Walkers, cyclists should have mutual respect

Re: ‘Bicycles can be like weapons’ (Letters, PQB News, March 26)

My thanks to the author for the timely letter.

The Town of Qualicum are thanked for the Dollymount paved trail with accompanying soft walking path. Yes, walkers and cyclists experience difficulties in usage.

I would like to make the following observations and suggestions:

• As a walker it is frightening to be ambushed by a cyclist without any verbal or bell warning.

• As a cyclist it is also discouraging when trying to warn walkers by use of the bell that’s not heard. Seniors such as myself whose hearing is not acute aren’t aware, and others with ear buds tuned into other sounds also fail to hear warning. I agree every bike should use a bell. If not the rider should advise in a loud voice “passing on the right” or “passing on the left” well before passing those whose backs are to the cyclist. Understanding by all parties would help smooth the day.

• The rules of the roadway and the pathway are different as on the roadway, the rule is to walk on the left side facing opposing vehicular traffic but on pathways one is to walk on the right allowing others to pass. Alone, on path, cyclist and walker need to keep to the right. As a cyclist I am surprised rounding a corner, encountering a walker their left side as I have to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

• Several walking abreast give no path for the cyclist. Cyclists can are also faulted at times in taking the whole roadway angering the motorist.

• I’ve found people with dogs are careful and respectful, keeping control their pet. Finally I hope that walkers, cyclists mutually respect the other so an experience of exercise is enjoyable and beneficial.

Al Westnedge

Qualicum Beach

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