Monday, September 10, 2012
Keeping Safe, One Lane at a Time
There have been lots of comments about "why cyclists can't commute on the City Trail system?". Well, here's why:
I posted about the potential for this situation on one of my recent blog posts, just prior to this unfortunate accident. I'll say it again for those people who think we're just out for a daily jaunt, with nothing better to do: Bike commuting is NOT a recreational activity. It's transportation. We move along at 25 - 30km/h, which are speeds that are far too quick for meandering trails and for sidewalks. While this story focuses on the cyclist, it should be noted that the jogger was also sent to the hospital for stitches.
Putting bicycle commuters in bike lanes is the safest option for everyone involved.
While a car driver may be slightly inconvenienced by an extra wait for one turn at the stop light, the benefit to all of us in the potential to reduce human casualties is huge. Bike lanes can lead to reduced health-care costs as A)more people choose to leave their cars at home and go to work in a manner that promotes healthy living and B) reducing the number of ambulance trips and hospital visits by injured cyclists and pedestrians.
Will you as a driver take a little longer to get around on a road that has a bike lane? Possibly, in the short term, yes you will. However the wait won't be onerous - it won't make you late for supper and family time at the end of the day - and, you'll have participated in a movement that is pushing us toward a more sustainable, more healthy society.
We cyclist-commuters will do our part to educate those riders who don't know or don't understand the rules of the road and the protocols for bike-lane routes. I think that by and large, we'd welcome any driver out to experience the commute from the perspective of a cyclist and to see first hand, how the bike lanes are making things better.
All, the anti-bike-lane crowd has to do, is be a little patient and be willing to engage and to try something new.
Posted by Todd at 10:01 AM