Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Crash near Selkirk trestle illustrates need for a traffic circle

Another cyclist came off Tyee Road onto the Goose, accelerating to make it over the trestle bridge, just as I was coming down the hill out of Banfield Park.
The Galloping Goose Regional Trail intersection where trails from Tyee Road and Banfield Park meet the waterfront ­pathway at the south end of the Selkirk Trestle Bridge in Vic West. Contributor Alison Boston writes that she crashed her bike here while trying to avoid a collision with a cyclist accelerating from the path from Tyee Road onto the bridge. She asked the city for a traffic circle at the busy ­intersection, but got a Share With Care sign instead. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

In her May 19 column, Patricia Coppard said we need speed limits on the Galloping Goose “before someone gets seriously injured.”

Sadly, that’s already happened, multiple times.

I was a commuter and pleasure cyclist for my entire adult life. In the 1990s, when the Goose was a dream, I cycled with the traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway, back and forth from Victoria to Langford, and from Langford to Saanich Commonwealth Pool. No accidents.

I cycled to work in heavy traffic in major cities, including Montreal, Budapest, Barcelona and London.

I cycle-toured in the San Juan and Gulf Islands, and through Eastern Europe. I cycled, on the road, with the cars, in snowstorms, in Ottawa. I did triathlons — and won, in my age group.

Other than getting run off a village road by a drunk driver at age 10, and getting doored in Ottawa in my 20s, I never had a bicycle accident until I returned to Victoria and in 2015 had a horrific accident on the ­Galloping Goose, on my way home from swimming in Banfield Park. Yup.

Another cyclist came off Tyee Road onto the Goose, accelerating to make it over the trestle bridge, just as I was coming down the hill out of the park.

It was collide and have two mangled cyclists, or go down. I went down and was taken to ER in an ambulance. X-rays showed a broken left wrist, broken right elbow and, of course, road rash on my right side.

The kindly gentleman who lived adjacent to that ­section of the Goose, and who came out to help and stored my bicycle until I was able to pick it up, told me he’d witnessed many crashes and near-crashes at that intersection.

I went to a mayor’s meeting at city hall to express my concern and suggest a traffic circle for the ­intersection. We got Share with Care signs instead.

We really need a traffic circle at that intersection, where five paths converge on the Vic West side of the Trestle Bridge.

Sadly, I’ve pretty well given up cycling. The ­Galloping Goose is an overcrowded nightmare, for all the reasons Coppard mentions. I didn’t like and never used the two-way separated bike lanes in Montreal, having felt safer navigating the road going in the same direction as the cars.

These days, I enjoy the luxury of time to take life at a walking pace. Sometimes I drive, and am reminded how important it is for cyclists to wear high-visibility clothing.

Sadly, many of them wear pavement grey, and cycle at night with no lights.