Sidewalk Cycling – Don’t Blame the Cyclist, Blame the lack of Cycling Infrastructure

A while ago I read this article from the Tyee, ranting about cycling on the sidewalks.  I agree that cyclists shouldn’t be on the sidewalks as well.  However the author is placing the blame on the cyclists which is unfair.  Usually if there are people cycling on the sidewalk this is because there is insufficient cycling infrastructure that makes cyclists feel extremely unsafe on the road. The author also describes how one person cycling on the sidewalk was rude to someone in a wheel chair.  This was a rude person and not a rude cyclist, I would advise the author not to paint all cyclists with the same broad stroke.


Cycling infrastructure is often designed in confusing manners that shift from various formats.  Take the image above, where after crossing the Burrard Bridge you are forced back on to the road (By the way this is one of the most dangerous cycling intersections I have come across with the blind corner).

I was on a walk shop for the new West End community plan where they stated that people will often cycle on the sidewalk coming from the English Bay sea wall to the east end of Denman street.  One participant stated that they don’t blame them, as who would want to ride on Denman street when there are the buses and heavy traffic like the photo below.


If you want cyclists off the street we need to start focusing on the right thing.  Instead of penalizing cyclists for wanting to be safe, possibly discouraging them from cycling again, the city needs to provide the appropriate infrastructure for women, children and men ages 8-80 to feel safe.  We as citizens need to realize it is up to the city to provide the correct infrastructure, and lobby them to do so.



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