The Editor, Re: "Driver arrested after alleged hit and run fatality," News, Sept. 4. Yet again we hear a cyclist in Metro Vancouver has been killed as a result of a crash with a motor vehicle, this time in Richmond. At HUB: Your Cycling Connection, we believe that many serious crashes can be eliminated with improved infrastructure and better education of all road users.
The speed of motor vehicles is a major factor in determining whether the outcome is injury or death. Better enforcement of speed limits will help, but lower speed limits will make the roads safer for everyone. Municipalities like Vancouver have asked the province to allow them to introduce 40km/hr legislation, and countries like Sweden are implementing 30km/hr urban limits.
Although the City of Richmond has improved cycling infrastructure, it is not enough. It is great we can bike along recreational paths, and now we have a new greenway running alongside Railway Ave. We also have some neighbourhood bikeways and bike lanes, but there are many sections of Richmond where cycling infrastructure is non-existent. We desperately need a connected, city-wide network of safe and convenient cycling routes so those who choose to cycle can be assured of a safe trip the whole way. The city's Official Community Plan has a good cycling component, but the completion date of 2041 should be moved up by several decades.
ICBC also has a role to play in upgrading their driver's training to include more information on interacting with cyclists. Additionally, cycling education should be widely available so people know how to cycle safely. HUB offers training to all ages but has limited resources. Leaders of progressive cities know that better cycling facilities encourage more cycling, which, in turn, provides many benefits to society including improved mobility, improved health, less noise and pollution, reduced motor vehicle congestion and a more vibrant and liveable city.
With its flat landscape, Richmond could be the greatest cycling city in North America. Also, most trips in Richmond are between 5 and 10 km - an easy cycling distance. We encourage Richmond to join the growing list of cities around the world that are taking serious steps to make cycling a safe and practical choice that appeals to everyone.
Richmond HUB Committee
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