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Letters: Richmond bike, walking lanes not safe

A Richmond News reader says they don't believe they would feel safe cycling along the new River Parkway in Richmond City Centre
The City of Richmond says that River Parkway will help ease traffic congestion in city centre.

Dear editor,

Last week was the opening of the River Parkway to replace River Road. I decided to go for a walk, end to end, from Gilbert Road all the way to Aberdeen Centre.

It was a nightmare. The bike lanes and sidewalks were only semi protected. Who thought it was a good idea to have sidewalks at the same elevation as the motor vehicle lanes on a busy street, with only a tiny concrete curb and some plastic pylons separating you? Same with the bike lanes: barely safer than just some white paint. Come on, do they really think some green paint will stop cars from hitting pedestrians and cyclists?

At several intersections, pedestrians are forced to wait un-shielded from motor vehicle traffic. The curb randomly ends, leading you to wait at intersections with fast moving traffic centimetres away, that could easily hit you without batting an eye.

Poles are all over the sidewalk. I doubt this road is accessible to people requiring mobility aids. It's like an obstacle course for pedestrians. Traffic was terrible; the intersection with Cambie Road at the north is too close with the No. 3 Road intersection. It was backed up all the way to Leslie Road. Traffic was worse than with the original River Road.

Now, the city will tell you "Oh, it's just an interim road!" and "We'll fix it with future development!" This is a matter of safety. I am a frequent cyclist, that often goes in painted lanes with a sense of safety. I felt unsafe on this road, walking. I doubt I would feel safe cycling on this road too. With motor traffic going at speeds exceeding 60kph, this is an unsafe arrangement. We need a safe road NOW, not in 5-10 years. River Parkway's current design is completely unacceptable.

The City of Richmond needs to act now by implementing safety measures that benefit and protect ALL road users. This road is a failure in all departments: safety, speed, and traffic.

Jeff Yu