March 27, 2014 - 4:15 PM
Now that spring has arrived, the warmer weather and longer days draw residents outside to bike and walk on Kelowna’s bike lanes and pathways.
Safety is paramount and relies on everyone’s awareness and understanding of how to interact with other road or path users. Riders are encouraged to review the City of Kelowna’s Traffic Bylaws that pertain to cycling. In particular, all riders are required to wear a bicycle helmet and obey the rules of the road, proper pathway etiquette and remember that cycling is not permitted on sidewalks.
Motorists are asked to drive aware, obey posted speed limits and to share all roads with cyclists paying particular attention within school zones. Parking or driving in bike lanes throughout Kelowna is not permitted and motorists should be mindful of these rules at all times.
"If everyone is predicable and abides by traffic rules, it significantly reduces the risk of an accident," says Mike Kittmer, Active Transportation Coordinator for the Central Okanagan. “The popularity of bike riding continues to grow as families and individuals incorporate cycling into their daily lives for both transportation and recreation. Whether walking, biking or driving, consider others; being patient and vigilant ensures that we all get to our destinations safely.”
An experienced cyclist himself, Kittmer says it is much more comfortable riding on the road with traffic when you know the rules and have a planned route. He suggests cyclists visit bikesense.bc.ca for bicycle safety tips and regulations. “When you follow the rules of the road, drivers respect you and are better able to interact with you safely.” The City of Kelowna and Kelowna and Area Cycling Coalition offer cycling skills programs for those interested in cycling but are concerned about doing so on roadways.
The City of Kelowna is currently sweeping all bike lanes and most roadways. To make riding safer and more enjoyable, bike lanes in Kelowna are swept several times during spring and summer. Kelowna continues to expand upon the almost 300 kilometres of on-street bike lanes and more than 80 kilometres of shared-use pathways.
Cyclists are also encouraged to lock up their rides. The City of Kelowna offers bicycle locker rental on a monthly basis in the Pandosy Village and downtown Kelowna areas. To incent businesses to support cycling, qualifying businesses can receive a bike rack installed at a 50 per cent discount, through the City of Kelowna’s Cost Shared Bike Rack Program.
This year Bike to Work and School Week is May 26 to June 1 and the community is encouraged to sign up for this much anticipated, fun community event. Cycle to work or school with colleagues, family or friends and enjoy fun support stations along the way all week. For more on Bike to Work Week and cycling in the Central Okanagan, visit smartTRIPS.ca.
A map of cycling routes in Kelowna is available at local bike shops or online at kelowna.ca/transportation.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014