Vancouver Island driver's bike lane pain leads to tense debate over city planning (PHOTOS)

Apr 10 2023, 5:47 pm

When it comes to BC drivers and bike lanes, there seems to be ongoing confusion. That was the case last week in the Greater Victoria area after a photo of an incident in Saanich surfaced online.

Vernon Lord, who ran for city council in the Vancouver Island municipality last year, posted a series of photos and captioned them that the accident resulted from poor city planning.

“Getting high centred on a poorly planned bike lane @ Gorge/Tillicum is ‘chill as hell,’” he wrote Wednesday.

The municipality decreased vehicle lanes and installed new bike lanes following a decision in 2021 with a strategy “to keep vehicles completely out of bike lanes (no ability to park or pull over into the lanes); and promote safety for pedestrians due to extra separation from the roadway,” according to the website.

Many took their arguments to Twitter to speak out that the driver should have been able to spot it, saying it was obviously a bike lane.

“Strange, it’s pretty clear to me from that photo that there’s a barrier, and judging by the google maps photo, it would absolutely be clear while driving,” Twitter user Mark Burge argued.

“It wouldn’t hurt to have a higher-flexibility post where the concrete starts. Nevertheless, the motorist had drifted out of their lane. Don’t make excuses for unsafe driving,” another person wrote.

But, others say it points to a bigger problem as these motorists are clearly missing the signs.

It’s not the first time, as Vancouver residents know that drivers have been caught in what some argue is a poorly marked barrier.

Most recently, a photo of a vehicle stuck on a barrier in Vancouver’s Cambie neighbourhood led to a fierce debate and questions surrounding the new slow street barriers. Some questioned if the street was more dangerous now than without them.

“We are aware that some barriers have been hit by drivers,” said the City of Vancouver regarding the slow street barriers. However, it did not announce any changes to the design.

In another spot, a resident has been taking the bike lane confusion to social media.

The TikTok user takes videos from their house near English Bay Beach of what can be described as a “pedal pandemonium” after several confused drivers have landed in the bike lane in recent months.

@stinger.with.cams♬ GTA San Andreas Theme (Remake) – Ben Morfitt (SquidPhysics)

The Vancouverite tells Daily Hive Urbanized the area near Beach Avenue and Burnaby Street “is really confusing to drivers,” who turn into the wrong lane daily.

However, Vancouver Police says that there isn’t an indication that the area near English Bay Beach is more problematic than other locations.

“From time to time, people get confused and make wrong turns in various parts of the city,” a statement from police reads.

However, critics say drivers should just pay more attention.

Do you think these bike lanes need more signs and markings, or does the fault lie behind the wheel?

With files from Sar Anderson and Nikitha Martins

Claire FentonClaire Fenton

+ News
+ Transportation
+ Urbanized