NATIONAL PULSE – We’re more likely to blame cyclists than drivers for conflict

Two-thirds say separated bike lanes are a good thing, but far fewer want more in their cities


June 28, 2018 –  It’s a familiar debate in urban Canada: a city announces plans to build a dedicated bicycle lane on a major roadway and opponents – fearing loss of parking, loss of business access, or an increase in traffic congestion – attempt to apply the brakes. Cycling advocates, meanwhile, gear up their encouragement of the new lane, which they argue will make riding a bike safer and more accessible for novices.

Now, a new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds most urban Canadians all for separated bike lanes in the abstract, but less-than-enthusiastic about building more of these lanes in their communities.

And while most Canadians say there isn’t much conflict between cyclists and drivers in the cities where they live, people who’ve borne witness to clashes between the two groups tend to blame those on two wheels, rather than those on four.

These findings come as the country’s largest city searches for ways to make its roads safer in the wake of a surge in pedestrian and cyclist deaths so far in 2018.

More Key Findings:

  • Two-thirds of Canadians (67%) say too many cyclists in their communities don’t follow the rules of the road, and nearly the same number (64%) say too many drivers don’t pay enough attention to bicycles on the roadway
  • Large majorities of both frequent drivers (64%) and frequent cyclists (85%) say separated bike lanes are a good thing, but there is a notable gap between the two groups on whether there is an adequate number of such lanes where they live
  • Residents of the Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary metro areas are considerably more likely to say there are “too many” separated bike lanes where they live than those who live in other large cities across the country. One of these cities – Vancouver – has regularly been ranked among Canada’s “most bikeable,” while the other two have not

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (7707 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on NATIONAL PULSE – We’re more likely to blame cyclists than drivers for conflict

  1. Tony Erlank // June 29, 2018 at 1:02 PM // Reply

    The conflicts between cyclists and vehicles are rare, but when they occur the cyclists always end up on the losing side

    I don’t bike on the roads – always on trails but I hear horror stories over morning coffee of inconsiderate motorists deliberately giving cyclists fingers, cutting them off on left turns, passing dangerously close and actually running them off the road . This is dangerous driving and the motorists should be charged accordingly

    The flip side is that cyclist can be inconsiderate, arrogant and demanding in their use of the roads and sidewalks

    They need to be reigned in too

    Let’s share and be considerate Canadians, respecting each other, whether it be two wheels or four

  2. Alan Kuhnert // June 28, 2018 at 4:59 PM // Reply

    Like most cyclists who have an exaggerated sense of entitlement the cyclists who use the bike lane next to VGH better be extra careful because many who cross the street are seniors and those with health issues. Walking or riding I’ve had too many close calls with cyclists who only think of themselves.

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