Transportation

Cycling in Hamilton is Not Just a Fantasy

By Jason Leach
Published August 17, 2009

As a brief response to this letter in today's Spectator, I have to say that every day I see someone with a basket full of groceries from the Farmers Market or local grocery store riding through my downtown neighbourhood.

And every day I see people cycling to work with business attire on.

That's in Hamilton! Not Holland, where cyclists are actually treated like worthwhile human beings.

Rainy Portland OR had no bike infrastructure a number of years ago. Now, with some basic bike lanes, this scene is repeated every day of the week in their fine city.

I'm pleased to hear that the letter writer cycles a lot, but saddened to read how he has allowed the system to get him to the point of actually believing he is second-rate and don't deserve basic transportation infrastructure like everyone else.

Every city that has ramped up cycling infrastructure, whether poor like Bogota, rich like New York, cold like Montreal or rainy like Portland, has seen a dramatic increase in cyclists and people leaving their cars in order to bike as a lifestyle.

Of course, not everyone will. But many will.

That fact alone renders the 'traffic jam' argument useless. Slower traffic + more bike lanes = fewer cars and less traffic congestion.

We've spent decades and billions of dollars trying to ease traffic congestion with more roads, only to find out that congestion gets worse.

Some might like wasting tax money with no results, but I'd prefer us to save tax money by investing in programs such as bike infrastructure and LRT that have been proven time and time again to work in reducing urban congestion.

Of course, doing what is proven to work isn't the strong point of our politicians. After all, Los Angeles showed us decades ago that more traffic lanes results in more congestion, yet that hasn't stopped us from spending endless tax dollars to prove the same thing here in the Golden Horseshoe.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

42 Comments

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By Really? (registered) | Posted August 17, 2009 at 12:29:10

I don't think you really even needed to respond to that Op-Ed. The ignorance within it is a rebuttle in itself.. no one would take it seriously, anwyay.

I just want to say that I'm so sick of the excuse, 'But this is Hamilton'.

What does that even mean!?

Did Jane Jacobs & Co. throw their hands up in the air during the Spadina Expressway debates and say, "But this is Toronto!" ? I'm pretty sure they didn't... and I'm pretty sure the Spadina Expressway was scrapped, helping turn Toronto (aka Hogtown back then as it was more lame than even Hamilton) into a thriving Metropolis while Hamilton sits in it's shadow --literally-- building expressways and debating viability of sustainable infrastructure, such as Cycling Lanes.

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By fight the good fight (anonymous) | Posted August 17, 2009 at 16:24:33

Preach it Jason! I'm so tired of the squelcher waving there hands at other cities that are leaving us in the dust and saying Oh that couldn't work here because [insert lame excuse here]. Keep fighting the good fight!

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 17, 2009 at 16:37:12

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 17, 2009 at 19:37:06

ASmith said: However, if it's true that people in Hamilton actually love riding their bikes more than driving their cars, why aren't they doing it? Where are they?

They are in their cars. Let's spend billions developing a great bike network and see if the bike lanes are clogged too. You can bet they will be.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 17, 2009 at 19:45:56

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 17, 2009 at 22:21:43

Jason >> They are in their cars.

Why are they in their cars if they could all choose to use the roads to cycle around town? Is the government forcing them to buy cars?

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 17, 2009 at 23:26:28

Why are they in their cars if they could all choose to use the roads to cycle around town? Is the government forcing them to buy cars?

A stupid question deserves an equally stupid answer. In actual fact, in case you haven't been reading the news lately, the government IS forcing all of us to buy cars...or at least picking up some of the tab on behalf of those who do.

It's certainly not a question of enjoyment...an interesting snippet from Stats Canada shows Canadians attitudes toward commuting.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/20...

"Cyclists are more likely to enjoy commuting

Very few workers travel to work by bicycle. According to 2001 Census data, about 1% of commuters rode a bicycle to work (the largest proportion was 4.9% in Victoria, British Columbia). Cyclists differ from other workers not only because of their small numbers, but also because they are much more likely to enjoy commuting to work. The predicted probability that a worker commuting to work by bicycle would like the activity was 59%, compared with only 37% for people who used their cars to get to work (Model 2). Workers who walked to work were also more likely to enjoy commuting, with a predicted probability of 46%."

