BY FRED MACCANN
Recent articles in the Guardian have prompted me to comment on the issue of bicycles on our roads and streets (‘Cracking down on cyclists,’ The Guardian, Sept. 26, where Charlottetown deputy mayor Mike Duffy wants police to charge cyclists who don’t obey the rules). In my normal commuting around Charlottetown it is abundantly clear that many cyclists are not observing the rules of the road. I have done an impromptu survey this summer and fall, and over 50 per cent of cyclists in our city are breaking the law.
Many are not wearing helmets, riding facing traffic, going the wrong way on one-way streets, riding on sidewalks, passing cars on the right, riding after dark with no lighting, not stopping at red lights or stop signs, and the list goes on and on.
Earlier this summer I was sitting at a 4-way stop intersection, taking my turn to proceed when a cyclist went right across in front me. He never even slowed down for his stop sign. If I hadn’t noticed him and stopped, the results could have been tragic. I understand, at some level, not wanting to lose momentum at red lights and stop signs, but it is the law. It’s better to lose momentum than your life.
was coming home from the Islanders hockey game on Sept. 29 and observed a young lady on St. Peters Road in the city, riding on the proper side of the road, helmet etc. Only problem, it was 10 p.m. on a dark fall evening, she was invisible to the cars around her, no lighting.
really surprised me earlier this summer when the folks, representing cyclists in our area, were so critical of the suggestion to turn one lane of Fitzroy Street into a cycle lane. I thought, if done properly, it was a wonderful idea. Sorry folks, but you have much bigger problems than Fitzroy Street to contend with.
Are licence plates a good idea? I’m open to other options, but we need some way to identify the folks regularly breaking the law. Maybe they should be suspended from riding for a period of time or have their “vehicles” impounded. Let’s all hope the inevitable doesn’t happen.
Fred MacCann is a resident of Brackley Point Road, Charlottetown