March 6, 2018 5:00 pm

Cycling group criticizes London’s BRT street designs, says city must do better

A London Transit bus waits at the Argyle Plaza bus terminal on July 19, 2017.

Matthew Trevithick/ 980 CFPL
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A national advocacy group for cyclists and pedestrians has a bone to pick with Shift London.

Vision Zero Canada tweeted on Monday that London needed to do “much better” to design streets that are safe for all ages, abilities and modes.

“The existing plans don’t have a credible mobility network for people cycling, people walking, people using public transit, and people driving. We have to get all of those elements into play,” said Graham Larkin, executive director of Vision Zero Canada.

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READ MORE: Western University continues BRT discussions with city of London

The advocacy group says that the $500-million bus rapid transit (BRT) plan doesn’t account for cyclists, and that it is concerned London will repeat the mistakes of previous city planners.

“It wasn’t built for bikes in the first place. The experts got it wrong when they overbuilt for cars generations ago,” Larkin said.

“Everything about Shift London’s visualization says they are going to get it wrong again.”

“Adding a little green paint plus some disconnected paths does not make for a viable cycling route,” he said.

Shift London wrapped its latest public information sessions last week. City council will be asked to approve the latest designs on April 10.

READ MORE: New anti-BRT group says London is ‘Up Shifts Creek’

Larkin believes it’s never too late to make changes.

“I don’t think it’s too late if you have the political will. What people need to do is put aside their ideological differences, take a breath, and say, ‘It’s better to commit to BRT, but [it needs to be done right], in a way that works for everyone,'” he said.

According to the city’s cycling master plan, London currently has 328 kilometres of bike lanes.

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