One of the painted bike symbols along Lakelse Avenue, where Skeena Middle School teacher Trygve Sort said he was hit a year ago. This year, his students will be paying close attention to bike safety in Terrace as part of a presentation he hopes to bring to council’s attention this spring. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Students to take on city bike lanes

Skeena Middle School’s Grade 9 class will present their findings to council next spring

A Terrace teacher has decided to turn safety for cyclists into an ongoing school project after finding some students felt unsafe during Bike to School week last May.

“They’d agree that most of Terrace is a safe place to ride a bike, but they have to go through certain areas on their route where they don’t feel safe,” said Trygve Sort, a Grade 9 Skeena Middle School teacher.

Eighty-two students and staff cycled 1,131-kilometres over the week from May 28 to June 3. Most students who cycle to school within the Horseshoe area felt safe, he said, but students who cycled in from the bench, Thornhill and from the southside part of town said safety was their biggest concern.

“They don’t feel safe coming down Kalum or Lanfear, they don’t feel safe coming in from Thornhill coming over the new bridge, and when they get over the old bridge, they don’t feel safe in the downtown core where they spray painted bicycle lanes.”

READ MORE: Terrace receives bike lane grant

While painted lanes work in areas where there isn’t a lot of vehicle traffic, Sort argues they provide a false sense of security in areas where the speed limit is over 50-kilometres an hour. He said he’s been involved in a vehicle collision while biking himself twice in the past year, once on Lakelse Avenue.

“The kids going to school from the southside, there’s high traffic at that time,” Sort said. “They believe most of Terrace is safe, it’s just these places where they’re going where they now have to be put in unsafe places.”

Instead, he said he believes separated or protected bike lanes can help cyclists feel safer. He pointed to European cities like Copenhagen as an example, where a line of car parking spaces and the occasional tree create a makeshift barrier between the cyclists and cars.

“Usually in Europe, they have a sidewalk for the pedestrian and a sidewalk for the cyclist and then they have the road. Just in places where there’s high traffic and higher speeds. That’s where you start,” he said.

READ MORE: Terrace street traffic pattern to change

The city has made commitments to improve the current cycling network over the next 10 years in their 2016 Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which includes filling in existing gaps in routes and building bike lanes annually as part of road projects. However, Sort said he would like to see a more specific approach.

Up until the next Bike to School week, Sort said his Grade 9 students will be mapping out the city’s bike routes with a plan to present what they’ve learned to city council next spring. With the project, Sort said he hopes to encourage more students to skip the bus and cycle to school instead.

“When kids get off their bikes in the morning, they’re upbeat and ready to go. When kids get off the bus, they’re still sleeping. Science knows that healthy body and oxygen to the brain [means] better learning goes on, you’re more alert.”


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Upper Skeena Recreation Centre evacuated after ammonia leak detected

The leak was related to refrigerators responsible for ice maintenance of the skating rink

Skeena Voices | The perfect fit

Seamstress Elaine Craig opened her own customized dress shop to empower women

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Laundry an essential cycle to protect Terrace firefighters from cancer

Fire hall getting a minor renovation, new washer and dryer this fall

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

Most Read