LETTER: Update Motor Vehicle Act to include bicycles

I am a senior citizen returning to cycling after many years. Having ridden approximately 10,000 km in the last year, I have some observations about cycling.

Cycling as a form of mobility will increase in the coming years as the cost of operating motor vehicles increase along with many doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint. Cycling and the need for appropriate infrastructure will increase significantly in the next few years.

One of the significant issues is the archaic Motor Vehicle Act in B.C. still reflecting driving and culture from the 1950s. Some municipalities have relatively current streets and traffic bylaws, unfortunately many municipalities are still languishing with similarly outdated bylaws.

A prime order of business for our provincial government should be a rewrite of the Motor Vehicle Act. The municipalities with seriously outdated bylaws need to revise them if their words about active transportation are to have any meaning. In some cases driver education is urgently required.

When I obtained my drivers licence over 50 years ago, sharrows were non-existent and even when I upgrade my licence to a professional licence they were still not part of the driving scene.

Sharrows are often cited as an example of cycling infrastructure – they are not nothing more than paint on the road.

Our government website defines them as: “A symbol showing two chevrons painted above a bicycle means the whole lane is shared between vehicles and bicycles. These are often used to help cyclists reduce the risk of hitting road edge hazards, such as the open door of a parked vehicle.”

The instructions for motorist and cyclist alike are “Pavement marking to indicate shared use of the roadway with people on bicycles and motorized vehicles.” The general rule of what a sharrow is consistent throughout the world.

Norm Ryder

Central Saanich

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