The Bedlam In Biking

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Ken Gray 11 months ago.

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  • #736205 Reply

    Ken Gray

    Maybe I have a bug in my ear about this but today I kept noticing cyclists breaking the law.

    In Hull this afternoon, a cyclist blindly road across a busy intersection against a red. Cars were slamming brakes on all over. Through my sunroof I heard another driver use the same words I did concerning the cyclists. They are not fit for publication.

    He also wasn’t wearing a helmet. He should get one.

    On the subject of helmets, a young woman with long flowing locks rode the wrong way across a crosswalk on a street with bike lanes. A driver slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting her.

    She wasn’t wearing a helmet. I guess she didn’t want to muss her hair.

    Accidents are messy too.

    We really need some cyclist police out there issuing tickets.

    I can’t take a drive now without looking to see if a cyclist is breaking the law.

    It happens numerous times with each drive.


    #736239 Reply

    Harold Smart

    Mr. Gray:

    You have shown that you suffer from far more than a bug in your ear. Your obsession with the wrongs done by cyclists points to a whole nest of nasty bugs having taken control of you when it comes to this topic. That damages your credibility as a “journalist” – and that weakens the impact of your comments even on the many topics where you have something well-thought out to say.

    Sure, cyclists break the law. Sure, bike lanes are an expensive waste. Sure, bike lanes are badly thought out and constructed. Sure, Jeff Leiper wasted a lot of energy and credibility by pushing a silly and abusive bicycle plan on one residential street.

    But cycling can be a useful alternative means of transportation, bicycles are allowed on all roads except controlled-access highways and the drivers of motorized vehicles have a legal duty to accommodate cyclists.

    Drivers of cars and trucks who rant on and fume and rave and swear at cyclists and count imagined infractions committed by cyclists – as you indicate you do – are a menace to all who are on the road.

    Your licences should be revoked until you have passed a series of test that demonstrate both a full understanding of the rules of the road and an ability both to demostrate calmness and to prove that you can exercise self-control in the face of every real, imagined and imaginable provocation by the most horrible of cyclists.

    Get a grip. Stop thinking of yourself as one of those who has a superior right to be on the roads and show that you have taken the time to get a real understanding of the actual rules of the road.

    Your comments about cycling would be more constructive if they were based on the facts and the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act rather than on what your words suggest is a deeply-ingrained personal hatred.

    Cyclists have no obligation to wear helmets.

    Bicycles are considered to be vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act and every driver of a motorized vehicle is legally required to treat bicycles as permitted vehicles and to deal with them in ways that ensure the safety of cyclists.

    Calm down, share the road, show some respect – and maybe you will eventually recover from the reputation as a fanatic that you have justly earned by your repeated nasty reactions to the swarm of stinging bugs that you have allowed to grow in your ear – and to penetrate beyond that to take control of your brain.

    #736241 Reply

    Ken Gray

    Mr. Smart:

    I can only respond to what I see.

    And what I see is a widespread disregard of traffic rules by cyclists. I don’t see that from people who appear to be serious cyclists, but it happens there as well as it does with drivers.

    I don’t doubt for a moment that some drivers scare cyclists. Some drivers scare me. And I’m sure through a mistake or two myself I’ve scared some motorists.

    That said, Mr. Smart, through almost five decades of driving, I’ve had one ticket. Not bad.

    I show all the respect to cyclists on the road as the rules dictate and often more. I try to be very careful around cyclists because I know, as do most motorists, that a careless moment by me could cost a cyclist his or her life.

    I understand that cycling is good for the environment and good on them who cycle by the rules.

    But across the city I see so many infractions by cyclists that I’m quite convinced that the majority are breaking rules rather than a minority.

    I’m sure like you, that you don’t want your tax money wasted. So we need ridership studies to show where bike lanes are needed and how best to construct them. Our much-touted complete street of Churchill Avenue recently has only two cyclists on it during rush hour.

    That’s a waste of millions of dollars. Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper wanted to put bike lanes down Spencer Street which is ridiculous. Bike lanes abound east-west in the old west end and putting one on quiet Spencer Street would be an enormous waste of money for something that is completely unnecessary. New ones were just improved along Scott Street … one block north of Spencer. And frankly, they are woefully under-used.

