Bike lanes defended

In response to L.M. Neufeld questioning the value of bike lanes and the work done on 20th Street.

In response to L.M. Neufeld questioning the value of bike lanes and the work done on 20th Street.

Vernon city council needs to be commended for their recent work on improving bike lanes and I would like to contest a few points made by the previous author.

1) There is a strong community of cyclists in this community who have been advocating for improved bike lanes for years. The reason you see so few of us on the roads, is there are very few safe places to ride within Vernon’s city limits. For Neufeld to say there is not a demand of bike lanes is simply false. For the City of Vernon to not recognize the potential revenue from the number of cyclists attending events like this would be unwise. The estimated economic impact of an event that draws over 2,500 cyclists to the city for the weekend is in the millions of dollars.

2) The letter writer’s view that “bicycle lanes are more dangerous to cyclists than using the regular road” shows this person’s obvious lack of cycling experience. In every major centre, there has been a reduction of traffic accidents and cycling injuries with the development of bicycle lanes. There has also been an increase in the use of bikes as alternate forms of transportation in cities that have adopted bike-friendly routes, road crossings and safe storage in the downtown core.

3) The road work on 20th is being met with great enthusiasm by all of our friends with young children who now see a safe and viable option for our children’s morning commute to school. Take a few minutes to watch the dozens of kids who no longer require their parents to supervise their safety in attending Harwood Elementary. I would advocate the City of Vernon to complete similar projects that would allow safe access for students to every school in Vernon. These investments are not simply road beautification projects, but serve to positively effect the lifestyles, health, and safety of the next generation.

So, please join us in commending Vernon for finally putting the safety of our children first, and help us all remove a few more vehicles from the roads, while enjoying the health benefits of such a fantastic sport.

Help them continue to develop bike-friendly access to all of our schools and public spaces for the health and safety benefits of generations to come.

Andrew Sellars,

Balance Point Racing Team head coach

Vernon