Paula Murray is still recovering from injuries she sustained while out on an evening walk on a lakeside promenade in Penticton on Aug. 22.
“I got slammed into by a longboarder,” the 74-year-old woman told Global News.
She was walking on the multi-use path along Lakeshore Road when she says a longboarder came flying by.
Murray said after this latest incident and two other previous near-misses, she wants to see the pathway become pedestrian only and she’s calling on the City of Penticton to ban all recreational wheeled units, motorized or not.
“I have a broken, complete break on my right arm plus a hairline fracture,” she said. “But it’s not the break or the fracture that are sore. It’s the bruising that I’m having trouble with.”
Murray is badly bruised on her right arm and thigh.
Her friend Herta Suderman was out walking with her the night of the collision.
“It was just terrible. Yeah. I mean, if it had just been a touch, but no, it came very, very fast,” Suderman said.
While Murray said she was in a lot of pain, she added that she feels lucky her injuries weren’t worse.
“I’m so thankful that I didn’t suffer a brain injury or a broken hip,” she said. “I’m very thankful that I got away with what I did.”
The walkway is a multi-use path and shared with cyclists, skateboarders and those using motorized units, such as scooters and e-bikes.
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“Wheeled bicycles, like regular bicycles. I don’t know when they’ve ever been allowed on the sidewalk before,” Murray said. “So they should be removed from here also.”
Kristen Dixon, general manager of infrastructure with the City of Penticton, told Global News the city is well aware of some the issues that arise from a shared pathway.
She added that the city does receive calls of concern, mainly from pedestrians.
But Dixon said making this promenade pedestrian only is not something that’s being considered at this point.
“The challenge with that is that it just pushes those users elsewhere,” Dixon said. “And right now we know that there are conflicts when you push them into competing with motor vehicles and cars, and then we’ve got angled parking. So there’s just always compromises and right now that’s the safest spot for everyone.”
While the city asks those on wheels to respect the shared space by slowing down, it also says that it will begin a community engagement process to see how the area can be improved for all modes of transportation.
“That’ll be something we’ll be engaging with the community over the next year or so,” Dixon said. “We recognize that that is just a really busy spot, so we need to provide more room and that often comes with trade-offs and other compromises. So we want to look at that with the community and see what we can do.”
Murray said she will avoid walking on the promenade from now on.
“I will not walk here at all,” she said. “I’ll walk on the other side of the street until this is made safe.”
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