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Old 09-30-04, 03:26 PM   #1
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Ban them from the roads (in Edmonton)

Just another nutball comment from a newspaper in Edmonton Alberta, but I had to let everyone know I did my bit and let him know what I thought of his comments (as did many other cyclists)

What was that old quote? Was it something like, democracy (or government?) is run by those who show up.

Here's a clip of the article with a link to the full story, the next days story and my email and reply from the author.

Cyclists get a free ride

We need to ban them from major roads By Kerry Diotte -- For the Edmonton Sun

The tragic weekend death of a cyclist lends ammunition to my notion bicycles should be banned from major thoroughfares in Edmonton.

A 35-year-old man died Saturday night after colliding with a vehicle near 101 Street and 107 Avenue.

It's the second time a cyclist has died on city streets this year. In May a five-year-old girl died near 147 Avenue and 88A Street after she rode her bike in a crosswalk.

Without getting into a debate about who is responsible for most bike-vehicle crashes, one thing is obvious - bicyclists tend to come out on the losing end of collisions. That is reason enough to consider banning bikers from thoroughfares - for their own protection.

Complete article:

http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/Column...28/646225.html

Next day

City cyclists fighting back

I'm Public Enemy No. 1 with cyclists. Why that is, I don't fully understand.

All I did was express a very logical argument in a Tuesday Sun column calling for bicycles to be outlawed from major thoroughfares in our city...

Cyclists were not amused. I've received dozens of e-mails and numerous telephone messages from upset cyclists...

The topic was hot enough that I was invited on to the Big Breakfast yesterday to debate John Collier, the president of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters' Society...

Surprisingly the A-Channel "debate" I had with bicycle society president Collier was fairly civilized. He's a nice guy - for a cyclist.

Collier said he shared my concern that many cyclists don't obey traffic laws and have little or no safety training before jumping onto their two-wheeled steeds.

He acknowledged courier bikers are the worst of all when it comes to infractions - and he would like police to target lawbreaking bikers by giving out more tickets.

Naturally Collier wouldn't go so far as to agree with my view that cyclists should be banned from major roadways.

But increased ticketing of bad bikers would be a great start to getting cyclists banned from major thoroughfares, wouldn't it?

complete article:
http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/Column...30/648890.html

I emailed him (his address is on the web page) and said,

Your logic is flawed. By claiming cyclists should be banned from streets because they come out on the losing end with motorists, the logical extension is banning smaller cars from roads that could be crushed by larger vehicles that share the same roads. Should passenger cars have one set of streets, SUV's another, and dump trucks a third?

The best solution is have all users of the roads follow all the rules of the road. Isn't that a more reasonable, more workable start?

And by the way, don't imply accidents involving young children have anything to do with accidents involving adults. They are not the same thing.



To give him credit, he replied.

Good points but we'll have to agree to disagree.

Care to tell a few more people about this by sending your letter to the Sun as a letter to the editor?

The more the issue gets talked about, the better chance that things will change for the better.

Cheers,
-Kerry



I sent one back, to which he hasn't replied (and I sure would be suprised if he did)

If you wish to forward my letter to you on to the editor, that would be fine, but a better way to change things for the better on the road would be for a newspaper to recognize that printing ignorant, prejudicial diatribe is detrimental to the situation.

Accidents happen for a reason, and those reasons should be shown to try and prevent future accidents. Simply stating bikes should be restricted on roads does nothing from preventing more accidents.

Don't think for a second that the reasons that lead to accidents to people on bikes don't apply to people that drive motor vehicles.

I think you can't be this ignorant, and are just trying to stir the pot by creating readership with sensationalism. This is irresponsible as it does nothing to help the public good.
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Old 09-30-04, 03:40 PM   #2
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Thanks for bothering to write the boob. @ least he will be less comfortable in his blanket of self-imposed blindness.
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Old 09-30-04, 04:33 PM   #3
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How about banning cars from major throughfares?
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Old 09-30-04, 04:36 PM   #4
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Cars kill more people than bikes. Let him chew his ass on that one.
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Old 09-30-04, 04:48 PM   #5
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Two Edmontonians died on bikes this year? That's tragic and two too many.

