Dedicated bike lanes protect people

Re: “Bike-lane cost stirs anger,” editorial, Dec. 13.

To respond to some of the angry outbursts from drivers about expanded bike lanes, I will note that there are many angry drivers these days — an excellent reason why pedestrians and cyclists need protection from such a person in charge of a two- to three-tonne machine that is capable of killing and injuring people. Protected bike lanes do protect them.

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It is agreed a minority of people cycle to work — six per cent of the CRD and more than 10 per cent in the city of Victoria, despite the Times Colonist neglecting the mention the latter figure in its editorial. Those 10 per cent of people pay property and other taxes that pay for the roads, sidewalks and bike lanes, so by rights, 10 per cent of the budget should go to cycle facilities. That doesn’t happen (yet), so protected bike lanes do only some of that.

The bike-lane budget is all about improvements — better sidewalks, crossings, lights and space for people to enjoy the downtown environment. It is so much more than just bike lanes.

Protected sidewalks make it more enjoyable and safer for pedestrians — resulting in even more customers for businesses on improved streets. That has been the experience in Vancouver (Dunsmuir Street is the best example) and many other cities.

Single-occupancy vehicles are an extremely poor use of valuable downtown road space — so what is more efficient and effective? Protected bike lanes are.

 

Michael Fisher

Saanich

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