As a bicycle accident lawyer, and a rider, I can attest to the fact that riding in areas with on-street parking can place a cyclist at risk regardless of the cyclist’s use of care. Unfortunately, street parking is permitted and cyclists are required to ride as far to the right as possible under the circumstances, which usually means right next to the cars. Why would this present a problem? 1. It places the cyclist at risk of being struck by a door which a motorist is opening, or having a door opened into their path; and, 2. It places the cyclist at risk of being struck or interfered with by motorists who are pulling in or out of parking spaces.
As you may or not be aware, Route 35 is currently being renovated and one feature of the $265 million plan initially called for “reverse” angled parking in downtown Lavalette. This parking design has the parking lines angled contrary to the direction typically seen, such that motorists must pass the lane they intend to use and then back into the space. The design is amongst the most cyclist-friendly parking designs, in that it largely eliminates the risks I have outlined above. As the car doors no longer open into the bike lanes, it virtually eliminates the chance of “dooring” a cyclist. Also, as it facilitates a motorist’s view of approaching traffic, cyclists are less likely to be struck. For these reasons, cyclists, like myself, were thrilled by the prospect of enhanced safety while riding along the Route 35 corridor. Unfortunately, many locals did not share the same enthusiasm.
Sadly, I learned today that the plan to incorporate reverse angle parking has reportedly been scrapped from the planned renovation. More information on this recent development and the Route 35 renovation in general, can be found here: