Bikes on Sidewalks: Nuisance, Menace or Self-Preservation
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Bikes on Sidewalks: Nuisance, Menace or Self-Preservation

Torontoist is kicking himself for missing this article but we’re glad that the eagle-eyed people at Spacing Wire caught it. Actor, sometime mayoral candidate and now Globe and Mail writer Albert Howell wrote this reasoned analysis on why cyclists ride on sidewalks and why pedestrians shouldn’t be blaming cyclists but the municipal government for its lack of adequate cycling infrastructure.
We agree with Howell, riding on the sidewalk, contrary to popular belief is not fun for cyclists. We can’t go very fast and there are far too many newspaper boxes, bus shelters, Eucan bins and people to make riding on our sidewalks actually convenient. Some cyclists merely do it because riding on the street next to (at best) oblivious and (at worst) hostile drivers isn’t exactly safe.

I’m not saying cyclists can ride on a sidewalk the same way they do on a road; they have to be respectful of the people walking. But there’s also no reason for pedestrians to treat bicycles like they are some huge danger, the most recent statistics that I could find show that in Canada, vehicles kill one pedestrian every day, on average. Bikes are not killing you, cars are; either quickly by running you down or slowly by fouling your lungs.

We couldn’t agree more. Also to reopen an old can of worms we want to send off this counterpoint to Jacob Richler’s “let’s tax cyclists” article in the Post last week. Maybe you should be paying Mr. Howell and Torontoist, Jacob?
Photo from Bike Lane Diary