LETTER: Cycling not the answer to reducing carbon footprint

As a fellow senior, I feel duty bound to speak out against Gail Meston’s exaggerated claims with regard to cycling’s allegedly substantial contributions to reducing carbon emissions and other serious threats to planetary life.

I cycled all of my life up to my senior years until I realized that both walking and cycling in Victoria were becoming more dangerous, not because of licensed, trained and insured motorists, but because of the irresponsible behaviour of my fellow cyclists on the street, on bicycle paths, on shared pathways, on sidewalks, at intersections and when whistling through occupied crosswalks.

I am sure that my partner and I, who walk virtually everywhere in Greater Victoria, do just as much as any couple cycling in Victoria to reduce carbon emissions, and we do it while making much lower demands on the city with regard to building expensive infrastructure to accommodate us.

All we would ask of cyclists is that they obey traffic laws and pay much greater attention to the safety of pedestrians, to fellow cyclists and to toddlers forced to travel with them.

However, if the City of Victoria and its allegedly planet-loving cyclists were really serious about reducing carbon emissions they would prioritize or support the expansion and improvement of our transportation system (including free and super efficient mass transit of one kind or another) so that working people, heavy producers and consumer goods and emergency vehicles could reach their destinations in a safe and timely fashion, and, most importantly,the provision of an adequate supply of truly affordable housing close to where jobs are or soon will be. I would not make automobiles or bicycles – including electrical ones – a priority for reasons that should now be obvious.

John R. Bell

Victoria

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