City council passed a bylaw which makes it an offence to park in bike lanes in Prince George. This motion was put forward by Jillian Merrick to help improve cyclists safety. The motion passed with only one dissenting voice. Brian Skakun felt that the bike lanes were under used by the public and the added costs that would be needed to improve parking options were unnecessary. This new bylaw will affect 69km of the 72 km of bike lanes in Prince George. The 3km of bike lanes which are not affected need more work before ready for the new bylaw.
The process for this motion it was long, it was brought in front of council on February 1st 2016. At that time the motion was referred to staff to conduct a study on how would imposing these restrictions would affect the community. L&M Engineering as hired to perform the study at a cost of $70,000. The study included a feasibility analysis and a way to implement the new bylaw.
There was many problematic areas around the community; Rainbow Park, CN Centre, outside the Phoenix Medical Centre, and the PG soccer fields were among the most discussed. Complaints relating to lack of parking option at Rainbow park and the distance of the parking options for the Soccer fields were some of the complaints heard by the city. It was due to these complications that particular areas like those ones were except for a time being until proper accommodations were put in place by the city.
The city will allow for an educational period where signs are put up and information is given to the community about these new regulations. This will include warnings by bylaw officers and information in local media. Though eventually towing and tickets will be brought in, this was some of the statements made by Brian Skakun.
According to Bikesafety.caa.ca 7,500 people a year are injured while riding bikes. Cyclists are more likely to be injured or killed at an intersection or at a location with a traffic signal or other traffic control signal.