I’m fully on board with the idea that the Insidious Cycling Lobby needs to find ways to engage more constructively with Translink and Vancouver’s city hall.  But Kristen Thomson’s report on “Critical Manners” (ugh) makes its organizer, Jennifer Watkiss, sound like she’s less interested in constructive engagement than in whiny concern-trolling.  Watkiss doesn’t advocate for cyclists in any way in this piece.  There are five quotations from her, and every single one is just a put-down of Critical Mass.  Now, maybe that’s just the way Thomson wrote the piece, and maybe when she interviewed Watkiss, Watkiss had more interesting things to say.  I sure hope so.

But then there’s this:

“Who’s to say that one person’s form of transportation is better than someone else’s?” [CM organizer] Watkiss asked.

Okay.  In my business we have these things we call reasons.  Here are a couple that seem to bear on the issue at hand.

  • Bikes take up much less space on the road than cars, and thus cause much less congestion.
  • Bikes don’t pollute.

Of course, those reasons aren’t decisive.  The point is just that if you want to know “who’s to say” which forms of transportation are better, you might try transportation planners and climate scientists.  For starters.

The attitude on display here is so deeply off-putting that it makes me want to buy a bike just so I can ride in the next Critical Mass.  Seriously.

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