TORONTO, ON ― Fed up with cyclists slowing traffic in the car lanes they’re legally entitled to use, local driver Hugh Weaver is taking it upon himself to show them how it’s done.
“I never understood why cyclists weren’t using bike lanes,” began Weaver, who last rode a bike in fourth grade, under parental supervision.
That changed when a cyclist coworker suggested that perhaps anyone stupid enough to ride amongst drivers as bad as Weaver just didn’t know bike lanes could be ridden in. Weaver, entirely missing the insult, took this sarcasm to heart, and has since taught scores of cyclists how the lanes are used by using them himself.
Cyclist Arabelle Silver is grateful to Weaver for correcting her. “I’ll never forget the moment I saw his two right tires placed smack dab in the center of that thinner green lane. I had literally never noticed it, but when I saw him careening in and out at quadruple my average speed, I immediately thought, ‘now there’s a safe place for me to ride.’”
The issue of cyclists leaving the bike lane for frivolous reasons like wanting to turn left from a left turn lane extends beyond big cities. Waterloo cyclists offer the dubious complaint that the unploughed bike lanes disappear in winter, while those in Milton insist that you can’t ride in a lane that never existed in the first place.
In such cases, Weaver suggests they ride on the very edge to show consideration for drivers, who will return the favour by passing with a bare half-foot of space instead of the metre that Ontario law requires. Meanwhile, he hopes other motorists will follow his lead, and also stop parking in the bike lanes he is trying to drive in.
Pedestrians aren’t any happier with cyclists. “I hate when they ride on sidewalks. It sucks to be the smaller, slower one with a big hunk of metal bearing down on you,” put in marathoner Wayne Mitchell. “The only worse thing would be, say, a whole horde of metal hunks, controlled by people who already resented the mere idea of your existence and considered you less than human. In any case, I avoid sidewalks now and just run the wrong way up the bike lane”.
“But what bothers me most is that they can’t decide whether they’re vehicles or pedestrians. Pick one, and stick with it!”
Mayor Olivia Chow could not be reached for comment, as she was currently on her bike, trying to navigate a combined sidewalk/two-way bike lane that ends in an intersection with a pedestrian crosswalk, before starting up again as an in-road, one-way bike lane on the opposite side of the street.