Recycling the same old, flawed arguments

Taking on the endless war between cyclists and motorists, Stuff makes some fair points (both sides need to shoulder some blame) but mostly recycles the same bullshit arguments from cyclists while ignoring the elephant in the room.

Sure, some motorists are impatient dickheads. But cyclists are all care and no responsibility. They want all the infrastructure gifted to them without contributing a cent. Quote:

As [cycling] has grown, so has the focus on infrastructure to make it safer. That is where much of the anger at cyclists hit the road it would seem.

In Lisa Prager’s? case, she actually hit the road, taking a sledgehammer to an Auckland traffic island in March 2018 as part of an ongoing protest at a cycleway which she said would damage her business.

People also took to scattering tacks on the Island Bay cycleway in Wellington.

That cycleway quickly drew the ire of nearby residents due to it running between the footpath and parked cars. End of quote.

Scattering tacks is just dumb and dangerous. But cycleways are too often appallingly badly planned. Here in Launceston, the ?cycleway? on the popular West Tamar Highway is nothing but a white line painted along the existing verge. Cyclists are expected to ride on a narrow strip of of bitumen patches and gravel, trying not to fall over every metre. The council took the same half-arsed approach on an already-narrow suburban artery, turning it into a clogged alleyway. This is a rubbish ?solution? for all concerned.

Even when cycleways are ?planned?, they?re often intrusive eyesores which just upset businesses and local residents. Even then, as a recent viral video showed, cyclists will ignore a beautifully concreted ? and ridiculously expensive ? cycle path, and clog up roads and annoy the hell out of everyone.

Of course, there?s no show without Punch to parrot the usual nostrums. Quote:

Associate minister of transport Julie Anne Genter?says the lack of cycling infrastructure is the main reason for her worry.

While 95 per cent of people in Manhattan do not drive, local businesses and residents’ groups get up in arms when cycle lanes are installed, she says. End of quote.


Perhaps she ought to pull her head out of her lycra and pay attention to why. Not only were residents peeved at the ugliness, but the inconvenience to everyone else. Quote:

Merchants are losing business due to the bike lanes?Drivers are angry with the loss of parking spaces and the elimination of turns in Manhattan, making drivers go out of their way, causing traffic. Loss of lanes for drivers causes more traffic nightmares. Also, there are people in the East Village who feel bikers are being rewarded for bad behavior. End of quote.


Then there are the bog-standard, stupid apples-and-oranges comparisons to overseas. Quote:

While they are common in Denmark and the Netherlands, Genter says using one in Auckland made her much more nervous than being on a bike on her own. End of quote.

Denmark and the Netherlands are two of the lowest-elevated countries on earth, with small, dense cities. It?s easy to ride a bike there, so more people do. Comparing them to Auckland is ridiculous. Australian cities are also notorious for their sprawl, let alone living outside the cities. Someone once asked me why I didn?t ride a bike to work. It’s because I didn?t want to have to leave home at 5am! Quote:

People like to moan about cyclists getting “free” cycleways, but Genter says they free up space ? both on the road and in parking spaces ? for drivers. End of quote.


Genter not only tells a complete porky here ? cycleways almost always eat up existing road space ? she completely avoids the issue of who pays ? and it?s not the cyclists.

Cyclists don?t pay any registration fees. This means that they are not only unidentifiable and thus mostly unaccountable for their behaviour, it also means that they don?t contribute a red cent. Cyclists could argue that, as most of them own cars as well, they do contribute to roads: but they contribute as motorists, not cyclists.

There is also the argument that cyclists have less impact than motorists, but, again, that ignores that cyclists are demanding ? and getting ? extra infrastructure which is still being funded out of everyone else?s pockets. Other road users are forced to fork out for the dinky cycleways that just make road use unbearable for everyone else.