road justice

October 13, 2010

road justice is the name of a website advocating against bike lane in Vancouver, and receiving full support of people whose believe the city is under cycling extremism and biking anarchy attack.

The deep cultural divide

To foster their cause, the advocates of roadjustice.ca have uploaded their site with some pictures and videos, which, whether they have been of better quality, could have been used as well as promotional material for bucolic cycling and pacified living style, when not used on cycle chic websites like the Vancouver cycle chic blog.

the top picture is used by roadjustice, to denounce how “unsafe” biking is, the bottom one is basically promotional material to demonstrate the opposite and promote cycling as part of the Parisian lifestyle (credit photo top, roadjustice.ca, bottom, Garcetti).

The screening of the Video linked by roadjustice.ca is not helping either.

The left video is used by roadjustice.ca to despise cycling practice in BC, the one on the right is to illustrate how heavy can be cycling in Montreal.

When the same material can be used to demonize cyclists on one side , and promote cycling on the other, cultural divide couldn’t be greater, and the roadjustice website highlight it to the caricaturist level.

There is somewhat some good news we can report from this website.

While the materials linked by roadjustice can effectively show cyclists exercising discretion rather than blindly abiding to traffic laws primarily designed for motor vehicles; unless you believe that the consequence of a misjudgement by a cyclist can have as dire consequence as the one by a truck driver, the site fails to show outright dangerous cyclist behavior.

In despite of its clear anti cyclist stand, wanting to make cycling as difficult as possible[1], roadjustice clearly fails to produce material backing its negative opinion of Vancouver cyclists. Instead, it help us to ponder what most vociferous cyclist opponents call “bad” cyclists to speak the less, and doing it provides a pretty positive light to the cyclist cause

Rogue behavior under helmet

On the motorist side, there is no lack of loutish behavior example, including from a well known Vancouver blogger, whose narration of his life behind the wheel is reminding us that road rage attitude targeting at cyclist like in this video recorded in Toronto can also happen in Vancouver.

It is not to say that rogue cyclists don’t exist, but in fact the videos below will show how tamed the average Vancouverite cyclist is in comparison of real rogue cyclists

.

Samples of alley cat races view from helmet camera, in London, New York, Paris and Stockolm. Not sure how the roadjustice website could call the cyclist behavior exhibited in those video?

The videos above, shooted during alley cat races, highlight effectively potentially dangerous and disrespectful cycling behavior. It is not that such events are not existing in Vancouver, but here, the level of cycling roguishness seems to be still a far cry of the one experimented in European capitals (special mention to London) or New York City.

Incidentally, in the above mentioned cities, other than Vancouver, helmet bike is a rare occurrence, and basically only extrem and rogue cyclists conscious of the dangerous nature of their riding style are wearing it.

It is like it we recognize them! …or the dilemma of the helmet law

The Vancouver’s dilemma is that, cyclists will be either

  • wearing an helmet, hence considered as a cyclist lout
  • not wearing an helmet, hence considered as a cyclist breaking the law

In the later category, made unlawfull in Vancouver, we will find cyclist who will be praised as fashionable, whenever in Toronto or elsewhere, to the point to be given as an example for our own city! [2]

That is the main reason, why anti cyclist folks are all for the controversial helmet law. In one way or another they can still despise cyclists with whatever name, and in Vancouver, thank to the legislator, they can enjoy good time at doing it, and roadjustice.ca just does that.


[1] The cyclist called “biker” to enforce its rogue status should have a license and insurance according to roadjustice.ca

[2] Bike Lanes: A qualified thumbs up, Harvey Enchin, Oct 5, 2010

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2 Responses to “road justice”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Nice post. It reminds me how much our society today “discusses” issues through media spin and barking and shuns the rational discussion of ideas.

    You’ve nicely shown how similar media can be spun to give totally different messages.


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