Image credit Environment North
David Suzuki weighs in on bike lanes in Huffington Post Canada:
Most arguments against bike lanes are absurd. Consider this: We have wide roads everywhere to accommodate cars, most of which carry only one person. On either side of many of those roads, we have pedestrian sidewalks. In most large urban areas, we also have bus lanes and transit systems such as subways and rapid transit. When cyclists ride on roads, drivers often get annoyed. If they ride on sidewalks, pedestrians rightly get angry.But he notes that the backlash against bikes is subsiding as people learn about their value.
As oil becomes scarce and pollution and climate change increase, people are finally realizing that transporting a 90-kilogram person in two tonnes of metal just isn't sustainable, especially in urban areas.
Not in Toronto, they aren't. The war on the bike there has become so noisy that the Guardian in the UK has picked up the story. From the Bike Blog:
[Mayor] Ford has done his best to halt the "war on cars" and keep bike-riding "pinkos" on our toes. Last month, the city council approved the removal of bike lanes on a major thoroughfare in downtown Toronto, but not until a separated lane is installed on a smaller, parallel street. Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who chairs the committee that recommended scrapping the Jarvis Street bike lanes, said: "The cars are going to move faster and I think that's a proper investment."
Minnan-Wong's statement strikingly reveals the city's inadequate support for cycling initiatives. In light of obvious environmental issues and Toronto's severe traffic congestion, why would the city approve policies that encourage its citizens to rely increasingly on cars? Could the city's marginalising of cyclists account for an increasing number who break the rules (by riding on the pavement, using their phones while cycling, not signalling their left-hand turns, etc)? This approach should not only be seen as misguided, but dangerous.
More in the Guardian