Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Owning a car is not a status symbol

I am a life long cyclist who uses a bike for transportation in urban environments

Thank-you to Ms. Kindred and Mr. Gilliam for your activism and letters (Penticton Western News July 10 and 17) concerning the issue of cyclists riding Penticton sidewalks.

I am a life-long cyclist who uses a bike for transportation in urban environments.

Approximately 30 years ago, I rode on the sidewalk of one of the busiest intersections in Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue district, because I was scared of the traffic. A city bylaw officer stopped me. He said (and I paraphrase): Madam, your bicycle is a vehicle in Canada. Bicycles belong on the road. They’re a hazard to pedestrians strolling on the walkways. Here’s a pamphlet explaining how to ride on the streets properly. It explains hand signals and how to bike with traffic. The next time I see you cycling here, I will fine you $25.

The officer then proceeded to remind me of all the ways cyclists can safely get around a city without using sidewalks. “There are all kinds of one-ways, alleys and bike paths,” he said.

That was over a quarter of a century ago. Rest assured there are no cyclists on Edmonton’s sidewalks. Contrary to the City of Penticton’s reluctance to address the problem in 2019.

And might I remind city councillors and citizens; there is no carbon dioxide emitting from the rear end of a bicycle as in the case of most vehicles.

From Mother Nature’s perspective, owning a car is not a status symbol. It’s a forest fire, flood and hurricane waiting to happen.

Beth Gleason


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