Saanich Peninsula horse riders have started a petition, which currently has over 1000 signatures, to stop the paving of a section of the Lochside Trail.
The unpaved areas are located between Island View Road in Central Saanich and Lochside Park in Saanich. Paving the trail would mean horses would no longer be able to use it.
According to the petition, the trail segments are frequently used by horses and are near numerous stables. Horse riders contend that the Lochside Trail is and should remain, a multi-use trail for horses, as well as pedestrians and cyclists. Particularly in the areas near stables and Agricultural Land Reserve Areas.
The petition includes this letter to the CRD:
Keep the Lochside Trail multi-use, for horses too!
The equestrian community of the Capital Regional District petition the CRD to leave the section of Lochside Trail between Island View Road (Central Saanich) and Lochside Park (Saanich) unpaved and open to horses. This is one of the very few trails still suitable for horseback riding within a rural, agricultural community. This section of trail passes directly through Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) land and the heart of the horse county on the Peninsula and is surrounded by horse farms paying the property taxes in the area. Banning horses from this section of the trail is in direct contraction to the CRD’s stated Vision and Management Principles to facilitate “healthy lifestyles for people of all ages and abilities” and to “work together to create and maintain a trail system that accommodates a diversity of users, promotes respect among users and supports positives experiences for all.”
Citizens can comment on the CRD plan until the end of this month.