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Letters June 13: They think going left would be better; $200M pool is a wet idea; no-fault insurance

Pedestrians and cyclists on the Galloping Goose Trail in Victoria. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Where we walk could make the trails safer

Reading recent stories of collisions between bike and pedestrians on local mixed-use trails had me shaking my head.

About 90 per cent of the speed complaints and conflicts could be solved with a simple fix: Change the rules for the trails so that pedestrians walk facing oncoming cyclists.

Like Daylight Savings Time, the rule that both pedestrians and cyclists should keep to the right on a trail is one of those stupid ideas that seems to have become an unquestioned standard.

It’s contrary to the long established rule that on roads without sidewalks pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.

Why? So they can see approaching traffic and take action if they think an unsafe situation is unfolding.


Many — maybe even most — pedestrians on trails these days are plugged into their headphones. Now they can’t see — or hear — any cyclists coming up behind them whether they are fast or not.

I’ve often rung my bell to alert a pedestrian I’m overtaking only to get no reaction. As I pass I see the telltale white earbuds embedded in their ears. If they were facing bike traffic, this wouldn’t be as much an issue.

There is no advantage to the current rules of use on trails but many disadvantages.

Everyone benefits when intentions are established through good eye contact.

Mike Laplante


Pedestrians: walk on the left on multi-use trails

Powers that be, please, please, please let common sense prevail: pedestrians should walk on the left facing traffic when sharing the trail with are bigger, faster, moving vehicles of any type. Full stop.

As a frequent cyclist on our trails and roads, I’m convinced the current everyone-use-the-right-side-on-trails is simply a tragedy waiting to happen.

Yes, cyclists, and e-bikers, and folks on mobility or motorized scooters need to be aware and respectful at all times.

And yes, walkers or runners should still always keep left on trails where they’ll have half a chance of averting a catastrophe if they can see it barrelling toward them.

The rule for walking on roads with no sidewalks has always been to walk on the left side, facing traffic. It’s plain common sense.

Let’s not wait for a fatality to make this much-needed change. For everyone’s sake.

Pat Bourke

Cordova Bay

Walking on the left would make trails safer

After the recent collision of an e-bike and jogger on the E&N Rail Trail I’m sure there will be calls to regulate or eliminate motorized conveyances on mixed-use trails.

As a pedestrian I suggest this alternative.

After a few dangerous encounters, usually where the trail is narrow such as behind the warehouses on Viewfield Road, I’ve started to walk on the left, facing traffic. As riders approach I make eye contact to give assurance that I see them and will not step out into their way.

If I’m walking with others, we move to single file to make room. I’m occasionally scolded and told that walkers are to be on the right although those that stop for a conversation can never explain to me why that’s a good idea.

Facing each other, especially in the new environment of faster and increasingly motorized bikes, scooters, one wheels etc. is better for them and for me. It would be safer if we all walked on the left. I hope this change will be considered.

Murray Ambler


Crystal Pool replacement is not a priority

With so many Victoria families lining up at the food bank and senior citizens living in their cars, anyone who thinks a $200 million swimming pool is a priority is all wet!

Cheera J. Crow

Brentwood Bay

When a turncoat costs us money

Re: “Politicians jumping ship have no principles,” letter, June 6.

How does the author know of all these evil intents of the Conservative Party, unless he is, or has been, a member?

I have voted Liberal for years, but they, under Kevin Falcon’s leadership, changed name and direction. What has Falcon achieved? How effective was he as the leader of the opposition?

Did he strongly voice his opposition re: denying investors in airb&bs their legal rights? Did he voice opposition to getting the rights of municipalities curtailed?

Where was his opposition to the no-fault insurance scheme?

Has he protected any of my individual rights?

So yes, I might be voting Conservative for once. Not federally, but provincially, hoping for some common-sense solutions.

The real turncoat in my neighbourhood, for profit and expediency was ­Laurel Collins, who abandoned Victoria city politics after only a few weeks in office to run federally for the NDP. That cost us a lot of money as we had to hold a byelection.

Sabine Orlik


The road to ending the war started in Stalingrad

The landing of Allied forces (Britain, United States and Canada) was an ­important and significant event involving heroic sacrifices by our soldiers in ­helping to defeat Nazi Germany.

There are, however, statements being made repeatedly in the media referring to Allied landings that are misleading.

Margaret McMillan, Canadian historian, has said that the Allied landings in Normandy were the “beginning of the end” for Nazi Germany. Other statements such as “it turned the tide” are commonplace.

Recorded history shows that the beginning of the end and the turning of the tide occurred at Stalingrad, where the German Sixth Army was defeated in 1942-3.

After Stalingrad the Russians were able to push west with major victories against the German army and by June of 1944 they were poised to destroy, which they did, Army Group Centre, the main fighting force of the German army.

The landings in Normandy helped to a degree to keep German military resources away from the Eastern Front, and certainly hastened the defeat of Nazi Germany.

And the presence of the Western allies determined the political arrangements in Europe at war’s end, but the defeat of Nazi Germany began over a year before D-Day in the depths of Russia.

Robert Milan


Think of veterans every day, not just on D-Day

He wasn’t angry. He was for all intents and purposes far from being a happy man.

As I grew older I gained insight as to what bothered him.

Then I discovered in the bottom drawer of his upright bureau various ­pictures, medals, and letters from the Second World War as had been ­experienced, and had the living daylights scared out of my father.

Before some 50-odd bombing missions, my father’s stomach churned in fearful anticipation.

When in the air fear held its grip as my father navigated the Lancaster bomber, a veritable tube of tin with four huge engines roaring so loud you could hardly hear yourself think.

That fear was raised to a crescendo when flying in the dead of night, the plane flew into bombs bursting in air and other destructive pieces of slag, all around.

On one of those last few flights a chunk of slag knocked the pilot unconscious, forcing my dad to fly the damaged aircraft back to England with a bit of slag embedded into his knee.

He was commended for his actions but it was the horror of war that rumbled around in his head daily that made his life tough.

The men and women who fought for our freedoms should be honoured daily, not just on June 6.

Steve Hoffman



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