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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 6, 2020
In reference to The Guardian’s article (Tweel wants security boosted in Victoria Park, June 11). It is hoped this letter will help to enlighten all why this is needed.
In regards to the Victoria Park Waterfront Areas, made up of the boardwalk, driving lane, cannons parking area, the inside bike lane and as of 2019 the "floating dock", rules have always been there.
In their defence, parks and recreation have posted signs at each end of the boardwalk, beginning of bike lane on Kent Street, on the gate entrance to the floating dock and handicap signs regarding parking and pavement markings, all in an effort to educate the public as who can and can’t use that particular area. In addition, signs are now posted for social distancing due to COVID-19.
Problem: Some people just do not read the signs or just ignore the rules.
It was very obvious during the busy summer of 2019, that many rule abuses happened in this area by many people. Generally, most of the common sense, taxpaying, law-abiding citizens followed these rules over many years but were now forced to be disrupted and rule abused by people who have the attitude, "I have the right to do what I want, where I want and when I want." Just an example: Rollerbladers, skateboarders, bicyclers, and more on the boardwalk.
One partial exception: A couple of years ago a proclamation was in The Guardian by the parks and recreation chairman regarding no smoking in and on all City of Charlottetown properties, including Victoria Park.
Somehow, it was forgotten to put up a sign at the “cannons parking area” or anywhere along the waterfront parking areas making this no smoking rule known. Consequently, the cannons parking area is a “smokers’ paradise“!
In the spring/summer/fall, it is difficult and unhealthy for non-smokers with windows down for the fresh air when these smokers pull up next to you and stand outside their car to smoke in order to keep their car clean inside.
A person attending the public meeting on the floating dock in 2019 asked who was going to police this new dock? The response was, You, the public! Gasp!
Last summer (2019), city council was made aware of the many rule abuses occurring on the floating dock and the nearby boardwalk by email reports witnessed by our Concerned Citizens Group for the Victoria Park Waterfront Areas. There were some unbelievable “dillies”!
In addition, the prohibited kayakers, etc. carried their boats along the boardwalk to/from the dock in among adults and children. It was very obvious the kayakers and other boaters didn’t read the gate sign or deliberately ignored it.
Like everything else anywhere, if one person breaks the rules, the next person says, “ Well, if he can do it, so can I.” It goes on from there to chaos.
Our group did not feel comfortable submitting any of these reports. By last September (2019) it was hoped that city council recognized there was a need for more security in this area to make sure the rules were followed.
Four times a week, Thursday to Sunday evenings is not good enough. A lot of abuse of the rules happens seven days a week during the day time.
Posting security even 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week on the Victoria Park Waterfront Areas would be a big help.
It is great to see Coun. Mitch Tweel seeking more security for Victoria Park. I certainly support his request for extra security for the boardwalk, “no smoking”, etc. issues, and realize vandalism is probably an issue elsewhere in the park during the night.
The day may come when city hall has to make laws with financial penalties just like highway driving laws for people to obey the rules but first parks and rec need to make it their job to see that pre-teens, teenagers and adults know the rules for everyone to enjoy the privilege to use Victoria Park. I suggest a good “public relations” campaign starting right on the boardwalk.
We all take for granted that Victoria Park is our “crown jewel” but she won’t be much longer especially when all the tourists come back after COVID-19 if we continue to allow the chaos that existed in the summer of 2019 especially on the boardwalk, floating dock and the bike lane.
In conclusion, recently it was wonderful to see the parks and rec staff planting the flowers in Victoria Park. We all enjoy their floral beauty in Victoria Park’s Waterfront Areas. Thank you !
We are so fortunate to have this special Victoria Park ... protect her!
Stella (Robbins) Newman is a concerned citizen for Victoria Park’s waterfront areas and a resident of Charlottetown.