View Royal mayor voices concern after two close calls on bike

Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians – no group has a monopoly on bad behaviour, mayor says

View Royal Mayor David Screech took to social media this weekend to try and put the brakes on the increasing anger and hostility he’s witnessed and experienced towards cyclists after a couple of near misses last week that could have had devastating results.

Screech, a commuter cyclist since 2008, said he posted details of the incidents because of the importance of addressing courtesy and respect for all users of the road.

After leaving his store on Thursday at 5 p.m. to get to View Royal Town Hall for a meeting, Screech cycled along a route he takes frequently over the Bay Street Bridge, which he described as a harrowing experience, and then along Wilson Street.

Although Wilson Street is narrow, it allows him to connect with the E&N Trail, “where I can ride safely away from all drivers,” he explained. An SUV that passed him immediately moved as close as possible to the curb. “I would like to think this was accidental,” Screech said.

“I was lucky in that I was right by a driveway apron and was able to get off the road to avoid being hit.”

Although to the driver’s credit he did stop to ensure Screech was all right, he then launched into a tirade that included: “All cyclists are idiots and I should not be on the road. A car that was forced to stop behind also chimed in throwing all sorts of pleasant adjectives my way, not only about me, but cyclists in general, ” according to Screech’s post.

“Clearly it was very inconvenient for them to have to stop for a moment to see if someone was alright.”

READ ALSO: Five things you should know before biking in Victoria’s fall weather

The next morning, Screech was cycling along his daily commute that takes him along the Galloping Goose past several roads that include stop signs and signage that cyclists have the right of way. “You always have to be exceedingly careful at these and drive defensively,” Screech noted.

After a driver drove through the stop sign and across the trail near the Red Lion Hotel in what he described as a very close call, Screech says the driver told him to be more careful.

“The growing intolerance and indifference between different user groups on our roads is very worrying. The anger and dislike for cyclists is really worrying. I see it on social media daily and I really see it on the roads.”

A cyclist is seldom going to walk away unscathed in an altercation with a motor vehicle, Screech said. “Our roads belong to all.”

Climate change and the resulting need to reduce the use of fossil fuels will result in more cyclists on the road, he said. “We need to coexist peacefully.”

Screech pointed out that that he sees bad cyclists, drivers and pedestrians every day, and no particular group has a monopoly on bad behaviour.

“All user groups need to start following the rules of the road and treat all other user groups with the respect they deserve.”

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VicPD confirms wolf sighting in James Bay

Police ask that children and pets be taken inside

VIDEO: Furry, four-legged donors make their way to doggy blood drive in Langford

WAVES and Canadian Animal Blood Bank host blood drive for dogs

Annual Salmon Carcass Transplant draws Saanich residents to Douglas Creek

More than 100 frozen salmon tossed into the creek as part of ecological restoration

Colwood hosts open house on future of Royal Bay community

Event takes place on Jan. 22 at Royal Bay Secondary from 6 to 8 p.m.

WATCH: Police warn car break-ins are on the rise in Greater Victoria

Residents can ‘take precautions to make their vehicle undesirable,’ says VicPD spokesperson

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read