Monday, January 3, 2011

You’re Welcome Mr. Motorist

This is a recent article found on The Urban Country and reposted here with their permission. The Urban Country is an outstanding blog out of Canada worth adding to your list of blogs and feeds. I would like to thank them for allowing us the privilege reposting this article here.

You’re Welcome Mr. Motorist

You’re welcome Mr. Motorist. I’m happy that my mode of transportation has allowed more space on the road for you to get to your destination more efficiently.

One less car on the road to get in your way and increase congestion, right?

It’s my pleasure. It really is.

Remember the construction that was happening on your main commuting route last summer? I know, that was quite the drag.

You don’t need to thank me for putting very little wear and tear on our streets. I know it prolongs our roads and avoids those pesky construction delays, but don’t mention it. Seriously.

And oh those health care costs. Did you know that heart disease and strokes are two of the top three causes of death in Canada? In America, cardiovascular diseases and stroke cost an estimated $475.3 billion in 2009.

Isn’t it great that my commute helps keep me healthy so I can help reduce our health care costs? I would hate to be a burden on your pocketbook.

And how about those gas prices? Isn’t it wonderful that my bicycle doesn’t require gasoline? It’d be a shame if I contributed to increasing demand for fuel - driving gas prices even higher.

You don’t deserve that Mr. Driver. You deserve inexpensive fuel.

And what’s the deal with those downtown parking spaces? Those parking attendants are borderline criminal.

As if you don’t already pay enough for insurance, gasoline, repairs, registration, and maintenance for your car. Those parking guys want to charge you $20 a day to park your car? It’s criminal I tell ‘ya.

So it’s a good thing I’m not taking up those precious spaces. I’d hate for you to be late for a meeting while trying to find a parking spot for your car.

There’s no need to thank me for helping to pay for those free parking spaces at the local grocery store, either. I know, I know – that land wasn’t cheap for the grocery store to buy so that you could park your car there for free.

But I’m happy to do my part to subsidize those parking spaces for you – consider it a little gift from me to you.

Don’t bother thanking me for all the time I spend advocating for better bike infrastructure, either. I know, it will benefit both of us – it will keep me out ofyour way so you can get to your destination without being impeded by me, and it will also make me more predictable so you don’t have to be distracted by me while you’re on your phone. It’s a win-win situation, right? But no need to mention it, I’m cool with it.

You also don’t need to thank me for subsidizing the construction and maintenance of our city streets through the taxes that I pay. Yes, it’s true that less than 1% of those roadways that we both pay for are designed for bicycles, but that’s no fault of yours Mr. Driver, so no need to thank me for putting up with this.

It’s just one of those sacrifices that we as citizens make for each other – no need to thank me at all.

But I will ask one thing from you Mr. Motorist. It would be great if you could be a bit more cautious when you’re driving around me.

If you could do me that one favour, I’d be more grateful than you will ever know.

James D. Schwartz is the editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at [email protected].