Bike Zealots Are A Noisy Inefficient Selfish Elite

The City of Ottawa is going overboard on its promotion of cycling as a commuting mode.

Hard to know what the research was that Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper bought from the lobby group Citizens For Safe Cycling (he won’t release it), but The Bulldog sat down and did a little research of its own.

These figures propose to reflect the bike usage of average Ottawans … the ones who don’t cycle in the winter or on rainy days or high heat days. They do not reflect the usage of biking zealots such as Leiper.

For the average cyclist, half the year is unsuitable for biking. Those are the cold weather months.

During biking months, Ottawa has about 70 rainy days on which cycling is unlikely for the average person.

As well, Ottawa experiences about five high-heat days in which cycling can be dangerous.

So look at the facts for the average cyclist, not the elite lobbying for expensive bike lanes that retard other forms of commuting, but just Joe or Jill Biker.

This is it: 255 days a year are unsuitable for the average cyclist to bike.

Less than one-third of Ottawa days work for the average cyclist. On Sunday driving a number of times down the highly expensive and highly touted Churchill Avenue complete street from Carling Avenue to Scott Street, your agent saw one cyclist. One. Just one.

God bless people who cycle to save the environment and improve their health. I support them. But let’s not get carried away. It makes little sense to build extensive bike networks that are used for less than a third of the year. Bike advocates cite Helsinki as a model Ottawa should emulate as a cycling town. Ottawa is not Helsinki and it never will be.

We are building an expensive and inefficient bike system for a noisy, small elite who want their way without paying for it. They want you to pay for their passion.

That’s not right.


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18 thoughts on “Bike Zealots Are A Noisy Inefficient Selfish Elite

  1. “We are building an expensive and inefficient bike system for a noisy, small elite who want their way without paying for it.”

    Apparently you just discovered the biggest loophole in municipal taxation; if you don’t want to pay property taxes, just start riding your bike.


    1. Puppy:

      This is the kind of disjointed logic the bike lobby uses.

      Propaganda, I believe.

      You want to use roads without paying for them with user fees. Motorists pay all kinds of user fees for roads.

      Cyclists condemn cars but are very happy to ride roads where a disproportionate amount of money is paid by motorists.

      So yes, some cyclists pay property taxes. Some don’t. Same with motorists.

      But all motorists pay extra be it gas taxes, licensing etc.

      What’s wrong with user fees for cyclists to use roads paid for by motorists?

      Happy to condemn motorists but happy to use their money for free. So far you have proved two of the traits of cyclists … noisy and selfish.

      As well, your strategy is that of Trump and Goebbels. You know that drivers pay user fees yet you chose to ignore that in your comment. Tell a lie enough times and people start to believe it is true.

      And by the way, are cyclists insured? Licensed?

      Given the horrible failure to observe road rules by cyclists, not bad ideas.




  2. “Expensive bike lanes that retard other forms of commuting.”

    What are you basing this on? Numerous studies in other places have shown that bike lanes often reduce congestion. Do you have any evidence to show that Ottawa bike lanes have actually increased traffic?

    We also spend a lot less on bike lanes than we do on other forms of transportation. Ottawa’s Cycling Plan 2013 calls for an investment of $70 million in bike infrastructure from now until 2031. The widening of the 417 from Maitland to the 416 is scheduled to cost $200 million. Ottawa’s total annual transportation expenditure according to the 2018 budget was $183 million. Comparatively, bike lanes are very inexpensive.


    1. Daniel:

      Of course, cycling is very inexpensive.

      Drivers pay for much of it through user fees. Cyclists don’t.

      As for cycling retarding commuting, try to make an unhindered right turn on the Laurier cycling lanes without interfering with a cyclist. It’s dangerous for cyclists though our public service says the Laurier lanes are safe because they said so … and green paint will stop a speeding truck.

      Common sense, Daniel.




      1. “As for cycling retarding commuting, try to make an unhindered right turn on the Laurier cycling lanes without interfering with a cyclist.”

        That’s an anecdotal observation, not evidence. I don’t have any statistics about traffic congestion, but the report on the Laurier bike lane audit showed a demonstrable increase in safety after the lanes were installed, not just for cyclists but for pedestrians as well.

        “Drivers pay for much of it through user fees. Cyclists don’t.”

