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!
Here are more posts about bike trails.
Tim Ayres says
I came across your post via Twitter (I monitor all things Sooke). I’d never thought of the issues you raised and I’m glad that Mayor and staff got back to you as that was the first thing I thought of when I read your first post (that they’d be extending the Goose soon). I will write a post on my blog about this (http://642Blog.ca) .
Just thought I’d let you know that Council has a great relationship with the Chamber of Commerce and local businesses, and your concerns will definitely be passed on to the business community.
You should also get in touch with Sooke Cycle (http://SookeBikes.com) if you’re ever brave enough to come back – the owner over there is a passionate cycling advocate.
Thanks for taking the time to help improve our town.
Hi Tim, nice to hear from you. Thanks for being so positive. It’s really exciting to me that my blog is reaching people and having some kind of impact. It reminds me of my favourite quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If each of us just does our own little thing, we can make a difference. Oh and of course, that’s like that other quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.”
I am also excited to hear that business men like you are open to these issues. Please let me know when you publish that post!
Stephen Hindrichs says
I just came across this post in your blog. THANK YOU! We need to hear this sort of message from people other than myself and a few dedicated cyclists here in Sooke.
I started the Juan De Fuca Cycling Coalition precisely for the reasons you have mentioned. It is a bit of a slow slog, but there is progress being made.
Check out the blog at jdfcycle.blogspot.com. I have put in a link to your post. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions. Next time you come out this way, I hope things will be better. The highway is being improved in some places and hopefully by next summer we will have some signage on the Goose. Give me a call when you come and I can show you around to the places you missed!
I am so happy to hear from you! To me this is all about the power of the net – instead of being isolated, fuming individuals, we can connect in all kinds of ways, and work TOGETHER to be and effect the change we want to see in the world.
I will definitely try to connect with you when next we do the Goose – probably not till next Spring, sadly.
More power to you and your Juan De Fuca Cycling Coalition. I will put a link on my blog to your blog, so more people know about it.