Danger Zone Decarie

There are few place in Montreal that are a better example of a bike-path that causes everyone to question the priorities of the government.  The intersection of de Maisonneuve and Decarie is a problem by its design, which is forgivable because it was constructed before the rise of bike culture here, but the current state of the intersection is somewhat unforgivable, showing that the present municipal government either doesn’t care or lacks the vision and intelligence to implement a true solution to the problem. Continue reading Danger Zone Decarie

Taxis Are Not Environmental

080311crash4db140504-300x150

You ever really think about the place of the taxi in the public transportation cocktail?  That’s what they call it here, a cocktail, and they include taxis in it along side buses, bike-share, and car-share.

Being part of the cocktail implies that the service somehow contributes to the public good and is an environmentally friendly option to taking your car.  But really, there’s no difference between taking your car and a taxi when it comes to the environment, and it’s even possible that taxis are worse.

I think they might have been drinking when they lumped taxis with real public transportation alternatives because the more I think about it the more this cocktail starts to taste like a bacon martini.

Continue reading Taxis Are Not Environmental

Taking the Lane

The highway safety codes, generally everywhere, seem to stipulate that cyclist ride on the extreme right of the lane to allow cars to pass, but his often leads to unsafe passes, as shown in this video.

In an effort to prevent these situations, the common sense solution is to ride in the middle of the lane in order to prevent any passing at all.  However, for every common sense solution there is a driver without common sense to undermine your efforts.  In this case, taking the lane can have consequences that put you in just as much danger as riding to the extreme right.

Continue reading Taking the Lane

Grand Prix Montreal

Grand Prix weekend comes with its challenges for those who use the de Maisonneuve bike path from the West of Montreal.  As you can see in the following video, closing the bike path and moving cycle traffic to the other side of the road is a bit tedious and instigates a bit of bubbling rage at the idea that rich folks can adulate themselves in the glorification of excess while people who make decisions to create less impact are literally forced to step aside.

But there’s more this story than just that. Continue reading Grand Prix Montreal

Socialists and Libertarians Bicycling

The bicycle should be an unproblematic choice no matter what you political leanings are, but it seems most popular with people who are more to the left than the right.  This probably has to do with the perception of cycling, which has been co-opted by the left, but it has little to do with reality. People who decide to commute by bike can have both left and right wing motivations, or have strictly left or right wing motivations, but neither camp needs to claim exclusivity over the activity.  For example, my initial conversion to the bicycle was a financial decision (right-wing brain), but the more I rode, the more my motivations shifted to environmental considerations (left-wing brain).  So let’s take a look at why the bike is a unifying piece of technology for people of all political stripes.

Continue reading Socialists and Libertarians Bicycling