Mayoral candidate, Olivia Chow, announced on Friday that, if elected, she would oversee the construction of 200 additional kilometres of “on-road” bike lanes in Toronto over the next four years. I have yet to write my post on why I think cycling is conservative so I won’t give everything away here, but I will confirm that “bike lanes” on city streets are NOT conservative. If you’re not riding a bike now, a bike lane is not going to make a big difference. And if you are, then you don’t need a bike lane. The last thing this city needs are more ways for drivers to hate cyclists.
My position is this: A bike lane tends to make a rider feel entitled and complacent. You think you’re safe in the bike lane so you don’t pay as much attention. Remember there are others riders using the lane – slow riders and bad riders. I prefer that they just get out of the way. And dare anyone to step or drive in your precious bike lane – the outrage!! The best way to ride in the city is to use the lanes we already have on the major routes (e.g Bloor Street viaduct) which do not in any way impede traffic) and to learn to ride within the existing infrastructure. It’s not that hard and is very safe if you do it right.
But I also fell that it’s the left-leaning cyclists who tend to like bike lanes because they think more people will use use them. And they may be right. But I suspect only lefty cyclists will use them. So more bike lanes, means more lefty cyclists, which means more whining and more complaining, which means more bike lanes, which means more lefty cyclists. Aaaahhhh!