Wednesday, September 03, 2008

To explode a myth...

From one point of view, Jim Kenzie shoves the viewpoint of the entitled driver in my face so clearly and effectively that he ought to raise my blood pressure. But in the current cycling environment, I mainly feel a sense of relief when I read his most outrageous arguments. Because he clearly shows the real face of Ontario drivers, not the imaginary drivers we see held up as the opposite numbers of cyclists every day.

Which imaginary drivers? The perfect ones. The ones who would never break the law, the ones who react with hurt puzzlement whenever a cyclist fails to come to a full stop at a four-way stop sign, the ones who react with justified outrage whenever a cyclist blows a red light. Where do we find these drivers? If you believe what you read on the web, you can expect to find them just about everywhere.

Read Mr. Kenzie, on the other hand, and you get the reality of drivers in this province and this city. You get a clear picture of those who speed in public, in the city, and then justify their recklessness on the grounds that people don't use the streets for anything but driving, as though the lack of a lively street life had nothing to do with their behavior. You hear the voice of drivers who will accept no limits on the speed they drive. You see the arrogance of the drivers who demand that we take their disrespect for the law as votes for changing it. What you see in columns such as Mr. Kenzie's defence of speeding, we see on the street, up close and uncomfortably personal.

Update: I see I have a fair bit of company here.

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