Cyclists Have Seen The Enemy … It’s Them



Having edited a number of cycling-enthusiast emails on The Bulldog Thursday, your agent took a break for a routine medical test.

On the way from the old west end to Centrepointe, your agent wondered why we were discussing cycling at all. Much of the route was in the territory of chief Bike Gnome and Councillor Jeff Leiper.

On the trip there and back at rush hour, your agent saw only 16 bicycles on the road. Eleven of those were breaking road rules when I saw them.

On the entire stretch of Ottawa’s proud, multi-million dollar complete street of Churchill Avenue, only two cyclists were taking advantage of this costly infrastructure. One was breaking good biking rules. Seven of the 16 were not wearing helmets.

During that period, I saw no pedestrian errors and one rather bad automobile mistake.

The overwhelming feeling one gets from this situation is that only 16 people chose to bike on millions of dollars of cycling infrastructure and more than half were breaking cycling rules. Some more than one at the same time.

Particularly frustrating were the people riding on sidewalks when bike lanes were available to them. That’s terrible.

So Bike Gnomes, you have seen the enemy and it is you.

With the lack of use of good bike lanes by cyclists, one wonders why Bulldog readers are spending so much time discussing two-wheeled transportation issues. It is self-evident that cycling is not very popular for commuting. So why are taxpayers spending millions on unused bike lanes?

The lanes aren’t being used. Cyclists are in cars.

But for the loud bike lobby at city hall and the Gnomes on #ottbike, most people don’t care. They are voting with their feet.

Accordingly if this small minority wants taxpayers to fork out money for their preoccupation, perhaps a user fee should be applied to cycling. That can be accomplished through licensing and creating rigourous testing before that licence can be awarded. Then get some enforcement of the rules and laws.

And city officials should take note that before more bike lanes are approved, such lanes are really only heavily used in the late spring and early fall. Summer biking is curtailed by vacations and winter biking by terrible conditions.

Furthermore, if cyclists are not taking cycling seriously, why should the rest of us?


Video above: Apparently cycling rules are just suggestions.

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6 thoughts on “Cyclists Have Seen The Enemy … It’s Them

  1. Well put! Well we are on it I would love the gas/infrastructure tax be updated to suit the evolving uses of our infrastructure. Needs a high/low cap on gas tax instead of scaling indefinitely with commodity price, doesn’t reflect infrastructure usage against the tax increase/decreases.

    The present system means electric/hybrid vehicles aren’t paying their fair share for using the same infrastructure (while getting a tax break for buying their cars). Let alone those travelling from outside of town who commute/use local Ottawa infrastructure without paying a dime (think those trucking companies based out of Gatineau travelling through our downtown).

    Keep at it Ken!

    Best regards,

    1. Adam,

      The present tax structure all require a revamp.

      Property tax based on the value of a property rather than on the ability to pay? Tax on top of tax as in sin taxes on booze or tobacco coupled with HST on top. Health tax (sorry that’s Ontario Health Premium) is collected on your tax return. Its collected based on earnings.


  2. Bike lanes were trendy. And so our trendy mayor pushed for them, with little thought for the implications. Ditto LRT. Starts one thing, then another and lets the results fall where they may.


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