EDITORIAL: Safe mobility strategy a welcome lane change for pedestrians and cyclists

Bike lanes, photo radar, traffic calming. They are the things of angry letters to the editor. But City of North Vancouver council says these and other initiatives may be on the way, in the name of making our streets safer and more welcoming for people who aren’t behind the wheel of a car. We welcome the safe mobility strategy.

Much of the North Shore was built up when gas was as cheap as it was leaded. A single-family home could be purchased on a single income. And there was scarcely a notion of the environment, let alone a desire to protect it.

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We now know the real cost of petrochemicals. We don’t expect everyone to live in ever-sprawling, car-dependent suburbs. Yet, for some reason, our thinking towards our streets has barely evolved.

The District of North Vancouver has more than 350 kilometres of paved roads yet only 189 kilometres of sidewalks. Our street lamps don’t adequately light intersections.

Pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure has grown, but it is still apparent that it has only ever been an afterthought – sometimes a dangerous afterthought. The painted bike lane on Esplanade where North Vancouver resident Mike McIntosh was killed in January 2019 is a perfect example.

Undoubtedly city council will face some blowback from the motoring public, but we urge them to get on with implementing the strategy, sooner rather than later.

As these changes roll out, the city won’t just become safer for pedestrians and cyclists. We’d bet it will become a heck of a lot nicer for all residents and visitors too, no matter how they choose to get around.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

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