KAMLOOPS — This is for the guy who almost ran me over with his bicycle.
I was standing at an intersection waiting for the crosswalk light to change when he came barreling down the sidewalk — the sidewalk, mind you — and swerved around in front of me without missing a beat.
He was probably in a trance over the fact he could still ride his bike in December.
This isn’t going to be a rant about cyclists and pedestrians, or even cyclists and motorists. It will be a rant about what we’re doing to our cities.
I got a letter last week from another Kamloops cyclist — one of the responsible ones — who urged that we all start thinking about making cycling safer.
I couldn’t agree more, but what about pedestrians? Why is it that walking is the most dangerous way to get from one place to another? Many more times as many pedestrians as cyclists are killed every year across the country.
Both are dangerous pursuits and the answer as to why is found in the way we build our cities, which is for cars, not people. Did you know that somewhere in the basement of Kamloops City Hall there are old blueprints for a pedestrian-friendly two-way Seymour Street?
And while there are infrastructure programs and bicycle master plans it’s all moving along at the speed of a child’s tricycle with a flat tire.
The new Peterson Creek multi-purpose path and the Rivers Trail are wonderful but the real challenge is on the streets. Westsyde Road, Ord Road, Fortune Drive and others are gauntlets waiting for accidents to happen. Even when the Columbia Street upgrades were done, the opportunity for a bike lane was ignored.
If we don’t start getting serious about sharing the streets, more and more people are going to be walking and riding and driving where they shouldn’t, and the pedestrians are always going to lose that battle.
Be careful out there. I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
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