Change traffic laws on bikeways
Now that we are investing in improving our (already mostly amazing) separated bikeways, it's time to change the laws on them to reflect the reality that riding a bike is different from driving a car, and the rules of the road were made for cars. I am tired of explaining to people who have never ridden a bike in the city why it's not feasible to stop at every stop sign, esp when they are quiet 4 way stops, at the bottom of a hill, etc. There seems to be a backlash among drivers that cyclists are out of control anarchists, just because we interpret some road laws differently. I'd love to see the laws (and thus citizen expectations) change to allow bikes to have slightly different rules - only on these official bike ways, that reflect the reality of what it's like to ride a bike.
The City recently began implementing 30-km/h speed limits on local street bikeways.
Other measures may require changes to provincial legislation. In these cases, the City’s role will be to advocate for appropriate changes to the legislative framework around cycling.
Rolling stops at 4-ways, and stop-and-gos at all other (empty) intersections. There's no reason why I should have to stop at a 4-way stop sign on a traffic reduced side-road, when I'm only going 5 kph, and can safely look both ways and if need be come to a stop within a few feet. A car needs a stop sign because it's speed reduces reaction time significantly..
I would love to see bike routes that are are clearly labeled "Yeild to bikes". I make a point of using the bike routes and staying off major road ways, but too often am honked at etc... by cars trying to use them as a fast route through quite streets.
The "Idaho stop" philosophy of proceeding through intersections safely without completely losing momentum should be adopted here. I'm dismayed by the amount of Vancouver law enforcement resources deployed to ticket cyclists on marked bike routes under motor vehicle statutes. It sadly doesn't equate to rider education, instead it fuels frustration and antagonism between cyclists and law enforcement.
Steven Forth commented
Hi Jason - In fact most cars come to a rolling stop at stop signs, not a complete stop. I think this idea is worth looking into, what do they do in Amsterdam and Copenhagen?
Note: Alexandre V.'s idea "Network of Rapid Bike Lane" has been merged with this one.
"A lot of us love riding bicycles, but hate stopping at light and stop signs. Let's minimize stops and increase safety: Switch stop signs to the crossed intersection when possible; Create new bikes lanes where few lights will need to be crossed, like Cornwall, 4th & 6th Ave."
Naoko Ellis commented
Converting the old train tracks into bike/walk trail (just like in the Galloping Goose Trail on Vancouver Island) will allow cyclists to get to their destination quicker.