        The “user fees” paid by drivers do not go directly to pay for roads, but rather into general revenue. Many cyclists (myself included) also own cars, and pay the same licensing, registration, etc. that all drivers do, as well as funding road infrastructure through our property and income taxes. And compared to the damage that a car does to the road vs. a bike, you could argue that many cyclists pay more than their fair share.


        1. Daniel:

          This is the same old blather I’ve heard from the bike lobby forever.

          General revenues or road use. It’s all one pool and some of it comes back to roads.

          You know that. Why do you try to use that to support your argument?

          I guess you think the readers of The Bulldog and yours truly are gullible fools.




        2. Daniel:

          The essence of a good discussion is bringing in some information that people don’t know.

          I have an open mind to being convinced but tell me something I don’t know.

          Repeating tired arguments isn’t likely to convince me or other skeptics.




          1. “Repeating tired arguments isn’t likely to convince me or other skeptics.”

            I could say the same about your entire article. The difference is that I actually provided sources to back up my arguments (which I notice you’ve edited out of my comments).

            I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.


            1. Daniel:

              That’s not true.

              Do you want to build a bike system in a city in which bikes are used by most cyclists less than one-third of the year?

              Those are facts.

              Just because they aren’t your facts … well as ever from the bike lobby … they’re wrong, irrelevant or to be ignored.

              The only facts that matter are rather tedious ones of questionable value that support the bike lobby … at least that’s what the elitist bike lobby thinks. Everyone else is wrong because they don’t agree with us (bike lobby speaking).

              Get out and talk to people who don’t just agree with you. The Bulldog encourages debate from people of diverse viewpoints.




              1. Wow, a debate. How nice. Daniel does make a good point in that most bicyclists also own cars, hence they do pay for the roadways they use while bicycling to stay in shape, get to work, etc.

                Ottawa drivers are very rude and most seem to be in a hurry all the time – I look in my rear view mirror frequently and many times someone is driving five feet behind me (on the airport parkway for example) trying to force me to speed up. When I signal to change lanes in traffic, a large space disappears because the person in the lane I want to move into speeds up so I can’t move over then slow down once I’m in front of them. Etc, etc, etc.

                A bicycle is a vehicle and does not belong on a sidewalk. Etc, etc, etc.

                In my opinion, the real question is why are people in Ottawa so discourteous to one another.


                1. You make good points Sisco but people are nice and bad everywhere.

                  What concerns me is that we’re designing a bike system for a warm weather city such as Charleston, S.C. but not for Ottawa.

                  If Ottawa had the climate of Charleston, I’d be in favour of the best cycling system ever.

                  If the bike zealots can change the climate here, they’ll have my support.




                  1. One additional comment, Ken.

                    … and the people in charge of building this system are going to spend as much money as possible. It wouldn’t be Ottawa if they didn’t.


  3. Not certain but I hear that the research paid for by Councillor Leiper’s office is going to be discussed at the Bike Ottawa AGM on April 14th, 1 – 4 pm at City Hall.


    1. The Voter:

      Well that’s very generous of the councillor.

      Too bad he won’t share it with the considerable readership of The Bulldog.

      But that’s the kind of petty person he is.

      And guess what? He’s sharing it with the people he paid to get it.

      Can these people get any tighter?

      Oh well, maybe the voters of Kitchissippi might speak about this in October.




  4. Ken, your exchange with Daniel shows The Bulldog at its worst — no arguments, just hurling insults. Very tiresome, and very out of date. There’s plenty of evidence from around the world on how bicycles are a viable part of the solution for urban transportation, in all kinds of climates.

    Ok, we get it, you hate Watson, you hate Leiper. What now?


  5. I wonder if pedestrians pay appropriately for sidewalks. Might licensing or a sole tax be the right measure to consider?


    1. I think not, Brocklebank.

      Sidewalks are a necessity because they are used 365 days a year.

      Bike lanes are used less than a third of the year.

      Thus while some bike lanes are helpful, let’s not get carried away to the tune of $70 million.

      A smart man such as yourself should be able to see the logic.

      As a taxpayer, I’m happy to build some bike lanes for a large number of average cyclists.

      I’m unprepared to strangle downtown for a cult of zealots.




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