The War On Bikes In Toronto Just Gets Sillier And Sillier


Screen shot from Video

The Toronto Star sets up a camera at a Toronto intersection. They add arrows and graphics and terrible music and find that over half of the cyclists go through the red light. They use breathless prose like "You just might not believe your eyes. In a one-hour test of whether cyclists obey traffic lights in Toronto, the majority broke the law." They start the article with "Can you imagine what would happen if motorists pulled up to a red light and only half of them stopped? Can you say carnage?"

What they don't do is describe the intersection, and admit what a stupid setup this is.

First of all, I will state that I do NOT support running red lights and don't do it. But what the Star isn't telling you is that this is a "T" intersection in the middle of Toronto's biggest tourist district, the waterfront. That the road going to the right is a driveway for a condo. That not a single pedestrian is stopping for the red light. Why should they? It is a T intersection! That this is a recreational cycling area and these cyclists probably are not used to riding downtown in traffic.


sorry about the commercial at the beginning

On Monday, the Toronto Star took a video camera to Queens Quay W. and York St. and found that in the space of one hour, 22 cyclists ran the red light while riding eastbound -- including one rider who came perilously close to being clipped by a motorist. Only 20 came to a full stop and waited for the green.

Even in Toronto, where people still look at you funny if you jaywalk, I am surprised that 20 cyclists would stop at a red light at a T intersection in a recreational area when all the pedestrians are continuing to walk through the red light. Would you?

I dare the Star to put their camera at a real intersection where there are lots of bikes and cars co-existing. I will bet that almost all of the cyclists will stop at the red. Cyclists recognize that, unlike most Toronto stop signs, traffic lights serve a useful purpose, determining right of way. I will also bet that every single driver will run the yellow, and a few will run the red light.

If one is going to have a reasonable discourse about cycling, at least try not to distort and deceive.

More on cycling and the law in Toronto:
Should Cyclists Have to Stop at Stop Signs, Part III
Should Cyclists be Allowed to Blow Through Stop Signs?
It's Time To Rip Out The Stop Signs And Stop Blaming Cyclists

Tags: Bikes | Biking | Toronto