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October 28, 2017 2:56 am

Merrick Sets Stage for No Parking in Bike Lanes

Monday, August 17, 2015 @ 3:57 AM

Prince George, B.C.-Councillor Jillian Merrick will  introduce a “notice of motion” to her Council colleagues this evening, and it calls  on the City to develop options for ” the removal of onstreet parking on arterial roadways, in accordance with Section 5.2.4 of the City’s Active Transportation Plan.”

That section of the Active transportation Plan says  “frequent parking in bicycle lanes impedes the functionality and safety of the facility and should therefore be controlled”

The  plan  recommends the following actions:

􀁸 On arterials, on-street parking should be removed where bicycle lanes are necessary. Parking demand can generally be accommodated on the side streets and in parking lots. The removal of parking conflicts on arterial roads also improves traffic flow and safety on main routes. Buses stopping briefly for passengers are not generally a major impediment to bicycle traffic. However, pullouts should be used where possible, and especially at timing points and exchanges.

􀁸 On collectors with at least 11.5 metres width, a single bicycle lane should be provided on one side of the street with restricted parking, and a shared parking/bicycle lane should be provided on the other side of the street . The parking side should be selected based on the following considerations (in order of priority):

  • abutting a sidewalk;
  • maximizing the parking supply; facilitating snow removal; and
  • minimizing the pedestrian crossings. The selected parking side
  • should be consistent between blocks to minimize transitions.

As the notice of motion is only  being presented tonight,  it won’t be up for  discussion  and possible action  until the next regular meeting of Council




What is the bike traffic? This is Prince George, remember, biking season is shorter than sledding season. Between the province and city, 500,000 dollors, wow. Better spent on potholes which would benefit cars and bikes.

Next will be bicycle lanes be getting priority snow plowing, don’t laugh.

Can anyone on city council tackle some real issues? Are they really this bored?

The only bike traffic I see a lot of in town is sketchy looking backpack wearing 20something males riding BMX bikes. I guess it’s important to keep them safe as well.

I agree with the above comments..

This councilor needs to get a real job if she wants to ban cars parking.. Parking is already limited as it is..

SKAKUM….get on her case please,… thx

Council had better tread lightly with this one. The need to ensure that parking is available for schools, where parents pick up and drop their kids. Funeral homes where in some instances there is parking on the street for the overflow. Same thing for CN Centre, and the Soccer fields.

The City needs to determine once and for all how many people actually bike in this town,. Years ago in Prince George it was necessary for people with bikes to have a bicycle license. I think that this should be reinstated. If bikers what to use the road and not pay the gas tax, then perhaps they can pay a part of their share of the roads by paying a licensing fee.

Its rather interesting that we have all this concern about bikes on the roads, however is actual fact very few people use our sidewalks. Is it possible for bikers to use the sidewalks with pedestrians having the **right of way**. At least then we would get some utilization of out sidewalks.

In any event this needs to be done right, or their will be repercussions.

In Prince George, there are about 36 km of marked bike lanes, other streets which are designated biking streets and others where bikes are not supposed to travel. When I first moved here in the 1970s, there was no infrastructure for biking such as bike racks downtown and no biking lanes. There were also very few cyclists. Now, there is much more frequent use of streets by cyclists and some of those cycle all year. This year’s Bike To Work Week in PG had 541 cyclists who registered their kilometers. On October 5, the organizers of BTWW will do a presentation to council about the success of this year’s celebration. As councilor Merrick said early, there are either bike lanes or there are parking lanes. In order to make cycling safe in the city for the ever increasing number of cyclists, the designated lanes must be clear for cyclists.

I cannot agree with allowing folks to park on Ospika between 15th and 18th. For me it’s a safety issue. Vehicles are going by there at 60 km or above. Someone getting in or out of their vehicles are going to get hit.
CN Centre parking lot is huge why not park there. Oh yeah, we are an entitled society, and it’s soooo inconvenient to park way over there.

It’s kind of one of those build it and it will come arguments. If there were decent bike lanes through the main corridors of the city, unobstructed, perhaps more people would cycle, which would help with the carbon footprint many of the people on this site are concerned about – not to mention the health benefits to the cyclists. Which indirectly makes healthcare easier to access for those who commute by cars because the cyclists use up less resources, leaving more for them – potential win win.

But the current state of affairs, cycling in PG is really more for the brave of heart or foolish. It’s not safe, even on the so called Foothills bike lane distracted drivers wander into the bike lane – yes, I have almost been hit in the bike lane, and many drivers don’t even bother to move over a couple of feet when they do pass a cyclist. But this is probably more symptomatic of the lack of courtesy our modern society has. One poster on Friday commented about getting ruthlessly tailgated because he dared to move into the inside lane to make a left turn. This is more the rule than the exception in PG.

I was in my car, while travelling 8 km over the limit on foothills, passed on the shoulder by a truck who then turned right onto Austin Rd 30 seconds later.

