EDITORIAL – Inexperienced cyclists are a hazard on city’s streets
An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
KAMLOOPS HAS HAD too many tragedies involving cyclists and vehicles, and calls for drivers to be more careful around bikes and riders are totally justified.
But too many cyclists are inexperienced and ignorant of the rules of the road, or don’t care.
I don’t mean the spandex speeders or the serious commuters. I’m talking about the Sunday riders — the cycling version of Sunday drivers — trying to participate in the new emphasis on active transportation.
I was driving on a major four-lane Kamloops connector (as it happens, it was a Sunday) when I chanced upon a cyclist, shirtless and without a helmet, dawdling along as if he had good sense.
Fortunately, it wasn’t difficult to manoeuvre around him, but here’s the point: he wasn’t supposed to be there.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Mel — we need driver education at all levels — whether automobiles/trucks, motorcycles or bicycles — It amazes me the number of bike riders without helmuts — the side walk thing — well courtesy /respect counts as its very dangerous to ride on most city streets — bikers need to respect pedestrians as pedestrians need to respect bikers — use your bell and slow down — and oh those pedestrians with ear buds — unaware of the world around them — its time for our entire population to become for considerate and respectful of each other –it makes good sense to get people out of gas guzzling vehicles —
Actually, you are incorrect. A bicyclist has the RIGHT to be on the road, just as much as you, unless that specific road has a restriction. So, again, it is the driver (you) who is inexperienced or ignorant to the actual rules. https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/96318_05#section183
Now, that cyclist did break the law regarding no helmet. But that has nothing to do with where they were riding.
There’s a “right,” and then there’s common sense.
When I was a child, I received some bicycle instruction at school, mostly about riding on the right side of the road, using hand signals and obeying traffic signs and lights. Today I see groups of small children, with an adult, riding in the vicinity of an elementary school. I assume that these are school outings. They ride on the wrong side of the road. They turn without signalling, ride in the crosswalk to cross the street, and perform various other illegal acts. Some proper instruction is certainly in order.
Paved country roads offer some of the most enjoyable riding there is. Drivers have to learn to share the road. They’ve been doing it all over France and Spain for decades. Sidewalks are for pedestrians and people on approved mobility devices, not for cyclists (unless they dismount and thus transform themselves into pedestrians).
A big municipal tax on large vehicles, double it for diesels, triple it for duallies. Then introduce frequency tolls on all major arterial roads. Then introduce 30km/hour max speed on all residential roads. Then introduce mandatory liability insurance, identification and speed limits for cyclists too. Then put CSO officers and police to good use by categorically clamp down on people braking the rules. Let’s get over the age of entitlement.
Here we go again. The radical left the radical right. Let’s just be kind to each other and try to get along.
Life is way too short for this kind of crap.
If you think bicycle paths are a joke then do something about.
If you have to use the sidewalk get off your bike and walk it.
Mel, it seems that you have no experience as a cyclist. You may complain about cyclists using sidewalks, but on occasion this is necessary because the threat from motorists who don’t respect the space needed for people on two wheels is too great. Cycling on roads, especially busy ones like Columbia is a crap shoot. Bicycle paths in this city are a bit of joke and people on bikes are not exactly admired by the overwhelming motoring public. People in 4×4 trucks often don’t see or don’t look when turning. At times it feels downright hostile — people on bikes with helmets are apparently a red flag for the radical left. Cycling in the winter (which I do) is considered nuts and I suppose it is, given that snow removal is only for the benefit of vehicles.