Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harisson, along with city Couns. Tim Lavery and Sylvia Lindgren, took a guided cycling tour on a chilly Saturday morning to investigate problematic bike routes.
The bike ride was led by Art and Annette Borkent, a pair of cycling enthusiasts who use their bikes to get to work, go grocery shopping and for entertainment. The Borkents lived in Deep Creek for 15 years before moving to Salmon Arm in the interest of making cycling their way of life, both for health and fitness and environmental reasons.
Problems the Borkents have identified include paint lines for existing bike lanes being worn away in some areas, and the lanes themselves becoming too narrow where the road curves. Art said that while the city sweeps the road, the shoulders of those roads remain unkempt. This leads to a build up of gravel, which is not only unpleasant, but can make for a dangerous ride. Other concerns brought up by the Borkents include parked cars on the side of the road can sometimes force cyclists into traffic, and the same problem is caused by pedestrian islands.
“It’s dangerous, we don’t have good bike routes in Salmon Arm,” Art said. “If we are to have a community that is out and healthy, then we are going to have to develop better biking routes.”
While Art calls for bike path improvements, he believes traffic calming strategies like rumble strips need to be implemented to keep roads safer for cyclists. Borkent also advocates for increased public transit scheduling.