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Look at bigger picture

I have heard many complaints about the lake-to-lake bike route, but the one that seems to crop up a lot is that hardly anyone is using it, so it’s clearly a waste of money and we should not finish it.

That’s about as logical as stopping building a highway between two cities when it’s only 3/4 built, because "hardly anyone is using it.”

There is also this weird idea that it’s unfair to spend money to help cyclists when they don’t pay to use the road. This completely misses the reality that most cyclists also own cars.

I’m a car-driver, and a cyclist, and a pedestrian. We aren’t three separate groups. I will use the cycle route when it is complete, because it will give me a safe alternative to driving when I need to go to the south end of town.

Every person like me using the cycle route is one less car on the roads that day, one less parking space taken, one less vehicle in the queue at a junction, one less vehicle polluting the air, one less vehicle causing wear and tear on the roads. By giving us a safe option (note: cycle routes that are just painted lines on the road aren’t safe) it actually allows more vehicle space for those drivers who don’t have the option to cycle.

I do understand it can be frustrating when a city decides to spend your tax dollars on something you will never use, but that’s just how things work.

As an example, the city spends money on many facilities for children. I have no children, but I don’t complain because I understand there is a need and value that goes beyond my personal needs.

Well there’s a need to stop the seemingly never-ending growth in the number of vehicles on our roads. We simply don’t have the option to build more and bigger roads and more and bigger carparks.

A safe cycle route is one way to get more people out of their cars, so it answers a need and offers value in improved health for the cyclist and frees up space on the road and in carparks for those that have no option but to drive.

It’s time for the anti-bike route crowd to try to see the bigger picture.

Philip Solman



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