bike lanes

The bike lanes in Wolfville are so full of potholes some cyclists say they don't feel safe on the road. (CBC)

A petition in Wolfville, N.S., is asking town council to make cyclists stop using the sidewalk, but the bike lanes are so full of potholes some cyclists say they don't feel safe on the road.

Joan Boutilier is legally blind, with just five percent of her vision.

"So I don't see them coming and I'm worried about being knocked over or being hit by a bicycle, coming along the sidewalk at high speed that I either don't see or don't hear,” she said.

Boutilier started a petition asking council to make cyclists stop using the sidewalk.

"Many seniors, when I've been in the post office with the petition have run over and said, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ Several people have told me they've had close encounters, and three people have told me they've been knocked down by bicycles,” she said.

Joan Boutilier

Joan Boutilier says she's been almost knocked over by cyclists riding on the sidewalk. (cbc)

Boutilier's petition also asks council to fix the bike lanes because asking cyclists to get off the sidewalk means putting them on a cracked, gravelled, often potholed shoulder.

Jim Shatford says he has taken the sidewalk, but only because the bike lanes are narrow and dangerous.

"I'm guilty… because it's much safer than being on the road. I try and avoid as much as I can the sidewalks here in town by taking some of the back roads, but there's a few sections where I have ridden on the sidewalk and I know it's against the law,” he said.

He thinks the petition is on the right track, but a faster solution could be to finish a shared-use trail from Wolfville to Greenwich.

"Long-term hopefully it will be fixed, but it's not going to be an immediate repaving of Main Street, so this is a problem that's going to exist until that's done," he said.

The petition has gathered about 250 signatures in 10 days. Boutilier says she'll take it to town council in October.