Oh my gosh, I am SO TIRED of the negative media reports on the proposed Hornby Street separated lane. I just watched a video on CTV ($3.2 -million price tag for Hornby Street bike lane). It’s all about how much the bike lane will cost Vancouver. The reporter, Shannon Paterson, looks pained – even horrified – as she tells us how much this will cost. Then she breaks down what the money will pay for – while the video footage shows SUV’s pulling into the current un-separated bike lane, and a car door opening in front of cyclists.
Paterson’s horror is reserved for the amount of money that will be spent, while she is utterly oblivious to the dangers to cyclists – or simply doesn’t care. Yet cars kill cyclists, and even car doors kill cyclists, as partially documented on this alarming post.
Commenting on a 22-year-old cyclist killed in a bike lane by a car door during Bike to Work Week in Chicago, one person asks:
“What the heck is Chicago doing putting bike lanes in door zones? Do they also offer a bounty for anyone shooting cyclists?”
Presumably not – but here in Vancouver, business is bound and determined to keep cyclists in danger in door zones, and the media seems equally determined to help business in this quest.
CTV goes on to interview Charles Gauthier of the Downtown Business Improvement Association, so he can complain about lost parking spaces. He concedes that there is alternative parking, but laments that shoppers may be deterred by having to walk a little further! Needless to say, CTV does not interview any cyclists …
When I first got to this country I rejoiced in what I perceived as the freedom of the press, compared to the repressive country I come from. Now I am starting to think that the press is indeed free – but it is free to make money by fostering corporate interests, rather than free to report objectively and without bias!
Bottom line: CTV is saying just two things:
- $3.2 million dollars is too much to spend on cyclists’ lives
- 158 parking spaces are more important than cyclists’ lives
Could someone explain to me why it is that cyclists’ lives are less important than parking spaces?
Could it be that people think cyclists have no money, and so their lives cannot possibly be important? Where does this idea come from? Cyclists are like everyone else in Canada – they have money, and they spend it! Just look at this line-up of expensive bikes parked outside a bistro next to False Creek:
I hope I am wrong about the media – if I am right, it is just too depressing to contemplate. So I am ready to be corrected.
Has anyone seen any cyclists being interviewed by the media during this entire ugly debate about the Hornby Street bike lane?