Letter: Self-described ‘rant’ on road-sharing skills

Most offenders don't seem to have any regard for their own safety let alone that of other road users and pedestrians.

To the editor:

Patricia Gould (Kelowna Loses Parking To Bike Lanes, Nov. 9 Kelowna Capital News) should be aware there is also handicap parking directly behind the Royal Bank [at Cedar and Pandosy] and new handicap spaces cropping up all the time around our city.

Now that piece of public service announcement is done, I’ll get down from my fence, stand on my soap box and get to my rant(s): The lack of bike lanes and proper use thereof.

Although the city (and regional district?) are making excellent progress with it, there aren’t enough cycle lanes throughout the city. Nor are there enough sidewalks, but don’t get me going on that lack of a duty of care for the citizens of our ever busier city.

Back to my point; not enough bike lanes. Nor are there enough cyclists using the roads and bike lanes properly, but don’t get me going on that either. No, wait; do get me going on that. It’s the real point of my letter. There seem to be more cyclists ignoring the basic rules of the road than there are those of us that try to get it right for the safety of all. Every day I see more cyclists riding against the flow of traffic on the wrong side of the road — one of them nearly rode straight into my car yesterday afternoon then flipped me ‘the bird’ like I was at fault.

Not only is it an impediment to those of us that do ride on the correct side of the road, but it is also a very dangerous distraction. Most of the offenders don’t seem to have any regard for their own safety let alone that of other road users and pedestrians.

Pedestrians — don’t get me started on that little nugget either. It’s a bike lane folks; not a convenient transit route for shopping carts, buggies (yes, with babies in them, on a road!), or teams of morning joggers most of whom never want to yield to the bikes that should have a priority right of way on the bike lane.

To be clear here: I drive, I ride, I jog/run and I’ve piloted my own children’s buggies. Don’t get me wrong, we should all be happy to share roads, bike lanes, sidewalks, trails etc., with each other when appropriate, but let’s do it right.

Cars/trucks — yield to bikes.

Cyclists — we ride on the right, with the flow of traffic, not towards other traffic expecting everyone to get out of your way while you flagrantly flout every rule of the road and endanger other people without a care in the world for what you’re doing wrong.

Everyone — yield to pedestrians.

While I have your attention: Driving smokers, cigarette butts, and their part in traffic accidents and ‘wild’fires. Now don’t get me going there, either. Surely smoking in a vehicle then flicking the butt out of the window is “distracted driving” or “causing distraction while driving” or “public endangerment” or “manslaughter” if that cigarette butt causes someone else to swerve and then die after hitting a power pole at the side of the road? Trust me: Cyclists, both motorized and the pedalling kind, swerve to avoid cigarette butts.

End of rant.

Andy Warren, Kelowna