Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Seriously?

There's an opinion piece in today's National Post that is less than friendly towards not only cyclists, but our city.

Why there are so many people driving their children to school, I don't understand. This creates a traffic jam, and aggressive driving conditions right in front of so many schools, which obviously have hundreds of children walking around in front of them. His illegal parking doesn't help the situation. For some more thoughts on this subject, check out bricoleurbanism.

Let me guess what happened to this guy. Since he said he had to catch up with the cyclist, he was probably in a traffic jam. The bike came to a stop or close to it at a stop sign to his right. The cyclists squeezed in with the cars and rode ahead. It annoyed him that he couldn't squeeze past the cars too, so he decided to vent his anger about his parking fines through an anti-cycling write-up.

From the article titled "Tax monsters on two wheels - Why let drivers enrich city coffers and give cyclists a free ride?":

In short, everything you see every cyclist do every time you see one is worth $110. We cannot afford to ignore this potential harvest. Let's go for it.

The number of cyclists that follow the laws strictly is probably more than the number of motorists that follow the traffic laws strictly. Count the number of cars that come to a complete stop at any neighbourhood stop sign next time you have some free time, or the number that drive under the speed limit on streets lined with pedestrians. It will be shamefully small. The big difference is that (and I know this sounds dramatic but it's true) cars kill people every year through collisions and pollution.

In case he actually reads this, a tax is different from a fine. Fines can be avoided by not performing illegal acts. And cyclists do pay tax called property tax, and sales tax, and income tax. They just don't pay gas tax, which is fitting, isn't it?

With all this said, I know he'll be a tough guy to convince of anything, if he didn't change his mind about illegal parking after $1000 in fines or after $2000.

Darren J 4/04/2006 08:06:00 AM

8 Comments:

This really gets my goat. I'm going to do some research, call around people at the city and find out who pays for what. As far as I know this guy is full of crap. There is no way that car drivers pay more into the system than what they are taking out.

AAARRRRGH!!! I need to vent.

Herb.
He's a food critic. No one really cares what he thinks. Besides, Jacob, cyclists pay property tax, provincial tax, federal tax, PST, GST, and just because we're smart enough not to own a wallet-emptying car, you get all cranky? Please.
I don't care what he thinks, but I do care what he writes, since he writes in the news section of a high circulation, prominent newspaper.

Misinformation can do a lot of harm.

Thanks for looking into this Herb. I hope you're able to get some details.

The truth is on our side!
Here's my answer, which was easier than doing any actual research myself. I emailed Todd Litman and he got back to me much faster than I expect when emailing busy people out of the blue.

I'd still like to ask some city officials what they think about this all. It might make a good story and a good response to this food critic. I hope he gets heart burn from a cheap burrito.
Well he fails to mention just how DANGEROUS himself and the other cagers are speeding to and from the schools droping off thier kids and the problems it causes , And how nice it was of him to make nasty comments on the working class in our city. but what I hate is that drivers only get $150:00 fine and I think two points lost when they drive through a cross walk with people in it trying to cross the street. and I have never once seen a cop pulling over cars in high traffic area's that are prone to cars driving past the street car doors when people are getting on and off the street car, and where I live in the east end the amount of drivers that DO NOT stop at stop signs when making turns is horrible; and if his parking tickets add up into the thousands like he claims every year that also proves he is a major arse:).
great read, Darren!
Thanks!
What an ass. I hate the Post anyway, it's a crappy paper.

At least bikes don't contribute to smog, which is supposedly the number 1 cause of hospital emergency visits for children under 10! I don't think they're taxed enough!

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