Comment 20861

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted April 07, 2008 at 16:03:38

Hi Mark,

Interesting post...

To pick up on some of your points:

“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” Why should cyclists design this plan? Isn’t this what we pay our Municipal traffic planners to do? Should we create the TTC schedule as well…and set out the municipal budget? And what’s with the obsession about ‘raising the funds’? Has cycling suddenly become a charitable endeavour? We pay our taxes to support all modes of transit. There is a lot of money in the budget, it’s just a question of how to allocate it. In fact, overall, the cost of adding bike lane infrastructure compared to new road infrastructure is minimal. If the municipal budget woes really are as dire as politicians would have you believe (and they have certainly done a great job convincing you!) then politicians should make a case for increasing our taxes to cover the improvements. Otherwise it’s just a question of cash allocation. The budget is no excuse for not promoting a healthy activity such as this.

“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.” Is this how we encourage cycling? By charging for it? No-one is denying that cyclists use existing road infrastructure but cyclists already pay for this in their regular taxes, and many cyclists own cars. So we should pay to use the road twice? The cost of any new bike lane infrastructure should come from general taxes as the bike grid will benefit us all. If you want to encourage a behaviour you should avoid charging for it. As for the license scheme I have no objection to that but I don’t believe it should be mandatory. I would rather see cities making cycling safer. Testing could be provided with incentives such as special bike deals provided.

“Children under the age of 12 years should be required to ride bicycles only in bicycle lanes and on the sidewalk” Riding on the sidewalk is dangerous. Many cyclists have died from suddenly veering onto the road and I, as a pedestrian, don’t want to have to share the sidewalk with cyclists. The roads should be made safe for everyone.

“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.” Where’s your crystal ball…? Again, you should not discourage (i.e. charge) an activity you are trying to encourage. All of your solutions are adding to the complexity and administration required to facilitate a relatively straightforward activity. Bike meters will only discourage cycling – this is NOT WHAT WE WANT!

“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.”

OK I give up… ‘revenue producing traffic’? Is this your solution to everything…? Make people pay for it? ‘Bikes in bad shape will be taken off the road’ – why?!! One of the great things about bikes is their simplicity. What kind of broken bikes are you talking about? And what damage can they do? I agree that faulty brakes would be a problem but how are you going to enforce this? Have an annual bike test? Way Hay – more complexity!

Yes let’s legislate, charge, and otherwise discourage this very healthy activity…

What Toronto – and all cities – need is a bike grid. Dedicated, segregated bike lanes that enable easy and safe access to all points of the city.

I am getting my knee fixed by a chiropractor from Switzerland. He tells me he won’t bike in Toronto because a. the road conditions are too bad (‘the roads will break my bike’) and b. the roads aren’t safe. He told me that in Switzerland you can get around the city in dedicated bike lanes that are not only effiicient and safe – but beautiful too! Lots of greenery and dedicated routes along rivers and wooded areas. And here we are installing bike meters...

I need to move to another planet (or Switzerland…)


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