It’s time to “separate the issue of bike lanes from the issue of cycling conduct ,” says Albert Koehl in the Toronto Star:
…since the building or expansion of roads isn’t premised on an assessment of motorists’ conduct there’s no logical reason to apply a higher standard to cyclists. Last year 40 pedestrians, including seniors and children, were killed in Toronto in collisions with motor vehicles, but there was no cry to cancel new road projects. Ontario’s Chief Coroner has called all pedestrian deaths preventable. The undue attention to cycling conduct diverts attention from the far greater danger posed by motorists and the best available solutions.
Finally, it isn’t fair to punish all cyclists — by depriving them of safe cycling routes — for the conduct of a minority of bad actors. Motorists as a group are not penalized for the actions of drivers who drink, text or speed. Nor is one pedestrian punished because another crosses against a red while chatting on a cellphone. Those who imply that it’s OK for cyclists to be injured or killed because others behave badly have a rather macabre — and backward — sense of justice.
Koehl also takes aim at pedestrians who seek to deny safe space for cycling because of the bad apples. They’re not just punishing cyclists, they’re punishing themselves:
Those pedestrians who oppose bike lanes because of the conduct of some cyclists are similarly misguided. That opposition, where successful, only yields greater danger for all. New York City, for instance, documented a drop in injuries for all road users after the installation of certain bike lanes.