This is a comment from Bulldog reader Shawn Gettler that I thought was worth more discussion.
His comment is below:
There was a 50-per-cent reduction in collisions between drivers and pedestrians, a 32 per cent reduction in the collision rate between drivers and cyclists alongside a 330 per cent increase in the number of cyclists, and even a 10 per cent reduction in collisions involving only drivers. In addition to the green paint which you deride, the city has also implemented an advanced signal phase for cyclists, which creates temporal separation to reduce the likelihood of collisions during right turns.
Incidentally, the review also included a public survey which asked users to rate their perception of safety, and they judged Laurier Avenue to be moderately safe prior to any of the additional measures. Perhaps you shouldn’t substitute your own opinion for theirs.
Below is my response to Gettler’s comment:
I think we’re all allowed an opinion aren’t we.
Maybe not on #ottbike where everyone has drank the Kool-Aid, but in other places such as The Bulldog where diverse points of view appear every day and are encouraged.
How would you feel if I told you your opinion is worthless? That you should not say it. I believe that’s what you told me. We value differing opinions on The Bulldog including yours.
The Laurier Corridor Safety Review was written for the people who have a vested interest in keeping the lanes on Laurier. The lanes were city staff’s idea and to move them would be a career-fatal move in the odd realm of city hall. That would mean staff and politicians were wrong. That’s impossible.
These are the same folks who told us light rail was on-time and on-budget. The people who rushed through the Chateau Laurier and zoning and heights reports lightening fast so that residents didn’t have time to comment.
You’ll remember OC Transpo honcho John Manconi saying when LRT was late: “I don’t call it late, I call it an adjustment of the date, for all the right reasons,” one of the greatest whoppers of all time on The Bulldog. Translated from Manconi-ese that means: “Yup, late.” But he couldn’t say that outright in the face of conclusive evidence. LRT was late.
You can make a survey say whatever you want and, believe me, having covered municipal affairs since 1998, I’ve seen compost on fertilizer.
I don’t trust anything the city tells the public anymore. It is spun, twisted, faked, reworded, whopper-ized and just plain lied about.
Look at the Barrhaven LRT environmental assessment … $600,000 for a line not planned past 2031 and the EA will expire in five years.
We’re losing $600,000 in development charges on an EA that will never be used but could result in votes for the local councillor and the mayor. Now that’s fake news.
Here’s what I do know. People with whom I talk avoid driving their cars on Laurier Avenue for fear of striking a cyclist. Same with O’Conner. I sat in front of Ottawa City Hall on Laurier for 15 minutes trying to get into traffic without blocking the bike lane or causing a vehicle accident. During that period drivers less patient than myself turned right into city hall with three bikes hitting the sides of turning cars in that quarter hour where I was. So accidents are happening. They just aren’t reported or cyclists ride away after a few angry words.
Then there was the gruesome 2016 death on the lanes.
So Shawn, don’t be so naive on messages coming out of city hall and particularly the safety reviews coming through municipal staff. Or perhaps you are choosing to be naive. That’s a common trait of the bicycle zealots. Hope you aren’t one of them.
Many parents won’t let their youngsters use the Laurier lanes, which speaks volumes to their safety.
Use your common sense. Would you rather have those lanes on quiet Lisgar or busy Laurier? I think the answer is obvious.
And open your mind. Non-cyclists have valid views, just as you have. I respect your views. Try to respect mine.
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