The new plans to make Vancouver “bike friendly” are in reality just pandering to a few ardent bicyclists. The plans are for the convenience of those few but would have grave implications for the majority of people who use city streets for motor vehicles.
If the intention is to encourage more people to use bicycles for transportation, it will not work. Taking away 700 parking spaces will not result in 700 or 70 or even 17 more bicyclists (“City wants input on bike-lane plan,” The Columbian, Jan. 5). It will increase congestion with more cars crowded in a smaller space. Taking away parking spaces will increase congestion as drivers mill about looking for open spaces.
Anecdotal evidence of bicyclists who are sideswiped or nearly struck can be matched by stories of rude and discourteous bicyclists. Young children, teenagers, even adults, dart across streets, ride down sidewalks and dash through parking lots without looking.
Some drivers arrogantly believe they “own” the road but many serious bicyclists ride in the same way. They hug the vehicle side of the bike lane. Often the riders will ride abreast in bike-friendly lanes when they could just as easily ride single file. Convenience for bicycles is not a reason to change our streets.