LETTERS: City needs to act to keep cyclists safe

Dear Editor

More needs to be done to calm traffic on Seventh Avenue between Sixth Street and Glenbrook Middle School. This is a designated bike route used by many students riding to school from the west side of New Westminster, including my 13-year-old son,  but many drivers use it to get around clogged traffic on Sixth and Eighth avenues during the rush hours.

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Almost daily my son comes home with stories of aggressive drivers honking at him, rolling down their windows and shouting at him to get out of the way, or more worryingly,  squeezing past him in tight situations. Many of these drivers are trying to get further east in order to queue-jump traffic squeezing onto the Pattullo Bridge; they should be discouraged from doing so.

It’s worth noting that a 2012 Ryerson University study indicated that the traffic calming circles currently in use on Seventh are the worst and most dangerous option for designated cycling routes; they present “pinch points” where cars and cyclists are squeezed together as well as the opportunity for drivers to “cheat left” by not going around the circle thereby bringing them into direct conflict with cyclists they would have seen if they’d gone the long way.  In 2010 an 11-year-old boy was killed riding his bike to Glenbrook. It happened somewhere else, but it shouldn’t happen again, anywhere, and I would encourage other parents to communicate their concerns to city council about this dangerous situation.

Ian MacNeill, New Westminster

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