I’m predicting the last weekend of this month for Woof fest someone is going to die or be seriously injured as 10,000 people make their way out to Vivian Lake using a road that most residents think has a speed limit of 100 km, not 80 km, and have no problem passing on a blind spot if you hold them up for more than 2 minutes, wait till you see what happens when you add all those extra cars – please tell me the RCMP plan on having at least one patrol vehicle out there.

The reality is that even though you can only gain maybe a few minutes driving like a jerk, many would rather endanger human life, or animal life when you consider the number of wildlife and domestic pets killed on the road, than relax and wait until it’s safe to pass. The same redneck that’ll hold the door open for an old lady at the bank building, is the same redneck that will crawl up the back end of her Toyota Prius with his F250 c/w fuel tank in the back.

“At least then we would get some utilization of out sidewalks.”

Our one and only sidewalk is so pitifully narrow, the old crumbling pavement so worn out and patched up over and over that people often walk in the adjacent bike lane! Since people can hardly use it I simply can not imagine making it legal for bikes to use it!

As a matter of fact this one and only *sidewalk* is actually a safety hazard and an embarrassment!

How it is neglected in the winter, not promptly and properly plowed and sanded is another story!

Victoria street should have no parking or no bicycles. Having both on there is very dangerous. It won’t be long before someone runs into a car door like the person in Kelowna and could possibly die. Also, when cars are passing bikes on Victoria street most often they pull part way into the left lane without even looking for another car beside them. It is very dangerous for both cars and bikes. I think P.G. is the only city where parking is allowed on a highway.

here’s a quick question…what happens in winter when the so called parking / bicycle lane eventually gets eliminated by the snow plows. Do we then give one of the traffic lanes over to the cyclists?

How come bike riders pay no fees or do not have to pass a road test or even liability insurance? Bikes use the same roads and supposed to follow the same rules as cars and riders have no license so why do I need a drivers license?

Governments are missing out on a gold mine of fees on bikes, oh wait they would loose the tax sucking greenie vote.

lol @ everyone bit chin.

Seriously, bike lanes are for bikes. I am not AT ALL opposed to banning parking there during peak hours. I do not see an issue.

People talking about winter biking. That better be tongue in cheek, you and I know it is too damn cold to bike with any consistency.

Can we enforce the exisiting laws first? Once I see every cyclist with a helmet on and staying off the areas they are not allowed (like 5th ave) then maybe we can worry about enforcing more rules to help them.

I notice that the issue of having a bicycle license is being ignored.

Lets get the license requirement back. Somewhere in the area of $75.00 per year like we do for cars, with a special rate for families. This gives us a good idea of how many bikers there actually are, and of course give the bikers the opportunity to participate in paying for the roads, and bike lanes than they use.

Grizzly2, I agree with you about not allowing parking on Ospika between 15th and 18th on the side beside the soccer fields. I find it ironic that people who are playing soccer are probably doing it for exercise but try to park as close to the fields as possible. There is a huge lot at the CN Centre; use it.

Duffer, interesting comment about Victoria St. I cycle frequently in the downtown but have only cycled once on the west side of Victoria between 2nd and 15th. Way too narrow to be safe. I have nearly been “doored” on several occasions by people parking in bike lanes. Dooring is where a driver parks and gets out of their vehicle without checking to see if there is a bike or other vehicle coming. That is what happened to the cyclist in Kelowna recently and she died. I find most drivers in PG curteous when I have to pull out of the cycling lane to get around cars.

seamutt, cyclists do pay taxes when they purchase their bikes, no free ride there. I partially agree with you in that I think that bikes ought to have at least an ID # maybe cut down on thefts. There is a course put on by CanBike which teaches safe cycling and bike maintenance which I believe every person would benefit from taking. It is for all ages, including young kids.

In order for person to drive a car on the roads we have to prove that we know the rules of the road by taking a road test and obtaining a license. As well, we are required to carry at least $1,000,000 of liability insurance to drive. And we are required to wear a seat belts if we don’t want a ticket.

I believe the bikers should also have to prove that they know the rules of the roads and have to obtain a license to ride on it. They should also have to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 liability insurance and have to wear a helmet in order to ride on main streets.

I have seen so many bikers riding all over the road; weaving in and out of traffic, not wearing helmets, not using their hand signals, not stopping at stop signs, riding in restricted areas (5th Avenue for example)and riding two abreast. This is not only dangerous behavior for the biker but also for motorists on the road. It is for these reasons that I believe liability insurance should be forced on them too – they can cause an accident as easily as a vehicle can.

These conditions should apply to cyclists that are using main streets, residential areas shouldn’t require the same qualifications.

