I dare you. That’s right, first wake up to a gorgeous sun shiny day. Then head downtown and enjoy a delicious Squamish Lions Club breakfast while overlooking a sea of 200 children squealing with delight on their bikes. It is then I dare you to deny we live in the best freaking community in the world.
I for one will not deny it. Last Sunday was Fathers day and for me personally it was a phenomenal one. For starters it was the day after one of the best Test of Metal races in history. Sure this grass roots event pumps millions of dollars into the local economy, but when the weather is perfect, it’s like icing on the cake. So the next day as the weather held for the fathers, mothers and mini-metal heads, it was certainly a life affirming kind of day. Not to mention the always fun Rock Star which once again left everyone with a smile on their face.
But perhaps the best part of the Test of Metal weekend is that for three days you can pretend that the district of Squamish wants people to ride bikes. Of course this is laughable as anyone who rides a bike is all too aware of. Need proof? How about the fact that for years parents have actually told children “No, you are not allowed to bike to school because the roads are too dangerous… I’ll drive you.” That is beyond appalling.
But here we are with a Mayor and Council that have allowed us to go so long without having bike lanes. Sure the Boulevard is finally getting some (smaller than the accepted standard) bike lanes, but come on!
Each neighborhood needs lined and cleaned bike lanes, but especially the ‘killer’ highway and Government road. Yes, the corridor trail that (fingers crossed) will be finished before the year is out will provide some connectivity. But it doesn’t for a second stop the fact that we need to implement a bike lane strategy.
You want to know just how little our municipal government thinks of children who ride bikes? There is no priority for painting lines in the one million dollar paving budget. Which leads to things like Eagle Run where the road was widened but without lines it’s just more room for cars to swerve and park. Don’t get me started on Valleycliffe with its ‘highway only’ access and what can only be described as an abandoned road system.
Sadly for motorists and cyclists, the municipality is forcing those on bikes to often ride in the middle of the traffic lane. Yes it sucks to hold up traffic but in many spots, riding on the edge only allows the illusion of ‘room to pass’. An illusion quickly dispelled with oncoming traffic. How long will this continue? Well, Mayor and Council have less than five months left in their term, here’s hoping they use this time to do the great things that need to be done.