Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stay In Your Lane

Photo of one protester:  Published in the Toronto Star

Yesterday, Jarvis was filled with bike riders to protest Mayor Rob Ford's cuts to bike lanes after the meeting at Allan Gardens.
It's great that parts of the city do have designated lanes for bike riders, but this photo is quite interesting. Why? "Every vehicle deserves a lane"? Really?

This is for those bike riders who don't seem to understand that if their bikes are vehicles, you need to operate it like one:

Countless times, I see bike riders weaving through lanes without any signals to drivers or just somehow coming out of the bike lanes and making the drivers quite nervous with their impulsive steering. In addition, I've seen more bike riders running stop signs (for some reason they think they don't have to STOP when the sign says STOP), yielding to pedestrians when making turns and at times, the red light is just a yellow light. Sometime they want to be vehicle operators and sometimes they want to be pedestrians on wheels.

Bike lanes are a safe place for bike riders but bike rider's disregard for traffic laws are NOT safe for drivers and pedestrians. If every vehicle deserves its own lane and bike riders believe this, shouldn't they operate the bike AS a vehicle? Why do some of the riders believe that the rules and laws of the road doesn't apply to them? Or that some rules can be modified to their liking?

From June 16th until July 20th, I started keeping tabs. I observed 27 bike riders and 24 of them either ran a stop sign (one caused a cab to brake suddenly), did not yield to pedestrians, used the sidewalk to avoid waiting for a car to parellel park on King Street (I guess because it's an alternate bike lane to them?), squeeze between a woman holding a child and a bench (instead of either waiting, or you know... using the bike lanes and most stopped at a red light, then after looking right and left, crossed the intersection. This was all observed on streets with bike lanes in both residential and major roads. Not to mention, my personal experience while driving. To the stupid woman who scratched my mirror with her bike while I was at a red light: You owe me money.

In Ontario, if you are under 18 years of age, you are required by law to wear a helmet. If bike riders are so concerned of their safety that they would rally to protest against bike lane removal, shouldn't all of them wear bike helmets anyway? Even if they're over 18 years of age? I mean, you may trust your awesome bike riding skills, but the point of having bike lanes is because you are unsure of others' driving skills.

So if the bike is a vehicle, then operate one like it is.
Removal of bike lanes would hardly make a difference for those bike riders who choose to revise the laws to their convenience.

Oh... and don't get me started on parents using the stroller as a weapon...

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