I don’t mind sharing the road with responsible riders/drivers but I sure hate it when idiots are on the roads making it dangerous for everybody using them.

phje, “People talking about winter biking. That better be tongue in cheek, you and I know it is too damn cold to bike with any consistency.”….uh, I ride my bike all winter, the snowshoers do a great job packing down the trails at FFTW.
I’ve seen both sides of the issue with cyclists in PG, bad cyclists ignoring the rules of the road perhaps uneducated that they are a vehicle & are held to the same standard as motorized vehicles. As a cyclist, like Ski51, I’ve also seen & been the victim of bad drivers on our roads. Both groups need to be more aware & better educated along with a healthy dose of respect for other users of our roads.

she will get their support,
I am sure down the line someone else will bring in their pipedream and she will back them….


impressive, let’s not pretend that the majority are like you.

HAS, I pay taxes on my car purchase then ongoing fees and taxes that a bike rider does not pay for the use of the same facilities. I wonder if Merrick has the nerve to bring up licencing for bikes? Want a bike lane then pay for it out of licensing.

soapboxgirl – it’s $200,000 minimum required liability in B.C. Cyclists if liable are likely covered under their home insurance policy – even your kid is covered. That said, I agree, some minimum training for cyclists would be great. But you are confusing two groups of people.

There are the “under privileged” class who ride on the sidewalks downtown, cut in and out of traffic with no concern for anyone, and then there’s the cyclists who is as respectful of traffic laws as motorists are – which probably isn’t saying much.

As for Victoria St., I 100% agree, which is why I ride Winnipeg St – which has nice bike lanes – that cars park on, but still a better choice than Victoria. I then take the cross street closest to where I want to go. There is no need to cycle on Victoria St. And I think that’s the point, if we can keep the arterial bike lanes unobstructed, we’ll see less cycling where it makes no sense. But as for the “under privileged” – nothing will change their behavior.

As for paying taxes – almost every cyclists I know, also owns a car, so we paid our licensing fee already. By taking our bike to work, instead of our car, we do less damage to the road – in fact, – we do no damage to the road. We our healthier, so how about a MSP fee rebate in exchange for us paying road tax.

Yup take the parking away from the taxpayer, and give it to a non taxpayer. Jillian merrick is starting out on a socialist run in her career. She may not be so popular if she keeps this up.

phje, nope not the majority but winter biking in PG has a healthy community & the numbers are growing.
Ski51 “As for paying taxes – almost every cyclists I know, also owns a car, so we paid our licensing fee already. By taking our bike to work, instead of our car, we do less damage to the road – in fact, – we do no damage to the road. We our healthier, so how about a MSP fee rebate in exchange for us paying road tax.” Good points, to add to that, should we get a carbon rebate as well for reducing emissions?

“Yup take the parking away from the taxpayer, and give it to a non taxpayer.” ??? Non tax payers? Who? I ride a bike & because of my income I pay quite a bit in taxes. I own vehicles & pay (& paid) taxes on both the vehicles & the fuel needed. I also paid taxes on the bikes I own & continue to when I upgrade/replace parts. Unless you’re part of the underground economy, we all pay taxes.

detoe44 – that’s right. Fatbikes and studded tires do have a few of us out riding in winter. I have to confess I flagrantly ignore the law in Winter and ride on the sidewalk – no one is using it anyway – but I always yield to the odd pedestrian I come across.

seamutt – welcome to society. We all pay for stuff we don’t use. I never go to the symphony, but I pay for it. I don’t go to Theatre Northwest, I pay for it. I’ve gone to emergency twice in 30 years, but I still pay for it. The concept is to build a city that is enjoyable for a broad group of people by pooling our resources. Merrick isn’t asking for bike lanes everywhere, just where they already are, and to get cars not to park on them.

A little side note – a lot of the cyclists in this community, are medical professionals. One in particular that I know, is one of 8 specialists in this province that can do what he does, and he lives here because he likes the opportunities for recreation – including cycling. If he leaves, you’ll be flying to Vancouver for treatment – and he’s not alone. Two of the orthopaedic surgeons I know cycle – and do hip replacements – you want them to go? I’m pretty sure they pay taxes.

In fact, they say cycling has replaced golf as the new past time for professionals.

From time to time, the RCMP does a bike blitz where they stop cyclists and ticket them for: no helmet, riding on the sidewalk, riding the wrong way on the road, improper brakes etc. Riders are also supposed to have a bell or some kind of noise device. A rear view mirror is also a great way to stay safe in my opinion.

Maybe time for another bike blitz by the police.

Great points, ski51. It’s like the movie, “Field of Dreams”. If you build it, they will come.

Hello All,

Thanks for your comments on this issue. Lots of concerns, but many poorly justified. In regards to the length of the cycling season, the roads were clear and being swept in February this year, and under normal circumstances, will remain clear through October. That’s eight months. In a poor year we might get six to seven, more than half of the year. In deep winter, prohibiting parking on arterial laneways will greatly improve snow clearing efforts, which is a bonus for taxpayers and drivers.

