I guess bicycles are not for children any more. When we were children, my younger brother and I explored our city of Toronto from end to end on our bicycles. It was my oldest brother and I who had autos take us off the road. I was hit from behind by a driver blinded by the sun. I landed in a ditch and was bruised but unhurt. My older brother landed face down on asphalt and carried the scars from his glasses for the rest of his life.
But why is city council promoting bike lanes in a city so obviously planned for automobiles? Why would they not relegate bike lanes to parks, ravines and other less traveled routes?
Are bike lanes only for the aggressive bicycle couriers taking shut-ins their dinner? Is this the price Torontonians have to pay to have cheap delivery. There are many days in the year when snow, sleet, hail and heavy rain challenge the most determined cyclists. Smart cyclists park their bike for the winter and wait for spring.
How are these bikers paying their share for these generous and protected bike lanes?
Do we have this backwards? Are bike lanes only paid for by the automobile drivers? Are our city taxes to pay for reduced access to the city by auto? Where is it that we collect the tolls for automobiles from elsewhere coming into our city?
Do we want our city to be a welcoming place for people to come to do business? To see a play, a baseball, a hockey or a basketball game? This is a city with wonderous entertainments, magnificent places to shop and the fine hotels and restaurants, for all pocket books.
Toronto is a great city today. It is no longer the slow quiet city of churches that it was in the 1940s and 50s. It is cosmopolitan, it bustles. It waits for no one. We no longer encourage our children to bike outside their known neighbourhood. We warn them off from areas where bicycles are stolen. The rule is, if you leave it, you lose it.
And they might as well learn that the bike lanes in Toronto are not for kids.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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