I had an interesting experience the other day. I was stopped at a red light in one of Calgary’s much contested new bike lanes. There were some fellow cyclists across the intersection also patiently waiting, or so I thought. One individual stopped, looked both ways, looked around at his peers, and crossed the intersection, smirking at me as he rode by. He didn’t impede any traffic, however he did perform this maneuver in front of an audience of drivers. I mentioned as he passed that it was a red light. he acknowledged me, but didn’t care. That is what I have a problem with.
Pro-car supporters tend to paint cyclists and bike lanes with a very broad brush. The anger and disappointment that is directed at this man spills over to all the other cyclists waiting at that intersection. This enlightened individual took matters into his own hands and proceeded on his journey, oblivious of how his actions reflect poorly on the cycling community as a whole. Maybe not at that very moment, but bit by bit, the cycling community feels it in one way or another.
We task ourselves to be good ambassadors of the sport and culture. Give drivers the benefit of doubt that they aren’t wilfully endangering you unless it’s painfully obvious that they are(and they do…). Even if it is inconvenient, uphold the traffic laws. Until we have more clout at an infrastructure level, we need to do all we can to make as much change as possible.