Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wrong and Right

My expectations of the meeting held by the city to explain the new bike routes was wrong.  I imagined that it would be a presentation to explain to angry motorists why bike lanes were necessary and also to sell cyclists on the idea of sharing the road with cars.
Picture is worth a thousand blog words

I was right about the angry motorists.  They were present in large numbers and easily three quarters of the audience were car enthusiasts.  While looking at a map of the route I take to and from work, an older guy across from me began to harangue the city engineer standing next to me and I decided not to become involved in an arguement that neither of us would win.  (I was getting the strong impression that the bike routes were already a done deal.)
Mr. Arguementative is in the upper right side
The presenter kept his cool when an old fart kept standing in front of the projector unaware that the projected images had turned his top into a rather colourful Hawaiian shirt.  The city employee was quite calm when his speech was interrupted by an angry question from a motorist and which created some snickers from the cyclists who could be easily picked out wearing their cycling gear.

Mr. Calm
My wife was surprised that there was no question and answer period but these civic employees knew well enough that things would quickly spiral out of control given the passionate positions held by the assembled crowd.  A week earlier a similar open house on the southside had created newspaper headlines and sensational news stories.

The improvised parking lot
Leaving the meeting and unlocking my bike, I was satisfied that this city department believes in cycling and as I rode my way home, I hoped that they could find a way to convince the snowplow operators not to deposit their scrapings onto the bike lane - making necessary cycling on the bare sidewalks.

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