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

Canadian warship HCMS Regina sails past Sidney

The vessel recently returned from the world’s largest naval exercise

Wildfire smoke expected to blanket Greater Victoria again

Conditions expected to worsen Wednesday afternoon but not approach levels reached a few weeks ago

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Reader photos: Sun rises and sets over Oak Bay

Sunrise from an early morning yoga session at Oak Bay Beach Hotel… Continue reading

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Shoplifting suspect allegedly spits on worker at store in Nanaimo

Suspect became aggressive when confronted by loss prevention officer at Walmart, say RCMP

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Most Read