Cycling lanes too narrow and the safe ones don’t connect (letter)
London Community News
“Hey, where are you going?” a young lady exclaimed when my daughter and I were cycling on the sidewalk southbound on Richmond Street.
I knew that riding bikes on sidewalks wasn’t legal in Kingston, Ont. two years ago when I was there. But I see so many London residents cycle on sidewalks, even in the wrong direction, I was surprised to hear it is the same here.
Cyclists want to be safe and I felt cycling on the driving lane was not safe enough so I went on the sidewalk. With the narrow driving lanes, it’s dangerous for a bike to share such a lane with cars.
This city is not friendly to cyclists or pedestrians because bike lanes and sidewalks are broken into segments, which are not connected.
For instance, there is a sign on a pole stating, “This lane begins” at the north end of Platt’s Lane at Western Road. Ok, a segment of a bike lane begins, just from here. But how do cyclists get on to it? Are they unloaded here by motor vehicles? Or do they fly here?
This bike lane on Platt’s Lane extends to Woodward Avenue, losing itself at the cross of Woodward and Riverside. It merges itself into the driving lane. A segment of bike lane disappears without any other segment connecting it. Then what will cyclists do since they can’t fly away nor be loaded into vehicles. They may ride on the dangerous driving lane or on the illegal, but safe, sidewalk. Most do the latter.
There are so many segments of bike lanes like the one on Platt’s Lane in London. Many sidewalks also disappear, forcing pedestrians onto grassland, even to the opposite side.
We are sure to know why cyclists are in dilemma. Motor vehicles are popular in the city and have been for decades. The public and government doesn’t want to spend money on construction of bike lanes.
We should construct bike lanes away from driving ones, preferably side-by-side to sidewalks.