'Off to a great start': Bike Regina to work with City on new cycling bylaws
REGINA -- Riding a bike on busy city streets can be dangerous, but the City of Regina is hoping to change that.
"We need to make this city more inviting to cyclists, pedestrians and to everybody who wants to get out of their car," Ward 3 Councillor Andrew Stevens said.
City Administration presented 16 cycling centric amendments to the City’s Traffic Safety Bylaw during Wednesday’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting.
The amendments would establish fines aimed at ensuring motorists share the road with cyclists through safe following distances and proper passing protocol.
Cyclists would also be prohibited from riding on certain roads, like sections of Ring Road and the Bypass.
"There’s lots of really good things in there, anything that makes it safer for bikes, we’re going to be in favour of," Angèle Poirier, a board member with Bike Regina, said.
The committee decided to refer the rules back to administration for more consultation with the city’s cycling community with a new report to be prepared for January.
"I thought it’d be best to actually take it to them, what would be the implications and try to establish some buy-in," Stevens said.
"This conversation is off to a great start, they heard us when we made our presentation on Wednesday and the thing is we are the seasoned cyclists who know how motorists tend to behave out on the road," Poirier added.
Bike Regina’s biggest concerns with the amendments centred on the far-right of the road being stated as the safest place for cyclists, which the organization said isn’t the case.
"All you’re doing when you ride in the far-right of the lane and we know at Bike Regina know this from experience is you’re just inviting motorists to pass in the same lane as you, which is essentially a direct violation of amendment four," Poirier said.
Bike Regina would also like to see a buffer zone in place for when vehicles pass cyclists, which was basis of the original motion that led to the amendments, however, the Regina Police Service explained it would be hard to judge that when issuing a fine.
Both the Councillors and Bike Regina agree that in addition to new safety measure being put in place, education for cyclists and motorists on how to share the road will be the most important aspect in creating a safe environment for both on Regina streets.