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LETTER: Cyclists need their own trails

The entrance to Rennie's River Trail on Elizabeth Avenue in St. John's.
The entrance to Rennie’s River Trail on Elizabeth Avenue in St. John’s. — Telegram file photo

I’d like to congratulate Robert Bishop on his excellent, well-articulated letter on Oct. 17 addressing the Bike St. John’s Master Plan and its incompatibility with existing walking trails.

I didn’t know how extensive the planned changes to our trails were until I read his letter. I knew that if the city attempted to make the trails “shared use” there would be environmental destruction and walkers would all but disappear from the trails. Not long ago I was grazed by a young child on a bike that he was obviously just learning how to ride, resulting in a fright and a severely bruised forearm. I was passed by cyclists mere centimetres from me on a downhill going at high speed. Most cyclists though, have been respecting the signs that forbid biking on the trails I use daily. I can only imagine what it would be like if many cyclists were on those trails. Some are responsible, some are not. In any case, walking and cycling don’t mix well, just like motor vehicles and bikes on roads don’t.

Cyclists definitely need safe trails but it must be a separate trail system. Sure, the Grand Concourse is convenient, accessible to many neighbourhoods and very attractive. But if the city goes ahead with this master plan, many people whose only exercise is walking will be forced to abandon the trails. The bucolic beauty of the trails will be no more.

Please don’t ruin the Grand Concourse trails!

E.R. Hannah

St. John’s

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