Jarvis St. is no place for bikes, reader says
Here’s another reason why cyclists should just get out of the way: When you hit them with your car, they can damage it.
That’s the only way to interpret a reader’s complaint about a collision between him and a cyclist on Jarvis St., where bike lanes that provided a measure of safety for riders were removed on the say-so of city council.
I was astounded to find a posting on SeeClickFix from an anonymous reader who said “you need to make an article for cyclists to stop riding up and down Jarvis St.,” before blithely dismissing the accident.
“They removed the bike lanes and now have five lanes which are way too narrow,” he said, an odd gripe, since drivers regained the traffic lane that was eliminated when the cycling lanes went in.
“I lost my passenger side mirror because I hit one. Lucky he is okay,” said the reader, adding, “there is a beautiful bike lane one street over on Sherbourne.”
I have to wonder if the rider is okay. I guess it depends on what okay means. If a guy was annoyed about losing his side mirror, maybe he wouldn’t notice, or be concerned, if the cyclist left some skin on the pavement, or smashed an elbow.
Several readers posted comments of their own, including one who said, “you hit someone with your car and you are blaming the victim?”
Clearly, that was written by someone who doesn’t know much about driving. Allow me to explain how it works:
So you’re driving along, minding your business, and the phone rings, or maybe you have to fiddle with the radio. Before you know it, you’re right alongside some damned guy on a bike, and boom! Rides right into the side of the car! Down he goes.
What's he doing on Jarvis? The bike lanes are gone. If he’d just known enough to use that bike lane over on Sherbourne, I’d still have my side mirror, and there’d have been no need for that ambulance.
The notion that drivers have to share the road with cyclists, whether or not there’s a bike lane, seems lost on a lot of them.
For all the progress made in the re-shaping of attitudes about cycling, there’s a long way to go.