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LETTER – Cyclists need to be careful of pedestrians and dogs on Rivers Trail

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

We like walking along the Rivers Trail between Schubert and Westmount School.  So do a lot of other people.

It is a “share-the-path” situation with people on bikes.

One of the common topics of conversation is how often close calls happen with a pedestrian almost getting hit by a bike coming up from behind.  The similar stories include the bike(s) are going too fast and also, give no warning to the pedestrian/pedestrians/pedestrians with dog(s) who likely have no idea what is coming up behind them.

A friend of mine came so close to being hit from behind he remembers his sleeve being contacted.  The cyclist gave no warning whatsoever.

After supper last night we took our dog for a walk.  It was windy and a bike was approaching us from behind.  We had absolutely no idea it was coming.  Our luck ran out.  All I remember hearing is a “whoosh” very close to my left side and then seeing our dog get hit.

He was able to walk home.  After having spoken with a vet over the phone, I was given some specific instructions for monitoring him and the option of bringing him in (close to 9 PM by this time).  His gums are still pink and he is kind of tired because he was playing at a dog day care for about 6 hours yesterday.  We’ll make an assessment in the next while and probably take him to see our own vet today.

The bottom line of the story:  bikes are fun to ride but the operators have a responsibility to others.  Pedestrians don’t have eyes in the backs of their heads.  There may be children or pets that can’t initially be seen.  A shared trail is NOT a speedway.  Pedestrians do have the right of way even if it seems inconvenient to slow down when approaching them.

We checked with the cyclist to see if she was OK.  She was visibly shaken and upset but she said she was not injured.

JOHN NOAKES
Kamloops

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About Mel Rothenburger (6740 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on LETTER – Cyclists need to be careful of pedestrians and dogs on Rivers Trail

  1. I ride Rivers Trail a lot…I have bell which I use always when overtaking Walkers and even warn them verbally..often people are wearing head phones and do not hear you at all and I’ve had to either stop or go off path. On other times I’ve over taken groups walking together who will totally ignore you. So it’s not always inconsiderate bikers.

  2. Ian M MacKenzie // June 27, 2019 at 7:08 AM // Reply

    I have biked on many different parts of the trail from the Westsyde golf course through to town. En route, and especially on the section referred to by Mr. Noakes, I’ve come up behind many walkers. If I were them I would consider a “demanding” bell, honk, or even jingle to be the minimum warning, so I prefer my human voice at least 20′ away, “passing on your left/right, please” accompanied by a significant slowing down to be the most friendly way to use this shared pathway. Using this approach I have never had a problem in the 15 years we’ve lived in Westsyde. Keep it slow and keep it friendly when passing.

  3. Kingsley Bower // June 27, 2019 at 6:58 AM // Reply

    Cyclists – buy a bell and use it. Walkers & runners – please don’t take up the whole pathway while you gab. Check behind frequently and let folks get by.

  4. A bell, I wear a bell on my bicycle handlebars just for that, to give a little warning, to show a little curtesy.
    And on a shared trail the speeds need to be kept low…and the dogs must be on a leash.

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