Our Pathways for People committee has been very busy since our last newsletter. June saw a successful first Open Streets event in downtown Simcoe. Pathways volunteers were able to assist the organizers of the event, the Downtown Simcoe BIA and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. We have received great feedback which may lead to future car-free events.
In August we hooked into the Doors Open event in Waterford by staging our first Trails Open event – guided walks and a bike ride on the Waterford Heritage Trail. Walkers made a loop from the park on Mechanic Street, to the new spur line trail and back along the Waterford Heritage Trail. Cyclists had the opportunity to head a bit further north. We also took a peek at the north end of the trestle bridge- a future link of the Waterford trail. People attended from as far away as Toronto and Kitchener!
After much background work, the Share the Road program launched with road signs and bumper magnets. There will be more education on safety on roads to come in the New Year. Norfolk County has erected new green trail markers showing distances and marking cross roads. We never forget that sidewalks are also trails and we are glad to see new subdivisions being built with provision for sidewalks being posted. We have been listening to concerns regarding entrances to trails and accessibility. Some entrances have already been widened and more to come. Please keep abreast of the changes on our website. Our efforts are paying off. We are happy to see more and more people of Norfolk and beyond out and enjoying our trails and sidewalks.
Submitted by: Joyce Flexman
Trail Talk – Share the Road Please
A recent Share the Road awareness campaign has been launched locally by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, Pathways for People, the OPP and Norfolk County’s Roads Department. A total of 25 signs have been placed along Norfolk County’s popular cycling routes with the intention of making our roads safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. If ever there was a program invented that saves lives and prevents carnage, this is it!
In 2008, 12 cyclists were killed in Ontario along with 2015 serious car/cyclist collisions. A big problem is motorists’ lack of respect for cyclists. Many motorists scorn cyclists and honestly believe they have no right to be on the road. However, cyclists share a lot of the blame for lack of respect for the rules of the road. Who hasn’t driven down a road and witnessed some ridiculous and dangerous antics by someone on a bike? Surveys have found that responsibility for car/cyclist collisions is shared 50/50. Awareness and education is the answer.
The Ontario Medical Association is recommending that changes be made to the Ontario Driver’s Manual. Currently, there is very little information about driver safety in regards to approaching cyclists and pedestrians. All people using Norfolk’s beautiful road system must be more considerate and more attentive to all other users. Everybody needs to follow the traffic laws.
The spirit of this initiative can best be summed up by Mayor Dennis Travale: Same roads – Same rules – Same rights.
Submitted by: Rob Luke
It Doesn’t Hurt to Wear a Helmet
Bicycle riding is fun, healthy and a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. But it is important to remember that a bicycle is not a toy; it’s a vehicle. Research at The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto has shown that provinces which have adopted mandatory bicycle helmet legislation have had a significant reduction in the number of bicycle-related head injuries in children. In 5 provinces in Canada, including Ontario, it is mandatory for children under the age of 18 to wear a helmet. The fine under the Highway Traffic Act: 104 (2.1) for failure to wear a proper helmet on a bicycle is $60.00 plus court costs and administration fee for a total of $75.00 Head injuries have devastating results and sometimes even minor head injuries have long-term consequences.; Head injuries are the number one cause of serious injury and death to kids on wheels. In fact, Safe Kids Canada data states that 20 children age 14 and under die each year from bicycle related injuries and about 1,800 are hospitalized. The good news is that a properly fitted, correctly worn bicycle helmet cuts the risk of serious head or brain injury by as much as 85%. It is estimated that 75% of bicycle related fatalities among children could be prevented with a bicycle helmet. Adults are strongly encouraged to wear helmets too. Bike injuries can happen anywhere, anytime. Stay Alert! Be Prepared!
Submitted by Karin Marks – Injury Prevention Health Promoter, HNHU
Turkey Point Mountain Biking Club
The newly formed Turkey Point Mountain Biking Club [TPMBC] has generated a lot of interest and we now have 52 paid memberships. We have recently secured Memorandums of Understanding with the Turkey Point Provincial Park and the Ministry of Natural Resources to maintain our trails on crown lands. Over the winter we plan on finishing our maps and begin a signage system to make the trails more user-friendly and allow easier access for cyclists and hikers. We have been entertaining weekly rides and the turnout has been large and enthusiastic! Our ride schedule will be posted on our website.
Mark your calendars!