Bike licencing: An idea I will never support. We train and licence drivers out the ying yang, but still see accidents everyday. Education helps, but does not eliminate poor road users. In fact, BC is only one of two jurisdictions in teh world that has a mandatory helmet law. WE already legislate cyclists more than most.

Dangers: In the ICBC North Central Distict, there are an average of 30 reported incidents involving cyclists a year, and one fatality over the last five years. In the same time period in the the North Central District, there are an average of 16,000 incidents involving vehicles a year and there have been 312 fatalities in the last five years. Vehicles pay for insurance because they kill hundreds of people and cause millions in damage.

Taxation: Please remember that you roads are paid for being your local government, which receive revenue through property taxes – which everyone pays whether they own a vehicle or not. Bicycle owners also pay GST on the purchase of a bicycle (and a full 12% briefly under the HST). Of course vehicles pay taxes on gas, but not requiring gas is just one of the many benefits of cycling and active transportation.

Bike ID’s: Bikes already do have serial numbers, which are usually the first thing to be scratched off by thieves.

Urban policy: prohibiting parking in arterial lanes, whether there are bike lanes or not, is standard urban practice. Arterial corridors are designed solely for the unencumbered movement of people and vehicles. It just makes good planning sense not to have vehicles stopped in these laneways.

Feedback: If you really want to have input on the issue, I would encourage to spend your efforts writing directly to Mayor and Council, since you’ve already demonstrated a willingness to weigh in on this site. You can also give me a call at 250-561-0562.

Posters here keep saying that bike riders don’t pay any taxes to maintain the roads. BS- we pay. Income tax, City Tax, Sales Tax etc etc. I ride a bike in this town, but I own and license 3 vehicles. Most bike riders in this also drive vehicles, due to poor Transit and winter weather, so don’t think we don’t pay our fair share towards maintaining these pitiful roads in P.G.!

There is NO PST on bikes.

I’m all for removing parking along Ospika, particularly in peak hours. I can’t speak to the other spots, but it’s a complete fallacy that Ospika is needed to accommodate school drop offs. Whenever I dropped off my daughter, the lot was half empty. I’d need a few more hands to tally up the near accidents I’ve witnessed with people doing ridiculous things there. This is not just for cyclists – it’s safer for everyone and allows for better traffic flow.

Anything that the city does to improve the lives of its citizens , makes the city more attractive for tourism and people wanting to live in it . Keep up the good works . Cycling is good and it’s good for you . This cycling senior loves it . We need divided lanes , bridges and dedicated bike trails .

There’s a picture of Stevie’s campaign bus parked in a bike lane in TO . He has no respect for cyclists either . Entitled in true con fashion.

Just because you see us on a bike does not mean we we do not pay taxes or own a vehicle, it only means we choose to ride our bikes. We also unless you hit us with your car or truck, likely use the medical system less than those who drive every day. Saving you money.

If Jillian’s bylaw prevents one big injury (head or back injury) it will likely save the BC tax payers (ICBC clients) most of the $500,000. The areas proposed are areas where this type of accident could happen when a cycler darts our from between a cars.

You are not going to prevent cyclers from cycling. You can take a second a go around them, or heck let’s let them have their own lane. This will become even more important as we finally start to grow in population.

Jillian, if you are going to post a statement such as:

“In fact, BC is only one of two jurisdictions in teh world that has a mandatory helmet law. WE already legislate cyclists more than most.”

..then perhaps you should check your facts! It only took me a few seconds to find the following information online.

Most Canadian provinces have bicycle helmet laws in place, although the laws differ with regards to affected ages groups. At least 21 states in the U.S.A. have some form of helmet laws.

Australia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden all have bicycle helmet laws, in at least one jurisdiction, for either minors only, or for all riders. Spain requires helmets to be worn while cycling along public roads outside population centers, except for riders with a medical exemption or during extremely hot days.

Jillian, I would hope that you, as someone elected to represent the citizens of our City, would present correct facts, rather than just making unsubstantiated statements that support your position!

Thanks for your comments on this issue. Lots of concerns, but many poorly justified.

Wellll Look at that statement above by Jillian Merrick. Just by that statement alone, telling the taxpayers they don’t know much…pretty well guarrantees loss of many votes..

Hope she thinks about what will come out of her mouth before it actually comes out

Hart Guy – point taken. I’ve done a bit of research into helmet laws myself, and while I always wear a helmet, what is interesting is there is a body of evidence out there that indicates overall helmet laws cause poorer health outcomes because they discourage people from cycling. Some people just hate wearing them (usually women), so they cycle less, or not at all, and lose out on the positive health benefits of cycling – which are believed to exceed the negative effects of crashing without a helmet on.

There was a study done where a fellow rode with a helmet, and without, and vehicles actually came closer to him when he wore a helmet, than when he didn’t – indicating motorists perceive the cyclist to be less vulnerable because of the helmet, and afford them less courtesy.

