Telus – use of bike lanes for parking and signs

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Today we traveled over Dillworth to the farmer’s market. At the top of Dilworth, just north of the intersection with Summit, Telus had two vans parked on the bike lanes and a series of three signs and pylons in the bike lane warning approaching motorists that they were working.

I stopped and talked to one of the Telus employees about placing these signs and pylons in the bike lane advising him that it was against City policy and was unsafe as it forced cyclists out into the lane of traffic. His attitude was piss poor and he advised me that where ever they put them, in the bike lane or on the sidewalk someone was unhappy. I tried to explain that cyclists were going a lot faster than pedestrians and that there was room on the sidewalks but it was pointless.

I should mention that this is not the first time that I have seen Telus use the bike lanes as repositories for their signs and pylons. It was nice of the City to build the lanes for their convenience.

One of the KACC members is a flag person working regularly within the City. His company gives the employees express instructions that they are not to place signs or pylons or other obstructions in bike lanes.

I have made enquires in the past with the City and received no satisfactory answer as to what they are willing to do to solve this problem. One bureaucrat was far more interested in ticketing cyclists when I mentioned that my personal “policy” was to kick over pylons in bike lanes. It is my understanding that it would be difficult to prosecute a cyclist for kicking over signs or pylons that are illegally posted – that is not a legal opinion however! I also believe but can’t get a firm answer from the City that if it is necessary to block cycling lanes then the contractor must obtain permission from the City – as far as I can find out this has never been done and the City chooses to turn a blind eye.

After leaving the top of the hill (Dilworth) and traveling past the recreation fields just below, we were forced into the lane of traffic by over a dozen cars parked on the bike lane. One was parked out so far as to be impeding the lane of traffic, not just the bike lane.

From my perspective the ride was not that pleasant although it was a beautiful day. Traffic around the mall and down Springfield towards town was very heavy. Obviously the price of fuel is having little effect on people’s driving habits – many vehicles were single occupancy and most of them were far bigger than required to get around. The downtown area was less busy and a more pleasant place to ride although “taking a lane” is required in most areas.

There were quite a few cyclists out today but they are out despite the traffic and other problems, not because the City has done a marvelous job of ensuring that cyclists have clear lanes with decent signs and bike friendly facilities.

Kelowna, the city with the “car head” attitude – as long as motor vehicle traffic flows well then who gives a damn about those who are socially and economically challenged enough (why else would they ride) to have to use a bike.

John.

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