By Alisa Howlett/News staff
What’s intended to be a multi-use bike and walking trail is apparently not being treated as such, according to one Sidney woman and her mother, who are shaken after what Joanne Faulkner called a road rage incident.
On Tuesday, June 13 Faulkner, 33, and her mother, 63, were walking The Flight Path – the nine-kilometre bike and walking trail around Victoria International Airport. This is an activity the pair enjoys almost every night after work, dog in tow. Yesterday evening’s stroll wasn’t so enjoyable, however, after an aggressive encounter with a cyclist, Faulkner said.
“We were on the corner of Sterling and Beacon, where the crosswalk is by the plaque, just letting her dog have a sniff when a cyclist comes up and almost hit us,” Faulkner said. “He screeched his tires, that’s how fast he was going, and yelled at us that it’s a bike path only.”
According to the Victoria Airport’s website, the path is a “multi-use bike and walking trail.”
Faulkner told the PNR the man, decked out in professional-looking race gear, backtracked on his bike and approached her, all while yelling a number of expletives and crude comments.
“It’s definitely intimidating. When a guy’s taller than you and he comes inches from your face it’s kind of hard not to be a little freaked out. I have never had a man be so disrespectful,” said Faulkner.
The pair cut their walk short and Faulkner said she reported the incident to the Sidney North Saanich RCMP. The PNR has contacted the police for comment.
Faulkner then wrote a Facebook post describing the incident to her online Sidney mom’s group, warning others about cyclists on the path. She said the responses from the other mothers didn’t surprise her. A number of people said they won’t bring their children there because they know how fast the cyclists go.
Faulker said more signs should be put up, stating that it’s a shared path and perhaps cyclist speed limit signs are needed. She added other members of the mom’s group suggested cyclists should be required to have license plates and be accountable just like vehicles.
“A lot of cyclists totally think they are entitled to do whatever they want. You don’t feel one hundred per cent safe,” Faulkner said. “You get the odd one that rings the bell and says coming up on your left, but most of the time you don’t even know their there until they’re whizzing past you.”
Faulkner said she’s just thankful the incident happened to them and not a child, adding that would be unimaginable.