Oklahoma City leaders vote to keep Bluff Creek Trail open to pedestrians

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The crowd applauded when the Oklahoma City Parks Commission voted to keep Bluff Creek Park’s mountain bike trail open to pedestrians.

City leaders said a pedestrian ban was suggested after a number of cyclists complained of near accidents with those on foot.

Dozens of runners and hikers were shocked when they learned they could be kept from one of their favorite spots.

"I first saw this story break on Twitter through NewsChannel 4 and had a lot of constituents that spoke out immediately," said Oklahoma State Rep. Jason Dunnington.

Dunnington and his family also use the trial.

He was one of nearly 20 people who stood up before the Oklahoma City Park Commission on Wednesday.

"Whenever we take measures like this to restrict the opportunity to be healthy, we're going against what we've tried to do as a city for the last decade," Dunnington said.

Several people argued, even though the trail is narrow, it is one of the safest places to exercise.

"You feel like you can always call out to someone or you're going to run into someone," said Kate Strum.

Others argued Bluff Creek Trail is one of the only nature trails in the metro and banning runners from it could deter people from moving to the city.

After hearing a number of arguments, the commission unanimously decided to let everyone continue to use it.

Now, Oklahoma City’s Parks and Recreation staff is being asked to look into other safety ideas.

"If we just use a little common sense and have a little respect for others on the trail, we'll all get along and it will be good for everyone," Dunnington said.

Some recommendations are to educate the public, put up signs along the trail and possibly limit headphone use.

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