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LETTER: City’s cycling plan will shatter pedestrians’ peace

Nova Scotia’s one-metre rule gives motorists the legal power to cross the centre-line of roads and highways in order to pass vulnerable road users like cyclists, runners and hikers.
A letter-writer says paving walking trails to give cyclists somewhere else to ride will ruin the trails for walkers. — Contributed photo

I wish to respond to your editorial (“Will bike plan gain traction?”) of Saturday, June 1, 2019 regarding the City of St. John’s new proposed bike plan. I use the walking trails of this city almost on a daily basis and I wish to register my strong objection to this bike plan.

The councillors supporting this plan intone that the plan will be inclusive and sharing. My experiences with having cyclists on the trails are not good. Cyclists are inclined to take over the trails due to their respective power and speed compared to other trail users. Currently, the cyclists are not supposed to be on the walking trails, but they are on them in many numbers nevertheless. This is due to the apparent fact no one seems to be enforcing the no-bicycles rule on the walking trails.

I have been startled in fear of bodily injury by cyclists who seem to be on their own personal Tour de France fantasy racing along the walking trails, giving no forewarning of their coming. My tranquil walks are dissipated by speeding bicyclists whom I have to dodge quickly to avoid. This situation will become much worse once bicyclists are given free legal rein to be on the walking trails.

I have noticed over the years that many, many “No Bicycles” signs have been torn down and removed by parties unknown. In my mind, the fact that these signs — public property, after all — are disappearing so cavalierly, and the reckless manner in which people disregard the current rule of no bicycling on the walking trails, does not bode well for the notion that cyclists will merely “share” the walking trails. Without a doubt, many trees, bushes and shrubs will have to be destroyed in order to expand the current walking trail system to allow for increased bicycle use. This really saddens me, for the environment of the walking trails to be so desecrated. Cyclists already have many other places where they can use their bicycles in this city. Our walking trails are the last respite we walkers have from big-wheeled intruders.

City council, please reject this absurd bicycle plan. Please walk away from it!

Robin Reid
St. John’s

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