Comment 34783

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 14, 2009 at 14:25:45

Borelli: "Hamilton is barely comparable with Copenhagen, and given the differences in core density (Cop: 5,908/km2, Ham: 451.6/km2) its verging on ridiculous to assume that the same structural magic bullets that have worked there can be applied here. "

It's misleading to compare the overall population density of Hamilton (which includes vast tracts of rural land) to Copenhagen.

A better comparison is population density in the urban core, where the majority of cyclists now ride: the Durand neighbourhood actually has a population density twice that of Copenhagen's: 12,600/km2 (11000 for an area of about 0.87km2). So, there should be absolutely no difficulty justifying Copenhagen bike policies and infrastructure, at least in the core. I visited Copenhagen a year ago, and it was clear that the greatest cyclist density was in the core, not the suburbs.

Let's start by improving cycling infrastructure in the core of Hamilton where there is currently the greatest demand (e.g. Eastgate to McMaster and the waterfront to the escarpment)and then extend it outwards as demand rises.

Licensing (and mandatory insurance) won't solve any problems, and the vast majority of cities and countries that have incresed cycling have seen no need for licensing. It really does seem to simply be a way to "get back at those reckless cyclists", despite the fact that the facts show that cyclists cause very few accidents (90% of bike-cyclist collisions are caused by motorists!).

The same argument could be made to "license" pedestrians: they use the roads (especially in areas without sidewalks and when they cross intersections), they cause accidents and they don't obey traffic laws.

There's a very good reason we license drivers, but not cyclists and pedestrians: the financial risks and physical danger associated with operating motor vehicles are orders of magnitude greater than with cycling or walking (where, in any case, almost all injuries are still caused by motor vehicles). This shouldn't be a mystery to anyone!

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