For years, cyclists have been demanding their own space on roads. After all, pedestrians have had their space, physically separated from car and truck traffic by curbs and vertical elevation from road surfaces. So, why should cyclists not have their space? Safety and inducement for more people to cycle and not drive, is the call of the marginalized cyclists.
So life in North America is slowly changing. Slowly, bike lanes are making their way into city landscape. Just like neighbourhood streets in Vancouver which were traffic calmed to attract cyclists, now other road users have come to bike lanes. While Vancouver’s cycle streets attracted car drivers, bike lanes are attracting three and four-wheeled vehicles as well. In this case, it is the wheelchair users along with in-line skaters, skateboarders, and the occasional binners with their shopping cart.
Some countries in Europe even allow smelly, gas-driven mopeds and motorcycle. Even four-wheeled electric cars are allowed on cycling facilities in the Netherlands. Hope that North America never goes that far. Fast speeding electric mopeds and e-bikes with their pedals removed, are drawing cyclists’ irritation.
So, what is it about? Is it not about placing same speed movements together for everyone’s comfort and safety? First there is the speed of pedestrians, joggers and runners. Then there is the speed of cyclists, wheelchair users, in-line skaters and skateboarders all moving in the same speed range. Then there is the speed of cars within urban streets, mopeds and moped-like e-bikes, some with their speed-either bypassed or removed.
Meanwhile, there is nothing like an elderly person driving his wheelchair at a speed passing a cyclist churning up a steep hill.