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Haei Ghiyaey, left, and David Toushek play a giant game of checkers as cyclist ride down a bike lane normally occupied by traffic on Danforth Avenue between Woodbine and Woodmount Avenues in Toronto on Aug. 23, 2019.J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Geared up

Re Is The War Against Bike Lanes Over? (Editorial, Oct. 4): Protected bike lanes are ideal and they should be the goal for future lanes. But do not underestimate the positive affect that a painted bike lane has for cyclists.

In the 1970s, I biked around Montreal where one felt like a target with no bike lanes. But even just a painted lane provides drivers with confidence in where cyclists will be, and cyclists with confidence in not mixing with cars. It is not a perfect solution, but it is much better than no lane.

In our climate, protected lanes are expensive and create problems for snow clearance in the winter. Most people will only bike between May and October because it is just too cold.

Our goal should be to have separated bike lanes, but they should only be installed when there are major road overhauls. Until then, painted lanes are an inexpensive solution that encourage cycling and save lives.

David Bell Toronto

The Globe and Mail’s editorial looks at Toronto, Vancouver, Amsterdam and other European cities and implies that more bike-lane policies should apply across Canada. But I see a fundamental difference between those cities and many others including Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and my home in Ottawa: winter.

Based on my observations here, bicycle traffic is very low for almost half the year. So why are we spending millions to provide an infrastructure that is largely unused? We are taking away left-turn lanes, right-turn lanes as well as normal lanes, all of which further snarls traffic.

And based on my observations as a pedestrian, police seem unwilling to ticket cyclists who ignore rules of the road such as red lights, stop signs and one-way streets. I suggest that the editorial be re-examined under the headline: “Is the war against public transit and other motorized vehicles over?”

Raymond Perrin Ottawa

While bike lanes allow cars and bikes to share the road, they do not absolve cyclists from sharing the rules of the road.

When cyclists blow through stop signs and crosswalks, and even surpass speed limits set for cars on the same road, they do not “make a city’s streets safer for all users – drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.“ Safety requires that all users of the road be held accountable for their actions, but cyclists lack the identification needed for that accountability.

I think that licensing bicycles could be a step toward ensuring our roads are being shared more responsibly.

Elizabeth Causton Victoria

When will there be an editorial on the rights of pedestrians? As a senior living in downtown Toronto, I can attest to the fact that cyclists and scooters are constantly riding on sidewalks.

I have been in a number of close calls with aggressive cyclists on sidewalks. It is quite scary for someone my age. I think that I am more likely to get hit by a bicycle or a scooter than by a car.

Something should be done. Is the law going to be enforced, by the police or others? Don’t we pedestrians have the right to feel safe on the sidewalk?

Doug Blair Toronto

Try riding a bike through downtown Toronto on streets replete with potholes and huge asphalt cracks. Or trying to move along Queen Street with replacement streetcar rails stacked up alongside existing tracks. Or Toronto Hydro protecting its trucks with traffic cones, leaving no room on the road for bikes.

Bike lanes, yes. Ability to navigate safely, no.

Bev Dywan Toronto

Re City’s Bike-share System Sees Pandemic Boost (Oct. 8): As a safety-conscious bicycle commuter for over 40 years, I read the article carefully to see if there was any mention of bike helmets. There was not.

Great as Toronto’s bike-share system is, the percentage of people I see riding these bikes with helmets is much lower than for other riders. I guess it is too much of an inconvenience to carry a helmet to and from a docking station.

Bill Roscoe Toronto

Down in the valley

Re Don Valley GO Train Project Draws Criticism (Oct. 4): There may be an impression that the parkland Metrolinx has chosen for a diesel train layover is a wasteland. While the Don Valley does house the Don Valley Parkway, Bayview Avenue and both active and disused rail tracks, it is also home to a surprising amount of wildlife.

The Brick Works site to the north has been restored to house native trees, shrubs and wildlife. The site slated for the layover has also been restored and is home to deer, foxes, coyotes, raptors, native and migratory birds, beavers, muskrats and spawning salmon (there are salmon-spotting tours on the Don River).

Nature survives in the Don Valley. Let’s not chase it away.

Shane Crompton Toronto

Here today

Re Mist Opportunity (Oct. 7): What a beautiful photo of people walking in Ottawa’s Dominion Arboretum. Enjoy it before large swaths of this national treasure are dug up for parking lots attached to the new Ottawa Hospital.

Marion Agnew Ottawa


Re Osorio Goal Lifts Canada Into A 1-1 Tie With Mexico In World Cup Qualifying Game (Online, Oct. 8): I am a soccer – football – fan. I am proud of the new Canadian team with high-class players such as Atiba Hutchinson, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Alphonso Davies and their excellent teammates.

After tying the United States, Canada has now also tied Mexico, a world-class team – and in Mexico! I am almost sure that Canada will be in the 2022 World Cup.

Turgut Hassan Southampton, Ont.

Where some men have gone before

Re Star Trek’s Shatner To Get Real-life Taste Of Space Aboard Blue Origin Capsule (Oct. 5): During humanity’s environmental struggles, the dream of Jeff Bezos is to explode who knows how much fuel and propel a handful of billionaires on a mission of self-gratification. Captain Kirk will beam up beyond obscenity.

Jerry Ames Vancouver

What will William Shatner miss on his trip to “space?” No Sulu to push the throttle to warp speed, no Uhura to communicate with alien life, no raised-eyebrow Spock to counter Kirk’s emotional impulses, no Scotty to save the ship from a broken warp core.

Instead, Mr. Shatner will get 10 minutes on a crewless, automated vessel that will parachute itself back silently to Earth. Yes, there might be a weightless somersault or two at the top, but where’s the fun in that when it’s all over in a couple of minutes?

Geoff Rytell Toronto

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