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July 04, 2013

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Peter Parker

I generally follow the rules. I always always stop for red lights and 99% of yellow lights. I don't bike on the sidewalk or against traffic, even on one way streets. I might do rolling stops at stop signs, but they are very slow rolling stops - slower than a car that comes to a complete stop, then accelerates again.

Despite this, I have real trouble with people getting hysterical about the "incredible danger" of riding contra-flow on one-way streets or rolling stops when these things are perfectly legal for cyclists to do in other locations.

The author is even upset with pedestrians who don't wait around for the lights to change, even when there is no traffic around at all and visibility is good. Get a grip.

Also, what exactly is the proper legal procedure when one comes to a red light that doesn't automatically change and doesn't have sensors to notice a waiting cyclist? Should I wait there, possible for hours, until a car stops behind me and triggers the sensor? Should I dismount in the middle of traffic and walk to the sidewalk? Our road infrastructure is built in ways that discourage legal cycling.

Ryan

1. Sorry Bill, I simply don't buy into the "Cyclists who break the law make the rest of the cycling community look bad".
If people do look at a handful of cyclists and judge us all, than that says more about that person. The "look bad" argument for whatever reason only applies to cyclists.

2. This is pretty bang on. I'll complain about all road users, cyclists, motorists, pedestrians and any other form.
To me a bad road user is a bad road user.
However too many motorists, while not even realizing they are breaking the law, will criticize others.
I have no issues with rolling stops for anyone if nobody is around, but everyday I see motorists whiz through red lights, go 10-20km/h over the speed limit on CITY streets, 20-40km/h over on the highway, never signal, pass too close, talk/text and the list goes on. More or less these have become acceptable.

Overall I can't say I'm surprised that those outside of cars remain targets in this country, but especially in Toronto.
Yesterday I read an article on the collision that snarled traffic in Toronto, and the cop that Metro talked to, focused mainly on blaming the pedestrians.

@Peter, with regards to your last paragraph.
If you want to do everything in that scenario "by the books".
Dismount and go on the sidewalk, press the pedestrian button. Either go back on the road and mount the bike, or simply walk the bike across.

However since that is a sign of poor infrastructure and I don't believe people getting around on bikes should have to dismount do to poor city planning, the preferable options is to ride on the sidewalk to press the button, or simply treat said red light as a stop sign.
I occasionally have issues early in the morning with a traffic light here, and I'll just wait until there is a clearing. Forget about bikes, this light can take up to 3 minutes with even a car sitting and waiting.

Ryan

Oh, one more thing.
I found it sad that Timson believes Stintz should just pay the fine.

It has become almost a daily occurrence with radio media (which is extremely pro-car), to encourage people to fight speeding and parking tickets, as well as red light and stop sign tickets.
After all "cash grab" is what is often cited.

Funny how yet again the ugly double standard rears its head.

Joe

One thing I have found in this community is the mixed bike and walking trails. I was out today and followed all the rules of the road, except getting off my bike and crossing an intersection that connect a mixed trail, I rode through while obeying all the pedestrian signals, even when I missed the walk signal I stopped and waited like a pedestrian. As a car driver, fully insured motorist, and tax payer. I think the side by side law should remain, cyclist only ride in single file unless passing. Another thing that maybe helpful is a different cross walk marking for crossing the road at trail connections, white spots and these indicate at crossing where there is a trail, leave the pedestrian solid lines, cyclist will not be dismounting but will obey the pedestrian crossing signals.

AlanM

Re: "what exactly is the proper legal procedure when one comes to a red light that doesn't automatically change and doesn't have sensors to notice a waiting cyclist"

At a cycling safety talk by Toronto police a few years ago, they said that if a traffic light is inoperable, treat it as a stop sign, same as if power is out. So stop for the red light, and if it doesn't change after a reasonable time, and the way to proceed is clear, do so.

clasher

There's no such thing as "the cycling community" any more so than there is "the motoring community". I don't know any "good" drivers that go around scolding us "regular" drivers that go 10 over like every other sane person on the roads.

We're all just a bunch of people trying to get around and all the traffic woes we're having in this province are because of too many single occupant cars on the roads and the unfair amount of money that gets spent on the infrastructure to support that lifestyle.

wendy

yeah, why a cycling community? nice idea, but I also drive and want no connection to many of my fellow motorists.
I am not a touring cyclist, dolled up in fancy gear.
I ride as transport, as part of a healthy environmentally friendly lifestyle I believe is good for all. I also ride for economical reasons. the half hour bus ride home is three bucks. Biking is faster, and free.
I break laws. Like using the sidewalk rather than risk my life on the street. I see more cyclists on sidewalks. This is a problem. I would never ride on a busy walkway.
But in KW, long, empty stretches of sidewalk wish for pedestrians, but there are none! So why endanger myself with drivers who often resent cyclists. no matter what we are doing.
Just today, another run down on Westmount. How will the media spin the blame on the victim, this time?

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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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