A pedestrian crosses a a bike lane to reach a ‘floating’ bus stop on Nelson Street in Vancouver. Similar bus stops in Victoria have been found to discriminate against blind and vision-impaired people. (Ben Nelms/CBC) A human rights ruling that found Victoria’s so-called "floating" bus stops discriminate against blind people could have implications for other B.C. cities that use similar designs.
Last week, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal upheld a complaint filed by Oriano Belusic, vice-president of the Canadian Federation of the Blind, about bus stops that require transit riders to cross a protected bike lane to catch their bus.
Belusic argued the stops, located along Pandora Avenue and Wharf Street, are dangerous for blind and vision-impaired bus riders, who often can’t hear the sound of oncoming bicycles over the traffic noise.
He told CBC the design of these floating bus stops make it clear city staff weren’t taking the needs of people with disabilities into account.
"The evidence shows that they are terrible at it," Belusic said. "There’s a real pro-cycling and healthy living agenda at the moment, and we’re all for it — blind folks believe in cycling as a healthy way of living — but it shouldn’t be at the expense of somebody’s safety and the ability to use public transit."
Bill Eisenhauer, Victoria’s head of engagement, points out that the tribunal found the city acted in good faith when the bus stops were installed, and said staff have been working on solutions to make them more accessible.
"We had heard early […]