I see I didn’t miss much while camping… What a silly idea with a town with so much winter.. I say ban pedal bikes from all city streets. Problem solved.

Ski51 I also pay for stuff I don’t use but also pay extra for the ones I do use, bikers don’t.

How many bikes ride in the winter? Are windrows and piled snow intruding into roads going to be cleared for the few winter bikers? What will be that added cost be on top of the $500,000.

Bike licensing she knows that is political suicide so will be against it. “We train and licence drivers out the ying yang, but still see accidents everyday.” Okay then take away licensing and lessons, drivers will then be on equal footing with bike riders, not needed.
I would think comparing bike and vehicle accidents is an erroneous comparison considering the quite different usage and speeds of the two. Love to see a soccer mom hauling around her kids, groceries and dog behind her bike.
Taxation, vehicles keep paying but bike riders don’,t using the same facilities. Not paying gas, so how did your bike get delivered into town?
Serial numbers, interesting comment, does not stop vehicle thefts either but still licensed.
It is mentioned bikes have no wear and tear on roads thus no cost. Well true somewhat but the infrastructure still needs to be installed and maintained. If no cost why is that $500,000 needed.
So Ataloss you want all the biking infrastucture but not having to pay. Hows your solar house?
I have nothing against biking but why bikers think they can have all the road facilities without a usage fee is beyond me.

All you will see is the same privileged, elitist a-holes that you now see in Vancouver, Calgary and to a certain extent Edmonton demanding that their sacred bike lanes be respected while at the same time wanting full usage of the sidewalks and roadways as well.
I couldn’t count the number of times that I have been almost run over by a bike on the sea wall in Vancouver, or the parks in Calgary! Is this what we will create here?
On one occasion right here in town I was stopped at a light beside a cyclist in the bike lane. I wanted to turn right, and when the cyclist saw this he immediately moved ahead to block my turn. When I asked him to move, he swore at me, and suggested that he had the right of way in the bike lane, and I could just go F myself!
For the few bikes that you see on the roads here at any one time, I would suggest that It will create more issues than it solves!
Oh one other thing…perhaps the businesses that front on these proposed bike lanes should be asked if they prefer to have customers be able to park, or 2 bikes per hour be able to pass by unimpeded??

seamutt, would you care to clarify what this road usage fee you speak of is?

Hart Guy, you are right. There are more than two jurisdictions with mandatory helmet laws, which was not the case when I did the research 5 years ago. I’ll have to update my numbers. I will challenge yours too. You say that most Canadian provinces have these laws, but only five do – far from a majority. Most of the countries you list require helmets for minors only, and even then, there are only a handful. In fact, looking at the wikipedia list, it looks like Canada and the US are the ONLY two countries with jurisdictions that requires helmets on all riders in all speed zones.

Of course, none of this negates the fact that cyclists require a designated lane way to navigate traffic safely, which is the main topic at hand. Increased enforcement and new cycling laws won’t change this.

The cyclist was wrong NyteHawwk – and rude. I go one further, if I’m in the bike lane – I pick my bike up and wait on the side walk so cars can turn. Again – lack of courtesy is such a problem – on both sides. I guess I’m such a cycling advocate because it’s how I got from 240 pounds to a healthy BMI and low blood pressure and lots of other health benefits. But that said, I think bikes could put a lot more effort into not p*****g cars off, and I’m tired of these morons downtown riding on the sidewalk too. Bike vs pedestrian is always bad for the pedestrian. And as for our RCMP, the morons ride on the sidewalk right in front of their new home – but I guess we can’t expect much – what can they do, give the guy a ticket – he probably can’t even afford the bike he stole.

from Drivesmart

“Turns at intersections must be made to the first available lane. The bicycle lane is not available on a right turn unless you are a cyclist, so motorists must travel a little further into the intersection before turning. In fact, the Manual of Standard Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings for British Columbia contains a warning sign for this situation instructing that right turns must be made wider than normally.

I have enjoyed reading all the comments, and concerns, many of which I share. However, Ms. Merrick, you lost me at: “Lots of concerns, but many poorly justified.” What a very poor choice of words. These tax paying VOTERS are voicing their opinion, as is their right. You are sounding an awful lot like our previous mayor. Everybody is entitled to their opinions. Maybe get off your soap box and talk to them with a more open mind.

I got grossed out today by a middle aged cyclist, on 18th, in speedo, butt crack showing. OUTLAW SPEEDOS Please!

Pgcyclingclub.ca let’s not forget that for the vast majority of pre-teens and teens the bicycle is their only means of transportation and freedom . How could anybody complain about channeling money to create infrastructure to keep them safe ? How is it that some think that cars and trucks own all the taxes for their exclusive use ?

Lets not muddy the waters. It is a rare year indeed when we are sweeping the streets in February. For the most part Prince George winters run for approx. 6 Months.

