Who knows how many cameras are pointed at us as we walk, drive, shop, bus, bank, and do virtually every other activity in between? And who knows what the real effect will be of living in that kind of velvet panopticon?

There seems to be no end to the uses that cameras are put, especially by police and civic authorities who have figured out that both safety and the bottom line can be shored up by innovations such as red light cameras and speed on green cameras. Years ago I actually got a ticket for turning right off Jasper Ave onto 116 St without fulling stopping my car first. This is the non-blinking eye of the modern Cycops.

As an experiment, I have joined the watchers, recording my cycling commute from my bicycle handlebars, rolling as I roll. There is no way to raise money by fining the registered owners of the vehicles that commit small crimes against cycling. But I can try to raise some awareness, so the chain of these outrages is somehow broken!

Because cyclists don't have a lot of protection in the autopia in which we spin. Things like lane markers and traffic signs and awareness mean a lot. Maybe, when it comes to keeping metal away from pedal, everything. A protruding sideview mirror on a parked truck on narrow stretch of roadway is a risk not many motorists consider.

I accept the risk inherent in commuting by bike because I'd rather be the person who has the time to see the birds on the wire above Mountain Equipment Co-op on 102 Ave and think how they're like Morse Code dots and dashes, than the person the person who doesn't. And I know that some cyclists are jerks. But cars and trucks have great power, and with great power, we are told, comes great responsibility.

My only question is, can the car and truck drivers on 102 Ave downtown please understand that they are supposed to turn right (the signs, visible in the videos, are pretty clear) during morning and evening rush hour to keep the curb lane open for buses and taxis—and safe for cyclists who are allowed to continue through. In the video that follows, I have no issue with the particular drivers. I do have an issue with the behavior most of them share.

Exhibit #1, boo! (music by ABBA):

Exhibit #2, boo! (ditto):

Exhibit #3, bravo! (The Byrds):

And Exhibit #4, from today, boo! (Arcade Fire). The car that ignores the must-turn right lane in the shot goes on to blow through the next two, too:

And Exhibit #5 (Black Keys):

There may be a perception that city cyclists are carefree or have a death wish, but there are many who ride with an actuarial sensibility. Lengthening the odds of a collision means riding with discipline, within the rules. It would be welcomed if the curb lane gang woke up and steered clear.

Or that those with the power to ticket them got into place and made things a little safer for those on two wheels. 


Popular posts from this blog


Some Late Thoughts Listening To Wheat Kings

Three Things from Edmonton - Episode 46: minding the gap, talking the talk, reading the room