Comment 39937

By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted April 17, 2010 at 21:25:37

Bigguy, I think you might underestimate the psychological importance of bike lanes. "Less used" alternatives don't really help.

Today I was talking to someone as I did their hair, and they just bought a condo at Upper Ottawa/Fennell. Although they have to drive to work, they would love to bike, but told me "the bike lanes on the Mountain near my dad's house just stop and start, there's no connection. I would ride if there's bike lanes, but it's not safe on the roads."

This is a female in her late 20s who's been working at the same place for several years. She likes her city, she likes the idea of biking - but she won't do it if there's not bike lanes, because she's scared of the cars in her area of the city, and the bike lanes that are somewhat near there don't connect to other ones.

And she's in a totally different area of the city than I am, but we still want the same things. It shouldn't be routine to be hit by cars when you're biking (among those who do bike). I like biking, but it's not safe to be on the main streets.

Even when I bike on the less used streets, I get people edging out into the road and catcalls for making turn signals with my arms... If the roads gave a physical signal that "bikers do have a place" maybe my little bike ride (stopping fully at stop signs, btw) wouldn't mean watching out for speeding cars or having idiots yell at me for making the proper signals.

Infrastructure matters to people like me.. and I would bike a lot more often if I felt safer doing it.

I can't imagine when I have kids trying to use a bike trailer for them... I know a car would bump that trailer at some point on a main road, and that would be it for my kids... it's VERY hard to safely bike with children in this city. I know teenagers who bike everywhere, signal, have lights on, use their helmet, stop at stop signs etc.. and they get hit by cabs an average of once a month. Once a month! That's nowhere near acceptable.

Comment edited by Meredith on 2010-04-17 20:27:09

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