    So Mr. Smart, I applaud cyclists who wear helmets and follow the road rules. I applaud their gentle treatment of the environment. I’m sure pedalling is very helpful for their health.

    However, I believe the vast majority of cyclists I see do not even remotely follow the rules of the road. I do not want to hit a cyclist with my car … a cyclist not following the rule or following the rules. I do not want to kill or maim a cyclist. I do not want to be sued by a cyclist for striking them. I might be in the right or wrong but I know how the cyclist’s lawyer will feel.

    I feel that people who use city resources should pay for them. Someone does. Kids pay user fees for sports field. Cannot cyclists pay a user fee for the millions of dollars of bike lanes and paths that are built to their benefit. Why should kids pay user fees and cyclists not?

    And if cyclists are to use the roads with cars, they should licensed and tested. That could be expensive unless we make licence fees and user fees cover the cost of the above and cycling police who can lay charges and impose fines for wrong-doing. Another source of revenue.

    Everyone wants something for free. Cyclists say they already pay for their infrastructure through their property taxes. Yes they do. And the rest of us pay user fees for using the roads in addition to property taxes. And yes we pay licence fees (innumerable fees in fact) and user fees through gas taxes and other levies. We are policed and pay fines if we break the rules. We can be charged criminally for causing very serious accidents.

    Perhaps cyclists should carry insurance as well.

    Sorry but cyclists are getting a free ride and they should not.

    I don’t complain about the fees I pay. Cyclists should embrace licensing and fees.

    Because if they do, motorist and residents will take them seriously.

    You want respect? Then take your pursuit seriously. Follow the rules and pay up like the rest of us do.

    If you do not, cycling will suffer.

    And that would be a shame.



    #736254 Reply


    Your second paragraph ‘sure’ says it all.

    Those are the exact things that Ken brings up.

    #736329 Reply

    Harold Smart

    Mr. Gray:

    Yup, you have really shown who you are.

    Repeated over-the-top attacks based on personal pet peeves…. Dishonest responses to criticism that raises other points of view…. Refusal to post rebuttal to your fake response…. Erasing a further response that you initially allowed to appear – and subsequently erased… Erasing even your “last word” misrepresentation of the criticism with a pathetic claim about your reason for doing so – when it was so blatantly simple to dismiss as dishonest and hypocritical.

    Two big fat Zeros on one simple test for open and honest journalism.

    I had suspected that some of your stuff was good – but now you have tainted everything you do:

    – with your obvious hypocrisy and bias:

    – by your demonstrated determination to repeatedly present and to defend your angry views as though they were an accurte version of facts and events;

    – by your evident anger at those who refuse to put you on the City’s gravy train; and

    – by your persistent and hypocritical dismissal of honest views that conflict with the one-sided message that you are determined to convey.

    Yup, Bulldog fits well with all of today’s Fake News … subjective peeves supported by hypocrisy.

    Bulldog! … Just one more example of today’s unjistifiably-self-important “journalists”.

    Too bad!!!

    You’ve put yourself in a very deep hole by your actions. It will take a lot of honest and not-over-the-top angry journalism to climb out of that hole so that you can start again at level ground.

    And yes, I really would like to see an end to any public funds being channeled to you through Rick Chiarelli.

    You should want that too – because if you do intend to try to restore your reputation as an honest and open journalist – it would be helpful not to be seen to be so such a persistent and pervasive broadcaster of his ads.

    #736331 Reply

    Ken Gray

    Mr. Smart:

    Well let’s talk about the smart stuff in your comment … there I’m done.

    Mr. Smart I don’t need a lecture from you in ethics but after reading what you wrote you might take a peek in your mirror.

    My ethics are fine. You are over-reacting in the extreme to the cycling issue. What has got into your head?

    But let’s look at the positive … you called me Mr. Gray … but it kinda went downhill from there.

    You really need some perspective and a fact or two to back up your silly claims.

    If I were as bad as you claim, I’d be concerned. I’m not concerned.

    You’re making a fool of yourself, Mr. Smart.




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