LETTER: Cyclists must share the trail

The conduct of a significant number of cyclists using the regional trails in Saanich leaves much to be desired, spoiling the enjoyment of the trails for other users and creating safety risks. This has had the effect of discouraging many walkers from using the trails at all. In our current COVID-19 situation, when members of the community are encouraged to remain active, our trails provide an excellent environment for exercise.

The cyclists in question completely disregard the posted guidelines on trail use: they speed, fail to notify pedestrians when about to pass, or fail to ride single file when passing. It is not uncommon for cyclists, often at speed, to overtake pedestrians (or even slower cyclists) when cyclists or pedestrians are travelling in the opposite direction, effectively riding down the centre of the trail in close proximity to other trail users, whether cyclists or pedestrians. The current COVID-19 distancing guidelines are also completely ignored.

Pedestrians appreciate (and I would hope express appreciation) for cyclists who ring bells or call out to them before passing. Pedestrians and cyclists who adhere to single file guidelines to ensure social distancing do us all a favour.

Unfortunately, polite requests by pedestrians for cyclists to comply with the guidelines are not only not acknowledged and effectively ignored but often met with abuse.

Regrettably, too many members of the cycling community are developing a sense of entitlement which they appear to feel excuses them from showing courtesy to other trail users. This has the unfortunate effect of limiting enjoyment of our splendid and scenic trails and brings the cycling community, which is in the main a reputable and environmentally responsible group, into disrepute.

If cyclists are incapable of sharing the trails, perhaps consideration could be given to reducing the number of trails allowing cycle traffic.

Robin Corner

Saanich

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