Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 08:46:42 -0800
Subject: Dangerous Cycling on Observatory Hill
As the prime riding season ends I unfortunately have to say that the word regarding safe cycling and the possible consequences at Observatory Hill does not seem to be reaching or sinking in with a number of riders. While the majority are respectful of the rules, incidents of speeding, helmetless riders, unsafe practices and disrespect to staff or commissionaires continues.
Just recently we had a very near miss of a head-on collision between a car and a cyclist just below the White House. In this case, a descending cyclist travelling at high speed cut the corner into the ascending lane and at the last minute managed to just veer clear of an upcoming vehicle. This cannot go on. Someone will eventually get seriously injured. We continue to document too many reports of speeding cyclists and other incidents. Unfortunately we are generally unable to catch the offending cyclist(s) because they know when they have been spotted doing something wrong. By the time the incident is relayed to appropriate staff and they are able to respond, the rider(s) have left the hill.
Safety is the utmost priority, but chasing down rogue cyclists is not what we were hired to do. We understand that the offending individuals are in the minority and that some are independent individuals but, going by the attire descriptions, it’s likely that at least some belong to cycling teams or clubs. It is apparent that we’re still not connecting with these riders and we all need to do more. The bottom line and unfortunate situation is that the riders who refuse to follow the rules may spoil it for everyone. We are currently moving ahead with the installation of a sign at the main entrance gate with a message directed specifically to cyclists.
Please pass this and my annual message on to not only your team or circle of cycling friends but also to those other cycling enthusiasts that you encounter on Observatory Hill but may not know. Hopefully with your help we can continue to allow access while ensuring safety for all site users.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Clyde Donnelly, FMA
Site Infrastructure Manager