Updated on November 23, 2010
Did Emery Barnes pioneer campaign for separated bike lanes in 1973?
Who was the first to call for separated bike lanes in British Columbia?
This excerpt from Hansard, Sept. 24, 1973, suggests it may have been Emery Barnes, MLA for Vancouver Centre and a former BC Lion, in his response to the Speech from the Throne. Barnes, father of current Vision Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Constance Barnes, had this to say:
I would like to see us pay more attention to other modes of transportation. It is incongruous, for us on the one hand to talk about the need for better transportation, for more massive movement of people, and trying to eliminate the private automobile and this kind of thing – rapid transit and so forth – and not recognize the role that the bicycle has to play in this whole matter.
As a matter of fact, we could sponsor the use of the bicycle, go so far as to build in a strip along the highway, say 18 inches or 2 ‘feet, on all future highways. You’d cut down the hazard of people getting run over or being threatened or intimidated by reckless drivers.
I would like to see that. I ride my bike quite a bit and I don’t like to dodge the cars that much; I like to relax and feel that there is a place for me on the highway. I think that this would go a long way to encourage people to keep in good shape, to keep healthy. I think maybe the Minister of Health and Welfare (Hon. Mr. Cocke) would agree with that. But we’ll have to include that in the budget – do something about it.
It only took 36 years from Barnes’ proposal to the opening of the Burrard Bridge bike lane at the south end of his old riding. The Hornby bike lane, however, runs right through Barnes’ stomping grounds.