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LETTER: Stanley Park cyclists curse at and threaten seniors

"The sidewalk is a mess"
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Dear Park Board Commissioners,

I live in Vancouver, my partner and I have medical issues, Andrew has a cardiac stent, and is diabetic, he is 69 years old.  I have recovered from kidney cancer, and I have cardiac Afib now, and I am also 69 years old.  

It is imperative that we walk everyday.  The safest walk is the sidewalk on Stanley Park Drive.  

We set our alarm for 5:30 am, and we are out walking before the crowds, to social distance as much as possible.  Actually, we are nearly in isolation.  

I used to be a nurse in the operating room and as a supervisor at St. Paul’s Hospital, before I continued my education at the University of Alberta, and then worked for the Canadian Government and then the UN.  

Exercise is essential for us senior’s, and for the most part many are getting in much better shape on this same walk every day.  I chose to avoid crowds of cyclists.  I enjoy less exhaust fumes, and have worked for the City of Edmonton Transportation Committee, and realize that though in the long run it would be nice to have no cars, that, is likely not going to get better, before we have more stress on issues like “Participaction”.  We all need to get moving, difficult as it may be.  I am able to add my support to the future of our city, but, during COVid-19, I spend many hours indoors, now.

I have chatted with the Parks Board before because the only sidewalk is getting increasingly impossible to walk due to weeds.  At one time it was OK.  We always walk early and since the drive was closed to cars and opened to bicycles, it is not possible to share the road.  The cyclists feel very entitled and will actually aim at us, even though over a number of days we see less than 10 bicycles per day.  

The parks board said they would look at the sidewalk, and yesterday, they swept the road, and now it is worse.  The bicycles are over taking the road near the sidewalk where there were leaves, and the sidewalk is a mess.  This is a step backward, and a slap in the face, of the senior’s who walk there everyday.

We take many pictures, and there are really no cyclists.  Andrew says maybe 2 on the way up to Prospect Point and 3 or 4 on the way down.  Still they choose to curse us, and threaten to ride over us?  Really.  Can someone please get a weed wacker, and trim the weeds and trees.  I head out for a peaceful walk in the fresh air, not a war with cyclists.

Thank-you, 

Lanie Goebel