It seems to me is that is what's driving all of this anti-cycling propaganda I've been seeing all over the local media these days...a green tinge of jealousy.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 00:37:47

arienc, I am not against cycling, but I don't like it when people try to take a fringe activity and pretend that it's mainstream. That being said, if even 1% of the people in Hamilton use bikes as their main mode of transportation, fairness suggests they should get 1% of the transportation infrastructure money.

If someone can provide a breakdown of how much in taxes are dedicated to cyclists, this might seal the case for increased funding. However, the way this issue is presented here, it's more of a crusade against drivers than anything else.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 08:12:52

Asmith asked: "Why are they in their cars if they could all choose to use the roads to cycle around town? Is the government forcing them to buy cars?"

Yes.

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By Skeptic (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 08:46:11

Jason is as suspect as that money-making family-run religion his family runs and gets paid for...I have never seen him on a bike, but I have seen him drive up to that parking lot big member paid church on the mountain.

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By CRAPitalist (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 08:56:04

@"Skeptic"

You can change your screen name, Capitalist, but it seems you can't change your stripes. Go fix your broken record and do something kind and constructive with your life for a change.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 11:17:48

online anonomynity is a real beauty eh? Lol.

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By Dave Kuruc (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 11:24:23

Reading some Deepak Chopra lately -

Online or in real life - how about we don't judge so much? Just a thought...

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 11:48:09

Pipe down hippie :)

Back to bikes http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009...

"On July 8, the city marked the completion of a three-year, $8 million project that brought the total miles of street lanes to 420"

"The number of cyclists exploding — increasing 35% between 2007 and 2008"

"City officials, expecting the number of bike commuters to triple by 2020, plan to create 50 miles of bike lanes a year going forward, reaching 1,800 by 2030"

So it certainly appears that creating a space for the tax payers to cycle (more) safely, has led to those tax payers to cycling.

Imagine this as a thought exercise, people are allowed to walk on the roads, but we take away the sidewalks and add more lanes. What would that look like?

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 12:36:37

great info JonC.

It's amazing to see the numbers skyrocket like that in NYC considering the sheer madness of their roads. I love it when cities that are way crazier, poorer and colder do stuff like this. It makes all the squelchers in Hamilton look so lame.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 13:22:22

a smith writes >> arienc, I am not against cycling, but I don't like it when people try to take a fringe activity and pretend that it's mainstream. That being said, if even 1% of the people in Hamilton use bikes as their main mode of transportation, fairness suggests they should get 1% of the transportation infrastructure money.

It's hard to say that cycling is a "fringe activity" as you put it. It's a chicken and egg problem. If we only built bike lanes everywhere with a lane or two here and there for cars, how many people do you think would drive around the city?

We face tremendous challenges getting around the region as it continues to grow in population and size. That will only necessitate more cars on the same roads we have now unless we shift the mix. How do you encourage that shift? Cities like New York and Portland have seen success...see the examples Ryan points out.

As far as share of budget...the capital budget for Hamilton is $1.68 billion over next 10 years. Roads share of this is 43 percent...which is equal to $722 million or $72 million a year. Add to that a conservative 30% of the public works maintenance budget, and taxpayers spend close to $100 million/year on road construction/maintenance. Note that I did not include the debt financing for Red Hill or policing costs for traffic enforcement.

Allocating $1.25 million a year to cycling initiatives (as the city recently rejected) seems like it would fit your criteria, assuming a modal share of 1.25%. However if the goal is to increase that share to 5% or even 10%, the investment must certainly go up significantly from the current level.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 13:37:14

A smith >> However, the way this issue is presented here, it's more of a crusade against drivers than anything else.

I'd suggest that the 'crusade against drivers' you refer to is a figment of the imagination of the talk radio reactionaries. We're talking here about what is essentially a minute change to a mode of travel that we have allowed to become so overwhelmingly dominant.

Now when we finally have realized that such domination isn't completely healthy for our quality of life and for our economic growth, and seek to begin the process of changing things a bit, the newspapers (dependent on advertising from the auto and homebuilding industries) all scream about a supposed "War on the Car!".

