Walkers, Ram Trucks, Bikes and Bells

Ding, Ding, Ding

Regina is one of those cities just beginning to learn about co-existing with bicycles. You wouldn't think it would take as long as it has but Regina, the little city with Alberta envy, is still pretty car crazy.

The city does sort of try and they think they are moving in the right direction but bike trails are few and far between. If you don't live near one you are relegated to the street. Most street bike lanes are poorly marked with a sort of optional feel to them. and the average tricked out Ram Charger pick-up driver doesn't give two hoots about bike riders so, anyone brave enough to drive their bike on a city street deserves a medal.

The other side of the coin is that now that spring is here more and more bike riders are sharing the paved pathways that do exist, with walkers.

We walked around Wascana Lake the other evening and to be honest I spent quite a bit of my time nervously listening for the hum of bike tires coming up behind me and watching as bike riders wove their way between family groups and wandering toddlers.

Someone is going to get seriously hurt one of these days.

It isn't that walkers and bikes can't share the space. It works well in some cities. Think of the sea wall in Vancouver as an example.

I few years back I lived in Ottawa for a while. Now. I know people in Western Canada are supposed to hate the place but, I've always been quite fond of the city. It is a city with a huge interconnecting system of bike/walking paths so I was thinking about Ottawa this weekend while we walked around Wascana Lake.

What makes it work in cities like Ottawa is a spirit of co-operation between walkers and riders and a by-law that says every bike has to have a working bell so riders can warn walkers of their approach. It is about mutual respect and common sense. We could use a little of that.

1 comment:

  1. If Regina really does have Alberta envy, tell them Edmonton has a bike-bell law. Think it's also legal to ride on city side-walks if the traffic is high on the Street. On the other hand, no one seems to notice if your bike gets stolen. I had one stolen out of a locked garage, I had another one stolen during rush hour in the center of the city. Both were locked up at the time...


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