Whitehorse seeks public input to update cycling rules

The City of Whitehorse is asking residents to help shape new rules for bicycle use in the city.

Current bylaw is more than 30 years old

The City of Whitehorse is asking residents to help shape new rules for bicycle use in the city.

The current bylaw is more than 30 years old, and cyclists say it’s time the issue is dealt with.

Francis Casaubon is an avid cyclist. He doesn't own a car and bikes everywhere he goes, all year long.

He knows the frustration cyclists sometimes have with motorists, especially during the winter.

He's producing a half-hour video about it, called Share the Road.

Casaubon said that in the last four years, cycling in the city has become a real problem.

"There's a lack of communication for now because it’s a new phenomenon. And you know there's winter cyclists for their part they said, ‘you know I would like there to be more respect on the road’, and there's a car that sometimes thinks some bikes should not be allowed to be on the road," he said.

The city's current biking rules were enacted in 1976. So now, the city has launched a survey to get the public’s input to develop a new bike bylaw.

"Cycling within the City of Whitehorse has changed significantly over the past 30 plus years. We have a lot of different trails now, a lot of different roads, certainly more traffic lights and the like, and a lot busier streets. The last update to the bylaw was in 2003 and that was an amendment for the cyclists to have helmets," said Dave Pruden, the manager of bylaw services.

Pruden said the city wants input on everything from helmets, to cycling on the sidewalks, and winter cycling.

Casaubon says the survey is a step in the right direction.

Up until now, he says the city has lacked education and leadership on the issue. Casaubon says there should be more protection for bike commuters.

Public input starts today and runs to April 29. The survey can be found on the city's website.