You've bought in to their propaganda hook, line and sinker.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 14:54:05

haha...talk radio.
it's amazing anyone listens to them anymore.
Modern day mummies on the other end of the dial. Such incredible relics, yet still around.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 16:31:21

arienc >> Allocating $1.25 million a year to cycling initiatives (as the city recently rejected) seems like it would fit your criteria

Where would these dollars be invested? Is it simply a matter of repaving lanes so that cyclists could have a car free path?

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 17:13:33

"Where would these dollars be invested?"

As if you care. Trolls can't ride bikes.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 18:02:35

JonC >> So it certainly appears that creating a space for the tax payers to cycle (more) safely, has led to those tax payers to cycling.

If you reduce the amount of lanes for cars and give them to cyclists, of course more people will ride to work. What's your point? If the government gives people free coupons for McDonalds, they will buy more fast food. This doesn't prove that there is a great demand for cycling, just that slow traveling, inefficient modes of transportation (like cycling) need the heavy hand of government to prop up their "green" lifestyle choices.

If cyclists could travel at the same speed as motorcycles, they wouldn't need dedicated SLOW lanes. Therefore, if you want to ride your bikes, keep up with the speed of traffic. If you can't, drop the notion that bikes are an efficient mode of transportation, because they're not. That's why human beings created the internal combustion engine, because it leverages human brain power and lessens our reliance on our limited physical capacity for work.

Does anybody really believe that relying on human locomotion is an efficient way to move goods and services around this city? If so, you should also be in favour of dismantling the power grid and returning to an economy based on hard physical labour. Of course that will mean that our economic output will fall through the floor, but who cares about that? Hamilton is moving in that direction anyway.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 18:57:19

You apparently would be surprised that it takes me less time door to door to get from my home (near Locke South) to downtown by bike than by car, that it costs me nothing to park a bike, that I enjoy absorbing my surroundings and that exercise is beneficial.

Just because you hate everything that is different from your routine, don't assume the same about everyone else.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 19:31:57

here here

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 19:35:16

JonC >> You apparently would be surprised that it takes me less time door to door to get from my home (near Locke South) to downtown by bike than by car

Then why the need for dedicated slow lanes? If you have the ability to travel as fast as the rest of traffic, why not use the whole lane as any other car or motorcycle would? The city doesn't provide dedicated lanes for small cars or motorcycles, so why do it with bikes?

Roads are not just about travel, they have an economic role that involves time constraints and therefore need to be seen in this light. If people want to exercise, do this on your own time, if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, buy an electric scooter or bike ( www.e-ride.ca ). You might even be able to buy a device that would allow you to charge your battery by human locomotion.

This way, traffic would flow at a reasonable speed, there would be no need for separate bike infrastructure and people that want to exercise could still do so.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 20:31:11

"Then why the need for dedicated slow lanes? If you have the ability to travel as fast as the rest of traffic, why not use the whole lane as any other car or motorcycle would?"

If you would read things instead of jumping to asinine conclusions, your life would be much simpler. I specifically stated door-to-door. I travel slower than cars speeding down main, but make it up at parking. Other items listed included the economics of not paying for parking (or gas) as well as pleasure and exercise, which is being done on my time, and my roads. you ass.

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By Dave Kuruc (anonymous) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 22:05:01

Jon - why don't you just smash a cupcake in his face and be done with it.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 18, 2009 at 23:08:28

word gets around.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 19, 2009 at 00:01:04

In the typical A Smith-style arguing fashion...

If motorists could travel at the same speed as high-speed trains, they wouldn't need dedicated SLOW streets. Therefore, if you want to drive your car, keep up with the speed of high-speed rail. If you can't, drop the notion that cars are an efficient mode of transportation, because they're not. That's why human beings created the bullet train, because it leverages human brain power and lessens our reliance on our limited petroleum resources.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 19, 2009 at 04:15:38

JonC >> I travel slower than cars speeding down main, but make it up at parking.

I'm happy for you, but you still haven't answered why you need a dedicated SLOW lane?

>> Other items listed included the economics of not paying for parking (or gas) as well as pleasure and exercise, which is being done on my time, and my roads. you ass.

I think it's great that you can enjoy free parking and a nice workout, but why can't you do this while traveling at the same speed as the other 97-99% of people who use the road? Why does your love of exercise and free parking have to slow the roads for the 99% of people who aren't members of your green cult?

