Vancouver is a young city, and cycling is kind of new there.
That’s one way that a cycling advocate explained the aggressive behaviour being seen by cyclists throughout the city.
Like in a YouTube video from October that was posted to Reddit on Friday, which showed a cyclist nearly hitting a pedestrian, raising a middle finger at a driver and then running a red light.
In the dashcam video, a driver pulls up to the intersection of Water and Cambie Streets in Gastown.
As a pedestrian crosses Water Street, a cyclist can be seen pulling around the stopped car and coming close to the pedestrian before carrying on through the neighbourhood.
The driver honks, at which point the cyclist turns back and raises a middle finger.
The car then pulls up next to the cyclist on Water Street and the driver can be heard saying, “Are you serious, bud? You almost just ran over a pedestrian…”
The cyclist can then be seen rolling through a red light at the intersection with Richards Street.
‘I think there are a lot of bicycle commuters that are riding like drivers’
But this video is hardly the first example of cyclists coming into conflict with other road users in Vancouver.
In 2014, an American tourist went to hospital with a broken back after a speeding cyclist hit her on the Seawall.
That same year, a 71-year-old man died after a cyclist hit him as he crossed a street in Stanley Park.
Then, in 2015, a woman who was five months pregnant said that a cyclist assaulted her after she called him out for running a stop sign.
All of this happened after the City of Vancouver issued a public service announcement in 2012, warning cyclists about the rules of the road.
Behaviour like this is a sign of a city where people are “still trying to figure stuff out” when it comes to cycling, cycling advocate Ulrike Rodrigues told Global News.
“I’m noticing people are going way too fast on bicycles and they’re not slowing down for pedestrians or construction zones, and they’re not doing the checks,” she said.
“I think there are a lot of bicycle commuters that are riding like drivers.”
Cyclists need to remember that they have all the rights and responsibilities on the road that drivers do, said Winston Chou, manager of the City of Vancouver’s traffic and data management branch.
“A cyclist is classified as a vehicle on a roadway,” he said.
“So when it comes to behaviour, obeying traffic regulations, whether a stop sign or a signal, any other signage on the roadways, again, I turn to that, cyclists have the same rights and respnosibiltes as a motorist.”
Vancouver police Const. Jason Doucette didn’t know of any police report that had been filed in connection with the video from Gastown.
But he said in an email that running a red light or failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk could lead to a $167 fine.
“Road safety is a shared responsibility,” he said.
- With files from The Canadian Press