Eastern Lake Ontario Environmental Research Group 2000 (cont'd from eloerg.tripod.com/waupoos)

Less is more on Bike Lanes, National Post, January 2018

Slide to Extinction, Chris Humphrey, letter to Globe, October 31, 2018
Peter Galbraith, FRCP, obituary, October 2017
White Pines on Death Bed, Bruce Bell, Intelligencer, July 17,2018
Thucydides Trap, letter to Globe, May 2018
Great Lakes toxics down, SUNY Oswego/Clarkson U, April 2018
Machine subversion of democracy, letter to Globe, April 2018
Air Pollution overrides Ancestral Genes, Globe, March 2018
Olympian Cathal Kelly, letter to Globe, March 2018
Environmentalists seeking unemployment, letter to Globe, February 2018
Less is more on Bike Lanes, National Post, January 2018
Tramadol, 10 years on, Globe and Mail, November 2017
White Stripes: Belleville bicycle lanes, letters, November 2017
Occupational Cancers, CCO research results, Globe and Mail, October 2017
Big Pharmoney and Canadian Drug Use Guidelines, Globe and Mail, June 21, 2017, Kelly Grant
Oxycontin, 20 years on, letter to Globe, May 2017
Lake Ontario wind turbines to remain on hold? Feb 2017
Obituary, Raold Serebrin, September 2016
Sartorial slip or signal? letter to Globe editor, October 2016
Weapons of mass distraction, letter to Globe editor, Oct 2016
Point O turbines 99% Down the Drain, CCSAGE, July 7, 2016
Point O turbines Dead and Damned, PECFN, July 6, 2016
Rabid diplomat, letter to Globe, May, 2016
More on bats: rabid rocker? letter to Globe, January 2016
Lighthouses of eastern Lake Ontario, new book by Marc Seguin, March 2016
Continuing corporate windpower malfeasance: Windstream and Trillium Corp, Feb 2016
Amherst Island: the next fine mess, Feb 2016
Valerie Langer: Thirty years of effort pays off on the B.C. coast, Feb 1,2016
Trillium log, 6th annual ELO expedtion, September 2015
Trillium Wind Corp intent on Spoliation of eastern Lake Ontario and Main Duck Isle, June 2015
Turtles rule? Ontario Court of Appeal Decision: Turtlegate, April 2015
Obituaries, Mary Terrance (Luke) Hill, January 2015; Valerie Ingrid (Hill) Kaldes, July 2015
Ontario Court of Appeal turtle hearing, December 2014
Trillium Log, 5th annual ELO expedition, September 2014
Planetary public health manifesto, The Lancet, March 2014
Ostrander Bioblitz, butterfly inventory walk, August 10, 2014
Victory at Cape Vincent: British Petroleum withdraws turbine proposal, February 2014
Stay of execution granted by Ontario Court of Appeal, March 2014
Never say die: Will the Court of Appeal let the Ostrander Phoenix fly free again? March 2014
Divisional Court ruling in Ostrander: turtles belly up, Trojan horses win, February 2014
Lafarge 2020, pushing the air envelope again, Hazardous waste as cement kiln fuel proposal, Jan2014
Another fine mess in Port Hope: municipal waste incinerator proposal, January 2014
Ostrander: fiasco, or snafu? you decide, December 2013
Ostrander rises again, Noli illegitimi carborundum, December 2013
British Petroleum backing off Cape Vincent after a decade of aggression? December 2013
