The London Free Press got it wrong. Jeff’s letter wasn’t about “get off the sidewalk.” It was about “use it responsibly when you must.”
[I say, “Times may be a-changin”]
Three “rights” make two “suggestions”
[“Roads are dangerous. Right!”]
Right. Roads can be dangerous for cyclists.
Right. Cyclists shouldn’t make sidewalks dangerous for pedestrians.
Right. Not all cyclists ride dangerously on sidewalks.
[“Here’s one suggestion, then another”]
One. Cyclists should use some sidewalks responsibly.
Two. Cyclists should use designated sidewalks.
There are, without question, many sidewalks in London that are rarely used by pedestrians. E.g., the Gainsborough Rd. sidewalks, on both sides of the road, from Wonderland Rd. to Hyde Park. Miles of concrete sit unused most of the day. Designate the north sidewalk as a cycling route. Direct the few pedestrians to the south sidewalk.
Study London sidewalks in areas where they appear on both sides of a street. Where pedestrian use is low (likely in all corners of the city because most people are travelling by car, van, bus, etc.), could we not designate one of the sidewalks for cycling?
["White Oaks Rd. South; nice bike lane; however,
more are needed in high traffic areas"]
Without question, more safe and wide cycling lanes would be welcomed by cyclists and harried pedestrians alike.
London has accommodated cars, vans, buses, etc. for decades by building mile upon mile of tarmac roads, and while doing so, rarely thought of the needs of cyclists (or pedestrians in many cases). Several safe sidewalks designated for cyclists would be a small, cost-effective gesture.
[Photos by G.Harrison]