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City cycles in circles again

To the editor:

After reading Chris Benjamin's "Cycling in circles" (Oct. 30, Sustainable City), I began to rant and rave about how much bikers piss me off as a driver and how it clearly makes sense to commit money, all $1.4 million, to the protection of Metro Transit workers. I especially wanted to argue with the statement "it's almost impossible to grope a moving cyclist"---where I would begin to name the many ways a cyclist could, rather than being groped, be killed or injured by motorists. And don't get me started on educating drivers about bikes---maybe if cyclists realised they need to decide whether or not they are pedestrians or motorists and not hop all over the place, there would be less cyclist-related accidents. Don't think me too mean to be green. I make a large effort to make our planet greener---my family even hosted the first-ever Atlantic Earth Festival. But cyclists still piss me off on a daily basis.

However, the fact of the matter is yes, biking is better for everyone: the biker health-wise; the world climate-wise; and Chebucto Road traffic jam-wise. Not everyone feels for cyclists and part of the reason is because of the exact point this article was making: Halifax is not a cyclist-friendly city. That is why it is difficult for us drivers to mesh with them, because the roads are not made to accommodate them. I do not, however, think taking money away from buses is an appropriate argument. The fact of the matter is we live in a cold climate and when it's not cold, it's raining. Very few people are going to give up their warm and dry buses to hop on a bike every day. But many would bike more often if there was an option to do both, take the (now much safer) bus and bike (weather permitting). Halifax should become more accommodating for cyclists, but not at the expense of other environmentally friendly options. It should be a collaborative effort on the part of the HRM and municipal government as part of the attempt to make our region greener and more accommodating for our spandexed friends on two wheels.

By ---Jessie Hannah

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