Turbines best Bald Eagles in U.S law, December 2013
SARStock 10 years after, letter to editor, August 2003
Trillium log September 2013: Surfin' USA: Hanging Ten in a Hughes 29
ERT Post mortem: Garth Manning lets it all hang out, August 2013
ERT post mortem: Cheryl Anderson lets it all hang out, August 2013
ERT Post Mortem: Ian Dubin lets it all hang out, August 2013
Great Lakes United turns thirty, goes down, RIP GLU, July 29, 2013
ERT decision, Ostrander turns turtle, goes down, July 3, 2013
PECFN Thankyou, and Appeal for funds, July 6, 2013
Minister of Env on Lake Ontario Off shore wind turbine status, June 2013
Lake Ontario water level control plan, June 2013
Play by Play, Part II, APPEC Ostrander ERT Appeal, June 2013
Ostrander ERT June 2013, Appendix VI, an indirect cause of human morbidity and mortality ?
ELOERG Presentation to Ostrander ERT, Part II, Human Health, May 2013
The Dirty E-Word, Terry Sprague, Picton Gazette, April 2013
Toxics in Great Lakes Plastic Pollution, April 2013
Bill Evans on Birds and Wind farms, April 2013
Mayday, Naval Marine Archive, April 2013
Experimental Lakes Area, Kenora, Closing by Federal Gov't, March 2013
Fishing Lease Phase out on Prince Edward Point, March 2013
Windstream makes $1/2 Billion NAFTA claim, March 2013
Play by Play, PECFN Ostrander ERT Appeal, March 2013
Offshore Wind turbine moratorium 2 years later, The Star, Feb 2013
ELOERG ERT submission on Ostrander: Appendix V: Pushing the Envelope of the MoE SEV, Feb 2013
Wente on Wind and Bald Eagle mugging, Globe and Mail, February 2, 2013
Sprague on Wind and Bald Eagle mugging, Picton Gazette, Jan 25, 2013
Cry Me a River over a Few Bats: Submission to Env Review Tribunal, ELOERG, January 2013
Lake Ontario's Troubled Waters: U of Michigan GLEAM, January 2013
Letter to Minister of Environment re: Ostrander, January 2013
No Balm in Gilead: Ostrander IWT's as Trojan Horses, January 2013
Ostrander Turbines: another Christmas gift by the MoE, Dec 2012
Occupational carcinogens: Ontario Blue Collar breast cancer study, November 2012
Fresh water fish Extinctions, Scientific American,November 2012
Great Lakes Toxics revisited, November 2012
Frack the What ? November 2012
$ 2 1/4 Billion Trillium Power lawsuit knockback Appeal, November 2012
Canada Centre for Inland Waters decimated, October 2012
Birds, Bats, Turbines, and the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, October 2012
Ecological public health, the 21st centurys big idea? British MedicalJournal Sept1,2012
Trillium log, Sept 2012
George Prevost, Saviour of the Canadas, 1812 - 1814. June 2012
The Victory at Picton: Bicentennial Conference on War of 1812-1814, Differing Perspectives, May 2012
Carleton Island and the 1812, letter to the Globe, October 2011
Queen's Fine Arts Department Succumbs, letter to Principal, December 2011
Mr. Kumar and the Super 30, November 2011
Letters, Articles and Projects from the Nineties
Alban Goddard Hill, web site manager


