British Columbia

Cyclist calls for fellow riders to show a little courtesy on the road

After her 84-year-old neighbour was hit by a cyclist — in an alleged hit and run — Katrina Archer is asking her fellow riders to be more considerate on Vancouver's streets.

Katrina Archer says cyclists and drivers need to be more considerate of those around them

Author Katrina Archer says cyclists often need to use the same routes and infrastructure as pedestrians, so they need to be considerate. (Ariane Colenbrander/Flickr)

Local author Katrina Archer says when her 84-year-old neighbour was hit by a cyclist, "it was the last straw."

The accident happened on a pedestrian-only footbridge on False Creek, and Archer — a cyclist herself — says it shows how too many local cyclists are riding dangerously in Vancouver.

"I regularly see cyclists who are just ignoring the laws, especially regarding giving pedestrians the right of way," Archer told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

"And if you call them out on that, more often than not … they're not apologetic about it, they tend to get really incensed and offended and sometimes even threatening."

Archer says her neighbour encountered the cyclist on the bridge, which was clearly marked as pedestrian only.

The neighbour claims that when he asked the cyclist to dismount, the cyclist allegedly hit him intentionally, breaking his hip.

"As far as we can tell, it's a hit and run," she said.

Same goes for motorists

Archer says it's not just cyclists who need a lesson in road etiquette — many drivers could use the same.

Local author Katrina Archer says when her 84-year-old neighbour was hit by a cyclist, “it was the last straw.” (CBC)

She thinks run-ins with cyclists might stand out more because cyclists can talk back, unlike someone in a car with the windows rolled up.

"I would like to see more civility in those instances," she said. "I've tried to be very clear: it's a small number of bad apples in the community, and we, as cyclists, kind of need to take responsibility for cycling as a whole."

"When we talk about cyclists' rights, we also need to talk about cyclists' responsibilities."

Archer thinks part of the issue might be education. If more people are choosing not to get a driver's license, and driver's education is about the only formal education on road use many people get, the roads are becoming more lawless.

She thinks it might be time for the schools to step in and offer a course on road safety and courtesy in high school.

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: 'I would like to see more civility:' cyclist asks fellow riders to be better road users