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Letters July 24: Ways to make pickleball less noisy; watching tire direction at roundabouts; pedestrian safety

Pickleball does not have to be so noisy Re: “Not a fan of pickleball or those who play,” letter, July 19. I was appalled by the disrespectful tone and the inaccurate statements of this letter.
Lyn de Souza, left, and Melanie Hansen play pickleball doubles at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Pickleball does not have to be so noisy

Re: “Not a fan of pickleball or those who play,” letter, July 19.

I was appalled by the disrespectful tone and the inaccurate statements of this letter.

I have played pickleball for about six years, and tennis for more than 25 years.

Pickleball is a brilliant game, deceptively easy to begin, but with unlimited complexity at higher levels..

There are clear etiquette rules and a real sense of collegiality among players.

The pickleball community is generally diverse, friendly, inclusive to all levels and personalities.

I believe the noise from pickleball has been exaggerated. However, there are ways to mitigate it, such as careful placement of courts away from residences and noise reducing panels.

I play at Carnarvon Park. The new oval has panels, and from the outside, one cannot hear the balls, even when 20 players are playing.

I am most fortunate to have been introduced to pickleball, and trust that the sport will continue to be respected and supported by the community.

Claire Kane


Older people having fun, so the killjoys complain

It’s absolutely amazing to hear the complaints about pickleball. I first read about the “issue” while living in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was intrigued to see what the big problem was when we arrived in Victoria.

What I’ve learned from watching this fine sport is that it’s awesome to see people outside having fun in the parks.

I have also learned that the people crying about older people exercising and having fun are shallow-thinking killjoys who perhaps need to complain about a city full of junkies ingesting drugs in the parks, setting up camps in parks and leaving human waste in the parks.

This is the fundamental issue with the “progressive” island folk, you cry about the low-hanging fruit and refuse to address the elephant in the room.

J.G. Helton


Check the tire direction to see if they are turning

Re: “Don’t forget to signal when in roundabouts,” letter, July 19.

It seems that people have forgotten how to signal.

Having faced this problem constantly, I use a workaround when people refuse to signal, or signal properly, when dealing with a roundabout.

I look to see which direction the front tires of the vehicles are pointing when they come to the part whether they could either exit directly to my left, or continue through.

Back in the 1990s, on the LG73 radio show The Morning Zoo, one of the bits was Constable Bob playing Karnak – like on Johnny Carson, where he’d do the envelope to his forehead trick, which you’d have to imagine because radio.

I remember a particular joke that resonates to this day:

“When their left-turn signal burns out. … When is a person declared legally dead in Victoria?”

April J. Gibson


A city on training wheels needs rules to be followed

Re: “Make pedestrians stop for bicycles,” letter, July 14.

As a cyclist, I am amazed at the seemingly unastute entitlement of the belief that pedestrians should heed to anyone on a bicycle.

If walking citizens should heed this two-wheeled advice, I believe it should be countered with a return request.

All cyclists will make a personal pledge to stop at every red light, and fully regard all stop signs they encounter on their bike lanes. On combined road/bike lanes such as Richardson and Vancouver streets, bicyclists must follow the same rules as autos.

If a pedestrian is crossing at an intersection without a marked crosswalk, they are permitted to cross, even in front of a bicycle. Furthermore, all cyclists should be hyper-aware of the unexpected in their travels.

Expecting pedestrians to watch out for fast speeding bicycles on bike lanes is ridiculous. Common sense should prevail that in the city, defensive riding is the prudent approach to cycling in Amsterdam, er… Victoria.

Comparing Amsterdam’s bicycle network to Victoria’s bicycle network is like comparing apples to tomatoes. Both are in the same category, but completely different.

Amsterdam is a very old city, and has centuries more commuting cycling transportation experience than the much younger city of Victoria.

In bicycle speak, Amsterdam is in the Tour de France, and Victoria still has its training wheels.

Mur Meadows


Vulnerability is a key factor

Re: “Make pedestrians stop for bicycles,” letter, July 14.

Is there no end to the astonishing sense of entitlement displayed by cycling advocates? According to the letter, they now think that not only should drivers grant them the right-of-way, but so too should pedestrians.

This “me first, I’m the most important” attitude is one reason for the public opposition to municipalities’ prioritizing of cycling through interventions such as inserting bike lanes between sidewalks and streets.

Fundamental to the enlightened North American trend of what is called the “complete streets” approach to traffic design is the principle of prioritization according to vulnerability, thus favouring walkers over bikers and bikers over drivers.

