This is why we can’t have nice things…
I agree… I don’t even understand how this became a thing at all.
Numbers don’t lie. Lots of numbers in that article. Probably written by someone who can crunch em but has never thrown a leg over a top tube.
Numbers don’t lie, but they’re very easily misrepresented. I’m not interested enough to go look for the sources of his numbers, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to at least see that the numbers in the article are being presented out of context.
On any article or study…three kinds of falsehoods. Lies, damned lies and stastical lies.
How anyone can keep a straight face when advocating bike lane removal by arguing that roads are unsafe is beyond me. Better overall infrastructure would help, too.
Saddens me that people like this exist.
I think he is taking a contrarian view that happens to be backed by numbers. Of course riding a bike among traffic is less safe than riding in a car.
We know that an active lifestyle prolongs and enhances your life. Which is a risk / benefit analysis not mentioned.
Bikeways like BLT are a great solution to keep traffic interaction down to the endpoints. More of those would be great.
The author is a well known climate change denier and his policy group receives funding from the petroleum industry (he views coal as the solution to Canada’s energy problems, his group hates nuclear). So take anything he writes with a very large grain of salt. I am sure the petroleum industry doesn’t mind selling us lube and grease but I suspect they make much less profit off those sales than they do from gasoline.
Yech! How does that play into cycling. He had a few anti-cycling articles I seen.
More bikeways like the BLT would be good, but it’s hard to do any shopping along the BLT.
Kinda reminds me of an article a local hali writer put out in the metro last year, arguing that helmets in bicycling reduce health and safety by making bicycling less appealing and therefore people are less active etc.
“It’s frustrating because helmet laws do not make people safer.”
Basically he’s against anything that gets people out of their cars and buying less petroleum products. And, by extension, he -and folks like him - are pro-suburban-development, pro-building, creating more paved roads for more cars, etc, etc…
And they typically buy into (and repeat ad nauseum) the talking points of ‘bikes are unsafe and why would you risk your (or your precious snowflake’s life) cycling in the big bad world’
Without completely taking the thread off the rails, I read that article when it came out and there is some validity to what is argued. The unfortunate reality, though, is that it assumes a critical mass of bike usage that we don’t have here. Basically, in the biggest bike cities in the world, helmet usages is, by percentage, lower. And the reason stems from the fact that bikes are an accepted, mainstream way to get around. This is due to superior infrastructure, protected bike lanes, bike paths and an understanding of cycling behavior by the automobile drivers. Think Copenhagen, Amsterdam, etc. Basically, it’s safer to ride on the street in a downtown without a helmet because nobody is going to hit you with a 2-ton hunk of steel.
I always wear a helmet and I have for 30 years. Long before it was required, long before it was cool. I am a big proponent of helmets. However, for bike shares, they don’t really make sense because the target audience of bike share program doesn’t have a bike helmet at the ready when they need/want to rent a bike for an hour. Requiring a helmet would stifle uptake on a bike share program to the extent that it would never be economically feasible.
Sorry for the threadjack. Please carry on.
One thing I agree with - most (but not all) accidents probably occur at intersections, where motor vehicles turn across a bicycle’s path (I still carry a scar on my arm from one of those). Even though motor vehicles are probably the cause of most of these accidents, the author (Solomon), puts much of the blame on solving the problem on cyclists, and cycling infrastructure.
The statistics from the Solomon article seem pretty selective. One thing that he didn’t compare is accidents at intersections with and without bike lanes.
This article, ( https://usa.streetsblog.org/2012/10/22/study-protected-bike-lanes-reduce-injury-risk-up-to-90-percent/ ) citing a UBC study ( http://cyclingincities.spph.ubc.ca/injuries/the-bice-study/ ) , claims that bike lanes alone reduced accident rates by 50%, and protected bike lanes by 90%.
Having browsed a couple of other articles (e.g. “Lawrence Solomon: Ban the bike! How cities made a huge mistake in promoting cycling”), the author clearly does not have an agenda to promote bike use and safety.
For sure he doesn’t want to promote safe cycling.
While I am sure an anti-bike = pro-coal/oil/gas agenda is at least partly behind what he writes, I also wonder – call me a conspiracy theorist – if the bike may be used as a wedge issue for municipal elections (e.g. Toronto’s elections this coming October). By running anti-bike candidates – and appealing to the baser instincts of motorists who feel that bike lanes have slowed them down – it might be possible to elect politicians who are amenable to a wider range of issues that those same voters may find distasteful, especially in left-leaning cities. In effect the writer may not be so much anti-bike as cognizant of the fact that bikes could be a useful election wedge to achieve wider-ranging policy goals.
Tristan is quite right, helmet laws do make cycling, a relatively safe activity, seem unsafe and that impedes uptake.
I agree with it 100%. I also own at least six cycling specific helmets for varying disciplines, but I do NOT support the law and believe it should be repealed immediately for adults.
Cycle TO posted a counterpoint to the articles: