Monday, May 17, 2010

Somebody, wrong on the Internets

I think this is possibly the funniest thing I've seen in a while. The CBC writes a story about how Ottawa's bikelanes -- you know, parts of the road explicitly reserved for cyclists -- have actually contributed to cyclists getting hit because they are poorly designed and poorly signed. One of the comments starts off with this gem:
Bike's [sic] shouldn't be on the road, they should stay on sidewalks.
This is, in a nutshell, what kills me about the car's war on cyclists, pedestrians, basically everyone who uses their feet for something other than working the gas and brakes: the mentality that the roads built by all of us, for all of us, belong exclusively to cars. It doesn't seem to occur to this commenter that it is, in fact, illegal for most cyclists to ride on the sidewalk. They just want all non-car traffic out of the way.

Well, nuts to that with a big side of fuck you. I helped pay for the roads just as much as anyone else, and unlike most of Toronto's commuters anyway, I actually live here. So yes, I'll continue to ride on roads whether there's a bike lane or not, because riding a bike ought to be as easy and convenient as driving a car.


Anonymous said...

I think trying to mash 2 completely different modes of transportation on a single roadway causes too many deaths, and is stupid and futile on every ones part.
The roads have been built for cars since, well the automobile was invented. The entire traffic system is geared towards cars, obviously, and has to be modified to accommodate the safety of byciclists, whether lanes widened or shortened, or designing layouts at construction etc.
And whether or not either party stops at a stop sign, or looks both ways is a debatable question.
So with bikes being the more vulnerable of the argument, not being 2200lbs of steel, and the entire system not designed for bikes, and with human stupidity taken into account, it seems like a dumb idea to argue for room on a road that will probably be your grave.
I'd rather walk.

john said...

Because, of course, pedestrians are never killed on our streets. Cars only ever stay in their assigned spaces, and nobody ever needs to cross a street.

john said...

Oh, also, ITS THE GODDAMN LAW for cyclists to use the roads.

Anonymous said...

You missed the point completely.
Did you even read the post?
Just because "IT'S THE GODDAMN LAW" for bikes to use the road, doesn't mean its safe. Walking is safer, so is the bus.
And yes, people die from walking down the street and crossing it, but I'm sure more bikers die on the road than pedestrians do walking down the street. So your point is irrelevant. Everyone is going to die, but bikers are gonna die quicker.
And you can blame drivers all you like, but it's your choice to get on the road with your bike, not theirs.
With that said, it would be great if bikers took some responsibility for the dangerous situations they put themselves in, and stopped whining and complaining so much.
And no matter how pissed you get, it's not gonna change how safe it is to ride down the road. A car is still gonna weigh the same, no matter how much you flail you arms and yell and cry.
Maybe you'll see my point if you survive your next accident.

Please read the post fully, and UNDERSTAND IT, I hate repeating myself. Especially about such a simple concept such as personal safety.

john said...

"And you can blame drivers all you like, but it's your choice to get on the road with your bike, not theirs."

Once you assume that the onus is on cyclists to stay out of drivers' way, and NOT, say, for drivers to actually drive safely, you've given up the game. By this logic, nobody should walk in the forest unless they're wearing kevlar, because forests are for hunters, and if you get shot it's your own fault.

The law -- that thing again -- actually requires that drivers not endanger human lives, whether its on foot or bike. That is where the onus lies, not on cyclists to leave every spot of asphalt as a car preserve.

Anonymous said...

You live in a fantasy world.
I'm not assuming the onus is on the bikers to get out of the way, I'm assuming roads were built for cars, bike paths were built for bikes.
By your logic, because I help to pay for bike paths, i should be able to drive my car down them. I payed for them after all.
No one is arguing who is responsible to drive safely.
But there are things called accidents, and no matter who is at fault your putting yourself in a vulnerable situation where it is more likely that you'll be the one dead.
You need to come down to reality and realize people don't always behave exactly like the law tells them to, and personal risk is something to minimize.
And generally speaking, yes you do try to stay out of the bush during hunting season, because there is a chance you'll get shot. That's why they make hunters wear bright orange vests, and why they put reflectors on your bike, to be easily identifiable.
Ya that was a great analogy.
Although I thought the "Car preserve" comment was little over-dramatic and missed the point once again. Personally, I'd love to ride a bike to work, I'd just rather not die. Until cars get off the road, it's not safe to share the road.

john said...

"By your logic, because I help to pay for bike paths, i should be able to drive my car down them. I payed for them after all."

Incorrect. My argument is that cyclists need to use the road because the law requires them to use the road. My argument re: taxes is that drivers need to make space and understand that cyclists have a right to the road too, quite apart from the legal requirement to.

But the bike path is an interesting example: Toronto has a ton of excellent multi-use paths, which I use often to commute to work. If someone lets there kid dart out on to the path, it's not productive for me to scream at the kid -- I actually have an affirmative obligation to bike carefully.

Same thing with drivers: in mixed traffic, the onus is on the person who can do the most damage.

Ask any police officer how many "accidents" are actually cases where the driver isn't to blame.