Letter: Banning cyclists from River Road not the intent

Dear Editor,

Re: “City probing safety on road,” News, Nov. 11.

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I would like to clarify my intent regarding comments I made at a general purposes committee meeting, in which a referral motion was passed in response to the tragic accident on River Road.

The motion states: “Direction was given to staff to examine traffic and safety conditions on River Road, including options for mitigating incidents and the possibility of banning cyclists in the area.”

My intent was to have staff investigate all options for cyclists, including  use of a safer alternative route, if one exists. My request was intended to generate more information on cycling use of River Road. In retrospect, my use of the word “banning” in the motion was ill advised, as it has detracted from the important direction of the committee’s motion. But at no time did I say I wanted cyclists banned from River Road. In fact, prior to suggesting investigating the possibility of banning,  I called it “a kind of crazy idea.”

My expectation is that staff will complete a report after consultation with stakeholders and council will then consider appropriate actions.

Having operated a business on River Road for many years, I have witnessed the dangers cyclists face on many sections. I want to ensure that the tragic event is never repeated.

I believe Richmond is cyclist friendly, but I hope this referral motion will generate more positive discussion on how we might improve conditions and safety for cyclists.

Coun. Ken Johnston


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