The Australian ran an anti-cyclist editorial this morning. We’ve freshened it up by replacing “cyclists” with “cars” (and a few other tweaks).

 

The menace of Chris Mitchell

The arrogant sense of entitlement in our inner cities is also evident in the ever-growing number of cars … clogging up lanes on our congested roadways.

The problem of cars reached their apogee in Melbourne this week when a cyclist was “doored” on busy Collins Street, after a passenger opened a taxi door and a rider crashed into it. Neither the taxi nor the cyclist could be deemed at fault …

For too long, authorities have bowed to the demands of selfish cars and their lobby groups. Truth is, our cities are dominated by cars because they are sprawling. We have no equivalent of a giant car park for 23 million people and should stop pretending we do.

 

People should be encouraged to cycle in our cities. Cycling reduces congestion, pollution and noise, is good for people’s health, and means less of our precious city space is turned over to car parks.

Our cities have been largely designed for cars, and that’s creating problems and conflicts as more people ride. Yes, many cyclists do the wrong thing at times, but that’s in part because the system doesn’t work for them. We need to overhaul our roads to encourage cycling and make it safer. This will take time and money and will cause frustration for motorists. And when the roads are altered to give them a fairer go, cyclists must stop cutting corners.

Common sense dictates that we can’t keep running a road system that incentivises millions of people to drive solo in 1.6 tonnes of metal, fired by fossil fuels, as they go about their daily business.

So we’re inviting Chris Mitchell to take a ride with us, to experience the joys and tribulations of cycling first-hand. We’ll even lend him a bike.

Peter Fray

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