The city is in crisis, and Windsor Council is doing nothing. Councilors wouldn’t even consider looking into a possible temporary solution to the daily battles between motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
One was offered at last week’s Council meeting by Ward 10 Councillor Paul Borrelli. As the CBC reported, so vividly, on July 18, his bid to, “… allow cycling on city sidewalks came to a screeching halt …”
Certainly, having cyclists messing with pedestrians is not the best solution to a problem of a city with too few exclusive cycling paths. But, it could be an interim solution to calm the madness of cyclists riding like there are no rules.
Those who have walked the streets of the once rosy city know full well that Windsor’s cyclists and its pedestrians do not mix well. It is mostly because, too often, the cyclists have little regard for the walkers. Of course, the reason the cyclists are on the sidewalks is because most Windsor motorists have little regard for them.
Borrelli told the public broadcaster he was, “… very surprised the others wouldn’t even consider the idea of a pilot project to see if it’s a viable solution. I thought this would be an opportunity to actually improve cycling in Windsor and make it more safe.”
Safety is a key point.
Why the others wouldn’t listen is hard to comprehend. The way it is now, cyclists take their lives into their hands when riding the pavement and pedestrians take their lives into their hands when walking the concrete.
As a motorist, this writer is almost daily subjected to life and death situations caused by cyclists riding the wrong way or far too often ignoring stop signs. It is a situation that has started to flood Facebook with tales of near misses.
There are even letters to the editor of the Windsor Star. Sharon McKeown had her views published July 22, when she talked of being, “… appalled by the number of cyclists that expect me to get off of the sidewalk so that they can ride by.”
Part of the solution is obvious.
Cyclists need to prove they know the rules of the road. One way is to make them pass a test before they can obtain a bike licence. A little education can go a long way.
The money the city can expect from licence fees could be rolled back into constructing more bike lanes.
It is a problem that is not going away.
Last year, the March 23 edition of Now Magazine reported that, “… more than half of Torontonians cycle – and fewer are riding solely for recreational purposes.”
Bike use is also growing in Windsor, according to the local paper on April 15.