Cyclist beware: We are talking of the most dangerous road in whole Canada.
According to many maps, there is a separated bike lane able to make your trip safer, shielded from street-racer (Knight street is a favorite spot for that), armada of container trucks barreling down Knight street and other intimidating traffic. Here we go:
If you bike can fit into the bike lane, you will have to find your way among debris and other waste, courtesy of Richmond city
The bike lane, not much wider than a bike handle bar, is supposed to be bi-directional, and shared with pedestrian:
Entering or exiting the bike lane, can be challenging:
It is hard to get on the mandatory cycle track
The bike lane is mandatory, says the sign, posted 350 meter after the beginning of the concrete barrier (in black on map): Does cyclists are really expected to jump onto the barrier?
Some cyclists will prefer to use the roadway, but most will try to use the bike lane:
The concrete barriers start at Richmond Bridgeport interchange: to be on the right side of it, suppose to cycle on the Richmond sidewalk: that is illegal!
- beside jumping onto the concrete barrier, the only other option is to ride illegally the Bridegport sidewalk in Richmond
The later option is the one usually preferred by the cyclists, what tends to irate pedestrians and transit riders waiting their bus there:
- The Bridegport sidewalk is narrow, and has bus stops
Exiting of it, is also a bit of challenge in itself too:
East side bike lane, merging to Knight Street in Vancouver: Welcome to the real world (the most dangerous intersection in Canada say the medias)!- Where the handrail stands is the entrance of a trail joining 64th avenue: cyclists are discouraged to use it.
Did you know that bike are not allowed in bus lane in BC? following the sign is both illegal (breaking solid lines) and pretty unsafe on this exit ramp.
Riding along the bike lane is not a breeze either:
Most cyclists fail to dismount their bike and disobey the law regarding using crosswalk (BC MVA 183.2.b ) at ramp crossing, but they still tend to stop for obvious reasons:
narrow entrance at ramp crossing, with bumper, or kerb, are the rule on Knight Bridge
That makes the ride much more cumbersome, and not any safer: gaining momentum from a standing position, require lot of energy, and attention, which is then not focused on traffic as the cyclist in the above picture illustrates.
Better practice from Lyon, France:
The example below is at the Bd Irene Joliot Curie and Bd Pheripherique Laurent Bonnevay intersection (redone when the tramway T4 has been built):
- Cyclist are not required to stop, at each crossing, even less to dismount, what allows them to spend less time in hazardous zone, and still proceed safely:
Lyon, FR: entry ramp: Motorist yields to cyclist and pedestrian - exit ramp: cyclist yields to motorist. The bike path hook, provide line of sight on incoming traffic. There is no bike path discontinuity
In the meantime, authorities spare no money to upgrade the roadway for motorists, and cyclist have usually to cope with that:
Sign on Knight bridge, at Mitchell Island interchange, resting in the middle of the pathway, also advertised as a bike lane.
The sign had been placed by a City of Richmond’s contractor, and Translink took action to get it removed after got noticed of it
Normal people will obviously give up in face of all those inconvenience (did I mention, the snow and ice on the uncleared bike path in winter?), and the “bike to work” week, will be just that: a week! It is too bad, since it is a bottleneck which deserve much greater attention that it has, and both cycling and transit can go a long way to increase the capacity of Knight Bridge to move people
Nevertheless one can still see either
- hardcore cyclists, all renegade breaking the law in one way or another, as seen above, and admittedly, it is the only way to cycle decently on Knight bridge
- or eventually lost cyclists on the bridge (also breaking the law), may be mislead by some cycling maps, presenting the Knight bridge cycle tracks are the same as the Stanley park bike path!
Cyclist, beware, don’t trust the cycling maps!
Cyclist could be seen may be also because, taking the bus here is even a worse experience:
The arduous trail to the Mitchell island bus stop SB: muddy in winter, dusty in summer, slippy all the time!