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Letter: Cyclists are not a menace on the roads

The Montreal Gazette: Letter: Cyclists are not a menace on the roads

The Montreal Gazette July 20, 2014


Re: “Frustrations on the road” (Letters, July 18)

Roman Dmytriw’s claim that roads are now more dangerous due to cyclists sharing the road shows how hilariously uninformed he is.

After all, how many people have been killed in Canada by cyclists? The last case I recall was four years ago, when a cyclist in Vancouver collided with an 80-year old man. When it happened, authorities in B.C. said it was the first known fatal cyclist-pedestrian collision in the Vancouver region.

According to Statistics Canada, 2,227 people died in collisions in 2010, and 123,141 were injured. Cyclists were involved in a grand total of 2.6 per cent of these accidents.

On the one hand Dmytriw complains that cyclists use the sidewalks, and then on the other hand he complains that cyclists use the road. Why not just say you don’t like cyclists at all? His attitude fits perfectly with the selfish mentality that says “I’m stuck in traffic” rather than “I am traffic.”

He suggests that bicycles be treated like any other vehicle on the road, then says cyclists should be limited to bike paths and be required to stay off roads. How exactly does he envision that working? The number of bike paths in the city is extremely limited; getting from one to another requires the use of either a sidewalk or a road.

I find it deeply ironic that cyclists are seen to have high and mighty feelings about themselves, given how furious motorists seem to get over the mere existence of cyclists. “How dare a cyclist use the road! I’m using the road! Out of my way!”

Even when following every rule of the road while on my bicycle, I regularly get honked at by drivers, followed by them gunning their engine, or giving me less than a foot of space (which is both illegal and dangerous).

Until bike paths are ubiquitous and as well networked as roads, Dmythriw is going to have to learn to co-exist with the two-wheeled taxpayers who want to use their fair share of the road too.

Ian O'Shaughnessy

Montreal