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LETTER: Simple solutions to improve cycling around Oak Bay


As a senior bike rider who has been riding since her early childhood (country living, no car) I think Oak Bay for the most part is a dream place to ride a bike. There are plenty of wide streets and lovely lanes for the casual rider.

When I started riding a bike to work downtown from Esquimalt in the 1970s I found quiet and back streets for my commute, though the worst part was the Johnston Street bridge (the old Blue Bridge) because of the metal slats. There were also not so many cars on the road.

However, for road warriors, especially the speed demons who regularly scream (literally and figuratively) past our Beach Drive townhouse, cycling here is a challenge, but we are talking two very different needs.

I propose a few simple solutions for the time being:

(1) Allow only one side of street parking on Monterey and Hampshire and McNeil. Many children cycle these streets to and from Monterey Middle School. Cars parked on both sides create a great hazard for cyclists, cars and children. Manoeuvring these streets is like a slalom run, only flat.

(2) Paint yellow lines along Beach Drive from the marina up to and including in front of Glenlyon Norfolk School on the water side of the road. That would make pedestrian, vehicle and cycle transit a lot easier and safer. This is also a very popular tourist route.

I would certainly support a Cadboro Bay dedicated cycling route as it is very, very wide up until the compressed area from Bowker to Estevan past Willows Elementary School. Perhaps one-side-only parking would really help in this area as well.

For the physician who sadly treats and pronounces death in many accidents, I feel nothing but compassion. Though I wonder if some of these injuries could be prevented if people wore helmets. Today I passed a young teenager cycling on Oak Bay Avenue with no helmet. I cannot imagine any parent allowing that today. We of course did it all the time and I’m grateful to still be here and not brain injured.

Ann Wilmut

Oak Bay