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11/03/2009: "A Perspective from England"
Excellent article I just found, from Chapman Central in UK, neatly confounding almost all of the inane and duplicitous anti-cycling arguments you often hear from motorheads. The references are specific to British law and tax structures, but those are similar enough to those of the rest of the First World's nations to serve as a broad perspective. A sample:
Cyclists, like pedestrians and horse riders, use the roads by right of way. Drivers use it under licence. Drivers bring almost all the danger to the situation, yet it is the cyclists who should apparently take the long way round on a path with a loose surface littered with broken glass and dog excrement. Excuse me if I don't show the proper gratitude for this provision. I ride fifteen miles a day, at an average of as close to 20mph as I can manage. I am better off with other vehicular traffic than mixed in with pedestrians. Even if there was a bike path going my way, which there isn't, the roads were there first and are perfectly satisfactory. Apart from the potholes, obviously.

I pay council tax and high-rate income tax, but almost never use the bike paths the council provides from that money - they are mostly shared use, and a bike moving at the kind of speeds I do has no place on the pavement. Shared use paths are also three times more dangerous than riding on the road. The additional cost of decent bike provision over and above the necessary provision for cars and pedestrians (including leisure paths) is, in any case, small, especially if done at the time of construction. And it's funded out of council tax, which of course I pay, as do most adult cyclists.
Read it all on Chapman Central

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