But how many Edmontonians died in cars this year? I'd be willing to bet it's a few more than two.

By that logic, shouldn't cars be banned from the street? For their own safety, of course.
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Old 09-30-04, 05:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
Two Edmontonians died on bikes this year? That's tragic and two too many.

But how many Edmontonians died in cars this year? I'd be willing to bet it's a few more than two.

By that logic, shouldn't cars be banned from the street? For their own safety, of course.
I just checked on Google, and in 97, there were 48 deaths in Edmonton of people in motor vehicles and 1 cyclist death from being hit by a car. There were 15 pedestrians killed by cars. More people died drowning, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, and driving all terrain vehicles than on bicycles.

How many lives were (or could have been) saved by regular aerobic exercise?

Just because cars want exclusive access to roads does not mean that it is good to give it to them. Bikes are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Last edited by closetbiker; 09-30-04 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 09-30-04, 05:54 PM   #7
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My letter emailed today!

====================

How many pedestrians were killed on city streets? I bet it was a lot more than two!

By your logic, banning pedestrains from city streets is a lot more beneficial in saving lives than banning bicycles.

How many folks were killed by drunken drivers? A lot more than two, I bet.
Why don't you editorialize on drunken drivers?

How many folks in small cars were killed by folks in SUV's? A lot more than two.
Why not put your editorializing into banning SUV's!

How many folks were killed by auto drivers using cell phones?
Put your efforts into banning cell phone use!

How many folks were killed by tailgaters?
Put your effort there!

How many lives have been saved by the aerobic exercise that cycling provides - greater fitness, less disease?
You should be promoting bicycling, not knocking it!

Life is full of dangers - cars, pollution, bicyclers, pedestrians. Risk is a factor of living. Even hiding yourself in your home on a sofa increases the risk of heart problems and obesity. No way you can get rid of risk. Bicycling, by all statistics, is a relatively safe activity.

Use the power of the press to get the police to enforce the laws better, and you will have a much safer world than if you ban bicycles!
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Old 09-30-04, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Even hiding yourself in your home on a sofa increases the risk of heart problems and obesity. No way you can get rid of risk. Bicycling, by all statistics, is a relatively safe activity.
According to Canada's Macleans magazine, about 62 people a year die from a fall involving a bed (and 9 from accidentally suffocating or strangulating in bed) and 21 people die from a fall involving chairs or other furniture.

Last year there were (I believe) 64 deaths of cyclists in Canada.

Last edited by closetbiker; 09-30-04 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 09-30-04, 07:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDan
How about banning cars from major throughfares?
HEAR, HEAR!
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Old 09-30-04, 07:24 PM   #10
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I am really torn between ignoring ignorant bigots such as Kerry Diotte and trying to respond logically. Having said that, I really appreciate the responses all of you have taken the time to compose. [I]diotte clearly does not understand the issues of mobility rights of citizens on our PUBLIC roads. Almost every North American city already has cars-only roads on which he can drive without encountering cyclists -- in California, we ironically call them "freeways."
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Old 09-30-04, 08:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
By Kerry Diotte -- For the Edmonton Sun

The tragic weekend death of a cyclist lends ammunition to my notion bicycles should be banned from major thoroughfares in Edmonton.

We should ban pedestrians, too:


Quote:
5,220 pedestrians died in 1998, down 2 percent from 1997. Since 1975, 13 to 17 percent of motor vehicle deaths have been pedestrians.

