On biking in Ottawa

I bike in Ottawa.

I am not a hippie.  I have a job.  So does my husband.  We have a young son.

Raw Sugar stop

Using bikes to travel around the city reduces congestion.

We commute. We bike recreationally. We pay our city taxes.

Taxes that pay for roundabouts in other parts of the city.

We like to be active.  Outside.  We make it part of just living.  No need for gym memberships.

We’re not “cheap”.

We would just rather spend money in our neighbourhood and city – at restaurants and shops – rather than have our income go to gas, insurance and winter tires.

We have more money to “live” this way.

A woman in my Department was killed biking to work last year.   I didn’t know her.  But I wish I had.  She sounded like an amazing person.  That event is stuck in my brain.

We obey the laws.  Even when they’re not in our favour.

Our bikes are outfitted with lights.  Our child trailer too.  And a safety flag.

We share the road.  Even when you don’t.

We are decades behind other cities with cycling infrastructure.

Change is hard.  Especially in a city that favours the status quo.

You might think you know how your customers get to your business, but do you really know?

Parking is not a right.

It’s irresponsible as a city councillor to make comments and decisions about cycling infrastructure that you have never used.  Or experienced.    Especially when they sit on the Planning Committee AND they are the Vice-Chair of the Transportation CommitteeThis is not ok, Mr. Mayor.  THIS IS NOT OK.

Every Councillor.  Every traffic engineer.  Every city planner.  They should all be required to walk and cycle in the city.  In downtown.  In a suburb.  On an arterial road.  Through a busy intersection.  With a child.  With a senior.

I am disappointed in this city.  In some of its councillors.  No one seems to represent common sense.

Maybe Delcan can give me a report on their opinions.  But, I am tired of Delcan-based decision making.

I am not Green or Orange, Pink, Blue, Red or Magenta.

My opinions don’t follow party lines.  I am not a Communist.  Or a pinko.

Reading the comments on news sites makes me feel ill about the collective IQ of this city.

Downtown is not a thoroughfare or a speedway or a race track.  It’s a community.  Like yours.  And we’d like our neighbours to stay alive.  Please.

For 12 years, I never bothered being involved in cycling associations.  I just biked.

Now I know better.

Bob, you should ride a bike.  At least once.



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