Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chief Chu, Don't Cancel Tickets Issued to Sidewalk Bicyclists

Just when the VPD finally did something to deter bicycling on the sidewalk, Downtown Eastside activists are lobbying the VPD to cancel tickets for that and other "nuisance" offences such as jaywalking and illegal street vending.

Activists claim the VPD unfairly targeted the Downtown Eastside last winter for ticketing. They're probably right. I had never seen a bicylist on the sidewalk ticketed until I saw it on March 17, 2009 at Abbott & Carroll. I was so surprised that I stopped to snap the above photo of it. I heard a male cop tell the male bicyclist that he was getting a ticket of $109 for riding on the sidewalk and $29 for riding without a helmet.

VPD Chief Jim Chu denies police specifically targeted the Downtown Eastside for ticketing last winter, but he's promising a decision on the request for cancellations will be made by the next police board meeting July 15th.

Chief Chu, don't cancel tickets issued to sidewalk bicyclists.

Instead, step up ticketing of bicyclists on sidewalks in other neighbourhoods, especially up Main St. where the bicyclists ride fast, sometimes directly into crowds of people waiting for the bus at rush hour. Bicylists on the sidewalk are a real menace. What always amazes me as I walk up Main St. by the sky train station is how they gear up with helmets -- helmets are less common on the Downtown Eastside -- and other equipment so that they are safe as they weave around the spines of pedestrians.

One reason activists say the tickets should be cancelled is that it takes people 11 months to maneouver through the court system. No mention of the pedestrian who manoeuvers through a lifetime with a spinal injury.

I'm tired of sidewalk cylists hiding behind a veil of green. They're dangerous.


Anonymous said...

c'mon, seriously? have you ever even seen a collision between a cyclist and a pedestrian? the so-called bike path on main street is a joke - more like a suicide mission than a viable transportation route.

reliable sources said...


I have not actually seen a collusion between a cyclist and a pedestrian, presumably because most pedestrians have a survival instinct. I have repeatedly hustled to get out of the way of cyclists who are barreling toward me.

When a cyclist rode fast into a crowd of people waiting for a bus in Chinatown, I watched them scatter like pigeons. I thought that was an isolated incident until another guy was telling me about seeing a cyclist in Chinatown riding right into a crowd of people waiting at the bus stop. I said, "Hey, I saw the same thing!"

I have changed the way I walk on sidewalks as a result of cyclists. I used to wander from one side of the sidewalk to another, depending on what I wanted to look at, but no more. I try to walk a straight line now to avoid stepping into the path of a cyclist coming up from behind me. If I am moving to the other side of the sidewalk, I look back first. I've had too many close calls.

mahk in marpole said...

Anybody who rides through pedestrians on the sidewalk at a speed faster than walking is an asshole who deserves a ticket.

Just to confuse the issue, I must include electric scooters in that statement.

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear that RS, it's always a few bad apples that spoil it for the rest of us...this city needs more dedicated bike lanes.

Jack Hughes said...

"collusions" between cyclists and pedestrians. that's the way forward!

reliable sources said...

Jack Hughes,

Oops! Thanks for bringing that spelling mistake to our attention.