‘Curb-plunking’ is a new phrase and concept proudly adopted by Saanich council last fall.
It refers to the sound a bike lane curb makes when plopped on the street by a construction truck — ‘curb-plunk!’
The curbs are there to keep both cyclists and motorists safe, but recently it’s raised debate online after a picture of a car that had crashed on the bike lane bumper was posted on Twitter.
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Getting high centred on a poorly planned bike lane @ Gorge/Tillicum is ‘chill as hell’. pic.twitter.com/8nALFls5ai
— Vernon Lord (@GoVern2018) April 5, 2023
The photo, posted by former Saanich councillor candidate Vernon Lord, has been re-tweeted 500 times and has over 800 comments — many of which are critical of the tweet, others just offensive.
Lord wouldn’t describe exactly what happened but says he supports protected bike lanes if they are properly designed. He argues the ones in his tweet aren’t, and says negative comments aren’t part of the solution.
“You can’t even offer a suggestion to improve a bike lane, … it’s misconstrued as an attack. We are never going to realize our potential in this entire region if we don’t learn to work together,” he added.
The curb-plunking was first brought up as part of Saanich’s “Moving Saanich Forward” active transportation plan, back in June of 2018.
Saanich Councillor and frequent cyclist Zac de Vries says mayor and council are fully on board with curb-plunking and that the curbs added to already existing bike lanes are working.
“I think what we saw there clearly is that the concrete barrier did its job. The driver is safe, the cyclist is safe and the pedestrians are safe. It was actually a case in point exactly why we need to have those there,” said de Vries.
De Vries added that the district of Saanich has plans for more bike lane curbs over the next two decades.