From the Chief Coroner’s Office
The Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario [OCCO] recently released two reports: Pedestrian Death Review [Sept 2012] and Cyclist Death Review [June 2012]. The reviews looked at all 95 pedestrian deaths in the province in 2010 and all 129 cyclist deaths from 2006-2010.
The OCCO’s motto is “We speak for the dead to protect the living.” With that in mind, both reviews looked at the cases in detail to determine a number of factors: who died and who was driving; time of day / week / year; environmental conditions; collision details; pedestrian / cyclist features; driver features, etc. Based on the results of the reviews, the OCCO has put forward very comprehensive recommendations to various provincial ministries.
Pedestrian Death Review recommendations include:
- Creation of “complete streets” designed to be safe, convenient and comfortable for every user, regardless of transportation mode, physical ability or age.
- Development of a Walking Strategy for Ontarians which encourages municipalities to develop policies, practices, and plans for safe and convenient pedestrian conditions for transportation including road safety, recreation and health.
Cyclist Death Review recommendations include:
- Development of an Ontario Cycling Plan to guide the development of policy, legislation and regulations and the commitment of infrastructure funding to support cycling in Ontario.
- Establishment of a “one-metre” rule for vehicles when passing cyclists.
- Identifying the development of paved shoulders on provincial highways as a high priority initiative.
For the full reports and recommendations, search Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario or click on the following link
Submitted by Michele Crowley
In August, we had a fun meeting riding the new Ride Norfolk bus with Brad Smith, Public Transportation Coordinator. We wanted to learn more about this rural bus and where it goes in relation to the trail heads.
Ride Norfolk operates weekdays, 8am to 6pm. Every day there is a Simcoe route and the schedule varies throughout the week bringing riders from other Norfolk communities. Check out their website for the complete schedule: www.ridenorfolk.ca.
The bus is equipped with a space for wheelchairs, which can ALSO be used to transport bicycles. With a little planning, you can use the bus to access different trails and explore different areas. Hop on the bus and go one way; then walk or bike back to your starting point.
Here is a suggestion to get you started: The Norfolk Sunrise Trail can be accessed just across the parking lot from the stop (S4) at the Health and Social Services office on Gilbertson Drive in Simcoe. Take the bus to S4 and then ride south through Simcoe, north to Waterford or west towards Delhi.
This is an exciting way to expand our trail horizons. We leave the combinations up to you. Try it out and let us know what route you used. Have fun!
Submitted by Joyce Flexman Chairman, P4P
A Bicycle Built for Two at Norview Lodge
Everyone remembers riding a bicycle in their younger years and until recently it was something that the residents of Norview Lodge only reminisced about. Thanks to the generosity of the Norview Auxiliary, the residents are once again able to enjoy the wind in their hair as they pedal their way around the home. The two-seater bike has drive chains that run independent of each other so the residents can pedal as much or as little as they are able. The residents ride with a staff person who generally takes responsibility for steering and using the brakes. Besides being a lot of fun, the bike is a great form of exercise. One resident who rode the bike said, “I feel like a kid again.”
Submitted by Val Holland
Healthy Forests for Healthy People
I recently attended the Ontario Forestry Association conference. This year’s theme was Healthy Forests for Healthy People and I thought it fit the goals and objectives of Pathways for People.
The forests are the lungs of the earth providing carbon sequestering [capturing and storing of atmospheric CO2], increased water quality and quantity and protection from wind and sun resulting in more even temperatures.
A number of research papers were presented. Some highlights include:
- Children are suffering from “nature deficit disorders” due to little or no time spent in the natural world.
- Kids who spend more than 2 hours a day, many of whom spend up to 7-8 hours in front of a computer or TV screen, are twice as likely to get asthma.
- Growing up in cities or urban areas is considered to be similar to an animal in a cage. Stressors are high density populations and electronics.
- Daycares are mandated to have children spend time outdoors but not necessarily in nature and are often on pavement. Green spaces next to schools have proven to increase performance.
- Even 20 minutes per day in a forest or green space have proven to increase liveliness, vigor, positive attitudes, reproductive health and empowerment AND decrease depression, fatigue, anger, stress, sensation of pain and attention deficit disorder.
- One study even had data to prove that hospital patients with a view of nature as opposed to those with a view of a brick wall needed less narcotics, complained less, slept better, and recovered faster.
Here in Norfolk we have many opportunities to walk, hike, bicycle, run, ski, picnic and play in the woods. So let’s do our children a service and get out as often as possible. Don’t let us be the “Last Child in the Woods”, the title of a book by Richard Louv – well worth reading!
Submitted by Anne Wynia
Mountain Bike Club Receives Trillium Grant
The Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club [TPMBC] has received an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant that will help the club improve its trail system on Turkey Point Crown lands. The club currently has 43 kms of single track trails on Provincial Park land and Ministry of Natural Resources [MNR] land that is managed by the St. Williams Conservation Reserve Community Council.
The club hopes to make navigating the network easier to encourage other outdoor enthusiasts such as runners, birders and hikers to access the trails. The plan is to install 12 large map signs throughout the network along with trailhead post markers and print 1500 map brochures that will be available to the general public. The club will be able to purchase tools and provide members with safe training to help maintain the trails. The signage system will be installed with volunteer labor provided by TPMBC membership.
