Mile markers popping up on trails around metro for safety, orientation purposes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you're walking, running, or biking along certain metro area trails you might start noticing markers along the way. Many cities are putting them in to make you safer.

"Many of our trails are in very natural areas, they`re not on a grid system, or next to a house, so we needed a way to help individuals identify where they are, and for emergency responders to also identify where they are," said Deb Ridgway, the Active Transportation Coordinator with Kansas City, Mo.

She says these markers are popping up along certain trails within the city.

"There are trail emergency access signs, they help to let our trail users know that if they do have a medical emergency or a police emergency, they are a great way to help identify where you are," Ridgway said.

They are currently in certain trails in Johnson County, Independence, and now you'll find them installed on Indian Creek, Blue River, and Line Creek trails in Kansas City.

"KCATA, who manages the Trolley Trail, has just approved adding them to the Trolley Trail," Ridgway said.

Ridgway says just using cell phone pinging technology was not enough; it helped, but it just gave first responders a general idea.

"There were a few incidents up north on the Line Creek Trail that our fire department needed to respond to, someone had an accident on their bicycle and needed assistance, and it was hard to pinpoint where they are," added Ridgway, "As much as we can narrow that in, it helped reduce the amount of time for the responders to get there."

This way, when you call 911, and gave them a mile marker first responders will know exactly where you are.

"We have long, continuous miles of trails now," said Ridgway, "Line Creek Trail has more than eight miles, and when you get into Johnson County, you've got trails that are 18/20 miles long."

Ridgway says the markers are place every two-tenths of a mile, identify what trail you're on and also double as a mileage marker.

"It`s sort of a little extra, so you know how far you've walked or ridden your bike," she said.

Ridgway also says as the city builds out the trail system, they will be putting in more of these mileage markers, especially when they are in remote areas.