You start by creating bicycle lanes that people will actually use.
York Region is currently planning to create a bicycle lane along Highway 7. This lane will be painted to separate the area meant for cyclists from motorists. Although speeds along highway 7 will be decreased when these lanes are implemented, I believe a painted bike lane will do little to provide safety for cyclists and convince more people to bicycle.
The link below is a recent op-ed piece I wrote for the Vaughan Citizen newspaper, criticizing the region’s decision to have a painted lane not physically segregated from vehicular traffic.
It is for this reason why I ask your support in promoting the idea of a bicycle lane segregated by a curb or one raised to the level of the sidewalk as a means for providing the safety needed to help grow a cycling culture in the suburbs.
I am aware that many of you do not use a bicycle as a part of your daily commute to work or even recreationally. Vaughan and other suburbs are difficult places to ride a bike due to the large distances between destinations and concerns over safety. As Vaughan rapidly urbanizes, parts of the city will grow more compact and dense. It is important, as part of the city’s future transportation mix, that riding a bicycle become one of several commuting choices. It is only fair that this choice is also a safe.
I ask for your support in demanding that York Region implement a segregated bike lane along highway 7 and abandon the idea of painted bicycle lanes.
I encourage you to take a moment and email York Region councillors and mayors who sit on the Regions Transportation Services Committee as well as Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas Commissioner of Transportation and Community Planning and Steve Kemp, Director of Traffic Management and Intelligent Transportation Systems at Regional Municipality of York.
Let them know that you do not support a painted bike lane along Highway 7 and instead want to see a bicycle lane segregated by a curb or raised to the level of the sidewalk.