Thursday, February 26th2.2°C

Bike lanes not parking lanes

It seems some motorists don't get the concept.

Bike lanes are for bikes and not an extra parking lane.

Kelowna Councillor Robert Hobson, an avid cyclist himself, drove home the point during Monday's City Council meeting.

"I have been cycling everywhere this summer and I am noticing a lot of people parking in the bike lanes. Unfortunately that means the cyclists have to go out into the traffic," says Hobson.

"It just creates a hazard for people that are biking. If you can't go around to the right of them you have to go out into traffic. Cars on the main road are not expecting cyclists to veer out of the bike lane and it just creates a very serious hazard."

Hobson says he notices illegally parked vehicles most predominately around construction areas.

"Recently I have seen it quite a bit on Lakeshore Road when I come into town. Wherever there are additional workers working on a site people will park where they can," says Hobson.

"Yesterday I was biking into my council meeting and just north of Manteo where that new condo project is going, somebody just angle parked with their car sticking out through the bike lane because it was easiest place to park because it was near work I suppose."

Although Hobson admits there are not always signs posted, especially along long stretches of road where bike lanes exist, parking in a bike lane is not legal.

Those motorists, if caught, can be ticketed.

"In most places there is room on the inside of the bike lane but on certain streets sometimes trees or hedges have grown out and there isn't space or people are too lazy to park inside the bike lane and they'll use it as a parking lot."

Hobson says the hazard also extends to pedestrians who may be forced to walk on a portion of the bike lane on streets where there are no sidewalks.

He points to Lakeshore Road as you approach Gyro Beach as an area where pedestrians may have to venture into the main traffic lane because someone has parked a vehicle illegally in a bike lane.


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