TPMBC fun day and group ride is Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. at Long Point eco-adventures. There will be guided rides for all ability groups with a BBQ to follow. Please visit our website for more information: http://tpmbc.ca/
Waterford Heritage Trail
We love our trail and share the appreciation with others. Simcoe Minor Lacrosse has offered to adopt a section of trail to use for training purposes and will keep their section tidy. This is community cooperation at work.
By now you know of the Waterford Rail Land Redevelopment Project, a WHT subcommittee of interested community individuals whose purpose it is to beautify the lands between the Black Bridge and the downtown. We are talking of canoe and kayak launching sites, fishing piers, benches, two walking bridges to span gaps under the Black Bridge, access to the Waterford Ponds beyond the bridge and a trail from the Black Bridge into town.
As you can tell it is an exciting time for the WHT. We’ve opened a trail loop from Mechanic St., across Robinson and back to the Ponds. This loop was featured at the inaugural Ontario Trails Open event. We were proud to share with those attending news that construction would start on the Black Bridge and will be completed by the end of October.
We invite you to come and enjoy the view from the Bridge and visualize the potential of interactive parkland stretching to the town core and encourage you to spread the word about Norfolk County’s newest jewel.
Submitted by: Frank Woodcoc
Norfolk Pathways for People Members • www.norfolkpathways.ca
- Joyce Flexman, Chairperson
- Donna McMillan, Port Dover Enhancement Association
- Gord Mason, Trail Advisory Committee
- Al Ladd, Community member
- Ruth Loughton, Community member
- Anne Wynia, Community member
- Rob Luke, Lynn Valley Trail
- Sam Menhinick, Community member
- Janice Robertson, Long Point Region Conservation Authority
- Ingrid Zyma-Irvin, Norfolk County Community Services Dept. 519-426-8866 Ext. 2303
- Bruce Robinson, Community member
- Frank Woodcock, Waterford Heritage Trail
- Michele Crowley, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit 519-426-6170 Ext. 3239
Tidbits from the Lynn Valley Trail
Our newly planted Carolinian trees are doing well despite the hot summer. This past spring we planted two tulip trees, two Kentucky coffees, three service berries, five elderberry shrubs and seven redbuds along the trail. Thanks to our watering crews, the trees survived the hot summer (with the exception of one tulip tree), and we look forward to seeing the new growth and blooms next spring. Thank you, Jacqueline Champagne, from County Corks in Port Dover for supplying our watering buckets.
It’s that time of year again and we urge you to once again support the Lynn Valley Trail with your membership fees and donations. If you are interested in becoming a new member, visit our website at www.lynnvalleytrail.ca and click on the Become a Member section. Your support covers the cost of maintenance and the many improvements that we continue to complete on the trail.
Norfolk County Fair Contest
The LVTA will again sponsor a photography and artwork contest at the fall fair. The contest will be open to elementary and secondary school students. We hope the contest encourages families to get out on the trail for some family fun and picture taking.
Annual General Meeting
Our AGM is approaching and will be held November 17th at the Talbot Street Arena, Simcoe, in the meeting room at 7:30 p.m. We’ll provide an update as well as plan for 2012 trail activities and enjoy a guest speaker. Please plan on attending.
2011 Slate of Officers
- President: Paul Cunningham • 519-583-1378
- Treasurer: Robert Johnstone • 519-428-9913
- Secretary: Paul Beischlag • 519-426-8591
- Past President: Rob Luke • 519-428-2439
- Jane Ashenden…………………519-428-8615
- Bob Borthwick ………………..519-583-1970
- Scott Fletcher ………………….519-426-6218
- Mike Davis ………………………519-429-3323
- Bill Macdonald ………………..519-583-0324
- Malcolm Meller ……………….519-583-9720
- Peter Munzar …………………..519-583-1101
- Gord Pennington …………….519-426-2676
- Dan Robinson …………………519-428-2487
- Charlie Upshall ………………..519-583-9544
- Barb Boyko ……………………..519-583-3971
- Diane Clark……………………..519-426-0339
This is a picture of the old Burt Bridge before the pilings were replaced. Notice the log jam under the bridge stuck against the bridge’s pilings. Volunteers of LVTA yearly wade into the Lynn River with chain saws and cut out the logs to relieve stress and wear on the bridge. The time frame for doing this job is limited as the Lynn River must be low and we can- not disturb the fish habitat during spawning season (spring). The piling clean-up is also required at the Robinson and Rotary Bridges. For more information, contact us at www.lynnvalleytrail.ca.
Submitted by: Rob Luke