Maple Ridge allows cycling on all its sidewalks. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge allows cycling on all its sidewalks. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge looking at limiting cycling on sidewalks

Committee recommends banning biking on 224th Street, Lougheed Highway in downtown

Maple Ridge council is looking at dialing back its bylaw that allows people to cycle on sidewalks.

A report to council from the city’s active transportation advisory committee recommends banning biking on sidewalks on 224th Street, from North Avenue to 122nd Avenue.

It also recommends cycling be banned on sidewalks on Dewdney Trunk Road from 222nd to 227th street; on Lougheed Highway from 222nd to 227th street; and on Edge Street, from Dewdney Trunk Road to McIntosh Avenue.

Maple Ridge passed a bylaw in January 2010 which allows cycling or rollerblading or skate boarding on sidewalks provided it’s done carefully.

But since then, Maple Ridge has grown and the city’s received several complaints about people cycling on sidewalks, particularly in the downtown, says a report to council.

After researching the issue, the transportation advisory committee found that only New Westminster allows cycling on sidewalks.

Council has yet to discuss the issue, however. A concluding remark from staff says that people will always ride on the sidewalk, regardless of bylaws banning them.

The intent of the bylaw passed in 2010 was to encourage families and kids to use two-wheeled transportation safely and to avoid dangerous roads such as Dewdney Trunk Road, providing they always yield to pedestrians.

Staff reported a year after the bylaw was passed that there were three incidents involving cyclists on sidewalks.

Council later will also discuss reducing the speed limit on 224th Street to 30 kmh, between Lougheed Highway and Dewdney Trunk Road. The staff report though notes that traffic speed is determined by the physical condition of a particular road, its width, etc, and that putting a speed limit of 30 kmh on that road just reflects the actual speeds that people are doing.