The Bike – Car debate

It never ends, does it?

The endless bike-car debate.

I drive, and I bike. And when I drive I hate seeing cyclists ride through red lights, weave through traffic and generally disobey traffic laws. Heck, I hate it when I am riding too.

Problem is that over the last few years the bike-car issue has become quite divisive. On one hand you have BTTF, whose sole function is to advocate for as much bicycling infrastructure as possible regardless of how much sense it makes.

On the other hand you have media outlets who love nothing more than stirring the pot. Marty Gold is great at it; there were stories last year about cycling accidents being caused because cyclists wear ipods. And now this:

http://winnipeg.ctv.ca/

Click on the cycling link on the side.

Nice hatchet job.

Here’s JF’s letter ( I’ve copied it from another blog):

http://progressivewinnipeg.blogspot.com/2011/07/open-letter-to-mayor-sam-katz.html

I know exactly what JF is talking about. There is a 12′ stretch of sidewalk from trail to road. So how do you get to the trail from the road? Get off and walk? for 12′? When there is 30 of you?

The city has to start thinking about what makes sense for Active Transportation instead of listening to the more is best crowd. let you in on a secret – if you develop lots of shitty cycling infrastructure, it’s still shitty cycling infrastructure.

Case in point – Winsmart pathway. This comes out at the foot of norwood bridge. Problem is to get to downtown and follow the law, you either a) walk your bike down the sidewalk to assiniboine or b) go south into st. vital and do a U turn. The city needs to sign the sidewalk as a multi use pathway from the norwood bridge to assiniboine.

Same thing with the bike path along Bishop Grandin between the river and Pembina.It doesn’t connect to anything and paralells an existing signed route.

So:

a) Cyclists that weave through traffic and blow red lights suck (in fact I yelled at one today when I was riding)

b) The city makes bad cycling infrastructure decisions that forces cyclists to disobey the law and ride on the sidewalk

c) IMHO, use of 12′ of sidewalk to access a trail by 20+ cyclists isn’t an issue, they can’t use the road, and they’ll block pedestrians longer if they walk

d) Oh yeah, all this cycling infrastructure isn’t actually aimed at commuters, but rather recreational cyclists – it’s buried in the city’s AT webpage

e) Ipods don’t cause cycling accidents, inattention does. I don’t regularly wear an ipod, but if I do and I get  a ticket, I fully expect every deaf person to have their license revoked. Because really, isn’t that the same thing.

f) Police need to learn the HTA. I got pulled over once because I was riding too far from the curb. Cop tried to tell me HTA said I had to ride as close as possible to curb ( it doesn’t)

We need more education, more PROPER ENFORCEMENT ( Which also means ticketing drivers that buzz cyclists), and better thought out cycling infrastructure.