Comment 20854

By MarkState (registered) - website | Posted April 07, 2008 at 07:31:36

Like Jason Leach's blog, mine is a personal comment.

Bicyclists (and I am one as well), if they have any political agenda at all, whish as a group for bicycle lanes to promote a safer, protected use of that green form of transportation.

NO. The cities can’t afford it. Haven’t you been paying attention to budget restrictions due to civic income shortfalls? Well…perhaps they could, if…

Because they are usually slower than 10k below the speed limit, bicycles do not use regular traffic lanes although they are vehicles according to the highway traffic act, and have every right to do so. Unfortunately, vehicles going slower than 10k below the limit would be subject to charges under the Highway Traffic Act of impeding traffic or going too slowly, so they are generally relegated to the curb lane. The Act protects them as a vulnerable form of transportation, such as pedestrian transport or horses, and thus they deserve in normal circumstances and when conditions require, the right of way against motorized vehicular traffic.

Bicycles are not as visible as other types of traffic because they are smaller, less audible, more maneuverable, and move at a different speed. So bicycle operators and car/truck operators often interface with road rage and occasional unfortunate accidents due to carelessness by either motorists or cyclists. Routes reserved for cyclists are a good idea.

Because of the ever-present danger to cyclists, one would conclude that the prudent cyclist would have a good head and tail light and a loud horn. But most don't. Until legislation was introduced to require safety helmets for drivers, most cyclists drove bare-headed. Now, cyclists who regularly commute to work or school wear helmets, but the rest are divided as to whether to wear them or not. Cyclists don't as a rule stop for Stop signs, yield for yield signs, care whether they go the correct way on minor one-way streets, or even stop for red lights if the operator sees no cross traffic.

Cyclists no longer pay for licencing their vehicles and are not required to purchase liability or comprehensive damage insurance for them.

Cyclists are tunnel-visioned about their desire to have bicycle lanes and either have no idea of what those lanes cost to produce or have no idea of city budget and monetary resource-gathering restrictions. They have not volunteered the money to build the bike lanes, or even volunteered to build the lanes themselves to help lower the costs of producing them...just expected that their clamour will result in the various cities being clamoured magically coming up with the cash to grant their otherwise perfectly reasonable request.

Here's how they can get the lanes they require.

First, design a complete bicycle lane traffic plan and submit it to the city along with a proper proposal that includes raising the funds for such lanes.

Second, insist on the city producing and selling bicycle licence plates and operating permits to drivers over the age of 12 who have passed a written and practical safety examination. The examination should also have a cost applied to it. Children under the age of 12 years should be required to ride bicycles only in bicycle lanes and on the sidewalk, and walk their bikes across roads. Bicycle parking meters (obviously less expensive than the automobile kind) and reserved spaces in city-owned parking lots and garages will become a fact of life. Cyclists will be required to wear a helmet or get fined, have a warning signal device, a rear-view mirror, proper lighting front and back and side reflection equipment, or face a fine. Bikes in bad shape will be taken off the road. The bicycle will take its place among not only responsible vehicular traffic, but revenue producing traffic.

Funds earned from the licencing (which will also be utilized along with modern detection techniques to reduce bicycle theft) process, and parking income and fines, traffic violation fines, etc., can be used to pay for the bike routes' establishment and maintenance and the regulatory costs.

Bicyclists will then be able to move through the city on their own bike routes, and more importantly, the city will be able to provide and maintain them.


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