It doesn’t matter how many vehicles you own, it is the vehicle that you are driving on the road at the time that need to be insured and licensed . So if you are riding a bike this does not give you a free pass. Its like arguing that if I own three cars my insurance should always cover the one I am driving. It makes some sense, however that is not the way the system works.

So we need to look at licensing bicycles. The charge for a license for a vehicle runs around $75.00 per year even though it is nothing more than a decal. So half that charge for a bike, because of the short summer.

Bicycles are responsible for the use of the roads the same as vehicles (they must be or they would not be claiming that they have the same rights). So we need to have them insured to help offset the cost of the accidents that they are responsible for.

Helmet fines (under the law) cannot exceed $100.00 while the fine for not using your seatbelt is $167.00. I believe the fine in Prince George for not wearing a helmet is about $29.00 plus $5.00 victim impact fee. A fine of this nature is hardly worth the time and effort of an officer to enforce the law, and usually they don’t.

People are very quick to say that driving is a privilege while ignoring the fact that riding a bike, or an electric bicycle is also a privledge.

The health benefits of riding a bike are highly over rated. There are a lot of benefits from walking, but that doesn’t stop the City from making some sidewalks unwalkable in the winter.

So lots of questions and positions, and there will be some good discussions on this issue.

There are ALLOT of cyclists here in Ottawa. Not only is it a very popular pastime and source of exercise, but it’s also very common for people to commute to work by bicycle, with people sometimes travelling 10-20KM each way.

The one thing I think we have here that is really missing in PG though, is an amazing trail network. To get into the downtown core from the outlying areas, you really don’t have to be on the main roads all that much. There is the odd crossing and section where you do, but for the most part, there are dedicated pathways for bikes and foot traffic. It makes it so much easier to accommodate people who want to cycle, rollerblade or even jog or walk.

For those of you who haven’t been to Ottawa, the easiest way I could describe it would be to think of the Cottonwood Park trails or even that pathway that was built on Tyner Blvd a number of years back. I think one way the city could really improve and help cyclists and pedestrians at the same time, would be to invest in the trail infrastructure.

I think you have ample space adjacent to many of the main arterial roads and the trail networks could also connect up to existing trails and/or greenbelt space. With a little planning and investments spread out over a medium term planning horizon, I think you could build a very nice trail network that would make the city that much more liveable.

The bike lanes are also a good idea, if common sense is applied to where they should be installed, but getting the bikes off the roads can also help a great deal.

I wonder how many citizens called her about this, or is she just pushing her personal agenda?

I don’t get it, why do Bikes have to pay a Fee, so he has no Money and now you want them to pay too ,more Taxes for us over taxed, that is a really a smart move, one thing got to be Free and that is riding your Bike!
All I like them to do is follow the Rules of the Road and get of the Sidewalk, notice Walk in the Word Sidewalk.

Jillian, I would respectfully suggest that using 5 year old research is probably not in your best interest.

More recent stats (2013) show that 8 provinces has helmet laws, 5 being all ages and 3 for minors only.

In your reply to my post, you state:

“In fact, looking at the wikipedia list, it looks like Canada and the US are the ONLY two countries with jurisdictions that requires helmets on all riders in all speed zones.”

You really do need to stop using the phrase “In fact” because once again your facts are wrong!

New Zealand has the most rigorously enforced and successful all-age mandatory bicycle helmet law in the world with a helmet wearing rate consistently around 93% since enactment in 1994.

New Zealand is the only country apart from Australia which actively enforces mandatory all-age bicycle helmet laws nationally (although adults are exempt in the Northern Territory of Australia).

Regardless of what you or I consider to be the facts, it is clear that you have an agenda, one that you intend to pursue regardless of it’s economic or logistical feasibility. I say this as someone who drives a gas powered vehicle but also as someone who rides and owns bikes!

Vancouver has mayor moonbeam

we have …. well whatever

maybe all of us should just move if we dont like it

I seem to remember someone else saying something to that effect .

With the budget discussions upcoming every member of council should be spending a majority of their time gaining as much insight as they possibly can into where and how the city spends the taxpayer’s money.

Cracking the cover on the 2015-2019 plan shows the city plans to add a massive amount to the debt load in the next couple of years. In addition to the $7 million the city plans to borrow to implement the recommendations of the snow removal report there is a further $18 million in planned debt from mobile equipment purchases over the next 4 1/2 years…..$25 million over 5 years…must maintain the equipment like the old cop shop.

A further $16 million will be borrowed from the MFA for flood prevention projects from Pulp Mill Road down to Morning Place and in South Fort George.

$40,000,000.00 in new debt coming in the next few years and let’s not forget this group was looking for a way to fast track the library entrance $2.5 mill if memory serves and the PAC is sure to rear it’s head $25 mill+.

The Four Seasons pool has $3.2 Million in “high priority requirement” repairs to the building envelope 100% unfunded…..more borrowing? Required maintenance to the gallery gluelams is also seeking funds…if they become delams it is too late!

