I was deeply saddened to see the Pioneer’s decision to print a letter in the July 14, 2022 edition condemning the use of public roads, specifically Westside Road, by cyclists. Publishing opinions such as these only perpetuate the us vs. them narrative between cyclists and drivers.
The simple reality is that too many drivers treat cyclists as second-class users of the road. Cyclists, under B.C. law, have just as much right to use the road as any car, regardless of whether a trail is available as an alternative. To the author’s point there are certainly going to be cyclists that are reckless or oblivious. But the same can be said for drivers. The difference seems to be that a bad driver doesn’t warrant an op-ed in the local paper demanding their removal from the road.
Statistics Canada and Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) estimate 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured each year. With current trucks and SUVs nearly the size of a First World War Sherman tank, non-vehicle road users stand no chance up against a vehicle. Next time you come up behind a cyclist or pedestrian please remember, they aren’t there to inconvenience you. They are enjoying the road just as you are. Having to slow down and wait a few seconds to pass won’t make a material difference to your arrival time, but it could make a life changing difference to them.