A marked bike route along 117th Avenue in Maple Ridge. Cycling advocates want the District of Maple Ridge to install more signs

A marked bike route along 117th Avenue in Maple Ridge. Cycling advocates want the District of Maple Ridge to install more signs

Signs needed to better cycling in Maple Ridge

Cycling advocates say the District of Maple Ridge needs a map to identify bike routes

If you don’t know what actually is a designated bike route, it can be difficult to ride on it.

So cycle advocate Jackie Chow wants the District of Maple Ridge to install more signs, so riders know the paths that have been set out for them.

“There’s no signage yet so people don’t know where to go,” Chow said during Bike to Work Week, May 26 to June 1.

“The cycling plan for the town core is basically some lines on the map that most people don’t know about.”

In particular, Chow would like some signs identifying the “bike path to nowhere,” the 655-metre multi-use path on Lougheed Highway, from 216th Street to Laity Street, built last year at a cost of a million dollars. She’d like to see signs indicating where the route leads, along with map of the route.

The district hasn’t yet produced a map and put it online for people, she notes.

Chow is also inviting people on downtown rides throughout the summer.

Chow says the path does lead somewhere and she wants people to realize that.

By taking a brief jog south on Laity Street, cyclists can hook on to the bike path on 117th Avenue and continue heading west.

Chow points out only about $200,000 of the entire project was for the cycle path.

The rest of the money was used for installing curbs and gutters, a retaining wall and improving drainage and lighting. With the price tag of a million dollars for such a small project, it makes it difficult to get funding for future cycling.

“It was a major project, but the path was only a small part of it.”

But municipal engineer Dave Pollock said all of the work was required because the bike path was being installed.

BikeBC Program chipped in $488,956 for the path, with the district giving the same.

TransLink put in $269,875 towards the project. Maple Ridge allocates $50,000 a year for cycling infrastructure.

Chow also said more effort should be made to make cycling easier.

“The main purpose of getting us bike routes is to get us out of the way of cars. But at the same time, they should  look at how they can make those routes faster for cyclists so you don’t have to stop at every intersection.

RCMP were out on the streets Thursday promoting safe cycling.

“All parents should ensure their children have a properly fitted bike helmet before they learn to ride a bike,” said Cpl. Alanna Dunlop.