Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Rant About Traffic vs Bikes

While I'm away, a rant from the past. In other words, I'm making use of the delayed posting feature on blogger to move material from my old out of date web site to my blog while I'm on vacation.

First posted: March, 2005.

Why do I as a cyclist on the road feel I have to apologise to automotive traffic for taking up road space? I am not contributing to increasing fuel prices, I am not contributing to congested traffic (or do so only slightly), I am saving the healthcare system and in turn the taxpayer money by getting off my ass, I am not contributing to deterioration of the roadway and soaring infrastructure costs, I am not contributing to a myriad of environmental problems (CO2, CO, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, rubber, plastic, junk), I am not going to kill anyone if I fall asleep, I'm not going to kill anyone if I drink, I'm not going to kill anyone if I don't know how to proceed through an uncontrolled intersection. But I'm in THEIR way? Go figure. OK, so not everyone is capable of cycling/walking/taking a bus everywhere but imagine if 30% of the population biked to work or the store three seasons of the year in reasonable weather (seems pretty reasonable to me, especially in a small city like Saskatoon where most things are within a 30 minute ride). Suddenly the roads would be less congested allowing goods and commerce to proceed more smoothly, parking would be possible for those that need it, civic infrastructure costs would drop, we'd be physically & mentally healthier, the world would be safer. We'd be happier.

OK, tone down the rhetoric, I'll finish with a simple question.
When was the last time you had fun driving to work?