And what are council members doing? All jumping on transit buses for a nice photo op, changing names of parks, installing flagpoles at city hall and now bike lanes?? How about leaving the little pet projects till the things you were elected to do are properly dealt with.

Hi Hart Guy. Still not clear on what isn’t “economically or logistically” feasible in my proposal.

“… it calls on the City to develop options for ” the removal of onstreet parking on arterial roadways, in accordance with Section 5.2.4 of the City’s Active Transportation Plan.”

That section of the Active transportation Plan says “frequent parking in bicycle lanes impedes the functionality and safety of the facility and should therefore be controlled”

The keywords are “arterial” and “parking in bicycle lanes.”

It is a reasonable request to make bike riding safer. I know that on my street many cars are blocking the bicycle lanes the whole day. Not just for a few minutes or for a quick visit.

Why would one suggest that bike riders get a license when they are not the problem?

Next thing will be a license to be a pedestrian because pedestrians use sidewalks which need to be built and maintained!

How many bike riders do we have riding downtown and would be using this proposal Jillian? If it’s less than 250 then why are we pandering to such a small percent? What is your real reason for this? “Your proposal” you are supposed to be representing the voters, our last mayor did everything according to her agenda…if you keep this up enjoy your one term.

For me the heart of the matter from both perspectives is education & respect. Cyclists need to educate themselves on the rules of the road & always be hypersensitive to their surrounding conditions. Motorists need to be cognizant of others using our roads (not just cyclists) & respect that operating a 2 ton+ moving object is not a right but a privilege.
Should we license cyclists? Maybe. Perhaps a different tact, build a license fee into the cost of the bike. Personally I don’t ride on roads anymore precisely because of idiot motorists, having been run off the road 1 time too many (& there were many incidents) I decided to stick to the trails. NMG had a good point in that other communities have trail systems that make commutes safer with less interaction between motor vehicles & cyclists. No real easy answers but as others pointed out, cycling is a fun, inexpensive & easy way to be active with family or friends. There has to be a way to satisfy most everyone.

usage fees are the ongoing taxes and license fees a vehicle owner pays over and above personal taxes. Sparrow nailed it.

potholes think potholes worse for bikes than cars.

Geez you guys have lost it completely . Why not also charge wheel chair ,mobility scooters for making sidewalks accessible . And licence them to cover the cost making ramps into public spaces . And make them wear helmets even if they don’t want too . I guess that’s also pandering to the handycaped by not making them pay their own way , right? Now how many of them are there anyway ? Are we being cost effective ? Why do I have to pay for making side walks wheel chair friendly anyway ? Because we live in a civilized society ! That’s why .

Hi P Val. There were 591 riders registered in this year’s Bike to Work Week, which is only a portion of the total cyclists in the city. Another indicator is the economic activity cyclists generate; there are five independent bike shops in town in addition to all of the major retailers that carry bicycles and bike accessories. Unfortunately, we have no way of tracking the true number of cyclists in the city, but When asked to prove that bike lanes are “needed,” remember that it’s hard to justify a bridge by the number of people swimming across a river.

Dan Rodgers was the build bike paths guy. Unfortunately a bunch of Shari Green supporters sent him down the road.

Even with the **bike to work week** the best number they could get was around 500, so we have some idea how many people actually bike.

Going up the Hart this afternoon around 430 I saw 5 bikers. One going West of 5th with a helmet, etc; and two going East of 5th with no helmets, riding on the sidewalk. 5th Avenue is supposed to be closed to bikes. Hmmmmm.

The other one was going up the Hart hill with a helment and riding in the bike lane, and the other was going South on 97 on the West side, with a helmet. So, different strokes for different folks.

Licensing bikes would give the City a little revenue, however the real reason would be to get a good idea of just how many people actually bike in Prince George. Not many I am guessing.

Remember the old adage **Let sleeping dogs lie**. This may be the case for bicycles. Seems to me that the number of bikers don’t require this amount of spending, however if we do spend it, then we need to make sure that we get value for money spent.

Most Countries nowadays believe that biking and the health benefits attached to it, far offset the cost of people having to wear helmets, so they have changed their laws to helmets for those under 12 or 15 years of age. Seems to make sense to me.

Perhaps we need some off/on ramps on our sidewalks to give bikers an opportunity to go to the sidewalk when the bike lanes are being used for parking.

There are solutions to these problems without getting into the they or us mentality. Lets see if the City can come up with some creative ideas that keep everyone happy and solves the problem.

The last thing you want to be doing is ticketing people parking in bike lanes when there are no bikers.

Jillian, economically – do we have enough bike riders to justify spending a huge amount of money? You say that there were 591 riders registered in this year’s Bike to Work Week and you then state that this is only a portion of the total cyclists in the city? No kidding!

