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Letters June 15: Why pedestrians should stay to the right on trails; where rural Saanich water comes from

Cyclists and pedestrians on the Galloping Goose Trail. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Trail is too narrow for pedestrians on the left

Re: “Pedestrians: walk on the left on ­multi-use trails,” letter, June 13.

The reason pedestrians and cyclists should both stay to the right on multi-use paths (except to pass) is due to trail width and accepted standards.

There is simply not room for four streams of traffic on a typical multi-use path. They differ from a road which has a travel lane for vehicles and no accommodation for pedestrians. It makes sense in the latter case to walk facing traffic.

The problem on trails arises when the faster mode (usually someone on a bike) needs to pass. Will the pedestrian facing them change their position too, and if so, which way — to the left or the right?

Four streams of traffic, not necessarily following the same rules would result in more collisions and confusion.

Really, the trail needs to be wider, given the volume of traffic on it, and I understand that the Capital Regional District is planning to do this for the busier urban parts of the trail, as well as provide separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists.

Susanna Grimes


An argument against walking on the left

There is an opposing argument for the idea that pedestrians should walk on left on multi-use trails. With more traffic on the trails all the time, often cyclists are not able to go around pedestrians when there is oncoming traffic.

If both are going the same direction, the cyclist can slow and go behind the pedestrian until there is room to pass.

If pedestrian and cyclist are facing opposite directions both have to stop, facing each other until traffic clears.

I vote for both going the same direction with more rules and enforcement to make our trails safer.

Kenn Pearce


We need to fix the rule about walking on trails

After reading the many letters about the dangers of e-bike speeders on the Galloping Goose and other local trail paths, I have permanently changed how I walk on the E&N Trail near me.

I walk on the extreme left of the bike path, facing oncoming bikers at all times.

This is the only designated safe way to walk on the side of a road — facing vehicular traffic — and clearly it is now the only safe way to be a pedestrian on the Goose and the E&N trails.

E-bike speeders can see me up ahead and are forced to compensate in plenty of time. We really need to make this the rule of the common pathways, and set speed limits on e-bikers.

If they really want to go as fast as a car, they can get on the road with the other motor-propelled vehicles.

Carolyn McLuskie


Why pedestrians should keep right on trails

In response to those folks who think ­having pedestrians walk on the left side of multi-use trails will avoid collisions and user conflicts — you have not thought this through.

It makes sense for pedestrians to do this on roadways — on the shoulder!

Highway shoulders guarantee a vehicle cannot come upon you unexpectedly on blind curve or otherwise, and you can easily see oncoming traffic. You are outside of two-way traffic.

On regional trails there are no shoulders, you are directly in two-way traffic. Regardless of which side of the trail you are on, you will have no clear sightlines on a blind curve. The best way to avoid collisions is when everyone follows the same traffic/trail rules. This avoids confusion because everyone knows what do in an unexpected encounter: you keep right except to pass.

When different trail users follow ­different rules, it is inevitable that ­confusion ensues — do I go left or right suddenly to avoid a collision?

If you picture in your mind all the typical encounters you might come across on a bike or walking on trails with no shoulders, you will quickly see it makes no sense to have different rules for ­different trail users, anymore than it makes sense for vehicles and/or pedestrians on a curved roadway with no shoulders.

Laurie Sthamann


Victoria doesn’t need to go without a pool

I am struggling to understand the City of Victoria’s approach to replacing the ­Crystal Pool. Five years ago, there were several options and the cost was in the range of $60 million to $80 million.

Neighbourhood politics and an indecisive city council caused a five-year delay, during which costs have risen to more than $200 million, and the old pool has suffered several unplanned closures and repairs costing millions.

Now the recommended option is to demolish the old pool and replace it with a new one over a period of five years. Five years with no pool in the city, and temporary replacement plans that rely on the few other pools in the region — already busy.

Another option is to build a new pool on the Central Park sports field alongside the present pool and then demolish the old pool and build a new sports field. This would cost an additional $6 million, and afford the city continuous use of its only pool. As valuable as sports fields are, there are more than a dozen others in the city that could help take up the slack. Or another turf field could be built for ­several million, and have the capacity of a dozen grass fields like the one at Central Park.

I simply can’t understand the recommendation to do without a pool for five years at a saving estimated at three per cent of the project cost.

Hu Wallis



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