Monday, April 27, 2009

Gazette bike blog On Two Wheels is against cycling safety?

Do you think riding on the sidewalk is OK?

Do you think that riding down st-laurent the wrong way is OK?

Well, the Gazette cycling blog seems to think so.

The author's attitude seems to be that safety is unimportant, that any rule is made to be broken, that people walking on the sidewalk should not expect to be safe from being run down by bicycle riding outlaws, even that dangerous cycling behaviour should not be ticketed by police.

We support fully all actions that make cycling safer, that instills greater civisme in bicycle riders, and we think that the dirty looks we get from everyone else on the road (cars, pedestrians, coworkers, etc) is the result of attitudes like this author.

The Gazette should be ashamed that their blog is being written by someone whose concept of responsibility is that not having any is ok. The author even admits to having not much of a clue about the rules that cyclists are obliged to legally obey.

Here's a few clues:
  • stop at red lights
  • stop at stop signs
  • stop and yield then there is someone with the right of way in the intersection
  • don't ride on sidewalks.
  • Ride with lights at night
  • don't wear ipod while riding
  • no texting while riding
  • Don't ride the wrong way on one-way streets
  • follow the marked traffic-directions and lanes on bike paths
  • And don't write a bike blog for a major newspaper if you're an outlaw cyclist
Growing up and acting responsibly are not optional in life.

3 Comments:

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Pierre Phaneuf said...

From the closing of the post: Anyway, it is a shame when some bold, bad behaviour noted by a wily reporter gives the Journal the opportunity to bash on cyclists as a whole.The way I read this is that the behaviour spotted by the reporter is indeed bad, but that using that small sample as a bludgeon to say "cyclists are insane" would be a bit excessive (not that the article is that abusive anyway).

Some elements of cycling-related laws could definitely be improved upon. I'd very much like to see "Idaho rolling stops" more widely adopted, and I find the general assumption that bikes should be treated like cars, when they're more than 20 times heavier and upward of 75,000 more powerful, somewhat ludicrous!

I'm also not terribly impressed by having cycling bands that are covering pretty much exactly the "dooring kill zone". And when present, I'm required to ride in the kill zone. Great, that's just what I want in the morning, a car door embedded in my forehead...

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

The painted lines style bike path (like St-Urbain) are quite wide and offer enough space that you can ride safely outside the "dooring kill zone."

What we think is unsafe is when cyclists come the WRONG WAY against the bike traffic on these paths. Aieee!

We agree with your points, but we think (and see!) lots of bad cyclists, not just a rare few.

 
At 10:23 PM, Blogger Pierre Phaneuf said...

Some of them are okay, although I'm definitely riding in the leftmost part of them. I'm all for efforts like that, but where I'm a bit disappointed is when these efforts get used to say "see, we're totally doing stuff for cycling!". Painted lanes are part of an overall solution, where they apply, but I hope they won't get overused.

Likewise, I don't think segregated bike paths should get all the attention either, in some areas, reconfiguring traffic lights, sidewalks and automobile parking would be plenty, and still have a non-trivial cost (but with an excellent return on the investment).

I'm absolutely with you on cyclists going against the bike traffic, I encountered one going up Hutchison earlier tonight! Nothing dangerous in that particular situation, but had there been some car traffic, it could have been quite surprising (in a bad way).

I'll readily admit "bending the rules" quite a bit on occasion, but my big problem is that most of the time, people who break the rules don't really think twice about it and don't pay extra attention. When I "bend the rules", I know that whatever happens now is my own doing, and I have to take full responsibility for it (be careful not to put anyone in any kind of danger, if anyone who do have right of way comes, yield immediately, etc). I've had people (cars and cyclists alike) turn on a straight green arrow right in front of me, for example, and they yelled at me! Seriously, WTF?!?

 

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