Re: “Shelbourne vision adds bicycle lanes; motorists lose some,” Sept. 29.
Saanich council’s vision for bike paths on Shelbourne Street is long on ideology and short on safety.
While inclusive design principles work well for some access issues (such as wheelchairs), integrating bike and motor traffic on major arteries only increases dangerous and frustrating encounters between these two very different modes of transportation.
Rather than shoehorning bicycles onto already-overloaded roads, bikes should be diverted to parallel, residential side streets, where there is considerably less traffic to navigate and exhaust to breathe. The infrastructure focus should then be on creating safer interchanges, where bicycles can cross between bike routes.
A road is only as wide as its narrowest point, and reducing Shelbourne to two lanes anywhere along it will create constrictions, where cars and bikes will be competing for access. It will slow traffic flow along the entirety of Shelbourne, and that’s a recipe for disaster.
Animosity between cars and bikes is best moderated by managing their needs separately and minimizing their interactions, not creating a six-kilometre-long war zone.
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