I am writing you regarding children, youth and adults in Ladysmith riding on the sidewalks. For the past three years, I have been witness to near misses and potential accidents between pedestrians and riders of bikes while occupying the same sidewalk.
In April 2008, I crashed my mountain bike while riding in Chemainus and as a result of a head injury suffered in that crash, I cannot sense when someone comes up along my left hand side.
I have had bicycle riders come up behind me on the sidewalk and pass by me without the decency to announce themselves. This creates anxiety in me and triggers me back to the bike accident. I have had to go into local businesses in order to calm myself.
I have spoken to several businesses along First Avenue, city hall, RCMP, BCAA, and ICBC regarding the sidewalk bicycle riding and most agree people should not be riding on the sidewalks. But people are still continuing to ride on the sidewalk and it will only be a matter of time before someone is injured.
I have encountered several bicycle riders riding on the sidewalks in Ladysmith and have asked that they ride in the street as is correct. I have been verbally abused by both youth and adults, some with very young children with them.
The anxiety that is triggered by having someone come up beside me on a silent bike is too much to bear and I am increasingly fearful of walking on the downtown sidewalks. I am now also fearful of verbal threats from bicycle riders when I ask them to use the roadway.
Please, stop riding on the sidewalks, it is prohibited by the Town of Ladysmith, and people are getting hurt. Use the roadway as is proper and leave the sidewalks safer for pedestrians.