Two Richmond residents say they’re concerned about public safety after seeing numerous cyclists “speeding” down the paved, waterfront boardwalk in Steveston.
Donna Danyluk – who often walks her dogs along the river-side stretch – said she would like to see bikes banned from the foot of No. 1 Road to the Phoenix Pond Bridge at Imperial Landing.
She added that she has thought about launching a petition on the issue, which she claims has gotten worse during the pandemic.
According to another local resident, Allisa Ritchie, who walks her dog in the area, the summer weekends are a “gong show” and evenings are also crowded.
One of the main problems is the “ten-speeds and the groups of six that are just flying by,” Ritchie said, noting she’s also seen cyclists going across the no-cycling Phoenix Pond Bridge.
What’s “scary,” Danyluk said, is when families are out, kids are running around, and you see bikes coming towards them “weaving in and out” along the boardwalk. There’s also a lot of seniors in the area.
“It’s just amazing how they speed in and out around people… It’s become a bit of a nightmare and actually takes away the pleasure from walking.”
But cyclists could also be injured if they hit someone, she said.
Danyluk said she spoke to the city last summer and was told cyclists would be moved to Bayview Street, but that didn’t happen.
Instead, she saw signs put up “that nobody reads” telling cyclists to yield to pedestrians and to let people know they’re approaching.
Ritchie, however, pointed out that while “you have to provide equal access to the beautiful location,” she suggested a clearer speed limit sign could be installed to encourage cyclists to slow down.
“Pedestrians have the right-of-way, and when the city has tons of signs with lots of words, people don’t read them,” she said.
Both women said they have also seen e-bikes and e-scooters in along the boardwalk, although there are signs saying non-medical e-scooters aren’t allowed.
There’s been “a few complaints” to the City of Richmond about conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists in the area, said city spokesperson Clay Adams.
“Enforcement is always a challenge with situations such as this, which is why we encourage users to be respectful and responsible toward others.”
The city is, however, working on amending its bylaws to limit the maximum speed of cyclists on shared use pathways to 15 km/h, which could help reduce conflicts between the two groups.
Those bylaws will likely be adopted later this summer.
Signage and pathway stencils were installed last summer, Adams confirmed, to remind people to be respectful of others and to more clearly define shared-use and pedestrian-only areas.
There’s also the changes along Bayview Street, such as a 30 km/h speed limit and the removal of cobble pavers to make the road more “cycle-friendly.”