19 Feb 2015

Blocking Bike Lanes

There is an issue with blocking bike lanes in my home city of Richmond, BC that I want to address.

First, the legalities. It is illegal to stop, block, or park in a bike lane. Further, it is only legal to cross a bike lane when the white line is broken rather than solid. This is common in most cities and not at all unique to Richmond (click here for more information about Richmond's bike lanes). However, the issue I have isn't with the laws; rather, it's with the culture surrounding roads and bike lanes. 

The culture that needs to change is that roads were made for cars. In fact, roads are made for PEOPLE to get where they need to go, whether they are driving in a car, riding a bicycle, taking the bus, or walking. There is an underlying sentiment whenever the topic of bike lanes comes up that roads are for cars and anything that would inconvenience a car is unacceptable. 

I ride my bike in Richmond's bike lanes at least twice a day: once on my ride to work in the morning and once on my ride home. On occasion, I ride again in the evening either for errands or exercise. 

On average, I encounter three or four cars per day blocking the bike lane in front of me. Now, I do not think that each of these drivers needs a ticket, nor do I have the time to report each one. Each individual infraction, on its own, seems like a pretty minor misdemeanour. So I am not trying to run around and slap every driver who blocks a bike lane on the wrist.

But what does need to change is this culture that blocking a bike lane is acceptable. This, however, is so very closely tied into the larger issue of car entitlement on our roads that I'm afraid we can't address the smaller issue until we address the larger one. 

No comments:

Post a comment