Design editor Lloyd Alter of Tree Hugger sums up what is truly happening in the “sharing the road” adage that is so popular these days. As Lloyd recalls in this article in Mnn.com “Everyone hates everyone”. That is a pretty true statement and we have to do a better job and get that done now.
Lloyd Alter states “Unless we start planning now and figuring out how to share the space we have equitably, in 10 years it won’t be drivers hating pedestrians hating cyclists, It will be everybody hating old people. Because we will be everywhere.”
It really is not about a demographic time bomb of old people showing up on adult tricycles scooting along bike lanes. It is really about our discussion on why when talking about sharing space, we still pit pedestrians against cyclists, giving vehicular users a relatively free pass to the rest of the street without much discussion.
I wrote about the unfortunate bicycle crash that happened with City of Vancouver’s Transportation manager (and all around nice guy) Dale Bracewell who suffered a shattered elbow when a vehicle literally debiked him. Both Lloyd Alter and Dale quoted the just released study from Australia which suggests that many motorists don’t see cyclists as real people and vulnerable road users with as much right to the road space as they do. You can take a look at that study here.
If you have been a cyclist or a pedestrian in Australian cities you will know it is still a bit like the wild west, with vehicles having priority on streets, and state government at odds with the big cities who want to traffic calm on state run road networks and give pedestrians priority at signalized intersections.
Of course there are issues between cyclists and pedestrians as well.Read more »