Treehugger contributor Lloyd Atler reports:

Every news show in town is leading with the story about a woman being in hospital with serious head injuries after being hit by a jerk on a bicycle who went through a red light, going the wrong way on a one way street. That is tragic and the 49 year old cyclist was given the maximum ticket. The Globe and Mail complains that it isn’t enough.

via The War On Bikes In Toronto Just Got A Poster Child : TreeHugger.

What bugs me is the way Atler went ahead and blogged about the comments and not the story behind the comments. This is basically the same thing as feeding the trolls. Pointless.

As cyclists we need to be up front about this. The accident – clearly the cyclists fault. The pedestrian – clearly the victim.

What is interesting though is the hate-fest for cyclists because of this one event. A cyclist hit a woman. All cyclists are to blame. A car hits a pedestrian? We don’t suddenly get on the hate wagon for drivers (some do but they’re singled out as the lunatic fringe). Why is this?

The same Globe and Mail story cited by Atler also finishes with the curious statistic:

According to city data, there were 1,035 cyclist collisions between January and September 2010 and only one fatality.

Alright. Is that a collision where bicycles were involved? Were at fault? With another cyclist? With a pedestrian?  With a car? And what about the same numbers for cars?  Can we have that? Perhaps but not from the Globe. We also can’t get these kinds of numbers from the National Post. The Post demonstrated a marvelously screwed up use of language on May 25th, 2011 when it wrote the following:

As Toronto gears up for a debate over physically separated bike lanes, new sobering statistics show the city has among the highest rate of cyclist collisions in the country.

The rate of pedestrians colliding with vehicles also tops a chart of major Canadian cities, according to recently released statistics by the city. Data for all cities was not available. (emphasis mine)

Wait. What? Pedestrians colliding with vehicles? Small point: pedestrian v. Car, pedestrian v. Cyclist, the pedestrian is never the one doing the colliding. They are collided with. Even if they walk into the path of an oncoming X; they get hit, they do not do the hitting. The Japanese have this sussed out already. In any collision, the larger vehicle is assumed to be at fault. The bigger you are the larger your responsibility to use the road in a manner that considers others smaller, slower, more fragile, than you.

Okay so we can’t get the numbers from the Globe or the Post. Not a surprise. The City numbers for 2010 are in a report you can get here. The number is car-bike collisions. In 2010 we had 1 fatality (of the cyclist).

At the risk of comparing un-like numbers the City of Toronto notes on its website: More than 2300 pedestrians are injured every year in traffic collisions (6 per day).

Can someone tell me where the car hate is? Why do we have blinders on to this kind of thing?

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