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Will cyclists and drivers ever see eye-to-eye in Vancouver?

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver’s manager of transportation planning is recovering after he says he was hit by an aggressive driver while biking downtown and the incident is once again ramping up animosity between those who use two wheels and those who prefer four.

Dale Bracewell was hit Thursday morning — the driver didn’t stop and police are on the case.

He says his elbow is fractured, requiring surgery, but Bracewell is an optimist, hoping the accident inspires more improvements to multi-modal mobility on our roads.

However, when it comes to the thorny relationship between cyclists and drivers in Vancouver, neither hold each other in high regard.

On the street, Alec — a driver — says that won’t change but he admits drivers may be more apt to get angry and agressive.

“What were the streets and avenues originally made for? The automobile. And now you want the cars to all of a sudden share with bicycles? Can you understand drivers’ attitude?” he asks.

“When you drive a car, you are in your own space and your own world and you own that — so you drive that way!” he tells NEWS 1130, pointing out that people seem to be equal opportunity haters when behind the wheel, getting just as angry at other drivers as they do at cyclists.

Pushpa regularly commutes by bike in Vancouver and thinks drivers and cyclists will never see eye-to-eye.

“Probably not, probably not,” he chuckles. “Lots of car and big truck drivers just go. They don’t give any right-of-way to cyclists. I just have to protect myself.” He says he’s often the recipient of the “one-fingered” salute from passing motorists.
Abhi, another cyclist along Broadway, is quick to offer plenty of stories of close calls with cars.

“You feel like you are not safe. Some people are driving so fast just because of changing lights [at intersections]. They don’t even see on the left or on the right if there is a cyclist or a pedestrian walking.”

Meanwhile, Bracewell is recovering and offering a positive take on the situation to his followers on Twitter.

“Unlike my elbow, my passion for improving the quality & safer mobility for all is not broken.”