Source: US Departement of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
Quote:
“Pedestrian deaths in California rose 6% last year, and the state again led the nation in total pedestrian fatalities, according to a national study to be released today… Last year 731 pedestrians were killed on the streets of California, the nation's most populous state. That's up from 691 in 2000, says the study by the Surface Transportation Policy Project, a national nonprofit group that promotes pedestrian and bicycle safety.” (LA Times 11/21/02)
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Old 09-30-04, 08:59 PM   #12
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His real agenda is not the safety of people, but convieniance for motorists, his target audience.
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Old 09-30-04, 09:01 PM   #13
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Sounds to me like this guy is just another troll. Might as well save yourselves the effort of responding, it's just giving him what he wants. His real agenda is just selling more newspapers.
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Old 09-30-04, 09:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
the A-Channel "debate" I had with bicycle society president Collier was fairly civilized. He's a nice guy - for a cyclist.
And his irrational prejudices stand revealed.
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Old 09-30-04, 10:22 PM   #15
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It's just too hard to see such a blatant display of bigotry go unchallenged.

I doubt it'd change his mind by emailing him, but maybe responses in his paper might change other minds not made up and maybe emails to him might cause him to do some more research or pick an easier target next time.
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Old 10-01-04, 11:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Cars kill more people than bikes. Let him chew his ass on that one.
My thoughts exactly. You think his argument is stupid? I sure do, really stupid. If he's dumb enough to believe it himself, I'm surprised he hasn't instead decided that cars should be banned, because they do the killing. What a tool.
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Old 10-01-04, 12:50 PM   #17
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According to Canada's Macleans magazine, about 62 people a year die from a fall involving a bed (and 9 from accidentally suffocating or strangulating in bed) and 21 people die from a fall involving chairs or other furniture.

Last year there were (I believe) 64 deaths of cyclists in Canada.
But how many Canadians used furniture and beds last year (all of them) and how often did they do this (everyday). How many cycled (not many) and how often (not very).

Obviously you were being facetious, but I would be interested to see some actual statistics on what the accident/injury/death rate for urban cyclists is. It is the rate that is more important than the number in this case, as far more people spend far more time driving than cycling.

I definitely agree with him that the Police should target cyclists breaking the law. That being said, as I understand it, the law with regards to cycling is vague at best and unsafe to cyclists at worst, so perhaps that should be addressed first?
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Old 10-01-04, 01:57 PM   #18
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Stats are something that are far more complicated and involved than they appear. They require thought and investigation to see if they apply in a certain situation.

There are so many variables. I've read there are far more bikes sold than cars but how often, where, when and how they are used all play into how many accidents or deaths happen and thse usage numbers are ellusive.

Suffice it to say, odd things happen now and again, that we not have much control over, but, for the most part, most things are predictable and preventable. Many bicycle deaths are of the predictable and preventable variety. Same goes to automotive deaths.

Experienced cyclists travel far more than novice cyclists and have a lower accident rate than novice cyclists. Why in the world should experienced cyclists in Edmonton (many of which have lower accident per kilometer rate than the average driver) be banned from the road? If they were to get into an accident, the threat would be only to themselves and not to others as the threat is when automobiles have accidents.

Inexperienced cyclists who make poor traffic decisions are hardly a large threat to the public at large and end up their own worst enemy. Maybe a proper education course would be more effective in preventing further problems instead of banning cyclists from the streets or issuing a traffic ticket for those who break traffic law.

Last edited by closetbiker; 10-01-04 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 10-01-04, 04:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
My letter emailed today!

====================

How many pedestrians were killed on city streets? I bet it was a lot more than two!

By your logic, banning pedestrains from city streets is a lot more beneficial in saving lives than banning bicycles.

How many folks were killed by drunken drivers? A lot more than two, I bet.
Why don't you editorialize on drunken drivers?

How many folks in small cars were killed by folks in SUV's? A lot more than two.
Why not put your editorializing into banning SUV's!

How many folks were killed by auto drivers using cell phones?
Put your efforts into banning cell phone use!

How many folks were killed by tailgaters?
Put your effort there!

How many lives have been saved by the aerobic exercise that cycling provides - greater fitness, less disease?
You should be promoting bicycling, not knocking it!

