Comment 32790

By rusty (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2009 at 17:20:42

I was biking in Kingston the other day, on the road (!), when another cyclist drew alongside me. He was on the sidewalk, with his young kid strapped into a seat at the back. He was going faster than me, fairly whipping down the hill. When he got to a strip mall entrance he looked left and turned his bike just in time to avoid a car which was entering the mall from the road. The driver did not even look.

I went to speak to the driver, who was oblivious of the near impact, and had an argument with my friend afterwards. My friend claimed that it was the cyclists fault for riding on the sidewalk. But the road was very thin, the cars very fast and, like I told him, 'there's no way I'd ride with my kid on this road'. My friend still felt it was the cyclists fault.

All-in-all I'm not sure it matters who fault it was. The problem was that there was no safe laneway for the cyclist. The cyclists choice was to risk his and his kids life on the road or the sidewalk, or else walk. I decided that, given the circumstances I would have probably ridden on the sidewalk myself (but ridden a little slower). Cyclists make choices like this all the time, some of them spontaneously. In the end it's the lack of infrastructure that's the problem.

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