[NFBWATlk] we can help one another make streets safer

Mary Ellen gabias at telus.net
Mon Aug 17 16:35:20 UTC 2020

The city of Victoria, British Columbia, has created bike lanes that are
physically set apart from sidewalks and automobile traffic.  This would be a
good thing, except that pedestrians are now forced to cross these bike lanes
in the middle of the block in order to board or leave a bus.  As you can
imagine, pedestrians cannot hear bicycles coming and cyclists aren't
expecting pedestrians to cross at random times to reach the bus stop.  The
result is dangerous for all.


The Canadian Federation of the Blind is in the midst of a human rights
tribunal case to force the city to make safety changes.  So far, all the
city has proposed is to put an audible pedestrian signal and a flashing
yellow light at these crosswalks.  There is no way for a pedestrian to
determine when it is safe to cross.  The APS lets the pedestrian know the
state of the flashing yellow light,, but cyclists either stop or they don't.
Because it's so noisy and because bicycles are so quiet, we're forced to
trust the reliability and situational awareness of cyclists rather than our
own judgment.


Our costs for this case are high.  We have launched a crowd funding
campaign.  Every little bit helps.  If you can support us, both with funding
and with supportive comments, please do.  If you can share this with your
networks, please do that, too.


I understand that similarly bad designs are proliferating across the
country, including in Seattle.  Victoria has  ignored its own Accessibility
advisory committee; they have ignored public requests for a more reasonable
design.  We need to make sure that the needs of blind pedestrians are acted
upon whenever bike lanes are built.  Cyclists and blind pedestrians can be
allies; we all need safe streets.


To help, share this request with your networks and go to:



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