Life is full of dangers - cars, pollution, bicyclers, pedestrians. Risk is a factor of living. Even hiding yourself in your home on a sofa increases the risk of heart problems and obesity. No way you can get rid of risk. Bicycling, by all statistics, is a relatively safe activity.

Use the power of the press to get the police to enforce the laws better, and you will have a much safer world than if you ban bicycles!
And the standard response received today!

===============================================

Good points but we'll have to agree to disagree.

Care to tell a few more people about this by sending your letter to the Edmonton Sun as a letter to the editor?

mailbag@edmsun.com

The more the issue gets talked about, the better chance that things will change for the better.

Cheers,
-Kerry
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Old 10-01-04, 06:52 PM   #20
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Nice form letter. Guess he really cares.
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Old 10-01-04, 07:02 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
It's just too hard to see such a blatant display of bigotry go unchallenged.
Agreed, but let's think about whether generating the attention for the story that he so obviously wants is really an effective means of challenging it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
I doubt it'd change his mind by emailing him, but maybe responses in his paper might change other minds not made up and maybe emails to him might cause him to do some more research or pick an easier target next time.
... That's the whole point. Cyclists are an easy target because they bombard the thing with e-mails and provide easy replies. What this guy will now realise after all these replies have come in, is that next time the boss is putting pressure on him about how much attention his stories are getting, and how many newspapers are being sold (which is all journalists really care about), he has an easy troll he can wheel out whenever it suits him. It's far better to just ignore it. If the story gets zero replies, he might be forced to find somebody else to troll next time around.
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Old 10-01-04, 07:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeforumlegs
Obviously you were being facetious, but I would be interested to see some actual statistics on what the accident/injury/death rate for urban cyclists is. It is the rate that is more important than the number in this case, as far more people spend far more time driving than cycling.
Quick question, how many lives (of all road users) would really be saved by banning cyclists from the roads? Granted you might save the 64 cyclists who died, and perhaps one or two pedestrians a year, but that's about all. Now ask yourself how many lives would be saved by banning all motorists from the roads? I'd suspect that would be a few thousand motorists, 64 cyclists, and a heap of pedestrians. If saving lives was what we were talking about, I know who I'd be banning (or at least restricting so that only the professionals could do it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeforumlegs
I definitely agree with him that the Police should target cyclists breaking the law. That being said, as I understand it, the law with regards to cycling is vague at best and unsafe to cyclists at worst, so perhaps that should be addressed first?
The police should target everyone who breaks the law. I don't know why it only seems to be the cyclists running red lights that draw attention, when drivers do it just as often (and let's talk about some of the other laws they break, such as speed limits and so forth). Maybe it's just because a cyclist breaking the law is "news", but we're all so desensitised to motorist breaches that it's just accepted as a normal, everyday occurrance.
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Old 10-01-04, 07:13 PM   #23
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Agreed, but let's think about whether generating the attention for the story that he so obviously wants is really an effective means of challenging it.



... That's the whole point. Cyclists are an easy target because they bombard the thing with e-mails and provide easy replies. What this guy will now realise after all these replies have come in, is that next time the boss is putting pressure on him about how much attention his stories are getting, and how many newspapers are being sold (which is all journalists really care about), he has an easy troll he can wheel out whenever it suits him. It's far better to just ignore it. If the story gets zero replies, he might be forced to find somebody else to troll next time around.
Jeez, Chris. I guess I really screwed up by answering him in an email. Sorry!
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Old 10-01-04, 07:14 PM   #24
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I say we might as well ban humans from the streets....VOILA! only those who break the law can be hurt on a street...sheer genius...


...oh wait...gotta let the crack leave my system....alrighty then!

...really though, this guy is just being the same caliber of ****** almost every other eidtorial writer these days are....basically the print version of a shock jock.
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Old 10-01-04, 07:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Jeez, Chris. I guess I really screwed up by answering him in an email. Sorry!
And you don't reckon he's going to forward that e-mail straight on to the editor to show just how many responses is "story" is getting?
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