Learn more about BikingToronto and Singer Kwinter

More Sidewalk Conflicts in the ‘Burbs

Yet another article from the ‘burbs about pedestrians being unhappy with cyclists using the sidewalk:

Oshawa bylaws only prohibit cyclists on downtown sidewalks. But Atkinson and her husband Thomas, 74, want that changed to include all areas so they can feel safe on their five-kilometre fitness walks.

“It’s gotten worse,” Atkinson says of the road rage that’s veered onto sidewalks in their Rossland Rd. E. and Harmony Rd. neighbourhood. “It appears people are taking out their aggression on bikes.”

When the retired couple politely ask cyclists to use the road, they say they’re sworn at and verbally abused. The culprits range from teenagers to people in their 50s and 60s.

It’s unforgivable that this elderly couple has been sworn at and verbally abused – pedestrians have a right to use sidewalks, and if a cyclist feels unsafe enough on the street to use the sidewalk, the sidewalk should be used respectfully.

A City of Oshawa Councillor (Roger Bouma) notes:

 “My question is, if we ban cyclists from the sidewalks are we moving them to the street with more deadly consequences?”

What about that huge stretch of grass between the sidewalk and road, Oshawa?  There’s room to expand the road to accomodate bikelanes, or even a bikepath on that grassy median.

comments powered by Disqus

Crackdown on Sidewalk Cycling ignores Cause of Problem

This is another case of treating the symptoms rather than the cause of a problem.

According to the Star, there are plans to “crack down” on cyclists riding on sidewalks:

Cycling on the sidewalk has become “a huge issue” in cities across the province within the last five years. But the laws governing it are inconsistent and moves to update them have been slow.

“There isn’t enough teeth in the law,” said Sgt. Angelo Costa, the traffic sergeant in 31 Division where the incident occurred. “All I can do is stop a cyclist, he has to identify himself to me and I can give him a ticket. There isn’t anything else . . . that’s going to change his behaviour.”

In January, Toronto’s public works committee recommended that council work on a strategy to get cyclists off the sidewalks.

The police services board then discussed the issue in July and sent a report on harmonizing and enforcing sidewalk cycling bylaws back to the committee.

This is all fine and good… let’s increase the fines for sidewalk cycling.

However, this entire Star article (plus most discussions of this issue) ignores the cause of sidewalk cycling… that cyclists (especially in the old boroughs and suburbs of Toronto) do not feel safe on the road because:

  1. there is NO cycling infrastructure
  2. posted speed limits for cars are often 80 km/h… and most cars do far above that, usually close to 100 km/h.

As a result, most cyclists in these areas take the sidewalk because it’s safer, and the sidewalks are mostly deserted because hardly anyone actually uses the sidewalks in the old boroughs and suburbs.

If you’re going to crack down on sidewalk cyclists, at least give them a safe alternative.

comments powered by Disqus






Popular Posts This Week