City of Victoria is considering a pilot project that would allow mobility scooters and wheelchairs to use some covered bike lanes. (News File Photo)

Wheelchairs in bike lanes pilot considered in Victoria

Motor Vehicle Act currently prohibits mobility scooters and wheelchairs in bike lanes

Wheelchairs and mobility scooters could soon be sharing the lane with cyclists if a proposed pilot project gets provincial approval.

Victoria’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee is asking the City for an 18-month pilot to temporarily allow mobility scooters and wheelchairs to use some all ages and abilities (AAA) cycling trails, but it would require an amendment to the provincial Motor Vehicle Act. Council passed a motion Thursday asking the province to consider what potential amendments may look like.

The Motor Vehicle Act does not currently allow people driving motorized scooters and wheelchairs on roadways when there are sidewalks because they are considered pedestrians.

Coun. Geoff Young asked staff whether the motion would also allow wheelchairs that are not motorized to use the bike lanes.

“The mobility scooters themselves do move, often, faster than a pedestrian to the extent that sometimes they’re a menace to pedestrians,” he said. “I think they are appropriate for the bike lanes. But I’m not clear about a standard wheelchair that would be expected to move at a walking pace.”

City staff noted the motion was to ask the province to consider options for amendments , and distinguishing the types of mobility vehicles allowed would be at their discretion.

Coun. Chris Coleman, sitting as acting mayor, clarified the purpose of the motion.

“At the moment, ambulatory assist vehicles are seen as pedestrians and therefore can’t use the bike lanes, so the question to the province is have you considered other impacts, opportunities? Can we allow these motorized pedestrians to use our bike lanes,” he said.

The City will consider the pilot project again after getting feedback from the province.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Incumbent mayors in Victoria, Esquimalt retain their roles

A high voter turnout saw the mayors unchanged, but new faces on both councils

What to pack in an emergency-preparedness kit for earthquakes

Several earthquakes of Vancouver Island’s West Coast have people wondering how to be ready

Business is booming as Black Press gears up for Victoria career fair

One stop shop for questions about entering the workforce, finding work experience

Multiple earthquakes off Vancouver Island recorded around the world

Five earthquakes overnight on Oct. 21 were measured as ‘strong’

Rotating Canada Post strikes begin in Victoria

Monday’s mail will be delayed one day due to strike

UPDATE: Lisa Helps re-elected as mayor of Victoria

Nine people were seeking the mayor’s seat for the City of Victoria and 29 candidates hoped to be chosen for council

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read