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LETTER: Bow Valley Parkway should be open for all people, not just cyclists

LETTER: The Bow Valley Parkway, this "great asset", must continue to be maintained as a shared roadway for all to enjoy.


As a resident of the Bow Valley for over 35 years, I am writing in vehement opposition to any notion of closing the eastern portion of the Bow Valley Parkway for the exclusive use of cyclists. It was bad enough the road was closed for three months denying use to all but cyclists, but now they selfishly want it all for themselves. This stretch of the parkway is arguably the most scenic of the entire route and should be able to be enjoyed by all citizens.

According to the dedication clause of the Canada National Parks Act,  “National Parks of Canada are hereby dedicated to the people for their benefit, education and enjoyment”.  Nowhere does it mention this enjoyment is exclusive to one user group – in this case, cyclists.

Parks are for all citizens, whether they bike or not and to make the parkway cycling only deprives others of enjoying their heritage and rights  How fair is this?

Not everyone is able or willing to cycle and rely on motorized vehicles to enjoy the parkway. Why do cyclists insist on denying other people the use of this wonderful drive?

It is simply unethical and inequitable. It is most ironic that vehicle drivers are quite willing to share the road with cyclists but cyclists are unwilling to share.

Vehicle drivers also pay licence fees to drive on public roads whereas cyclists do not. Vehicle drivers must pass tests to drive on the road. Cyclists do not. Vehicle drivers pay insurance to drive on public roads. Cyclists do not. Where do cyclists come off saying they own the road and have exclusive rights over it?

One has to be troubled at the prospect of knowing such action by cyclists is teaching our children how to be greedy, selfish, and exclusionary. One also has to wonder how cyclists would react if the shoe was on the other foot and it was they who were being excluded. The fact is, no one user group should ever have exclusive use of a common property resource.

To say cyclist groups are not “shutting down everything to vehicles” totally misses the point. No part of the park should be for the exclusive use of one user group, especially the most scenic part of the montane.

Closing the parkway would be a travesty of justice and is totally unacceptable. The Bow Valley Parkway, this “great asset”, must continue to be maintained as a shared roadway for all to enjoy.

Mark A. Bowes,


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