I am continually amazed at the justifications I hear from cyclists who are riding on sidewalks and pedestrian-only walkways.
The following comments from cyclists illustrate their misguided thinking: When I nearly got hit by a cyclist coming around the corner on the sidewalk his excuse was that he forgot his bicycle helmet at home. (The new bicycle mayor would be proud.) When riding on the sidewalk along Wharf Street, the cyclist explained with a straight face that the bicycle lane was closed. A cyclist riding on the sidewalk on Government Street said, “Well, there’s no bike lane.” On the pedestrian only side of the Johnson Street Bridge, a cyclist said: “But the bike lane is all the way over there.”The best of the worst, however, was a cyclist riding with his son on the West Bay Walkway who said that the rules didn’t apply to him. What a wonderful lesson to teach his child.
How long do you think a pedestrian would last if they walked in the bike lanes? From experience: about 30 seconds, and this was on a bicycle lane that was closed to cyclists at the time. I took three steps and was told by cyclists, who should not have even been there, that it was a bicycle lane. I wonder what would have happened if it was actually open to cyclists at the time.
If drivers were this ignorant of the rules and laws or chose to ignore them, they would not be allowed to drive. Cyclists that are not aware of, or choose to ignore, the laws shouldn’t be allowed to ride either. They should be licensed. We constantly hear about cyclist safety, but what about pedestrian safety? Make no mistake, if a pedestrian gets hit by a cyclist, the pedestrian is going to get hurt. I once saw a cyclist hit a child (in a park in Toronto) that resulted in a compound fracture to the child’s leg. The cyclist was fine.
The mayor and council continue to ignore the problem and reiterate that licensing is not their responsibility. Neither are the laws around bicycle helmets, however, the bicycle mayor advocates for not wearing them. I’m sure city council could advocate to license cyclists as well but chooses not to.
My guess is they will continue to bury their heads in the sand until one of us gets hurt.