Monday marks the start of Bike to Work Week, and believe us, we’d much rather be running a story about some grand new bike infrastructure in the works, but instead we bring you a story about bike commuters warning, quite rightly, that the new SeaBus drop-off zone on West Esplanade is putting them at risk.
Of course, we understand that improvements to the bus loop are needed and it will mean some disruption, but we must ask the city to go back to the drawing board and look for some better options – even if it means SeaBus passengers have to walk an extra block while construction continues.
Anything would be better than someone losing a parent or child because we put drivers and cyclists into conflict with one another unnecessarily. When a collision happens, it’s always the person on a bike who dies.
We are eager to see some more concrete plans for safety on Esplanade. And we do mean concrete. As it’s designed right now, Esplanade has only painted bike lanes and, where the rubber hits the road, paint protects nothing.
To the city’s credit, council has done far more for bicycle safety than either of their North Shore neighbours. But a bike route is only as safe as its most dangerous stretch. This is why, when it comes to creating infrastructure for people on bikes, councils should be consulting primarily with people who ride bikes and those who we are trying to encourage to ride.
And no civic bureaucrat or politician should approve a bike lane they wouldn’t feel safe taking their kids for a ride on themselves.
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