26 August 2008

Last Time & Then I Bury It... I Think

OK, so here is the deal. I'm going to add to the whole activism & advocacy thing and then I really just want it to end with this post. I still welcome and encourage comments, however I have to admit I will likely disregard what I just said and add a point or two sown the road regardless what, if anything, is said. The way I feel about things could best be summed up by my boy Gary:
It's going to take effort from both sides to improve the current situation on the roadways. I think cyclists obeying more traffic laws is important, because we have the most to gain or lose!
The bottom line here guys; we're not getting anywhere with anyone by trying to prove we have the bigger stick. All that happens is drivers piss off cyclists, and vice versa. Like it or not it's a lose-lose situation. I also think that Ray has a great point, he said:
Critical mass is to me like peace activists carrying flowers and singing happy songs trying to prove how nice life would be without war or violence, then taking the first opportunity to start yelling obscenities, speaking in tongues and beating the living snot out of anything they can get there hands on...in the name of peace of course.
Critical Mass, in my opinion, has become a cluster... if you get my drift. It's like the idiot in class who hovers his finger in your face saying, "but I'm NOT touching you." You strive to piss people off, and then get mad when they react. Another comment made was from "Kevin Love", I wish Kevin had more to go off of like a blog or something. It was kind of hard to tell where exactly his views came from, but he posted the following:
From original post: "...we are cool with them being on the road, we just want to be able to share it with them."
This "we" definitely does not include myself and many other people here in Toronto.
What finally convinced me to work for a car-free Toronto was the official report of Toronto's Medical Officer of Health that car pollution kills 440 people in Toronto every year and injures another 1,700 people to the extent that they require hospitalization.
This does not include car crashes - that is just the death and injury toll in Toronto from car pollution.
We would not tolerate a terrorist gang that killed 440 people every year and injured 1,700. Why should any less strong measures be taken against car drivers?
This report may be found on the official government website at:
http://www.toronto.ca/health/hphe/pdf/air_pollution_burden.pdf
I really wish there was more here, Kevin, as I'm not sure how to take this. It all seems a bit militant to me, to be honest, and I'm not sure that I agree with it if that is the case. Again, by malice and through condescending action we accomplish nothing. We need people to understand cyclists, and respect cyclists, not fuel their hate fires.

2 comments:

cyclonecross said...

While Kevin's stance is a bit extreme, I wouldn't call it militant since he seems to be working in conjunction with the government to enact change.

I've read through the .pdf Kevin linked to and I agree with most of what it says; I can even back some of it with first hand experiences. I grew up in the country (about 90mi from both Columbus and Cleveland, and 60mi from Toledo). While I had seasonal allergies (hay fever & ragweed), at other times of the year I had little trouble breathing.

When I took a job in Cleveland and moved to Stow, I don't remember an increase in breathing problems. However, when I moved to the Parma / Cleveland border I could definitely tell that the air quality is not as good. I have more problems with congestion and breathing from spring thru fall. I suspect part of this is that I now live within 3/4 of a mile of I-480 and the Jennings Freeway. I am also less than 2 miles from the I-77 and I-480 interchange, which is basically a parking lot during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

I have less trouble when I leave my windows closed at home (so much for openning them up for 'fresh air').

CycloneCross said...

Here's an interesting take on the effects of Critical Mass (or the Monday Night Rides in Columbus, OH):

http://bikecolumbus.blogspot.com/2008/08/comparing-monday-night-ride-with.html