LIFE-THREATENING BIKE LANE DESIGN

$715 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 21 people in 3 months
Created August 17, 2018
Visually-impaired Victorians need design change to life-threatening bike lanes

Support our BC Human Rights case to insist that the City change its ill-conceived, life-threatening design of floating bus stops, such as along Pandora Street, that require transit users to cross a separated bike lane to get on or off buses in Victoria, BC.

The blind/ visually impaired have already experienced several serious incidents in Victoria (ones we know of) while crossing bike lanes. Imagine the sudden whiz of a bike past you and your guide dog’s nose or tires screeching in front of you as you step out to cross a bike lane. These happened to L.B. and O.B. Imagine your white cane run over and broken by a cyclist that didn’t stop–even afterwards. It happened to B. B. Close calls. No one wants to see the inevitable–a crash causing bodily injuries or death as a result of the City not changing this dangerous inaccessible design. Imagine your sense of confidence shaken by uncertainty and fear, knowing you cannot hear oncoming bikes as you step out to cross a bike lane. It’s Russian Roulette.

People ask: What’s the difference between crossing a bike lane versus crossing a street as a blind or visually-impaird person? We cross city street intersections all the time by listening to traffic flow and pedestrian signals. Vehicle traffic on roads can be heard. Bikes, on the other hand, are silent, stealthily silent, so you cannot judge when it’s safe to cross a bike lane.

We need your support please:
-Donating financially (no amount is too little) 100% goes to legal fees.
-Outspoken comments–letters (to info@cfb.ca), share on Facebook, other social media.

We, the Canadian Federation of the Blind (CFB), are working to change this life-threatening situation. BC Human Rights Tribunal has recently accepted our case and we have secured a lawyer, Dr. Charles Lugosi (Crease Harman LLP). CFB is a not-for-profit, entirely volunteer blindness advocacy organization run by the blind, based in Victoria. Learn more about us: www.cfb.ca

Backstory

Hundreds of blind/ visually-impaired Victorians and thousands of seniors with compromised agility and vision–who depend on transit–are forced now to risk their lives crossing these bike lanes in order to use public transit. Many even get on or off buses at less convenient locations in order to avoid the danger.

In our communications with Mayor Lisa Helps, Council and City staff, to date there has been no meaningful action to rectify this situation–other than suggestions of more signage–targeted at cyclists–which would not enable visually-impaired people to actively participate in their own safety. Looking after one’s own safety is paramount to everybody, sighted or blind.

Mayor Helps has been dismissive and disrespectful towards this serious problem which she was instrumental in creating. On a recent CFAX radio talk show Helps was discussing this very danger, posed by bike lanes, with caller Graeme McCreath, a blind Victoria activist. Helps wrongly justified the problem, telling McCreath “the city was designed for people who are able-bodied and people who can see”. It is important to note that the new separated bike lanes and floating bus stops were only just built a year ago and some more recently, and did not involve old inaccessible city infrastructure. Accessibility has been a mainstream design consideration now for several decades in our society, so we wonder: What happened to inclusion and universal design in this case?

McCreath told Helps, “It’s outrageously dangerous to just get off–you can’t hear ‘cause of the traffic. I’ve done it, I’ve tried it. It’s dangerous. There must be some way–just signs for the cyclists–[no, there must be] a way for ME to know I’m stepping out there and I’m not going to be killed or injured from a bike.”

BC Transit’s floating bus stops need to be relocated back along Pandora Street and others so the stops are accessible from the safety of the pedestrian sidewalk.

We are all for safe cycling infrastructure but it must not come at the expense of another significant segment of the community–and one that is very dependent on safe public transit.

Your financial help and/or written support and sharing of our project is very important to us. Thank you for your consideration. Help make our community truly accessible for ALL people in beautiful Victoria.


Links:

Bike-lane bus stops dangerous for blind: suit (Victoria Times Colonist), July 6, 2018
https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/bike-lane-bus-stops-dangerous-for-blind-suit-1.23359666

Blind community says bike lanes put their lives at risk (Victoria News), July 7, 2018
https://www.vicnews.com/news/blind-community-says-bike-lanes-put-their-lives-at-risk/

This scary story below happened in Regina on a sidewalk, but could easily happen in a Victoria bike lane:
Regina woman loses guide dog due to collision with cyclist (Global News), July 6, 2018
https://globalnews.ca/news/4317938/regina-woman-loses-guide-dog-due-to-collision-with-cyclist/
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Hello friends, Last week Mary Ellen was interviewed on Soap Box Radio regarding the bike lains. You can hear the podcast at the following link:
http://www.coopradio.org/content/soap-box-radio-72

Thanks to all our supporters for your donations, shares and comments. Please help us keep up the buzz. Every dollar, every comment and every share counts. Accessibility of the gofundme thanik you note feature is quite broken, but we appreciate everything people have done for us to kick off this campaign and we hope we can count on your continued support.

Enjoy the podcast.

Erik
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$715 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 21 people in 3 months
Created August 17, 2018
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