After one afternoon’s worth of observation, Harold Kroeger (SP, Sept. 26) seems to think that what he saw is evidence that bike lanes are unnecessary. I would contend the exact opposite.
Is it really surprising that 80 per cent of the cyclists he saw preferred a path that was separated from vehicular traffic, even if that means sharing with other non-vehicular users?
How many of the cyclists he saw were commuters versus recreational cyclists? How many were children? The city and MVA have made the Meewasin Trail an inviting place, so it’s not surprising that people favour it. If I were commuting along that route I would use the road, but if my kids and I were out for a bike ride, the MVA trail it would be.
If you don’t feel safe on the road, you’re not going to use the road.
I commute to work by bike from the time the snow clears to the time snow falls, and I use the MVA trail – though a different section of it – as part of my route. Not because it’s shorter or faster, but because I avoid having to share the road with vehicles. When I do have to share the road, I favour streets with lower traffic volume, such as 24th street or Fourth Avenue.
I don’t mind sharing with vehicles, but if there is an easily available, safe, separated alternative, I’ll use it.