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

Sooke to host Western Canada’s first all-female boxing card

58 fighters from across North America to be featured at April 28 and 29 event

UPDATE: Two rescued after falling from ferry at Swartz Bay

One crew member is injured after rescue boat mechanism fails, causing it to fall from the ferry

Missing: 72-year old Gregory Helmer

Victoria Police are asking for your help in locating Gregory Helmer.

Victoria’s Elizabeth Buckley School to close in June

Independent school suffers teacher shortage after 30 years of providing education alternatives

From wet noodle to Killer bee

Sooke reporter reflects on four month boxing challenge

New play examines Indigenous identity

Belfry Theatres Salt Baby coming to Victoria April 17 - May 13

Builder of Kinder Morgan reinforces concerns over project

B.C. heads to court over pipeline jurisdiction as builder says doubt warranted

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Health committee cheers idea of national pharmacare program, but cost an issue

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says she fears costs could be far higher than $19 billion

Canada’s oldest blood donor says it’s all gain, no pain after decades of giving

Great-grandmother and Coquitlam, B.C., resident has been donating blood since the late 1940s

Union says Trump bullying threatens hundreds of B.C. pulp mill jobs

Fear mounts that new U.S. anti-dumping duties could price Catalyst mills out of business

B.C. real estate regulator to undergo NDP review

B.C. real estate agents were self-regulated until 2016, when BC Liberals appointed superintendent

B.C. pizza shop broken into 4 times in 2 weeks

A Vernon business owner is beginning to feel targeted

Man accused of Abbotsford school stabbing hearing voices, intensely paranoid

Lawyer says Gabriel Klein not fit to stand trial in May because of deteriorating mental state

Most Read