Lawrence Solomon: Ban the bike! How cities made a huge mistake in promoting cycling

The bicycle has come a long way since the 1980s when bicycle advocacy groups (my group, Energy Probe, among them) lobbied against policies that discriminated against cyclists. In the language of the day, the bicycle epitomized “appropriate technology”: It was a right-sized machine that blessed cities with economic and environmental benefits. At no expense to taxpayers, the bicycle took cars off the road, easing traffic; it saved wear and tear on the roads, easing municipal budgets; it reduced auto emissions, easing air pollution; it reduced the need for automobile parking, increasing the efficiency of land use; and it helped keep people fit, too.

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  • Drunk by Noon ✓

    “In a user-pay or market economy, where users pay for the services they consume, bicycle lanes would be non-starters outside college campuses and other niche settings. If roads were tolled to recover the cost of asphalt and maintenance, no cyclist could bear the burden he foists on society. The cyclist has been put on the dole, made a taker rather than a giver to society.”

    • Watchman

      Progressives and SJWs would see this to be highly praiseworthy then. Old Karl Marx: “From him according to ability [i.e. money] to him according to need [envy].”

  • Watchman

    “While bikes have the luxury of zipping through traffic using dedicated lanes that are vastly underused most of the day — these include what Transport for London (TfL) calls “cycle superhighways” — cars have been squeezed into narrowed spaces that slow traffic to a crawl.”

    And then London puts a ‘congestion supertax’ on these (as well as more diesel taxes) so that you have to pay heavily to enter London. This payment is meant to dissuade the poor and middle class from clogging up the roads and force them to take public transport or bicycle. The rich don’t really care about the congestion charge, those high in government might have their congestion charges reimbursed since they are Important People, likewise large businesses and corporations will happily pay to have their executives reimbursed – and the poorer dissuaded from driving.

    Woe betide if you are a delivery driver or a tradesman, one of the little people. You can’t run a plumbing or carpentry business off the back of a bicycle, nor can you deliver goods to the centre of London either.

  • Jaedo Drax

    the next person to suggest a bike lane on a major road should be forced to sit there every day for January and February to count the number of cyclists using it.

    • Starlord

      Just like city / regional planners say there is no congestion on the roads for cars since they spread the volume over 24/7
      … the bike people see 5 bikes per day in the winter
      Multiple by 10,000 bingo we need more bike lanes.

  • Starlord

    The comments on the national post are golden. Basically falling right into the nazi type mamil stereotype

  • BillyHW

    Everything the environmentalists tell you is a lie and the exact opposite of the truth.

  • vwVwwVwv

    This is a green holy cow, they will die for it and they should.

  • Shebel

    To hell with it. Let them have their inner Cities.
    Nobody goes down Town anymore unless you are a Liberal, a Fag ,a Lawyer or a Black person that Liberals have locked into the local Ghetto.
    Luckily–the crappiest , most crime ridden areas–are where the Liberals are settling these peaceful Muslim Syrian immigrants of which 90% are still unemployed.
    And you should check out the slum Landlords of these flea bitten High Rises.
    Even the Somalians were leaving. This has been a GOLD mine for them.

    See what I mean— When a Liberal befriends you—
    You are pretty much fucked to a life of Dependence. .

    This is REALLY a CRIME.
    THIS is REAL Crime—

  • Gary

    That was the brain of the ECO-fascist. So their bike made in China by slave labour
    in a factory the pollutes and kills locals will use Oils for lubrication and plastic parts while a diesel cargo boat spew soot on the 8000 klm trip across the ocean to Vancouver . The put on a diesel train spewing soot for the 3800 klm trip to Toronto and put on a diesel truck spewing soot as it drops of the Eco-friendly at the store so the STARBUCK’s latte types can feel good that they are saving the planet.

    Back in 1969 our class was taken to the CCM plant on Lawrence east of Jane street to tour the place and see how bikes are made. My dad worked at a factory near Pape and Gerrard to make home products for cleaning and personal care. My uncle worked at Keel and St Claire in a meat plant while many people from the 1970’s-80’s had jobs in Plant in Toronto that are now condo’s and lofts for CUPE members at City hall or low income welfare units occupants or those at the CBC and in the ARTS community at the public trough .

    I remember when every new bike had a seat with 2 eyelet holes at the back that was for the areas that still forced people to buy a License Plate ,if you went to Expo 67 there were shops that sold the modified left over metal plates done in White with expo 67 and the names of people to buy for the child to keep.
    Once Toronto kills the cars….where the hell will the money come from for the TTC and roads because Ontario takes in $3,000,000,000.00 a year from car Taxes and fees but the books show just $1,000,000,000.00 in spending for roads and improved highway signs or new bridges.
    WSIB owes over $9 billion in claims going forward while TCHC in over $5 billion in arrears for repairs while teachers and OPSEU/CUPE members get raises and more benefits.

    The HST on that bike won’t even fund the White strip to make a lane for them where 4 workers get close to $35.00 an hour and drag out the job .

  • WalterBannon

    The only good thing about bikes in Toronto is that every year a number of eco-nazi left wing subsidy farming activists get killed riding them…