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SHARE THE ROAD: Children on Cariboo roads

Who should be on the road and at what age?
Bert Groenenberg is an avid cyclist who enjoys riding his bike for freedom and fitness. Groenenberg appreciated the bicycle-themed sculpture in downtown Rossland on a road trip. (Photo submitted)

This column is an imaginary correspondence between Maddie the Motorist, Byron the Bicyclist and Patty the Pedestrian. It is meant to educate as well as entertain the reader.

Dear Byron the Bicyclist;

When you bicycled in Ontario, did you notice any difference in the rules around bicycling? It seems strange that young children have to ride on the road. Sidewalks would seem a much safer choice for children.

Signed; Patty the Pedestrian

Hello Patty the Pedestrian;

As far as I could tell, the rules in both B.C. and Ontario at the provincial level are the same on this issue. But one Ontario government supported website states children aged 10 and under are not encouraged to bicycle on the road.

Local governments can and do pass bylaws on this. Toronto has a bylaw allowing children aged 14 and under on their sidewalks. This makes a lot of sense, in my opinion.

Growing up as a kid, most of us from about Grade 3 through high school biked to school. It was a healthy way of getting the morning cobwebs out of our heads and our brains in gear. We were more alert in class.

What changed? In the 1970s, a second family vehicle became common, so more kids got a ride to school.

Did you know Williams Lake is part of B.C.’s Fall GoByBike events? It started on Monday, Oct. 3 and goes to Oct. 16. There are six different events planned. Check it out at .

Signed; Byron the Bicyclist

Dear Byron;

Mmmm, I did say I might try biking again. The Critical Mass Bike Ride from Spirit Square, aka Old Court House Square looks like fun. I can brush off my rusty but trusty old bike and join in. Riding might clear my head too! Thanks.

Patty the Pedestrian

Bert Groenenberg is a cyclist and pedestrian who has mainly biked or walked to work on Oliver Street for 30 years.

Read more: COLUMN: Learning to Share the Road

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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