Friday, July 29, 2011

"Why there 'otta be a law..."

Last night on the news, Jon Gerard's only topic of any merit came up. Bicycle helmets.
Oye vey.
Sure, I get it. Bicycle meets semi, (pick up, Prius, fire hydrant, whatever it meets), bicycle looses, rider often falls.
Now I'm not an avid rider but I do own a decent bike and enjoy riding. (No, the new active transportation paths have done NOTHING to encourage me, or the countless other projected to use these stupid ideas to ride more). What I don't own is a helmet, and frankly I'm sick and tired of the media starting to give these clowns time to "make their case".
We've got Police in this city who can't seem to ticket the riders who regularly travel in the wrong direction on the road, blow STOP signs and lights, but I'm sure they could cherry pick the helmets. I bet they'd set up a "trap" where you can't escape like the Sherbrook Bridge, or on Wellington Crescent just to teach these flaunt-ers of any potential new law a lesson.
There's the argument about kids on bikes, but honestly, it's a wonder I made it to adult hood. Unsupervised from about 5 on, (No, I was not a feral child),  we were left to ride our bikes with reckless abandon during our 9-12 year old period, jumping them over natural and man made objects alike. Had only these do-gooders been there to protect us from ourselves.
The continued intrusion into peoples lives, and the dictating of things that were considered to be within the purview of an adult, or a parent is becoming tiresome and scary at times.
Who do these people think they are?
Could we please consider something important instead of re hashing this old debate ever few years?

Since we're on the topic, (sorta'), this idea of bending the rules for cyclists is a BAD on, and will continue to fuel the current animosity between drivers and cyclists in our city.
There are cyclists who are clearly aware of their rights and responsibilities, and then those who simply don't care, seemingly provoking the diatribe meted out by drivers passing them AGAIN because the car had to stop at the light, and the cyclists passed (illegally) on the right (or between the cars), only to blow through the light.
"Hey! We could ALL get to work faster if we ignored the lights in this city!"
What makes these people "tick"? I mean, it can't be "normal" to think you are granted the right to use the road on an equal footing as a motor vehicle, but can choose to be selective regarding the rules. These folks can't be completely balanced in their thinking... it just doesn't make sense. Wanna ride a bike? Do it like they do in Amsterdam, not Beijing.

Since we're (sorta) on the topic, I continue to despise our city and it's traffic department lackies who have sat back and either been completely remiss in any traffic upgrade planning, or been completely ignored by the elected "leaders".
 Sammy promised us synchronized lights, heck he promised me that he'd look into the inability to synchronize the light at Route 90 and Silver. Winnipeg can install a state of the art photo camera, but can't get the light timing right on a major artery with a 70 km/h speed limit. Makes ya wonder if they "planned" that.
Honestly, if we could just bring up the guys working in Grand Forks. They have these little things located on the traffic light standard that does something... it let's traffic MOVE. How many intersections are SO badly timed that only two vehicles can make it through before a yellow comes out?
House cleaning is in order. If Luis Escobar cant do any better than this little gem, http://www.apegm.mb.ca/pdf/PD_Papers/signals.pdf , then clearly those taking orders from him are equally lost. I think almost any reasonable person could stand at an intersection and gauge if traffic is flowing at a reasonable pace, and in a timely manner, so all I can conclude is that Luis and his faithful little band don't get out of the office much.

To tie it all together... (bet you didn't think I could)

Winnipeg's traffic system is a nightmare of poorly planned signs, intersections, and lights that lead to immense frustration for the driver, either obviously, or obliviously. These frustrations are compounded by cyclists, who seem to be unimpeded by these planning fiascoes and the driver develops a "hate on" for cyclists. It's really NOT about "us" versus "them", it's about "them" not having to suffer through the systemic problems of traffic in our city.

Just to save you the response of "You don't know from traffic! If you were in Toronto...", Sure, you're right, and if I were in Morris... because really the size difference between the two is about the same. Compare it to another city of equal size... bet you'll have trouble finding one with a traffic system as bad. (in Canada and the USA).

1 comment:

  1. I'm against helmets. How are we ever going to evolve harder heads if we don't weed out the genetically inferior softheads. Why, I've landed on my head numerous times and I'm doing perfecktly fine. People need to stop trying to save the world one skull at a time and leave people alone to their own Darwinian doom. Forcing people to wear helmets is just like drug prohibition.

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