I disagree with Garry Kooistra’s opinion that collisions between dogs and cyclists in an off-leash park are the fault of dog owners. If the cyclist hit a child instead of a dog, would we say the parents are responsible? The problem is mixing pedestrian traffic, off-leash dogs and wheeled traffic (bicycles, scooters, in-line skaters and skateboarders) in the same area.
Calgary implemented twin pathways around sections of the Glenmore Reservoir to separate pedestrians from wheeled traffic which works great. In our case, we also need to ensure the safety of our off-leash friends who are already restricted to a few small areas within Cochrane, unlike bikes and pedestrians that can go where they please. Pedestrians can head west on the path from the Jim Uffelmann parking lot, or head over the bridge and enjoy the path on the south side of the river. I’m always amazed when people complain about an area with off-leash dogs when they have so many other choices to avoid them.
Development of Greystone which abuts the Jim Uffelmann park will seriously increase the number of park users both canine and human so our potential for incidents is set to increase unless wheeled traffic is diverted perhaps onto a designated bike lane through Greystone. This would increase park safety for all.
Until a solution is implemented, the onus is on wheeled users to slow down whenever approaching and passing human and canine pedestrians. A 10 km maximum for wheeled traffic in designated off-leash parks would be a good start.