What you fail to say is that only a very small portion of the total number of cyclists in the city actually registered for the Bike to Work Week. You talk about the total number of cyclists in the city as if it is a huge number that will ride to work. It is more likely that the vast majority of cyclists in the city are kids who won’t for a number of reasons ride their bikes to school in good weather, let alone winter weather! Most adult cyclists are like me, fair weather riders who occasionally ride for pleasure and not as a means of commuting to and from work!

Seems that you want to spend a LOT of money for a select few, a very select few!

Well Jillian if the city is maintaining the bridges the number of people swimming across the river might be the measure on deciding to rebuild the bridge or not after it has collapsed due to poor maintenance.

The re-enforcement of the beams in the Foothills bridge due to be completed this year is a job that was supposed to be completed a decade ago but kept getting put on the unfunded side of the ledger. And currently there are things like exposed rebar in bridges that again is lacking for funds…..yet no problem with spending 1/2 a mill to put GPS in vehicles and 130k to build a garage to keep vehicles warm at the city yard.

Costs rise exponentially when regular maintenance is delayed. To put it in terms you can understand if you fail to maintain proper air pressure in your bike tire, when you do get around to it you might also have to get a new tire and tube because they will no longer hold air.

No problem though we can always have dedicated kayak and canoe lanes on the Fraser to separate them from the swimmers and motorboats.

Jillian, logistically speaking, do we have the funding that will be required on an ongoing and annual basis to plow snow from bike lanes? We seem to have a problem finding sufficient funding to clear the roads for the vast majority of this city’s citizens, the automobile user and commuter!

I envision a lot of bike lanes being blocked with snow, but that’s ok because I also envision very few cyclists braving the ice and snow! We don’t seem to have too many regular cycle commuters in the summer. I don’t expect that number to increase when the snow flies.

So logistically, what I expect to see is snowed-in impassible bike lanes with very few people even willing to try to navigate them! If you expect to see otherwise, then I’ve got a bridge that I could sell you!

Hi Hart Guy. I think you may have misread my proposal – to remove parking from existing bike lanes. These lane ways are built, plowed and maintained already There is no proposed change to the budget.

I wonder if the number of kids at a workplace on Bring Your Kids To Work Day is indicitive of the number of kids you would find in that office the rest of the year?

A good portion of the bikes sold in town are used for trail riding and their wheels seldom if ever touch the pavement.

sparrow, my bicycle wheels touch the pavement now and again! Not for a commute to work, but for a nice leisurely family bike ride, out and about enjoying the neighbourhood, the fresh air and our long summer evenings!

Perhaps we should get some dedicated bike lanes up here in the Hart? Not so sure that they would get plowed in the winter though! We have a tough enough time getting our roads plowed in a timely fashion up here! But as long as we get bike lanes plowed downtown for Jillian and her friends, then I guess that it’s all good, right?

Sparrow, “A good portion of the bikes sold in town are used for trail riding and their wheels seldom if ever touch the pavement.”. I would respectfully disagree in that maybe a good portion of bikes sold are trail bikes but it is the other way around, most trail bikes rarely see “trails”. In an average day of running around I would hazard a rough guess that I see between fifty & a hundred cyclists. Do I notice them more because I am an avid cyclist & watch for them? Hard to say, but they are there.

Lots of good comments on this topic. I for one would not want to ride a bike up and down Pedan Hill everyday to work and back and compete with heavy traffic and big trucks. The grade is too step and long for the average bicyclists. Where is our truck route to divert some of this traffic from having to drive in and through town to go eastward? Very few people want or can ride up and down the Hart and Foot Hills to the Hart area. Very few people can ride a bike up to the University. My point being that once you leave the bowl of Pr George, we are surrounded by steep grades that very few bike riders can manage, then bring in our short bike riding season and one must wonder what is Ms. Merrick thinking? Seriously we have people living and shooting up drugs in our streets and we got all this money for bike lanes? We have people wondering the streets with mental illness and bike lanes is so important? They will be covered with snow for a good five months. Just amazing. Where is the leadership we voted for?

Domano has had Bike lane markings painted all along the stretch in front of College Heights Secondary and the ball diamonds on both sides. When people are playing baseball down there they have both sides of Domano clogged with parked cars. Where they going to park now?

Jillian says…..”Vehicles pay for insurance because they kill hundreds of people and cause millions in damage”

Sorry, but vehicles don’t pay for insurance, kill hundreds of people or cause millions in damage.


Posted on Monday, August 17, 2015 @ 10:28 AM by Palopu
I notice that the issue of having a bicycle license is being ignored.

Lets get the license requirement back. Somewhere in the area of $75.00 per year like we do for cars, with a special rate for families. This gives us a good idea of how many bikers there actually are, and of course give the bikers the opportunity to participate in paying for the roads, and bike lanes than they use.

Hey I know, lets tax everyone for the air we breath. What say you Pal?

That’s your response Jillian? Some silly saying…? Enjoy your one term.

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