Home > Advocacy

This guy absolutely skewers the rubbish arguments by anti-bike lane agitators

Tom Flood lays out the reasons a road “pilot” should be cancelled

Main Street in Hamilton Ontario Photo by: Tom Flood

If you follow the never-ending debate about bike lane “pilot projects” then you’ve undoubtedly heard all sorts of bogus reasons why some folks find reasons to ditch them. Tom Flood, a popular bike advocate on Twitter who runs Rovélo Creative, just flipped the switch on the anti-bike people.

There was a noticeable increase in bike lane creation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as city administrators saw the uptick in cycling. People were using their bikes more for transit, as well as exercise, given that so many gyms and facilities were closed. Across the country, “temporary” bike lanes were created, with the notion that their future would be decided when the pandemic was over. Many of these projects were made permanent, but it was not without friction.

Robin Richardson: A fierce advocate for bike lanes in Toronto

People said they weren’t consulted, or that it slowed down emergency services. Or that cyclists don’t pay taxes, so why should they have their own dedicated lanes. (What?) Or that you can’t ride year-round in Canada, so why should roads be reduced to make way for bikes? (Also, what?)

“Pilot roads”

Flood posted a photo of a road, which appears to be Main Street in Hamilton, Ont. “It’s with a very heavy heart that we will be removing this pilot road, just not enough people driving on it. We encourage you to write an email to your councillor about future road opportunities. Please check our website for alternative car routes.”

As soon as he posted that, everyone knew the play. “Hi, I’m not personally from the area that this road is in but I’m against it on principle so I join the calls for its removal. Angrily. I might also propose a conspiracy theory for why it was installed in the first place!” Ian Foltan replied.

As Torontonians return to the office, some people are complaining about the new bike paths

“Total waste of taxpayers’ money speculatively creating this ‘highway’ when clearly all sensible people have voted with their feet or pedals,” Mark Gould chimed in.

Many have joked before about how often some arguments against cycling infrastructure begin with someone describing themselves as “avid cyclists” before absolutely ripping into bike lanes.

Those “avid drivers”

Michael Schnuerle got right into it, tweeting, “Even I, an avid driver, am against this protected car lane. Bikes should be allowed on this road too with cars, because I am personally comfortable driving my car with bicycles passing nearby.”

We’ve all that experience where a bike lane, separated from traffic, suddenly stops. Then, you may have to ride on busy street for a while, until the lane reappears. “Or at least sections of it—surely cars can dematerialize for a block and rematerialize when the road picks back up down the line,” bike everywhere posted.

“So unfair! More people would drive if there was a complete network of car lanes where you can go from A to B without ever having to get out of your car and walk it for a quarter of a mile!” motorisms tweeted.

And of course, the absolute coup de grâce was this beauty.

“Well, and if bicycles weren’t constantly parked in the lanes, it might actually be drivable!” Jenoir quipped.

You can read the whole thread here.