Dave Kuruc >> Jon - why don't you just smash a cupcake in his face and be done with it.

Hippie attack, watch out!

arienc >> If motorists could travel at the same speed as high-speed trains, they wouldn't need dedicated SLOW streets.

I thought you were in favour of slowing car traffic down? Now you're saying that cars should be traveling faster, which is it?

>> drop the notion that cars are an efficient mode of transportation, because they're not.

You're right, trains are much more energy efficient than trucks when it comes to moving freight long distances. However, in an urban environment, cars and trucks are the only way to get to specific business locations (i.e. food to a grocery store, clothes to a department store, electronics to a big box store, etc). Do you see how it might be hard to have a bullet train line go to each business in Hamilton?

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 19, 2009 at 07:38:42

It's not a dedicated slow lane, it's a dedicated safe lane....

http://www.who.int/violence_injury_preve...

"Vulnerable road users are at additional risk where their needs have not been taken into consideration during the planning of land use or road construction. In many countries roads are planned and built to allow motor vehicles to travel faster while insufficient thought is given to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, which means that these vulnerable road users face increasing risks in using and crossing the roads"

Even in Sweden where the "model of road safety is frequently cited as good" and used as the upper basis in the WHO report, "road traffic crashes are responsible for 20% of deaths of children aged between 5 and 19". If you were curious as to why their planning is cited as a good system, it is because the "road safety policy adopted in the late 1990s is based on an understanding that the environment needs to be modified to take account of humans' lack of tolerance to mechanical forces and the human tendency to make errors." Also, globally collisions are the #2 leading cause of death for those between ages 5 & 29 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/rele...

For statistical reference "Pedestrians have a 90% chance of surviving a car crash at 30 km/h or below, but less than a 50% chance of surviving impacts of 45 km/h or above"

If you'd prefer, we can slow all of traffic down to accommodate my desire to live.

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By reuben (registered) - website | Posted August 19, 2009 at 09:51:15

it is becoming more and more clear with his circular argumentation, break down in reason and inability to comprehend what is being said. a smith is a troll-bot.

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By zookeeper (registered) | Posted August 19, 2009 at 10:32:13

@reuben

Exactly!! Everyone PLEASE stop feeding this troll.

Imagine how many squirrels you'd have in your neighborhood, digging under your shingles, living in your walls, eating holes in your porch etc. etc. if you and your neighbors put food out for them all the time.

It's the same with trolls. Keep feeding the troll and it will be trolling far above the natural "carrying capacity" of this comment forum. The troll may enjoy it, but it's bad for the neighborhood and ultimately bad even for the troll.

RtH has comment voting now, use it. Just vote down the troll comments and reply to something else, there are plenty of other interesting comments here to reply to.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 19, 2009 at 10:46:47

A Smith >> I can't believe you actually are rebutting my caricature of your arguments (see reuben's very accurate description), but anyhow I have a few questions that hopefully will help some of us make sense of your warped worldview.

1) Why is speed of travel a factor as to who gets to travel and who doesn't? While you acknowledge the benefits of speed, you ingore the costs it imposes.

2) If I follow your logic and get in my car instead of riding my bike, as well as all the other "green cultists" who cycle...what impacts do you forsee for road users? For the community? For taxpayers?

3) Do you have any evidence that making roads safer for cyclists slows down traffic?

Your refusal to acknowledge my earlier rebuttal to you on the cost of cycling infrastructure to the city, and changing the subject to one of keeping up with traffic smacks of someone who carries a very deep anti-cycling bias.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 19, 2009 at 16:07:07

JonC >> It's not a dedicated slow lane, it's a dedicated safe lane

If you were truly worried about your safety, you wouldn't ride your bike from Locke St to downtown, you would walk. Nobody is forcing you to put your life at risk, that's your choice and it indicates a recklessness on you part.

That being said, I agree that the 1% of cyclists in this city are entitled to at least 1% of the road. I think that would come out to about a 6 inch wide bike lane along Main and less than that on other streets.

>> If you'd prefer, we can slow all of traffic down to accommodate my desire to live.

I'd prefer the roads be sold off to the private sector.

arienc >> Why is speed of travel a factor as to who gets to travel and who doesn't?

