Comment 82861

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted November 13, 2012 at 14:29:14 in reply to Comment 82758

I don't recall a single person advocating a balanced transportation network saying they hate cars or those that drive them. Please link to such a comment if there is one (sarcasm does not count). Advocating a balanced transportation network is too often overreacted to with fear that somehow cars are being outlawed or that we want everyone driving sitting in gridlock as punishment. I do not believe this is true at all. This seems to often get reduced to a false dichotomy - either every possible lane must be for cars only, because the alternative is gridlock followed by banning cars outright. This is not logical, or accurate, or even honest. I wish people would stop freaking out because we want a bike lane or a pedestrian crossing or some beautification and streetscaping. It is not a conspiracy to shame and torture drivers. It is people wanting their city to be a pleasant and safe place to live. Honest.

I believe that reaction to be caused by a fear of increased congestion. Listen, I drive. Congestion sucks. I know it does. I wanted to boot around the mountain in my Mazda without stop and go traffic. I feign no hypocrisy - I am both a fast driver who went through a phase of 'entitlement' in my youth, and an urbanist who has seen his city from the outside of a windshield. I sat on the QEW with the rest of you commuting to Burlington. I gagged and choked on Main Street due to fumes from passing traffic while lameting the lack of open air patios on which to have a beer and a meal without puking up diesel exhaust. And then I travel somewhere and experience a pleasant urban environment and think 'oh, these people can have nice things, it works and works well, why can't we?' I have experience with both the motorized and non-motorized experience.

I sold my car a few years ago because I live and work close to the GO tracks and now invest and spend in the community disposable income that would otherwise pay for a car. But I still have a drivers license, I still rent a car whenever I have cargo to carry or a trip to the country, and I STILL want to boot around the mountain and downtown without stop and go. But I can recognize that other people live there too, and many do not drive, and deserve a nice clean walkable/bikeable city, deserve clearer air without the smog and asthma, and that people who live in a neighborhood should get precedence for the same reason you do not poop on someone's lawn. The people that live in a neighborhood take precedence over my privilege of driving fast without stopping. That is called respect and polite society. I am rudely cut off by cars and passed unsafely when biking mere meters from MY OWN HOME. I am not 'entitled and aristocratic' for pointing out that this is not a polite society and that in this situation drivers are indeed a little too entitled. Even driving - try backing out of your driveway if you live on Mohawk Road for example. Better time it right and hurry up! Because if the next wave of traffic starts catching up, instead of moving to the left lane, they will honk at you because they own the right lane! The fact that you live there and waited for the best possible break in traffic means nothing to them, you are an idiot who is in the way!

And then look at Toronto. Four lanes for cars and a bike lane? The right wingers spew hatred! "FIVE lanes for cars and NONE for bikes! That is the only reasonable solution!" they cry.

Ditto. Sigh and facepalm.

Now, I am in complete agreement that competing interests need to work together rather than antagonizing each other. People need to choose their arguments and words carefully. I'm not claiming to be good at this, that is why I try to stay quiet most of the time. My comment was meant to provide another viewpoint, not foment more argument. I don't think pedestrians and cyclists are about to become a totalitarian dictatorship with a monopoly over public space. That's like saying a hobo who wants a buck for a coffee is in reality demanding the deed to all public lands or something.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2012-11-13 14:47:39

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