Despite evidence that cycling is safe and is made safer by creating better infrastructure and getting more people to bicycle - not from changing cyclists' behavior - the City of Hamilton remains obsessed with the latter.
The City's Cycling Education page includes such unhelpful pointers as:
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act defines bicycles as vehicles so cyclists have a responsibility to obey all traffic laws, signs and signals.
Riding a bike on a sidewalk is illegal in Hamilton. It makes a sidewalk uncomfortable for pedestrians plus cyclists get hit by autos crossing intersections and driveways. A teen or adult cyclist is most visible to motorists when riding in the curb lane of a street when there is no bike lane.
Everyone should wear a helmet and people under age 18 are required to wear a helmet.
These tips must be offered because cyclists, unlike motorists, break the Highway Traffic Act on a routine basis. And because riding on the sidewalk is a product of ignorance, not of a network of high-speed one-way streets and downtown mega-projects that have destroyed the connectivity of our street grid.
The City is also offering a number of cycling courses, teaching such things as "introduction to basic traffic skills", "rid[ing] safely on residential streets", and "commuting and recreational riding".
Apparently these courses are offered in order "to provide new and exciting outdoor recreation opportunities for you and your family".
The overall impression given by this page is that cycling is a dangerous activity that requires formal training. This is precisely the wrong message to send if we are really serious about promoting cycling as a means of transportation in our city.
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