I know that Vancouver has plans to put bicycle lanes on the Burrard Bridge sometime after the Olympics, but it's absolutely unacceptable that the current situation will be maintained in the interim. Since I'm fairly new to the city and luckily don't have to cross that bridge very often, I don't know how frequently such accidents occur, but a few seconds' Googling brought up this story:
Every day, hundreds of people cycle over the shared path on the Burrard Bridge, one of Vancouver's busiest. Jane Lister was one of them, until her commute home from work one day.
Halfway across the bridge, she swerved to avoid some pedestrians.
"My first memory is the sensation of a tube being pulled from my throat. I broke all the ribs on my left side, and had punctured and collapsed lungs. I fell into a mini van, and my head kind of got trapped between the car and the curb."
It may sound like just another accident between a cyclist and a car, but - in this case - neither was to blame. Instead, the problem was cyclists, pedestrians, dog-walkers and runners forced to share the same narrow path.
Her scenario was exactly the same as mine, except she was thrown into traffic and nearly killed. I agree that the blame is primarily due to the shared path, but a cyclist shouldn't have to suddenly swerve to avoid pedestrians on a shared path. Pedestrians need to stay on the pedestrian side of the walkway. But the city is responsible. Jane Lister sued the city and got a settlement. The city had been aware of the problem and hadn't done anything to remedy it. That was more than four years ago.