Because roads are "owned" by the public and aren't in private hands, it stands to reason that the rules of the roads are set by majority opinion. The majority of people think roads are for cars and trucks, while bikes are for exercise and leisure. The problem with people on this site is that they live in a left wing bubble. They only talk with other lefties, so in their mind, everyone loves to cycle.

Open your eyes lefties, most people LOVE their cars and trucks. Deal with it.

>> If I follow your logic and get in my car instead of riding my bike, as well as all the other "green cultists" who cycle...what impacts do you forsee for road users?

More cars on the road will slow traffic down, push up gas prices and keep you safer than you would be on a bike. Higher gas prices make mass transit more attractive, while slower traffic apparently makes everyone safer, specifically pedestrians. As you can see, there are lots of positives with driving a car.

>> Do you have any evidence that making roads safer for cyclists slows down traffic?

How do you propose making the roads safe for cyclists? By painting a line on the road? How is this line going to stop you from being sideswiped by a careless driver? Even if you are following the rules of the road perfectly, dead is dead.

The only safe solution would be to install a hard physical barrier, like a cement curb, throughout the entire city. If you can gather the political support for that, more power to you.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 19, 2009 at 18:27:46

A Smith>> They only talk with other lefties, so in their mind, everyone loves to cycle.

Again, you completely ignore evidence to the contrary...see the Statscan data I provided earlier in this thread. Those who cycle enjoy their commute more than those who dont. Fact.

More cars on the road will slow traffic down, push up gas prices...

Exactly. So you argue that you don't want bike lanes because you think they will slow traffic, yet you recognize that converting cyclists to drivers will slow traffic. Nice logic there.

I'd prefer the roads be sold off to the private sector.

As you say, the majority rules, And its highly unlikely that the majority will ever go there....public roads have been present for thousands of years of human history and this model isn't likely to change soon.

How do you propose making the roads safe for cyclists?

Providing a designated space for cyclists reinforces the fact that cyclists are welcome on the street. More people cycle. We have seen evidence continuously on RTH that more cyclists = fewer accidents.

As an aside, those who cycle are not all "lefties" as you put it. We recognize that not everybody can/will cycle. That's not the issue.

The main thing is ensuring that the region can keep moving. Everybody has free choice about how they travel. That is maintained in a free society...nobody is forcing you to ride. However, with more people choosing cycling, we all benefit...from increased road capacity to move goods, decreased accidents, and lower tax burden for road maintenance costs. You have not considered these benefits - only the marginal costs.

If it's considered "left" to want to encourage those things (especially the lower tax burden part) then I don't wanna be right. Believe it or not I actually do believe in lower taxes and smaller government, although applied in a balanced way (i.e. not just handing all power over our lives to profit-seeking corporations as you do).

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 19, 2009 at 18:57:54

I'm kind of a hero, paving the way for those that feel intimidated by assholes that don't respect the rights of fellow citizens. Remember how Rosa Parks wouldn't go to the back of the bus, I'm like that, but a white male born into a sufficient amount of privilege.

"Because roads are "owned" by the public and aren't in private hands, it stands to reason that the rules of the roads are set by majority opinion". You obviously have no understanding of Canada's legal system.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 19, 2009 at 19:51:28

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 20, 2009 at 10:55:11

A Smith >> Perhaps cyclists have more fun BECAUSE of the extra danger involved, kind of like why people ride roller-coasters.

Unlikely, or you would not see cyclists looking for bike lanes and more cyclists on the roads to REDUCE danger.

Imagine if you could take back the taxes you pay for the current car centric roads we have today and put them towards a private bike network.

Would LOVE to take you up on that offer, so long as each moad of travel pays fully for the costs of running it AND accounts fully for all of the externalities it imposes on society. Still you're talking about utopian solutions, not real-world ones. Blind adherence to free market and/or communist dogma only work in utopia.

I have to state that based on the amount of opposition you have put up to bike lanes, as a self-proclaimed "conservative", you are ignoring the issues you say you care about and spending all your effort in search of a very small one.

If you spent 99% of your time arguing for user fees on public roads, and 1% of your time arguing against public cycling lanes, your position would be consistent. But you do not, and your hypocrisy is exposed.

