My post on Cycling in Sooke was a pretty scathing indictment of the current situation in that area, so close to the wonderful Galloping Goose Cycling Trail. In response, I am happy to say that I have just received two very constructive and encouraging emails: one from the Mayor of Sooke, and one from Sooke’s Engineering Technologist.
It goes to show that it is worth raising our concerns – someone might just listen. For so long I have simmered and raged about injustices, but said nothing. This feels so much better!
I encourage everyone who loves to cycle and encounters difficulties, to voice their concerns to anyone and everyone who might be able to change things for the better.
Here is Mayor Janet Evan’s response:
Thank you for your email and for bringing your concerns to my attention. I am sorry that you did not enjoy your experience in Sooke. Council and staff are working hard to change the issues you spoke about. As a matter of fact we are dealing with a proposal at tonight’s meeting to bring the Goose across the river and into our trails. Local businesses are also being encouraged to have bicycle parking on site. Cyclists are not allowed on Whiffin Spit as it is a heavily used park for walkers and dogs, but indeed we should have cycle parking there. I will share your blog with staff and we will make changes in the future.
Mayor – District of Sooke”
Here is the response of Laura Byrne, Engineering Technologist of Sooke:
“Dear Mr. Goodwill,
Thank you for the feedback. The District of Sooke is well aware of the poor connectivity between the Galloping Goose Trail and downtown Sooke. We are currently in the preliminary design stage of a crossing of the Sooke River to remedy this and to allow for safe and effective means for pedestrians and cyclist to access the Town Centre. Construction of the Galloping Goose Connector Trail and Bridge is expected in 2012.
We appreciate the valuable comments regarding the value of cycling tourists to our local economy. Your feedback will be passed to the Chamber of Commerce and the Sooke Economic Development Commission to raise awareness of the issues facing people travelling to our community by bikes. The Sooke Cycling Coalition is currently working with the Capital Regional District to ensure signage on the Galloping Goose to local amenities will improve the user’s experience.
Regarding the lack of bike racks at local business is very valid and will be discussed with the Chamber of Commerce. Staff will also raise this issue as new applications for development are received.
Your feedback is appreciated and provides support for the work that we are conducting to improve these linkages.
Laura Byrne BSc(Agr.) MSc
District of Sooke”
So it looks like in the fairly near future, Sooke may become a great destination for cycling tourists!