Change to Cycling Bylaws

A recent Maple Ridge Highway and Traffic Bylaw No. 6704-2009 was approved by Maple Ridge Council. This has changed the way local RCMP and Bylaw Officers enforce the rules of the road for bicycles. Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk has, in the past, been an offence under both the Bylaw and the Motor Vehicle Act. Getting caught could result in a ticket and fine. Today this is always not the case. A recent amendment to the Maple Ridge Bylaw now allows bicycles to be ridden on sidewalks in a fashion that provides reasonable consideration for other persons using the sidewalk and not in any careless manner. All riders must yield to pedestrians and also dismount when appropriate and prudent. Failure to follow these simple rules can still result in a ticket under the Bylaw or Motor Vehicle Act.
The change is meant to allow passage for young, new or inexperienced cyclists. It also gives all cyclists the ability to reach destinations that are mid block or to take an off road option in heavy traffic area. The District of Maple Ridge and RCMP supports the change for the simple fact that it provides a safer alternative to those bicycle riders out there that may not have the skills or confidence to join the normal flow of traffic. With traffic congestion becoming more of an issue in the Maple Ridge area our east/west corridors are full of commuter traffic. Those bicycle commuters trying to go the “green” route and ride to work can now do so in a safer fashion. School children that have no choice in their route can now get to school on their bicycles without having to compete with commuter traffic. Recreational cyclists can enjoy a ride in their community without the worry of thinking they are breaking some law.
As cyclists we must respect the pedestrian who are the primary users of sidewalks. We want to reassure the pedestrians in Maple Ridge that they remain the main user and safety priority on our sidewalks. Any incidents where cyclists have been involved with a pedestrian will be investigated thoroughly. This Bylaw in no way has changed the ability for police to investigate crashes caused by cyclists nor the ability to lay the applicable charges if deemed appropriate.
The RCMP and the Maple Ridge Bylaw Department are dedicated to helping Maple Ridge remain a safe community and invites its citizens to provide any comments or suggestions.