I don’t ride a bike. I don’t have one, so I’d have to steal one, and it’s my understanding that once you’ve stolen a bike you’re required to dump it in the river? I don’t know. That’s what they do in Listowel. Seems bad for beavers.
Because I don’t ride a bike, I don’t really care much about the cyclist perspective because hey, isn’t the idea of democracy supposed to be that every man stands up and speaks for himself and his own interests?*
So, here’s my perspective, as it applies to cyclists being allowed to continue to exist:
1. As a driver**, I don’t want to share the road with bicycles. For one thing, they’re slow. For a more important thing, it scares me because I know that even puny little me could crush a cyclist like a bug under even my compact car. In many instances, sharing the road may be even more scary for cyclists because in that scenario, they’re the bugs. This isn’t a hypothetical, what-if-someone-ever-got-hurt mental experiment. I know many regular cyclists who’ve been injured while properly following traffic laws by people in cars who apparently don’t think traffic laws apply to them. Those drivers probably feel bad. I wish they didn’t have to feel that way. So, cyclists shouldn’t be obliged to share the road with them.
2. As a person who doesn’t like when kids die or are seriously maimed, I particularly don’t want children on bicycles to have to share the road with cocky motor vehiclists. In fact, I think this is probably the fourth stupidest thing humanity has ever allowed to happen. People have suggested that children under a certain age (14ish) should be allowed to bike on the sidewalk without penalty.
3. As a pedestrian, even though I don’t want cyclists to get killed or seriously maimed by drivers, I also don’t want to share the sidewalk with cyclists. You know how people who ride bikes are always saying that sharing the road with cars is scary? (Yes, you do. See point number one.) The cars are always crowding you out, and moving so much faster than you, and frankly it’s dangerous to mix these two forms of transportation together? Well, pedestrians feel the same way about sharing the sidewalk with cyclists. Especially pedestrians who don’t want to see their kids get run over by bikes (see point number two).
So the only logical solution is to ban bicycles forever!
Wait, that’s not what I was going to say. I guess since cyclists are great for the environment, contribute far less to traffic congestion (especially when in bike lanes) than cars, take up less space for parking, and are generally awesome people living healthy lives, maybe we shouldn’t extinctify them. Even if we are jealous of their tiny carbon footprints. There must be some other solution, but as you can see I’m strongly averse to sharing any part of my life with “those bike people.”
Oh, right: bike lanes.
Bike lanes would be awesome for me as a driver, a parent, and a pedestrian. And if they work out okay for cyclists, too, well… that’s fine, I guess. Frankly, I’d prefer we segregate them anyway.
So maybe we don’t decide to make it official that there won’t be any more bike lanes for ten years, hey, London?
(For those of you just tuning in, possibly from out of town, the city of London, in a bid to meet a certain goal, is considering cutting a great number of plans and services from its plans and services. One of the changes proposed to make a 0.7% increase in the tax levy possible is a reduction in the bike lane program that “will result in no new bike lanes being constructed in the City for the next ten years” (from linked doc). We, the people who don’t actually care about cyclists, think this is a horrible idea.)
*No. It’s really not. Please don’t ever misquote me. Or… just regular quote me, I guess, without adding this note.
**I know what at least none of you is thinking: Amanda, you’re not a driver. That’s true. But I have a driver’s licence and I own a car, so I’m much closer to being a driver than I am to stealing a BMX and throwing it off a bridge into a beaver dam.