Monday, June 28, 2010

Annual Critical Mass Post

I have one question for people on Critical Mass: what, exactly, are you protesting? What is your end goal with this movement? Because I've heard absolutely nothing consistent from any of the people involved with it, either on their website (a "reclamation of public space"), in the media ("protesting the use of environmentally damaging vehicles") or even directly from your mouths (when I tried to point out your idiocy... as I rode my bike in the other direction to make sure that I wasn't seen as part of your nonsense).

Firstly, what public space are you talking about, and who took it from you? As far as I know, all of the places that you're jamming up traffic on were never actually yours to begin with - they're roads. For vehicles. Built for vehicles. Now, if someone had taken a bike lane, and turned it into a road - great. Makes sense for you to get out and protest this. But in fact, in Vancouver, it's the other end of the spectrum - roads are being turned into bike lanes. Maybe what I should do is protest my loss of road space on the last Friday of every month, and just pull my car into the Burrad bike line - drive back and forth over it, and try to slow down your ridiculous protest as my own show of dissent.

Now, if you're complaining about the use of cars, then your logic becomes even more flawed. In order to protest the use of vehicles whose emissions damage the environment, you create a traffic jam so bad that all of these same vehicles sit there and idle, spewing even more toxins into the environment... I just don't get it. That's like the protestors of the Iraqi war shooting the civilians of Iraq once a month to voice their dissent with the conflict - the protest, in that moment, is actually worse than the situation itself.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. I don't care what you represent, you do not draw people to your side in a conflict by pissing people off. Take this case - I actually support increasing the available bike riding lanes, and encouraging people to get out of their cars - for many reasons. Furthermore, I ride my bike with a far degree of regularity. But every time I wind up sitting in my car while a bunch of bikes prevent me from getting where I need to go - I get further and further away from ever supporting or defending them for their actions.

If I had any idea what I was supporting or defending in the first place, mind you.

~Guy

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