Vehicles stopped and parked in the bike lane by Davidson Road Elementary have been the source of some confusion and conflict recently – the lack of bike lane markings and bylaw enforcement has contributed to the issue.
Although District staff recognized that parking along Davidson Road has occurred for quite some time, the issue of obstructing the bike lanes was brought up at a meeting with the RDCO Clean Air & Safe Routes 4 Schools committee on October 28th at Davidson Road Elementary. The committee decided that more clear markings in the bike lanes was a quick solution to help raise awareness that the lanes were there.
More bike symbols were added in early November and Bylaw Enforcement was directed to do some education before enforcing safety related municipal bylaws. The Bylaw Officer went to Davidson Road on November 15th to spread the message and educate people parking in the bike lane, issuing several warnings but no tickets. The Bylaw Officer reported back that the volume of traffic, lack of parking at Davidson school and the new enforcement of not letting vehicles park in the bike lane caused a lot of confusion and frustration during school drop off and pick-up times.
Staff heard a lot of great feedback and comments from residents on the decision to enforce the no parking in bike lanes at Davidson and staff also discussed traffic issues in general with many residents. As a result of some of those discussions and constructive feedback, staff looked at things that could be done to help resolve the situation temporarily.
The District is striving to incorporate active transportation in the community which benefits all residents but realizes that removing the bike lane on Davidson Road between Jackson Court to Bond Road, is the best temporary decision. Active transportation is a top priority for Lake Country and longer term plans that address safety, parking, mobility and transit for 2017 will be worked on with Davidson Road Elementary School and SD23.
Keep an eye out for new signs that the bike lane is closed and that parking is permitted within the next few days which will allow parents to continue using the space as a temporary drop off /pick up area (removal of the bike lane markings damages the asphalt, so they will remain). And yes, Bylaw Enforcement has been made aware of the changes and will not be enforcing (or educating) parking in the bike lane while the markings are still there.
Everyone in Lake Country knows and loves all the opportunities for outdoor activities in the community that contribute to good health and the District will continue to promote active transportation and safe routes to school. At the same time, these two things cannot happen overnight and there will be areas of conflict in our growing rural community. Check out the Transportation for Tomorrow 20 year Plan that was developed to create ways of getting around Lake Country in safe and enjoyable ways, such as making sure the roads, walking paths or bike paths are safe for students to use for getting to school. Some solutions are quick and inexpensive but long term plans take time, patience and sometimes, a little flexibility on everyone’s part.
This was a really good opportunity for discussion and constructive feedback as we work together and continue to enjoy Life. The Okanagan Way. in Lake Country.