Ty Driscoll clears air during his mountain bike jump in Haro Woods earlier this year. Saanich Monday confirmed the ban against off-trailing in the area (Black Press File).

Ty Driscoll clears air during his mountain bike jump in Haro Woods earlier this year. Saanich Monday confirmed the ban against off-trailing in the area (Black Press File).

Council approves plan banning cycling in Haro Woods

Municipality accused of caving to small minority of park users

Saanich council approved the draft management plan for Haro Woods, but not before hearing charges of ignoring the public will in confirming a ban on “active” biking.

Speaking before council, Cadboro Bay resident James Anderson said Saanich’s staff report confirming the ban on “active biking” perpetuates misinformation.

He pointed specifically to portions of a (non-scientific) survey that appear to support off-trail biking — the type of biking that the confirmed ban on active biking would prohibit. Almost 64 per cent of respondents said they would come to Haro Woods if Saanich were to create a well-designed biking area where all biking activity, including jumps, would be allowed.

RELATED: Draft plan bans off-trail biking in Saanich’s Haro Woods

Anderson questioned why Saanich is ignoring these voices as he accused supporters of the plan — “a self-appointed, small minority” – of deceiving the public.

“Tonight, I stand here bitterly disappointed at two things: the narrow selfish nature of several of my [neighbours] and failures of the democratic process where the public process clearly got derailed and captured by the small group of zealots who know how to manipulate the media and public process and pressure politicians,” he said. “I am compelled to suggest there will be significant difference between what the draft plan proposes for park use in contrast to patterns of current use, much of which I predict will persist.”

But Anderson remained a minority voice, as the majority of speakers, including Eric Dahli, president of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association, supported the ban. Anderson implied himself that opponents of the draft plan can only blame themselves by not showing up to Monday’s meeting.

Council unanimously endorsed the draft management plan after hearing from Saanich’s senior manager of park, Eva Riccius, who said off-trail biking does not match the area zoning, harms the environment and causes conflict among users.

Despite efforts and discussions with the biking community, activities connected with trail biking such as jump building have continued, she said.

“So while there was some interest in the community to warrant exploring the issue and possibly allowing it, in the end, there wasn’t sufficient support for us as staff to recommend to you to allow it to occur in the park,” she said.

Active biking, she added, would be inconsistent with the vision of the plan.

Saanich will instead remove jumps, restore damaged areas, and monitor the area, while allowing “passive” biking, she said.

Overall, the draft management will include resources to improve signage, accessibility, and monitor the area, she said.

The drafting of the plan has identified a “strong interest” for some sort of a cycling facility in Saanich and the municipality is working towards that goal, said Riccius.

“In 2019, we will be constructing a new bike skills park at McMinn Park [along the Lochside Trail],” she said. “We are also in discussion with owners of two properties that would be suitable for a youth park of some sort, and those discussions are looking quite positive,” she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Community members Ed Hutchinson, left, Dave Noren, and Pat Graham, president of The Ladies Guild, stand before the new book house outside the Church of the Advent in Colwood. The tiny library was built as a result of the annual Church of the Advent book sale being cancelled due to COVID-19. (Submitted/Joan Hoffman)
Colwood church builds little library

Church of Advent annual book sale cancelled due to health restrictions

To each their own pipe. The new sewer main during staging in James Bay before it was installed in 2018, to convey waste to the McLoughlin Point treatment facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
‘End in sight,’ for Victoria’s annual sewage overflows

Wastewater projects underway should end sewage overflows

(Courtesy Very Good Butchers)
Very Good Butchers brand adds cheese to its platter

The Cultured Nut products to be rebranded under Very Good Cheese banner

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

June Saxe, 2, enjoys the sunny shoreline at Whiffin Spit with her dad on March 5. The family had come out from Victoria for a day in the sunshine. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Warm weather brings Sooke’s Whiffin Spit to life

Visitors, locals enjoy warm weather at coastal viewpoint

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Most Read