But they're not welcome, that's the point. Drivers don't like the fact that slow moving vehicles get in their way and that's just the reality.

While you may not feel cyclists are welcome, in the real world that only applies to limited access highways like the 403/Linc/RHVP etc.

As a driver, I appreciate those who choose to cycle, because by doing so, they allow me to get to my destination with less congestion.

I recognize that there are many citizens who don't share that view, and have the perception that streets are exclusively for cars. That view evolved as the automobile became more and more dominant, and can easily evolve the other way.

If the government forces people to cycle, by taking away car lanes, the only people who will benefit are people that hate cars.

That's a steaming hunk of BS and you very well know it!

Firstly it is not necessary that creating spaces to cycle must take away car lanes. Look at York Blvd - the car lanes were reduced to the minimum safe width, and bilke lanes were added. Bike lanes can also replace lanes which are currently used for on-street parking, or use underutilized land such as abandoned railways.

If a few automobile lanes in the city are converted to bike lanes, the government is not "forcing you to cycle". For every 10 lanes you could currently choose to use to get from one side of town to the other, you might have the choice of 9 car lanes and a bike lane. Just as drivers change their routes when lanes are blocked due to construction or accidents, they will likewise adapt and plan their travels accordingly without needing to hop on a bike if they choose not to.

As it stands, the government is effectively forcing people to drive, by not providing continuous bike lanes that go anywhere.

In addition, as I previously pointed out, not only "those who hate cars" benefit. Everyone who breathes air, travels on the roadways, owns property, buys gas or earns income receives tangible benefits when their fellow citizens choose cycling.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 20, 2009 at 18:00:05

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By arienc (registered) | Posted August 21, 2009 at 23:20:29

A Smith >> What you mean to say is "net externalities". That figure would also include all the positive effects that cars and trucks provide to society, everything from being able to visit family more often, fresher foods, richer cultural experiences, quick emergency care and 99% of the all the consumer goods we currently enjoy. Basically, anything that we can do and consume that have come about since the invention of the car.

A point well taken. The car has brought us many wonderful things, especially the freedom to seek opportunities over a wider area. As well as the urban sprawl, far-flung families, pollution and related health impacts, needless deaths/injuries due to accidents, and time spent commuting instead of with family that we see as negative impacts. Cars have created tremendous benefits for those who have access to them, without question.

However, cities like Copenhagen and Portland offer all of the same benefits, and more. They offer a better balance. so that those who are inclined to bicycle actually do so, because they are respected by drivers and provided with safe and relatively inexpensive infrastructure.

I though bikes were efficient modes of transportation, so why can't you just drive on any roads that cars do?

I can and do. I am part of the 1-2% of the public who is confident and enthusiastic about cycling. I am not the target market for bike lanes (although the little bit of separation does make me feel a little less anxiety on the road as cars and trucks whizz by at 80 in a 60 zone). There is a further 10-20 percent of the population that is eager to cycle, but they percieve barriers to them doing so. One of those barriers being the perception of safety. Those are the people who surveys have shown will come out in droves when facilities are convenient and well-designed. A further 50-60% would only cycle occasionally or recreationally.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 22, 2009 at 16:28:32

arienc >> The car has brought us many wonderful things,

Have bikes contributed as much to the world as cars/trucks have?

>> Those are the people who surveys have shown will come out in droves when facilities are convenient and well-designed.

If the city spent money on a free amusement park, I bet a survey would show that these same people would come out in droves. Is that a good reason for spending taxpayer dollars on an amusement park?

>> I am part of the 1-2% of the public who is confident and enthusiastic about cycling.

Exactly. There is only about 1-2% of the population that sees cycling as anything more than a hobby. If that's the case, why should the city spend taxpayer money on creating bike lanes for people who don't really care if they cycle or not?

The best thing to do is to start tolling city roads, reduce taxes and let the people who use the roads pay for their upkeep. In this scenario, there would be far less traffic on the roads, more space for dedicated bike lanes and the most dangerous thing that cyclists would have to confront would be the toll to use the road.

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By a_visitor (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2009 at 01:47:47

I just spent 10 minutes reading the comments. Almost all of them are a response to ASmith. He certainly is a popular guy. Most popular guy on this site if you ask me!

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