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“This isn’t really a call to share the road.”

September 26, 2012

Via Carlton Reid, who asks, “Why must cyclists behave before they get bike paths?”

When MPs, newspaper columnists and random haters on social media call for compulsory cycle training, mandatory cycle lanes, bicycle license plates, payment of ‘road tax’ (which was abolished in 1937), and total adhesion to road rules from all cyclists,  this isn’t really a call to share the road with trained, registered, fee-paying, law-abiding cyclists, it’s a call for cyclists to get out of the way, a desire for transport cycling to wither and die.

This sentiment is similar to one I expressed this summer about people who constantly remind cyclists that they have all of the same rights and responsibilities as motorists.

What they really mean is that cyclists ought to have all the same inconveniences and annoyances as motorists.  If drivers have to stop for every red light, so do cyclists.  (So no Idaho stop laws.)  If drivers have to take an indirect route every now and then, so do cyclists. (So no contra-flow or two-way bike lanes.)  If drivers have to be licensed and get their vehicles insured, so do cyclists. (So no more “free” bike lanes.)  And if drivers have to follow seat belt laws, cities also need to require cyclists to wear helmets. (So, you know…)

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