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July 10, 2009

Comments

geoffrey

I SHOULD be excited about this. But I'm not. Why is this? Where are the facilities for PRACTICAL bicyclists? The ones who ride to work rather than donning multitonne SUVs? Could it be Kitchener still regards bicycling as a recreational pastime? That bicyclists should be discouraged from exercising their craft for any REAL purpose? That the almighty motorvehicle industry still propels Kitchener decision making?
Where is the Province of Ontario in educating motorholics that other road users must be granted safe use of roadways? Where is the city in directing its transportation department to build roads for ALL road users? Why are pedestrian facilities still broken in multiple places on Ottawa St west of Mill St?

Bill

You are absolutely right that there should be better practical bicycle facilities. But your argument is the old "we should house the homeless and cure cancer before we spend millions venturing off into outer space" argument. Hey, we need housing and health, and we need dreams we can hope to realize. More places to thrash means more bike dreams, and presumably, riding on city streets to realize them. (Although it is absolutely ironic that this bike park has a good-sized parking lot, I was encouraged by the number of young cyclists who rode there.)

Fraser

After riding in bike parks across the country, today's experience at McLennan featured the most positive environment yet. Riders of all ages and all skill levels looked to be right at home - an impressive fact considering the park opened on Friday. I hope it stays that way, and I would like to extend my thanks to all those who brought McLennan Bike Park into existence.

Matt Bingeman

Thanks soo Much for Putting me In this Blog.

Edward Shannon

"North America is eventually going to figure out that, for all the right reasons, we need more bicycles on our roads. Dust off your bicycle and go cycling. And if the gas-burning dinosaurs start to crowd you, it's your road and you paid for it. Take the lane for yourself."

sorry but that is exactly the kind of attitude that angers motorists and endangers lives all over the place. Many cyclists have no disregard for the rules of the road and the fact that they are slower, unprotected, and less visible. Treating cars and bicycles as equals on busy roads is a recipe for disaster. At traffic speeds a car passing another car or larger vehicle could easily not see a bike in a lane and collide with it, usually to the detriment of the cyclist. It has happened many times and to blame the driver of the car while putting no blame at all on the cyclist is misguided at best. Cyclists also need to have personal responsibility for their vehicles and refrain from cycling on busy roads during rush hour when the lanes may be barely wide enough for cars to travel safely. To do otherwise is putting ones life in danger needlessly.

Also, fuel taxes pay for most of the roads that are in existence, including the dedicated bike lanes, not the mention the millions of jobs in the auto industry and billions of tax dollars from said industy. Think of that before you figuratively 'bite the hand that feeds you'

Bill

Greetings Edward, and welcome to the forum. It is absolutely true that some cyclists have no regard for the rules of the road. I'd guess the ratio is roughly equal to the motorists who have no regard for rules of the road. But based on the number of motorists who pass me on the 401 when I am already 10K over the limit, I'd say it is possible that more motorists have no regard for the rules of the road. Add in rolling stops and red-light runners -- enough to justify red-light cameras seemingly everywhere -- and you'll see what I mean. I agree that cyclists should stay off high-speed roads -- in fact, they are banned from 400 series and other such highways. As for the rest, you may have heard talk of the increased number of roundabouts, intended to keep traffic moving, but at a slower pace. The trend is to lower speeds on residential and urban roads, with the result that the hazards to vulnerable road users (bicycles, pedestrians, scooters, road workers, police, etc) from negligent drivers will be less. Traffic-calmed neighbourhoods already have 30 km/h limits around the traffic calming devices: I predict it will be 30 km/h throughout such areas in the not-to-distant future. And at such speeds, you might find a bike a less expensive alternative to that gas-guzzler that is draining your bank account.

Edward Shannon

I think there is a bias towards blaming drivers while giving cyclists a pass. I have seen in Kitchener, cyclists going the wrong way up the busy 4 lane street, causing cars in the right lane to slam on brakes and switch lanes to avoid collision. In this same instance, the cyclist crossed over the entrance ramp to the expressway backwards, putting himself in grave danger if some car happened to change lanes. This is just one instance where, if the same maneuver was done by a motorist, he would be facing dangerous driving charges, but in that case everyone just looked the other way.

It's true that round-abouts slow down traffic causing less serious accidents, I have read several articles that said that there is no safe way for a cyclist to navigate a round-about. I am not sure of the specifics, but it had something to do with cyclists already navigating the roundabout are always in the blindspot of motorists who are about to enter the round-about, being that they are approaching from the back drivers-side corner.

Add to that the general confusion of roundabouts, which I basically equate to a 4-way yield which encourages rolling stops, complete with an often view-obstructing center island.

Needless to say, I am not sold on roundabouts. I have had several close calls where busy traffic obscures the intent of other drivers entering the circle, where i was almost broadsided by a fast car entering the roundabout to my left. There is no way to predict the entry of such vehicle because the view of such cars is often obscured by the angle they are entering, or the island in the middle.

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Bill Bean


  • North America is eventually going to figure out that, for all the right reasons, we need more bicycles on our roads. Dust off your bicycle and go cycling. And if the gas-burning dinosaurs start to crowd you, it's your road and you paid for it. Take the lane for yourself.

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