Volume 93, Issue 5

Friday, June 11, 1999


Bailie accused of "shotty" job

Teachers on the rise at Althouse

CPI increase means raise for USC

Tory backlash raises concern

Nurses extend arm to injured man

House of Commons votes pro pot

Two wheels better than four on Western bridge



In the city

Two wheels better than four on Western bridge

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

The game of chicken cyclists and motorists have played for years on the University Drive bridge by the Richmond gates may have finally come to an end.

Insp. Bob Earle, manager of the University Police Department, said new traffic lines were marked on the bridge to ensure safety for cyclists. "What we've done is re-aligned the marked bike path so it merges with the center line of the bridge."

He added the reason for the improvements was to allow cyclists to ride on the street, instead of the narrow walkways crowded with pedestrians, or the side of the narrow bridge where vehicles could pass them. "It's just safer for the pedestrians and motorists," he said.

Greg Moran, Western's acting president, said some markings were given a trial run last year, but were ineffective as they only encouraged motorists to pass the cyclists. "The university bridge has long been a dangerous place for cyclists."

However, Moran said he felt hopeful the new markings would give cyclists the right of way on the bridge.

"The paramount issue is the safety of cyclists," he said. "For people in cars, these lines make that perfectly clear."

Dave Riddell, director of the physical plant at Western, said the bridge, built in 1924, will eventually be re-constructed to allow for cyclists to have their own lanes. However, he added this advancement would take place at a much later date.

"We've got it on the program," he said. "It will cost around $3 million. But currently we don't have the funding."

Riddell said the new cyclist lines are safe for now and although he acknowledged traffic might be slower, he said he felt the new system is safer. "We're more interested in safety than in the speed of traffic."

Until the future renovations take place, Earle said the new lanes will take some getting used to. "We've had lots of responses, most of the positive ones from the cyclists, most of the negative ones from the motorists."

Michele Moore, a fourth-year biology student and cyclist, said she prefers having the entire lane on which to ride on the bridge. "It makes me really nervous when cars pass me," she said.

However, Jenny Safa-Sefat, a third-year biology student and motorist, said the new system was fine with her but at times could be aggravating. "I get frustrated with the really slow cyclists."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999