Anyone who has lived in Richmond for more than five years knows our traffic is getting progressively worse.
Buildings keep going up, people keep on moving in, and our roads remain the same. Development is not going to stop, so we have to wonder how we can make our drives a little less of a hassle.
We already have bike lanes in some streets, but I would like to see them fully protected with concrete dividers.
Many residents, including myself, are discouraged to bike by the fear of getting hit by a speedy distracted driver; and many drivers get nervous of passing cyclists for fear of hitting them.
So let’s officially divide the two with a strong physical border, and allow everyone to go about their day feeling safer.
Is there space? Well, if you’ve driven down Vancouver’s Granville Street, you know how tight the lanes are, and people make it work.
Our lanes are substantially wider in comparison, and adding proper bike lanes to some of our streets would not result in a decrease of car lanes.
In fact, some of our streets already have biking space but with very inefficient signage.
Will people use it? Not everyone is going to sell their cars and become active cyclists, but imagine two of 10 people decide to ride their bike on a given day.
That’s a 20 per cent reduction in cars. Not bad. With that, take in consideration that we’d be promoting physical activity and less gas consumption.
Cost? I mean, if we have money for a $2 million park at Terra Nova and a $80 million aquatic centre, is a few cement blocks and paint really a financial issue?
To conclude, bikes alone are not going to solve all our driving issues. But all effective transit systems take into account all methods of transportation.
Our city has been adding bike lanes, it seems like they are heading in the right direction. However, they will go unused as long as residents are fearful of getting disfigured by an automobile.