A Vancouver senior was seriously injured when he was struck by a cyclist on a pedestrian-only path on the south side of False Creek.
Mike West was leaving his home on Spruce Harbour Marina, walking on a pedestrian-only bridge linking the marina to Ironwork Passage, when he was hit by a cyclist who continued on their way.
“A blatant hit and run. And we have big signs, at each end of our bridge, telling people not to ride the bikes on here,” fumed his friend, Mike Scott.
“Some people just don’t give a damn. They ride right over people.”
West, who walks with a cane, is in hospital with a broken hip with his wife at his bedside.
It’s the latest high profile conflict between a bike and pedestrian in Vancouver. Two years ago, Virginia tourist Charmaine Mitchell was nearly killed by a speeding cyclist on the Stanley Park Seawall. She is now suing the City of Vancouver.
As the number of cyclists in Vancouver increases, there have been periodic pushes to have them insured and licensed.
But Erin O’Melinn, Executive Director of HUB Cycling, cautions against such a move.
“Most of the jurisdictions around the world do not have it because it’s costly and it’s ineffective,” she said.
Vancouver police are investigating the hit and run, but their options are limited, because there is no surveillance camera footage and West didn’t see the cyclist before he was struck.
Still, Scott hopes the person responsible will come forward – the City will do a better job enforcing the rules.
“Coming down there on a bicycle is stupid. People just don’t care,” he says.
“What can you do? We try and police it, but we can’t.”
– With files from Jordan Armstrong