Maple Ridge cycling ban bylaw on this week

Three readings recommended at council

A bylaw change that bans bicycles on city sidewalks went to Maple Ridge council Tuesday night for three readings and if passed, would put the city on par with most other B.C. cities.

Council has been considering changing the Highway and Traffic Bylaw after the active transportation advisory committee suggested in 2017 that the city ban cycling on only four major sidewalks in the downtown, (Dewdney Trunk Road, Lougheed Highway, 224th Street, and Edge Street).

Doing so would have allowed cyclists to pedal on all other city sidewalks, provided they do so safely.

However, a staff review earlier this month gave council four options when it came to allowing cycling on sidewalks.

The city could just ban cycling on certain sidewalks, as recommended; or, the city could extend that ban to other sidewalks.

Two other options were to simply allow cycling, along with roller skating and skateboarding, on all city sidewalks following a bylaw change in 2009 that allowed that, or, simply ban cycling on all sidewalks.

Council, though, opted for a fifth option proposed by Mayor Mike Morden, removing the section that allows cycling on all sidewalks so that Maple Ridge’s Highway and Traffic bylaw conforms to B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act, with the additional phrase, “that staff communicate and educate residents and enforcement officers relative to enforcement of unsafe practices.”

Enforcement would be based on bad behaviour, he said earlier.

A report from the Oct. 22 committee meeting notes that city departments, along with the RCMP, will work to make people aware of the changes.

The transportation advisory committee also recommended a complementary measure of reducing the speed limit on some parts of 224th Street to 30 kilometres an hour, but council didn’t support that.

Coun. Kiersten Duncan was the only councillor who voted to keep cycling on sidewalks at the Oct. 1 meeting.

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