An exciting proponent of the project is the replacement of three bridges over Gibson Creek with safer and sounder structures. A local contractor has been hired and will be assisted by MNR land managers. The plan is to cut on-site timber (Black Locust) and skid the logs for bridge supports to the bridge sites. The timber will be milled for deck boards and the safety railings will be natural for an aesthetic look.
The TPMBC project endeavors to make the trails safer and easier to use, reducing the environmental impact of trail users and enhancing the trail experience for tourists and local visitors alike. The project will begin in early October. For more information: contact Rob Luke at [email protected] net or visit our website: www.tpmbc.com.
Submitted by Rob Luke
Waterford Heritage Trail
The Waterford Heritage Trail and the Waterford Rail Lands Redevelopment Committee have some interesting plans in the works. We have $95,000 from Trillium to pave a trail from the Black Bridge into downtown Waterford. It will start about 100 metres south of the Co-op silos and curve under the Black Bridge, cross over the fishing access road and follow the shoreline into town. This trail will serve wheelchairs, scooters and rollerbladers as well as bikers and hikers.
We have a bridge on site awaiting refurbishing and placement over the western gap and are searching for a bridge to fill the eastern gap. Once these bridges are in place we will have three different routes into and out of Waterford. That is not all; soon we will build a walkway/stairway from the Black Bridge to the lower level.
Due to excellent fundraising we are able to turn our ideas into trail building. We thank our community for their support, a support which has fueled a sustained momentum over the last several years. Standing on the deck of the Black Bridge ideas come readily such as improved fishing access, canoeing and kayaking launch sites, tree culling to improve site lines and native species planting to fill in the gaps. And how about a dog park, a covered bridge and a trail from Thompson Rd. to Hwy 24? The ideas just keep coming and it is our fond hope to continue converting them into reality.
Submitted by Frank Woodcock
Norfolk Pathways for People Members
- Joyce Flexman, Chairperson
- Gord Mason, Trail Advisory Committee
- Al Ladd, Community member
- Ruth Loughton, Community member
- Anne Wynia, Community member
- Rob Luke, Lynn Valley Trail
- Ingrid Zyma-Irvin, Norfolk County Community Services Dept.
- Janice Robertson, Long Point Region Conservation Area
- Bruce Robinson, Community member
- Frank Woodcock, Waterford Heritage Trail
- Michele Crowley, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Interested in becoming a member of Pathways for People? Contact Michele at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3239.
Lynn Valley Trail Association
As of May 2012 it has been twenty years since Norfolk Regional Council turned the 11 kilometre rail line over to the Lynn Valley Trail Association on a 3 year trial basis. This was the culmination of a process that began as an informal discussion, in August 1988, by Chris Lee, Don Hurst, and Harry B. Barrett. The trail was opened officially to the public in May of 1993.
Trail users will notice some new signs on the trail this fall. The signs commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 indicating Sir Isaac Brock’s journey from York to Simcoe, and on to Port Dover using parts of what is now the Lynn Valley Trail. Brock left Port Dover in what historians describe as a fleet of 10 boats in need of repair on his way to the war at the western end of Lake Erie where he captured the American forces led by Hull at Detroit, in spite of being greatly outnumbered.
It is that time of year again and we urge you to once more support the Lynn Valley Trail with your membership fees and donations. If you are interested in becoming a new member, please 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 we continue to complete on the trail.
Lynn Valley Trail Association Annual General Meeting
Thursday, November 15th, 2012 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Port Dover Community Centre
- Guest Speaker – Rob Luke Speaking on The High Line Trail – New York City
- Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you.
Ontario Trails Activity Project
Norfolk County has initiated a trail use survey on four of its trails. The Norfolk Sunrise Trail, Waterford Heritage Trail, Delhi Rail Trail and the Lynn Valley Trail all have been incorporated into a larger province wide pilot project.
Designed to be easy to use off of any Smart Phone or mobile device, the application simply directs you through a QR code to an online survey. The survey asks 10 easy to answer questions about the trail, how far you travelled to use the trail and improvements you’d like to see on the trail, etc.
Don’t have a smart phone?
Visit these links online to complete the surveys.
Your input will help planners in developing trails that make a difference. Thanks!
Executive/directors for 2012
- President, Paul Beischlag – 519-426-8591
- Treasurer, Robert Johnston – 519-428-9913
- Secretary, Mike Davis – 519-429-3323
- Past President, Paul Cunningham – 519-583-1378
- Corina Bachmann – 519-428-8090
- Barb Boyko – 519-583-3971
- Dave Challen – 519-583-1090
- Diane Clark – 519-426-0339
- Scott Fletcher – 519-426-6218
- Rob Luke – 519-429-2879
- Malcolm Meller – 519-583-1124
- Peter Munzar – 519-583-1101
- Gord Pennington – 519-426-2676
- Dan Robinson – 519-428-2487
- Steve Tomajko – 519-428-2681
- Charlie Upshall – 519-583-9544