Waterloo Chronicle is getting into the Cycling vs Motorist debate

It appears that the Waterloo Chronicle is jumping into the Cyclist vs Motorist debate.  The Chronicle’s Paige Desmond interviewed our very own Rob McIntosh.

If you can get past the old crank interviewed at the start of the article it’s not too bad. Thoughts?

10 thoughts on “Waterloo Chronicle is getting into the Cycling vs Motorist debate

  1. I spoke with her a while last week. There’s a couple issues I would take with context of the quotes, but she did OK.

    I’m not sure how the codger got involved though. He got first and last word.

  2. They certainly could’ve found an anti-bike cuckoo with a bit more of a balanced and credible perspective; although it makes the biking community come across as much more level-headed and sensible in comparison. Well done, Rob.

  3. As newspaper articles go, that was OK with me. Thanks to Rob there was some balance and a stress on education. As for the codger, at least he was on about dangerous sidewalk riders rather than all cyclists, which is cool with me.

  4. In the same issue: http://www.waterloochronicle.ca/opinion/cyclists-should-obey-the-rules-of-the-road/

    It always bothers me a bit to hear motorists complaining about cyclists not following the rules of the road. I am personally a mostly VC style rider and generally agree with the premise that cyclists should follow the rules of the road. However, I think the problem is being blown out of proportion due to observation bias, and due to the fact that the number of cyclists in increasing. Unsurprisingly, the number of bad cyclists is increasing as well.

  5. I mostly follow rules of the road, but I take exception with certain spots where the rules were written for either cars or pedestrians, and not bikes. (Because bikes are neither of those, and sometimes my mind is boggled that we don’t have separate infrastructure for this very prevalent form of transportation). Anyway, there are some four-way stops or red lights that I completely roll through because I can see that there are no cars come from many metres away, there are red lights I stop for, check for pedestrians, roll forward, check for cars, go through…

    The light at Erb and Moore is annoying. It’s necessary for drivers going south because you can’t see around the corner, but heading north it is possible to see way down the road and there are often huge gaps in traffic. Also, the in-road sensor does not notice bikes, so cyclists either need to wait for cars to come or press the pedestrian button if they want to wait for the green. Or they can just use their better judgement and cross when it’s safe…

    I’d like to see a similar article that starts with “Emily has had it with planners and motorists in this city. In particular, she’s had it with people who think that cyclists will necessarily feel safer in bike lanes, when cars can still very easily sideswipe them. Why don’t complete streets in KW come with segregated bike lanes?”

    1. I encounter a light that has a stubborn sensor in St. Catharines. Fortunately after 8am the area is busy enough that there will be at least one motorist to set it off, although even then they have to position themselves just right.

      Before 8am I treat it as a stop sign. Not sure what people/police etc. expect cyclists to do on such lights.

      It seems whenever the city of St. Catharines is re-doing roads at intersections, they either put new sensors in or adjust them because I set them off without any problem!

      Another option is to do what Vancouver has done. Push buttons at the curb for cyclists.
      The following video is when Alexwarrior1 was in Portland however it’s the same in Vancouver. I’m sure you can skim through his videos to find one from Vancouver.

      1. My concern with going through lights when I can’t trip the sensor is that I’ll contribute to the “scofflaw cyclist” stereotype. I don’t think it’s widely known that sometimes lights are sensor-activated only, and that bikes often have trouble tripping them.

    2. I get annoyed with some of those sensors too Emily. I’ve read that placing your wheels over the middle line in the two rectangles cut in the pavement is a good way to make sure the sensor detects your bike. (See the streetview image linked below to see what I mean).

      If it still doesn’t work, try contacting the City’s Transportation Department. They want to know if the detectors are not working as they should.

      The problem I have is with intersections where I can’t see the cuts where the sensors where installed due to new pavement. I hope that eventually the city will paint dots there, like Toronto does.


  6. I got a kick out of the former transit driver whining about bad cyclists.
    Although considerably better now, it wasn’t long ago when St. Catharines transit drivers would leave only an inch when passing, pull in front of you to get to their bus stop and so on.
    I guess since cycling has taken off more here they were either told, re-trained to respect cyclists or simply common sense/courtesy kicked in, as now they’ll wait behind you to get to the stops and when passing they generally will go into the other lane.

    Having known someone who use to drive a taxi here, daily I would hear about the God awful motorists in this city, so I’m surprised as a transit driver he wouldn’t be pointing them out as well :\
    In a one week span in Toronto, 7000 motorists were charged for impeding public transit.

    I like what Rob had to say. As mentioned already, much more level headed. Only thing I disagree on is the following:
    ““A lot of young (cyclists) who have never driven don’t know what the drivers are going through, when they’re making a left turn or something like that.”

    I’ve never driven a car ever, but I both understand and respect what motorists have to put up with. Equally I expect them to feel the same towards other road users.
    I also believe a lot of it doesn’t have to do with knowing what drivers (or cyclists) are going through, as much as it’s a lack of common courtesy towards other people.

    As for WRPS and the charges they’ve laid so far this year?
    I have no complaints with any except the 45 on horn related charges. Stupidest law/rule regarding bikes.
    Motorists can’t hear them and you shouldn’t be riding on sidewalks to have to worry about pedestrians hearing them…And for the times pedestrians walk out in front of me, I’m more focused on braking then ringing a bell.

    The brake issue I’d like to know more about. Do they know/understand about coaster brakes?

    I do believe indicating 2000 people are injured each year from bicycle related accidents can be misleading. Most will assume that 2000 cyclists have suffered a head injury, when in fact most of those 2000 injuries are simply “minor” injuries. A few bumps and bruises on the arm or leg. People would start to jump on the “cyclists must wear helmets” bandwagon.
    Also, those numbers take into account children, teens who do stunting on bmx bikes as well as inexperienced recreational cyclists.

    1. Thanks, that was one comment where I was a little upset about the context.

      I didn’t make clear to her that it doesn’t require a drivers license to understand the rules of the road, but in some cases, the experience of driving helps to make better, safer choices because you’ve been in the drivers shoes. It’s not anything that can’t be overcome by experience on a bike though.

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