As a pedestrian, Ms. Susan Abbott, wasn’t sure what a HUB Langley cyclist meant by having to “deal with” pedestrians [Courtesy key to enjoying walks together, Langley Advance Times, April 7 Letters].
Moreover, Ms. Abbott noted that “sidewalks are for walkers and runners” and “roads are for cyclists, and yet often, people older than six ride their bikes on the sidewalks.”
I am glad that Ms. Abbott opens up this conversation. As a cyclist, I know I am not alone when I say that cycling on Langley roads is tricky and feels treacherous, even in the cycling lanes.
Moreover, the cycling lanes often end with nowhere to go.
The other option, cycling on the sidewalk, though permitted (Township of Langley Bylaw 2001 No. 4758 Section 203: “No person shall, … (5) operate a cycle on a sidewalk at a greater rate of speed than 7 km/h.”) reduces the efficiency of cycling as a mode of transportation and is often unwelcomed.
The fact that cyclists have no priority place in the Langley transportation system in the form of dedicated, protected, safe bicycling lanes is discouraging.
However, cycling is such a beneficial mode of transportation: it improves health, it is efficient, it is inexpensive, it is accessible to all ages (no license required), it improves the environment (less air pollution and less greenhouse gasses than driving), and more.
Supporting dedicated, protected, safe bicycling lanes cycling in Langley benefits everyone; pedestrians are able to use the sidewalk without concern; switching from driving a car to cycling reduces congestion and pollution.
If the Township builds dedicated, protected cycling lanes, there will be an invitation for people of all ages and abilities to cycle. Protected cycling lanes will allow for choice of different modes of transportation.
Choices for sustainable transportation even makes housing more affordable when homeowners only need one car (or none) to get around.
Bike to School and Bike to Work week takes place May 27-31.
HUB Langley, the cycling advocacy group in Langley, will be at a kiosk at Carvolth Station to promote Bike to Work on Wednesday, May 29, 4:30 – 6:30 pm.
Visit the HUB Langley FaceBook page for more events.
Mitchell Nurse, Walnut Grove