In this ever increasing sensitivity for the environment there has been increase in the number of cyclists in the downtown core of Toronto. I applaud anyone’s desire to shuck the shackles of automobile dependance. I, myself, enjoy the pleasures of public transportation with the knowledge that I can easily read my romance or sci-fi novels in the comfort of a ramshackle bus or streetcar.
And though it is fun to see so many people on bicycles I do have a problem with them. They keep going on the sidewalk. What possesses individuals to believe that they have the right to scoot down a pedestrian thoroughfare (i.e. a sidewalk) and knock down individuals? There are bike lanes in Toronto – granted not the over-abundance as there is in other cities such as Amsterdam – but nevertheless there are paths for them to meander upon on their way to work.
This morning there were 3 bikes that were careening towards me, from behind. They were madly ringing their silly little bells. I refused to move. This forced them to get off their bikes, and when they tried to share a few choice words with me I spout out “this is a sidewalk, not a bike path, the by-laws are explicit you should be on the road.” Invariably I get the same excuse – but it’s not safe on the roads. But downtown Toronto has so much traffic congestion that it is safer to ride the roads downtown than in the suburbs, where one can get hit by a monster SUV, as the cars can barely move.
I wish the cops would start enforcing the Traffic By-law and charge cyclists who insist on riding on sidewalks.