I’m very excited this morning. A little biking feel good story fell into my lap on my ride in. As I was biking I stopped at a traffic light where a local candidate was raising awareness about her campaign. It was Ward 4 Municipal Candidate Diane Freeman. The short version of this post – when it comes to cycling in an urban environment, she gets it. She has a great answer for Graham’s question ‘what are you doing to make cycling safer in Waterloo’. Read on for details.
As I was not commuting in a steel cocoon, I was able to talk with her. She impressed with her knowledge and dedication to cycling in Waterloo and I spent several traffic light cycles with her. She shared a bunch of good news for bicyclists in her ward that I didn’t already know.
That construction on Davenport that I pass by every day has some city firsts for cyclists (lucky ward 4 bastards). There is a new bicycle layaway on Davenport to get you out of traffic while waiting to turn left. You basically pull your bike off to the right and wait for the cross light to change, making your left turn a straight through on the next signal change. Sometimes this is called a ‘Copenhagen Left’. Very useful if you don’t like sitting like a duck in the left turn lane while cars try to blow through ahead of oncoming traffic.
There’s a left turn bike box going in. The link shows a right turn bike box, but I’m told the Davenport will have a left turn bike box. These are really nice because it gives visibility to cyclists who are otherwise sitting ducks at turn waiting for traffic. They also send a message to drivers – hey, bikes are sharing this road too. My opinion is we need right turn bike boxes too. But this is exciting as a start.
In addition, she wants a bicycle lane on Lexington between Bridge and Davenport. A welcome piece of news, even for me in Ward 5. I use this stretch of road every day. It’s wide, and single lane. Why not set aside a piece for cyclists? A great place to put a lane and should have very little impact on automobile traffic.
So if you’re in Ward 4, go and have a look at her website. Check out the other areas of her platform. When it comes to urban cycling, Diane Freeman gets it.
If you’re not in Ward4, go ask you’re candidates what they’re doing about making Waterloo a cycle safe city. Now is the time. They are all anxious to share their vision.