Lawrence Solomon: Rip out the bike lanes before more innocent people get hurt
With their false promise of safety, bike lanes lure the inexperienced onto dangerous roads
Bike lanes can give cyclists a false sense of safety.Tony Caldwell

January 2, 2018

Cyclists are at high risk when they're on the road: accident rates per kilometer are 26 to 48 times higher for bikes than for automobiles, according to Ontario's Share the Road Cycling Coalition. The culprits are many, but three in particular stand out: careless motorists who are oblivious to those with whom they share the road, inexperienced cyclists who have no business being on the road, and reckless politicians and planners who build bike lanes as vanity projects.

Politicians promote bike lanes largely because inexperienced cyclists feel safer on them. Feeling safer, they are likelier to attempt commuting by bike. But there is a difference between feeling safer and being safer. Many if not most bike lanes increase the odds of an accident, particularly since inexperienced cyclists are ill-equipped to understand the hazards they face. Bike lanes, with their false promise of safety, lure the inexperienced onto roads, and some inevitably to their death.

With their false promise of safety, bike lanes lure the inexperienced onto dangerous roads

Over the decades, experienced cyclists and cycling advocacy organizations have often argued against dedicated cycling paths. In one study, the German Cyclists Union, ADFC, noted that cyclists in the Netherlands are involved in 40 per cent of all traffic accidents while accounting for only 27 per cent of travel, despite a proliferation of bicycle lanes; in Germany, which has far fewer bike lanes, the proportion of accidents was lower. The ADFC's position, like that of many others, is that cyclists who know what they are doing are safer in traffic among cars than in bike lanes alongside them.

That message is no longer a commonplace, however: Many cycling advocacy organizations are now captive to government funding and the cycling industry, which rightly understands that bicycle lanes benefit its bottom line. A case in point is the League of American Bicyclists, a venerable cycling NGO, which a decade ago purged its board of bike-lane dissenters and now more represents the interests of bicycle sellers and planners.

Lawrence Solomon: Ban the bike! How cities made a huge mistake in promoting cycling
Bicycles kill. How urban cycling policies made city streets more lethal
Lawrence Solomon: How road diets are making our car commutes even more painful

Unbundling the stats shows why, all else being equal,it is a no-brainer that cyclists should share the same lanes as motorized vehicles. Relatively few accidents occur when impatient motorists overtake slower-moving bicycles in their lane: just seven per cent of bike-car collisions occur this way.

In contrast, the overwhelming proportion of bike-car accidents ,89 per cent in one study, occur during turning or crossing, generally at intersections. If the bicycle is in its own lane, it faces additional threats from automobiles turning right across the bicycle lane.

An additional threat also occurs mid-block, at driveways, when autos pulling into traffic making left-hand turns must dart across the bike lane and the adjacent car lane to turn left into the far lane, requiring the driver to judge traffic coming from two directions in three lanes.

Put another way, by some measures, bike lanes make cycling safer in seven per cent of car-bike situations but more dangerous in 89 per cent. Not a good ratio.

Yet, because bike paths are fashionable, municipal politicians compete with each other to remake their cities as world-class cycling cities, often at great expense, to serve a small segment of the population (typically just one or two per cent of commuters cycle) that for the most part lacks the ability to ride safely.

According to the Bicycle Federation of America, fewer than five per cent of cyclists would qualify as experienced or highly skilled bicyclists. In effect, municipal cycling policy is being driven by cycling incompetents, leading to increased risks and limited freedom for the road-worthy cyclist since many jurisdictions with bike lanes require cyclists to keep off car lanes.

Cycling is serious, life-and-death business, and is becoming more so as cycling ridership expands. It should be treated as such: by licensing cyclists after they have learned the rules of the road and demonstrated their on-road competence, just as other vehicle owners must; by requiring their vehicles to be insured and roadworthy through headlamps, reflectors and brakes; and by strictly policing their behaviour. There is no substitute for cycling competence; competence reduces the cyclist accident rate by about 75 per cent, states John Forester, a leading American authority on cycling safety.

Cyclists are not alone in needing discipline. For them to share the road, those they are sharing it with motorists need discipline as well, to accept cyclists as equally entitled to the road. Police should crack down on unruly motorists, including those who display impatience at cyclists they perceive to be slowing them down.

Politicians and planners need discipline, too, to focus on real rather than perceived safety needs. Bike lane budgets should be redirected to safety at intersections, including through technology that identifies unfit motorists and enforcement that chastens them. 44 per cent of intersection accidents are caused by the driver's carelessness.

Because cycling is inherently more dangerous than driving, anyone who decides to cycle rather than drive faces an elevated risk. Bike-lane propaganda by politicians and planners won't reduce that risk. Education and enforcement, for cyclists and motorists alike, will.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute, a division of Energy Probe Research Foundation. LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com

Fourth in a series. For part one, click here.

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Eastern Lake Ontario Environmental Research Group