New Sign Being Unveiled
By Larry Pamer
The Richmond Community Cycling Committee is pleased to announce the addition of a new traffic sign to the Richmond City'scape. It will show cyclists and motorists what cyclists should do when they approach a major intersection that has right turn lanes.
The new sign replaces the existing Bike Lane Merges sign that tells motorists and cyclists of the temporary end of the bike lane in order to provide a right-turn only lane for motorists. Unlike the existing sign, the new sign clearly indicates the appropriate merge left movement into the through traffic lane for cyclists who are proceeding through the intersection. This lane change by through-travelling cyclists prevents unnecessary delays for motorists who might be prevented from turning right on a red light due to a cyclist waiting in the right turn lane.
The impetus for the new sign came from the Cycling Committees goal to aid operation of the #98 B-Line bus service, which turns makes a right turn from westbound Granville Avenue to No. 3 Road. Thus, the first sign will be installed on Granville Avenue between Buswell Street and No. 3 Road. If the sign is found to be effective, the intention is to replace the remaining Bike Lane Merges signs in the city as part of the regular maintenance program.
The new sign is also exciting for those of us who enjoy using bicycles as a means of transportation because it adheres to the current wisdom in cycling circles that effective safety measures hinge on the co-ordinated education of cyclists and motorists. In this case, the sign tells cyclists who are proceeding through an intersection that they should vacate the right turn lane area of the road when approaching the intersection.
This lane change has to be done with care. The cyclist should perform a shoulder check, use a proper hand signal to communicate the lane change and, finally, yield to traffic in the through lane before merging. Motorists should co-operate with these cyclists to help free up the right turn lane and be mindful of the fact that this movement is not simply an infringement on their road space.
The Community Cycling Committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month at City Hall and welcomes new members. We also like to hear from cyclists and other road users as to their suggestions for making Richmond a more safe and pleasant community to cycle in. For more information on the Cycling Committee or to pass on your thoughts, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-272-4351) or Joan Caravan in the City's Transportation Department, 604-276-4035.