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Irresponsible dog owners are the problem

The suggestion by Dan Faas to ban cyclist in dog parks (Jim Uffleman) is the most absurd idea.

The suggestion by Dan Faas to ban cyclist in dog parks (Jim Uffleman) is the most absurd idea. What is next? Kids with scooters? People with limited mobility on the electric scooters? Old people, Young people? Are you kidding me? I like to remind him that this is not a dog park but a park for people to enjoy! That comes with responsibility, respect and courtesy toward other park and pathway users as he indicates. The Town of Cochrane graciously allow dogs to be off- leash. This comes with an additional responsibility for the dog owners! The town's bylaw is very clear on this! It states that dogs must be under control at all times! This is where the trouble starts! In addition, the Town of Cochrane placed a beautiful sign in honor of Jim Uffleman. If you like it or not, the first thing on this sign tells us that we are using this park at our own risk! If you are not willing to take this extra responsibility and risk, don’t go there! About his story about a cyclist riding extremely fast, I have this to say. Yes, I agree there is no place for racing on the pathways. However, to blame it only on cyclists and ban them is ridiculous. I don’t think he understands the science of riding a bicycle. First of all, you are on two wheels and need at least a minimum forward motion in order to keep your balance. He says the bicyclist “was riding extremely fast, and hit a dog very hard.” I have been riding my bike all my life and I can tell you that when going “extremely fast” and you collide with something (in this case a dog) you will lose you balance and gravity takes over. You will hit the ground hard! The likelihood of biking away as he claims is very unlikely. This makes me wonder if he even has his story straight! I am not saying there was no incident and I hope both the dog and cyclist are OK. I am a senior and I love to ride my bike just as much has he loves to walk his dog I am sure. I had many near misses. Not because I was going fast but because dogs were not under control! To say, ban cyclist, is him telling me there is no place for you there and my dog has priority. This would elevate a dog over a human being. In this case we do not have our priorities straight. I would even say that it borders on the discrimination and this attitude is not acceptable! Since I am on this subject, with the increasing number of dogs in Cochrane, I agree that we do need more dog parks. They need to be away from multi-user pathways, rivers and must be enclosed by a fence. This will ensure the safety of the dogs and other pathway users. Another thing that boggles my mind is the total disrespect of our beautiful Bow River by some dog owners. This is our drinking water. The banks are so badly eroded from people and dogs going in and out of the river, that when we are going to get another similar rain storm as we had in 2013 those banks are in serious jeopardy. Who is going to pick-up the cost of repair if at all possible? In addition, this area is almost bare. Dirt and silt runs off into the river during rain. What does this do to health of fish and other wildlife in the river? Contractors working on the Griffen Road extension toward the new bridge are required to place containment liners just to prevent this from happening during construction. Does the town have two standards? I am a pathway user, on my bike, even away from off-leash areas I do not always feel safe because of irresponsible dog owners. Having said all this, and with the increasing number of dogs and pathway users in parks, I think it is high time to set some strict rules and that those rules are being enforced just as with traffic rules. Gary Kooistra.