My wife and I regularly walk our dog off-leash at Mount Douglas Park, several times a week, often every day in the morning or evening. It is the closest large park to allow our dog to run freely; she is a very active standard poodle. It was with dismay that, commencing in July, we frequently find ourselves unable to park at the Glendenning entrance to Mt. Doug Park.
I have some painful medical conditions that only allow me to walk limited distances, albeit with hiking poles to alleviate the back and leg pains. This means that we need to park our car as close to the park as possible. Since ‘No Parking’ signs have been posted all the way along Glendenning, on both sides, the parking is now limited to a tiny section at the entrance to the park. Actually, only five vehicles can park there. There should be parking for 15 vehicles, at least.
Having talked with many park users in the past few weeks, it is apparent that most of them decry the new no-parking zones that limit their access to a part of the park that lends itself well to dog walking and for those with limited mobility. The trails are not too steep on this side, making them more usable for a significant number of us.
There is ample space immediately adjacent to the current small parking area to create a larger parking area, without cutting down any large trees. It would only require the removal of brush, mostly snowberry, and levelling of the land and the laying down of some gravel or road mulch.
I emailed the Saanich mayor and council over four weeks ago regarding this issue and have not yet had a considered response to our concern and proposal.
Saanich should consider our concern in light of their Trail Master Plan, which states: “It creates the greatest variety of opportunities for the greatest number of users and is accessible to all.”