Cycle club slams city's bike share plan

Easy-to-access public bicycles may not get more Londoners into the saddle if they don’t feel safe riding on city streets.

A London cycling club says cash the city plans to put toward a bike share program would be better spent on a protected bike lane through the downtown core - writes lfpress.com

The bike sharing system – 300 public bikes that can be rented downtown and near St. Joseph’s Hospital and Western University – will take a few years to come to fruition. March 2020 is the estimated launch date, based on the timeline in a staff report.

But some riders say there are more pressing needs in London’s cycling community, like cycling infrastructure on city streets.

Shelley Carr with London Cycle Link said protecting cyclists from vehicles is crucial to enticing “interested but concerned” Londoners to jump on bikes. The group has launched a campaign for cycle tracks – bike lanes that are physically separated from traffic by some kind of barrier – along Dundas Street.

“I have fears that we’ll put in a bike share (system) and it won’t be utilized and they’ll say, ‘See, no one uses it.’ But if you don’t have a way to get there safely, you’re not going to use it,” Carr said.

We do believe that cycling is a very important part of our transportation mobility plan

Kelly Scherr

The $1.6 million cost of developing and launching the bike share program would be split evenly between the city and the province.

Coun. Stephen Turner, who spoke out in favour of cycle tracks at the last council meeting, said the city definitely needs a safe bike route through the downtown.

“We need to start somewhere.You don’t create a city-wide protected bike lane network overnight,” he said. But he doesn’t think that’s any reason to slam the brakes on the bike share idea.

City staff are reviewing east-west cycle routes through the downtown and Old East Village as part of an update to London’s cycling master plan, now that bus rapid transit routes interfere with cycle tracks initially planned for King Street and Queens Avenue.

An exchange between Turner and top city brass at council last week highlighted the tension brewing in the cycling community.

“It sounds like the road priorities are made first, and then it’s ‘can we fit the cycling infrastructure,’” Turner said, calling for protected lanes on London roads.

It’s not so simple, city engineer Kelly Scherr told council.

“If you’re willing to consider potentially reducing street widths, that might be an option. But in some cases, we really are very much constrained by the location of buildings, property lines, location of mature trees and sidewalks and utilities,” she said.

“We do believe that cycling is a very important part of our transportation mobility plan.”

She said the city will choose the “highest and best level of protection that is appropriate,” regardless of where the downtown cycle route ends up.

Though Carr thinks a bike share would be a good move for the city, and popular with tourists, she’d rather have the dollars put toward building protected bike lanes, especially downtown. That means a barrier or permanent bollards, not just road paint, to protect cyclists from vehicles.

“I find it really, really tough, personally, when (city staff and council) constantly say, ‘Yes, we want people to ride’ but they don’t provide a safe place to ride,” Carr said.

“That’s the crux of protected bike lanes. It literally gives children and families a safe way to travel from one part of the city to another.”

She pointed to statistics from New York City, where a protected bike lane on Ninth Avenue decreased injuries to people on the street by 58 per cent and increased retail sales at local businesses by up to 49 per cent, according to a report from the city’s department of transportation

Read more news of London on our site.

lfpress.com
Cycleclub city'sbike
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
About 13 million adults in the UK live in areas where at least half of the local banks and building societies have closed, analysis by the BBC reveals. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show nearly 6,000 local branches have shut since 2010, a fall of a third. The consumer group Which? called the number of closures "alarming". Trade association UK Finance said closing a branch was a last resort when usage falls. Banks and building societ...
Society
A ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars should be brought forward by eight years to 2032, MPs have said. The government's current plans to ensure all new cars are "effectively zero emission" by 2040 were "vague and unambitious", a report by Parliament's business select committee said. It also criticised cuts to subsidies and the lack of charging points. The government said it aimed to make the UK "the best place in the world" to own an electric vehicl...
Society
London area home sales fell 15.9 per cent in September from August because of a shortage of homes to sell, and that shortage of inventory helped push up prices by 20 per cent from a year ago, the head of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said. In September, LSTAR reported 776 homes changed hands in London and St. Thomas, compared to a near-record August, when 923 homes were sold. By the numbers Homes sold in September: 776 (a drop of 6....
Society
Radical preacher Anjem Choudary, jailed for inviting support for the Islamic State group, has been released. The cleric was sentenced in 2016 to five-and-a-half years in prison. He led an extremist network linked to violent jihadists, including one of the killers of soldier Lee Rigby in 2013. Choudary, 51, has now served half of his sentence and will complete the rest under strict supervision. Police are preparing up to 25 measures to control him, the BBC...
Society
One of London's front-running mayoral candidates has already put 40 per cent more of his own money into his campaign than the $25,000 limit allowed by law, a move that could put him in jeopardy if he wins the top job, provincial and civic election officials say. One of London’s front-running mayoral candidates has already put 40 per cent more of his own money into his campaign than the $25,000 limit allowed by law, a move that could put him in jeopardy if...
Society
Nearly 150 County of Lambton paramedics are no longer responding to non-emergency calls amid ongoing negotiations for a new contract. Job action as of last Saturday means Lambton County paramedics won’t be doing non-urgent transfers between hospitals for the next while, or keeping ambulance stations as neat and tidy, a union spokesperson says. Nearly 150 Lambton Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics represented by SEIU Healthcare Local 1 stopped resp...
Society
Clapham Junction has been named London’s worst mainline train station for disruption in a survey by leading consumer title Which? Fifty-seven per cent of trains have been late or cancelled at the south London interchange since the beginning of the year, their research found. Their study found King’s Cross was the second worst, with 51 per cent of trains delayed or cancelled, followed by Victoria (47 per cent), Stratford (44 per cent) and London Bridge (44...
Society
Tube drivers on the Piccadilly Line are set to hold fresh 24-hour strike action in a row over staffing and working conditions. The RMT Union has urged members to walk out at 12:00 BST on 7 November until noon the following day - writes bbc.com The union's general secretary Mick Cash said it had become "frustrated" with Tube bosses' handling of a "full raft of issues". Transport for London (TfL) said it was "disappointed" with the new strike. Drivers on the...
Society
The Tate and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) are calling for a premium to fund arts classes in England's schools. The major arts institutions say league tables and pressures on time and budgets are squeezing out important creative subjects - writes bbc.com Six thousand 11 to 18-year-olds have described how the subjects help build their confidence, in new research. The government says it is investing almost £500m in arts and music. Creative subjects hav...