Comment 107149

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted December 16, 2014 at 13:50:07 in reply to Comment 107134

does more than lean toward an anti-auto bias than the other way

On this site that is probably true; the demographic is likely self-selecting. I could make the opposite argument, with citations, about the comments section of a site such as The Spec. That is the go-to place for vitriol and brain damage, in my opinion.

We are definitely in agreement that polar absolutes are harmful to any position in a debate. Perhaps with the exception of a well placed sarcasm that identifies a clear point or fallacy (which may be why comedy talk shows are having good success drawing attention to controversial news). But, indeed, I know both environmentalists and motorists that are so opinionated they would curdle milk.

It looks like any discourse is a bell curve, with the most passionate about an issue being the most vocal, and most people falling somewhere in a quieter middle ground.

What you are experiencing, this perceived "backlash" against motor culture, is the result of real people, that really do exist, getting tired of constant anxiety attacks and uncertainty. Having no alternatives, frustrated spending so much money on their car, frustrated at the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with getting around some other way. These are people that don't post here, they're that quieter middle ground, but I hear them wish for better GO service, express envy at my courage to bike on roads, moan about how car repairs stole their paycheck ... Specific disagreements on policy aside, I think more of that "bell curve" of our fellow citizens wants choices than some narrow minded folks are willing to accept, frustrated at watching other places bring in modern best practices to strike a balance of quality of life and transportation.

Most of those places have faster highways than ours, but much nicer cities to live and shop in. And they still have their suburbs and rural where you can spread out and have a bit of room for a big backyard at the trade-off of a longer commute - but that costs land, money, time, and roads that urban centers don't necessarily want to succumb to.

The dichotomy that I'm actually refering to, is the veiled but present misconception that the suburban built form must be applied to all zones, urban and rural. And that a campaign for something better is some kind of totalitarian polar opposite to a wide merciless sprawl format. These, never stated outright but apparent myths, that if the new subdivision past Rymal Road can't have an LRT, the city's core shouldn't either. That if a road past a farm beside the airport doesn't have sidwalks, the downtown core therefore doesn't deserve a bike lane. That the non-driving public being a minority, therefore deserves no consideration whatsoever.

This is only a "war" in the minds of those who fall on the extremes of the bell curve of opinion. For most of us multi-modal, hard working, tax paying, productive individuals, these initiatives are a needed modernization of our transportation options in response to a growing population.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2014-12-16 14:01:18

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