But it appears that this is no longer good enough for cycling advocates, who seem to believe that they should yield to no-one as they ignore traffic rules and signs while careening through our communities.

Robin Farquhar


Take the path of prudence, and look out for others

Re: “Make pedestrians stop for bicycles,” letter, July 14.

A driver/rider is expected to be in control of their mode of transportation at all times and anticipate to possibility that a pedestrian may enter the roadway/corridor.

The letter suggests throwing that precept out the window.

As it stands, pedestrians at marked crossings have priority and bicycles need to be able to stop. Like cars are required to on roadways.

I understand a cyclist not wanting to stop or slow down, but if a child is on the sidewalk near a bike lane prudence, demands they slow down regardless of “wants.”

Lance Morgan


How are blind people treated in Amsterdam?

Re: “Make pedestrians stop for bicycles,” letter, July 14.

I am sure in Amsterdam, where bikes have right of way over pedestrians, their cities don’t make blind people cross a bike lane to get to the bus stops.

Handicapped people have enough difficulty without taking away more accessibility from them.

Eileen Cannon


Half-measure leadership on display at Keating

Our province and our country were built by leaders with vision and the courage to build for the future. The Keating Cross Road overpass is a half measure that will impact the region for decades to come.

There is no question that there is an urgent need to address this dangerous crossing, and a half solution is better than none. But a better, full solution was originally proposed.

In 2014 a community-based Highway 17 planning committee recommended an option for only slightly more money. It was to complete a full flyover that would address both northbound and southbound traffic from Keating Cross.

Rather than a half flyover, the full flyover option has subsequently been supported by a 672-citizen petition, the district MLA and numerous citizen and business groups. The GrumpyTaxPayer$ saw the full flyover as best value for money.

Highways Minister Rob Fleming said that a half flyover was “the least invasive option to address significant safety concerns at this location.” Basically, the easy button.

With the half flyover, northbound traffic, including heavy equipment, 18-wheel semis and tour buses is routed along a residential street past the Keating Elementary school.

It would appear the safety concern for our school children is not ‘significant’. Also, pedestrians and bicyclists are also not considered ‘significant.’

In 2019 the province estimated the cost of the half flyover at $44 million split between three levels of government. But any additional costs for a full flyover would have been nominal, considering its importance to regional transportation and the growth and prosperity of the region.

Where was the CRD on a matter of such importance? Decisions such as this should not be left to Central Saanich alone. You would wonder if they would consider building one-half a sewer system?

In addition to public safety for all citizens and restrictions on transportation, this highlights a bigger issue – ineffective governance, incomplete public consultation, and the failure of the CRD and the province to establish a regional transportation authority.

Fleming’s Folly, the half-solution flyover at Keating Cross, will be a lasting monument to half-measure leadership.

George Barnhart


Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria

Let’s aim for excellence in Canada’s health care

I agree with recent letters by Ken Fyke, Amy Williams, Dr. Perry Kendall and Don Philippon, which highlighted the urgent need to reframe Canada’s health-care approach.

They have rightly pointed out that Canada is falling behind other countries in key aspects of health-care delivery, such as universal coverage, cost barriers, primary care systems and access burdens.

These countries, such as Norway, the Netherlands and Australia, are not only achieving better outcomes for their citizens, but also spending less per capita on health care.

The lesson here is clear: we need to rethink how we allocate our health care resources and what value we expect from them.

Our current health care system(s) are outdated and inefficient; they were designed to treat diseases of the past, not to prevent or predict them.

We need to embrace the latest scientific and technological advances, such as genomics, multiomics, AI and digital information, to create a more personalized and proactive approach to health care.

We need to build a strong primary care system that can detect and reverse disease transitions before they become irreversible. We need to optimize the wellness of our citizens, not just treat their illnesses.

However, this vision cannot be realized without a fundamental shift in our political and institutional culture. We cannot afford to let provincial interests and barriers impede the collective good of the nation.

We need a national leadership that can collaborate and cooperate with provinces to deliver on a national responsibility: the health of Canadians.

We need federal-provincial partnerships that are transparent, accountable and performance-based. We need to monitor and report on our progress and compare ourselves with the best in the world.

It’s time to change our perspective. Instead of lamenting our shortcomings, let’s aspire to adopt proven global best practices that can improve our health care system(s).

Let’s focus on designing a system that places Canada at the forefront of health-care innovation and excellence, ensuring the health and well-being of our citizens.

For it is only by reaching for the best can we ever hope to become the healthiest nation.

Don Juzwishin



• Email letters to:

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact ­information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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