I’m writing in response to the request for word from one of the weekly bicycle protesters on the Upper Great Highway (UGH). I sincerely hope you talk to others who feel differently!
Full disclosure: I live on the Lower Great Highway (LGH). In addition to a car, I walk, bike, roller skate, scoot, you name it. This closure has been extremely detrimental to our neighborhood and yet our voices have been ignored and drowned out. We’ve been called liars, ‘pro-car’ people who don’t believe in climate change, etc. it has been very frustrating, especially when one wakes up one day during a pandemic to find that they don’t live next to a highway, but IN it.
Climate change is real and change MUST happen, and fast. However, closing a highway does not make the vehicles disappear. They’ve just moved into the neighborhood. Some of us have used car counters to get before-and-after car counts of the closure, to prove our point. Yet again, we are ignored.
These bike protests do nothing to help climate change. If anything, they cause a traffic jam that spews more pollutants into the air as cars idle. We’ve heard from people who are late to night shifts, late to a family emergency, and who have an 20 minutes added to their commute due to these protests. These are simply people who are trying to get to and from work and necessities and shouldn’t be tied up. At present, there is a compromise-use in play and that should be respected.
Real climate change solutions require more transportation options, the ability to live closer to work, greener transportation methods (think of grocery delivery trucks for example), etc., not forcing cars to idle in place or go through a residential neighborhood.
In any case, whatever side one is on, these “slow rides” do not help the environment, disrespect the compromise, and make every other bicyclist look bad.
Thank you for listening, and I hope you print all sides to the story.
Categories: letter to the editor