Kelowna Cycling Road Report – March 1, 2008

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Street sweeping has started this week. There is some evidence of this happening – a few blocks on Springfield and a bit of Glenmore Rd. It will take two or more passes to clear the bike lanes and most are not yet swept. There is still lots of gravel and sand and debris on them. Obviously I haven’t ridden all of the main roads in Kelowna – some may have been swept that I am not aware of.

The gravel pedestrian/cycling offroad paths are almost clear of ice and snow (thanks to mother nature with no help from the City). They are still very wet and a bit muddy with patches of ice.

I do not like to ride in the bike lanes when they are covered in debris but am finding that riding the edge of the bike lane is very stressful. Even when they have room, about 1 in 10 motorists insist on driving very close – I guess they pay for the roads so they feel entitled to the full lane – cyclists have bike lanes and despite the debris should get over for real commuters! The only way around this is to avoid the main roads and keep to side streets and paths.

With regards to how close to the right side of the roadway a cyclist must ride, the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act applies as follows:

Section 183(2)(c) says a person operating a cycle “must, subject to paragraph (a), ride as near as practicable to the right side of the highway”

Section 183(2)(a) advises that a person operating a cycle must not ride on a sidewalk unless authorized by a bylaw or sign.

The key to section 183(2)(c) is the word “practicable”. My opinion is that the law does not require that I ride in road debris and gravel in the bike lanes and that I have the right to ride at the right edge of the relatively clean portion of the road – that is of course up to interpretation by the courts and is not a legal opinion.

See BC Motor Vehicle Act for further information.

Ride Safely,

John.

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