Cycle lanes could be better

As I cycle the city's new and improved bicycle corridors, I find the recently completed Ethel Street to be the least appealing.

It was very expensive and over-engineered. The excessive use of signs, road paint and separate pedestrian, bike and car intersection controls is unnecessary and cluttering. The dedicated and narrow one-way bike lanes on each side, with extensive concrete curbing feels constraining. Passing anyone traveling slower is not possible or safe.

The Abbott Street corridor has a wider two-way bike lane with a painted centre line (and familiar to people who drive automobiles). Not only can I cycle past someone when it's safe, I often smile at friends or strangers riding in the opposite direction.

Using curbs to separate cars from bikes might seem safer but the level grass along Abbott is visually appealing and safer should I happen to lose balance and need space to make a correction.

My wife and I leisurely bike Ellis Street but have no opportunity to talk (maybe that's the feature, ha). My son is more aggressive and so he usually chooses the road or avoids Ethel Street.

Consolidating the bike lanes and then using the opposite side for on-street parking would make it possible to have more grass and trees. The road intersections might also be easier to cross without cars creeping out to see beyond the parked cars (and blocking cyclists and pedestrians).

Perhaps these observations explain why Ethel Street has not become the popular bicycle corridor is was intended to be.

Michael Neill, Kelowna

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