LETTER: Kudos to council for cycling initiatives

There is a lot of criticism, in this publication and elsewhere, of the City of Victoria’s actions to create bike lanes and now to provide bus passes for youth. I wish to salute and praise the council for their leadership and good governance. Keep making brave decisions to make our community better. I hope that other councils in the region follow your lead.

READ ALSO: Residents seek protected bike lane to connect Victoria and Oak Bay

In the past 80 years or so, our culture has devoted incredible resources so that cars can get around easily and have somewhere to park. Go to the corners of Douglas, Hillside and Government and look around. See the enormous amount of money and acres of precious land devoted making the lives of drivers easier and safer. Now look at the cars. How have we made use of these resources? Almost every car will have a single occupant. Tons of steel, acres of asphalt, so that we can have the outrageous luxury of being alone to quickly go about our day.

READ ALSO: Downtown Victoria businesses cite parking issues as top challenge

We’ve utterly squandered that luxury, ruining our home and killing hundreds in the process. I have no patience for complaints about the scant amount of money and land devoted by council to those who choose a healthier, less dangerous way to move around our community. Hooray for the fantastic bicycle and our amazing two feet. Council is finally recognizing that there is an entirely different way to function as a community. That way minimizes the role that cars play in our life.

To the complainers. First, get on a bike and see how awesome it is. Second, every parking space lost to a bicycle lane is more than made up for with increased traffic into the city by bicycle. We don’t need giant parking spaces. Third, every dollar spent on bus passes for youth frees up parking spaces while increasing traffic into downtown.

READ ALSO: Free transit passes coming for Victoria youth this fall

I would like council to take even greater actions to reduce the stranglehold that cars have on our community. Especially since the most dangerous thing in the downtown core isn’t a homeless person but a driver failing to yield to a walk signal.

Building on past projects council should: Build more bicycle lanes, protected or otherwise. Close more streets to cars. Government Street would be wonderful, but the end of Rockland is a great example. I have no doubt that there is other valuable land all over the city that could be given over to parks, perhaps even affordable housing. Direct the police force to spend more time policing the real danger in the downtown core – goofy drivers, including cyclists when necessary.

Joshua Craig

Esquimalt

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