Re: “Support for two-way High Street,” Letters, July 16
It’s great that my friend John Fleming rides his bike 12 months of the year and that he feels safe and doesn’t mind yielding to cars. John belongs to the category of “strong and fearless” cyclists, one of the two to six per cent who are comfortable riding without designated bike lanes, according to a recent survey done by the city. I am also a “strong and fearless” cyclist, at least for now. But we are not the main focus of Nelson’s Active Transportation Plan.
The City of Nelson aims to make the majority of inner city trips human-powered by 2040. The High Street bike corridor is part of Nelson’s Active Transportation Plan to create safe, comfortable and convenient bicycle routes for users of all ages and abilities (AAA). According to the city’s survey, the vast majority of respondents want to cycle on designated, safe, and where possible, separated bike lanes. In order to meet that goal, something has to shift.
It’s never easy to make change, for inevitably it means changing something. However, maintaining the status quo or making small tweaks will not get us AAA routes, nor will it reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, nor will it improve the livability of our city, all worthy goals.
I hope that John and I will be able to enjoy many more years of safe, carefree rides, even as we become less able with age. I hope we will both be able to accompany our respective grandchildren by bike. Ultimately, that means making room for separated bike lanes on narrow, curvy roads like High Street. A safe, separated AAA route will mean that John and I will have lots of company, and that’s what it’s all about: all ages and abilities, not some, not most, but all.