I was reading the Torontoist today, and I was re-directed to this article (by National Post writer Jacob Richler, ranting about traffic tickets). My thoughts are in parentheses:
“My regret is that the $2,000 or $3,000 I cough up each year to cover my parking fines before renewing my plates is just not enough ($2-3 grand on parking tickets?!? This guy must have a serious “high horse” complex if he thinks can park wherever the hell he wants, which is obviously the case). The city still needs more, but does not know where to get it. But I do. (I do too- it’s called a toll for motorists who want to drive into the dowtown core.)
The epiphany came to me yesterday in a blinding flash — or actually, in an irritating thud, when there I was, driving up Yonge Street minding my own business when suddenly a cyclist ran a stop sign and cut me off. Deciding in the generous spirit of spring to hit the brakes and spare his life, I also hit the horn and was greeted by the finger and then — as I pulled alongside — a bang on the roof. (Don’t honk your horn at cyclists, especially after the fact- it’s rude, unnecessary and it scares them because it’s loud- well, it scares me, anyways. Besides, the purpose of a horn is as a preventative warning, not an extension of your blithering voice.)
Cyclists. (Yeah, cyclists. You wanna make something of it?)
It’s tempting, I know, but one should not hate them just because they are the righteous vegans of the road (stereotyping asshole), freeloaders who use roads built on the hard-working backs of motorists (if I didn’t have to ride on your stinking, pot-hole pocked strip of gray matter, I wouldn’t), and who get around without contributing gas taxes (I don’t use any gas!!), or helping the local automotive industry(why would I want to do that?!?) or anything useful at all (except helping to decrease the amount of smog we all- including motorists- have to inhale, while getting a daily cardiovascular workout, both of which in turn help reduce health care costs). It’s tempting to hate them, but we shouldn’t. Instead, we should tax them (fine- tax us, but the money better go to bike routes).
I was just looking over the list of fines available for application to those little monsters on two wheels (why the unnecessary hostility?), and the unreaped possibilities are astounding. When’s the last time you saw a bicycle with ”improper bicycle lighting”? OK, the fine for that under the Ontario Highway Act is just $20 — $35 when you throw in court costs and the ”victim fine surcharge.” But when you get into ”improper brakes” or a ”defective horn,” we’re talking $85 — or $110 when all is said and done,” (those of us who are breaking cycling laws should be fined- for their own safety, though, not because you don’t like sharing the road).”
I understand why this guy is angry- one of us flipped him the bird and now his feelings are hurt- but does that really warrant space in a newspaper? I can see if he was writing in a journal… my feelings were hurt today… or say- a BLOG. But come on. Get over it.
Anyways- I’ve started riding my bike to work, so there are going to be lots of posts about cycling down King Street West.