Drivers don't have to justify

Drivers never have to justify why they'd drive on a road, so why do cyclists have to?

 ยท 1 min read
 ยท Andy McKay

Vancouver is currently in a debate about adding active transportation options to a new Broadway corridor. As usual the bike lanes are up to us to fight for.

One refrain that I've heard from people is "Why would anyone ride a bike on Broadway?". Broadway is a major east - west artery in Vancouver with many lanes for cars and space for parking. It's currently gaining rapid transit in the form of the Skytrain and as a result part of a 30 year plan to redesign.

You might be surprised that a 30 year plan for a city that has declared a climate emergency does not involve active transportation as part of its plan, but here we are.

But anyway back to the question "Why would anyone ride a bike on Broadway?". Well for the same reason that anyone would walk or drive a car. To get to work. To get to school. To get to shops. To get to cafes. To see friends.

Y'know all those things that we all do all the time, but bicyclists can't because there's no safe space. People often view cycling as a hobby done for exercise and that's part of the problem, it is way for people to get around - and that's it.

Next question is "Why would anyone ride a bike on Broadway when there's cycle routes just two blocks away?". Well those cycle routes aren't bike lanes, just traffic calmed streets.

Also they are two blocks away, why can't we slow and divert cars instead of bikes?

Also, do we ever ask why cars need to drive down Broadway when there's a perfectly good subway line going in?

But generally, there are thousands and thousands of kilometers of car dedicated infrastructure in Vancouver and still a ridiculously small amount of space for everyone else.