As our regular readers are very well aware, Travis and I are fierce proponents of active transportation, and we have both discussed the topic on Obesity Panacea.
In an editorial I published in the Kingston Whig Standard last year, I discussed some of the difficulties and dangers of adopting active transportation.
Here is a brief excerpt:
Recently, the Canadian Medical Association released a policy statement recommending that “all sectors (government, business and the public) work together, as a matter of priority, to create a culture in their communities that supports and encourages active transportation.”
This policy statement is yet another attempt by the medical community to alleviate the growing rates of physical inactivity in Canada. Currently, three-quarters of Canadian adult men and women fail to meet the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and are thus deemed inactive.
Given that physical inactivity is a known contributor to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and multiple other health conditions, the health care cost of inactivity among Canadians approximates $4.3 billion each year.
Thus, in terms of personal health, the health of our community, and that of our overextended health care system, we all stand to gain much from adopting an active lifestyle.
One of the easiest ways to increase your level of daily physical activity is to use active modes of transportation, such as walking or cycling.Unfortunately, there is a lack of mutual respect between cyclists and motorists. Motorists perceive all cyclists to be untamed and reckless daredevils; meanwhile cyclists feel that many motorists are blood-thirsty cyclist hunters.
Since bicycles are legally considered to be equal to automobiles, cyclists must abide by all traffic regulations which apply to driving a car. On the other hand, motorists should understand the broad positive implications of active transportation by fellow members of the community, and encourage this activity by being courteous and accommodating to their pedaling peers.
Until mutual respect develops between cyclists and motorists, few Kingstonians will adopt habitual active transportation, no matter how many encouraging reports the medical community releases.
At another point, Travis wrote a plea to cyclists encouraging them to obey traffic laws.
In essence, both parties – cyclists and motorists – share in the blame for the all too common cycling accidents. Neither side gets very far by pointing fingers at the other party.
Unfortunately, that is the stance of Toronto’s Mayoral Candidate, Robert Ford – who, by the way, is currently ahead in the polls.
Check out this video below, which gives a good glimpse of his stance on public transportation. His thesis is: “Cyclists are a pain in the ass!”
Not to worry though, he later retracts his use of the word “ass”.
That is one class act! If you live in Toronto, and are a proponent of active transportation, you may want to think twice at the municipal elections in a couple of weeks.
Hat tip to Richard Larouche of Cyclo-Revolution for sending us the video.