit the story (first names only, etc.) to protect your privacy.