Comment 31566

By rideyerbike (registered) | Posted June 08, 2009 at 01:07:38

I recently had an argument with a friend who insisted that the safest way to cycle was with complete aberrance of traffic laws. Basically, he argued that cars don't respect, are unwilling to accept, or don't know how to respond to cyclists as fellow road users and therefore cyclists should "fend for themselves" as road users completely independent of other traffic and traffic laws. That way, he argued, drivers will view cyclists as being inherently erratic and unpredictable and thus give them more space and approach them with greater caution. I argued that this would only lead to a continued lack of respect for cyclists from drivers and greater animosity between these different road users. Not to mention the fact that you could get smoked by a car who (because of your erratic riding) doesn't see you coming. Then again, perhaps he has a point...? Nevertheless, I would far rather see better cycling infrastructure such as dedicated bike lanes that make it safer and more attractive for cyclists to get our and share the road with cars, thus bringing about a greater critical mass of cyclists on the streets, which then bring about greater safety. On that note, Hamilton has a LONG way to go to make this a more bicycle friendly city. Currently some of our bike lanes are nothing short of laughable, like the 100m stretch of bike lane that randomly starts just before the rail bridge on Aberdeen (heading west) before abruptly ending shortly after, spitting cyclists out onto a narrow and busy arterial. ...and what's with the lack of bike racks in Hamilton?! I remember biking around downtown in mid January, minus 10 degrees, looking for a place to lock up my bike so I could attent a job interview. Failing to find a bike rack nearby, I ended up locking it up to a sign post half burried beneath a snow bank! end rant.

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