Safety of daughter came first
Mother who caused stir on cycling lane at Charlottetown’s Victoria Park says she’ll be back and will follow the rules
A Fort Augustus mother who caused a stir over the cycling lane at Victoria Park in Charlottetown says she intends to follow the rules
Earlier this week, Kayla Hainer, a mother of three young children, was walking one child in a stoller while her mother was walking another child in a separate stroller as her third child rode her bicycle in the cycling lane.
Strollers are prohibited on the cycling lane.
While they were walking, and riding, a woman came along and accosted Hainer for walking strollers in the cycling lane. It has since become a big topic of conversation, especially on The Guardian’s Facebook page.
“I am flabbergasted because I didn’t realize there would be so much controversy,’’ Hainer said Friday. “For me, it was a big safety issue. I couldn’t have my 10-year-old daughter on (the cycling lane) while I walked on the boardwalk.’’
Hainer knew if she had used the boardwalk and had her daughter cycling with her that people would have been upset about a bicycle being on the boardwalk where it’s not allowed.
“I had to choose what was best and being beside her and being her alert system was the best thing for me. I had to make a parental decision where I wanted my child safe and that was the bottom line.’’
The City of Charlottetown issued a news release on Friday reminding people of acceptable uses on the cycling lane. Allowable uses include bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, inline skates and other self-propelled wheeling devices. For safety reasons, walkers and runners, including those pushing a stroller or walking a pet, are not permitted.
The only scenario where the parks and recreation department feels it is appropriate for a walker to be on the cycling lane would be in the case of a parent or guardian providing “concentrated assistance to walk alongside a young cyclist’’.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel, chairman of the parks and recreation committee, addressed the confusion.
“Our main concern is safety for all users of the park, and that is why we have posted signs to clearly display what types of active transportation are permitted,’’ Tweel said.
“We continue to encourage young cyclists to use the cycling lane and get used to cycling on a roadway type surface. In some cases, this means a parent or guardian walking beside the child.’’
The public works department will be painting a centre line on the newly paved section of the cycling lane next week to help control the traffic and allow users the appropriate space to travel both directions.
Hainer said this experience hasn’t soured her on Victoria Park.
“Oh, of course,’’ she said when asked if she’d be back. “We love Victoria Park.’’
However, next time if she needs to push the stroller and has the daughter on her bike she’ll take Cycling P.E.I.’s advice and use the path above the cycling lane. The path is paved between Fanningbank and the band shell while the other half is hard-packed clay.
Or, she’ll simply find a babysitter for her youngest two, take her own bicycle and cycle with her daughter.