Thank you to City of Vernon staff for improving our streets for bicycle traffic over the past few years. I was disappointed to hear that some owners of automobile-based businesses along 43rd Avenue between 27th and 32nd Streets are so opposed to proposed improvements that include a two-way left turn lane and bicycle lanes.
I watched coverage of this story on a local television station. I heard one owner say that he’s only ever seen about a half dozen cyclists ride by his business. Well, duh, the reason is that this stretch of 43rd Avenue is horrid for riding a bike. I rode part of it just the other day but went as fast I could and got off it as soon as possible because there is no room for cyclists.
Don’t these business owners who are opposed to the changes realize that many (if not most) cyclists also own automobiles? Just the day before writing this letter, I had to take my vehicle in for service at a local business so I loaded up my bike, dropped off the vehicle, and rode my bike home.
Reducing the road to one lane in each direction may actually increase exposure for the local businesses. For one thing, all traffic will now be in the ‘curb’ lane adjacent to the businesses, whereas presently some vehicles travel in the centre lanes.
Secondly, business storefronts will be more visible to passing cyclists since they will not be rushed and constantly watching behind for traffic. I love the wide bike lanes on 43rd Avenue east of 27th Street, and it makes perfect sense to connect with the bike lanes west of 32nd Street to make a cross-town bike route that stretches from Pleasant Valley Road to Alexis Park Drive.
Business owners should open their eyes to the benefits of the proposed changes to themselves and the general population (which includes potential customers) instead of having the knee-jerk reaction of opposing change and standing in the way of making Vernon a more livable community.