New Vancouver Bike Lane Could Cause More Accidents

A new bike lane in the City of Vancouver is causing concern among cyclists as a safety hazard, according to a recent story in the CBC. Bike paths in car- and pedestrian-heavy areas that merge with car lanes increase chances of a personal injury and are a particular threat to the safety of more novice riders, cyclists say.

The freshly installed bike path on Smithe Street, which begins west of Beatty Street in Vancouver’s downtown core, overlaps with car traffic at about the halfway point down each block, as the bike lane merges with the right-hand turning lane for motor vehicles at each intersection.

Adding fuel to the fire, both bicycle signs and right-hand arrows for cars are painted onto the pavement of the turning lanes, which cycling advocates argue only causes confusion for both cyclists and drivers alike.

The city claims that construction of the lane had to be expedited after the launch of Mobi, Vancouver’s public bike-sharing program, but that extra new curbs were nonetheless installed as part of the process to help guide traffic.

However, cyclists maintain that the lane as it was constructed is more bewildering than intuitive, and that cars are bound to collide with cyclists either as they merge into the bike lane or attempt a right-hand turn without checking their blind spot.

Experienced bicyclists suggest trying to avoid the bike lane all together by taking a different route, since a bicycle lane shared with traffic on a busy street can never be as safe as a fully separated bike lane. If you must bike down Smithe Street, travel at a moderate speed and always be sure to regularly check for merging and turning traffic over your left shoulder to adequately react to any sudden moves from motor vehicles.

In the unfortunate event that you’re injured from a motor vehicle while riding your bike on Smithe Street or anywhere else in Metro Vancouver, contact BLW Lawyers immediately. We are experienced and well-trained in personal-injury insurance law involving bicycles and accidents with motor vehicles, so we can fight for your rights. Call us today at 604-689-3883 or email us at for more information.

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