It’s not widely known that the Dutch didn’t always have their envious cycling infrastructure. Their cycle paths didn’t emerge from a pragmatic sensibility or sense of equity; it was a result of years of protest and advocacy work including a 1974 campaign called ‘Stop de Kindermoord’:
In 1971, deaths by motor vehicles reached record levels, with 3,300 people dead, 500 of whom were children.
One victim of road death at this time was the child of respected journalist Vic Langenhoff, a senior writer on national newspaper De Tijd, based in the south of the country. Langenhoff wrote a series of articles, the first of which used the dramatic headline ‘Stop de Kindermoord’ (Stop the Child Murder)…
How many children will have to be killed in Canada before we legislate that protected cycling infrastructure is included by default for every new road and made available on existing streets, whenever possible?
— Matt Galloway (@mattgallowaycbc) June 11, 2016
There are so many reasons why I advocate for better cycling infrastructure in Canada.
Better cycling infrastructure: supports healthier lifestyles, causes less pollution, helps local businesses, creates tourism opportunities, is more equitable to people of low income, makes communities accessible to those who can’t or no longer can drive cars and, of course, will save the lives of people we love and know in our community.
At the end of last month I had the pleasure of being a part of the Windsor Bike Summit and I learned so much about the shape of cycling advocacy today in Ontario and across Canada. There are remarkable developments in promoting cycling that are happening all around Windsor and to help bring these sort of developments to where I live, I became a member of Bike Windsor Essex, one of many cycling advocacy groups that you can find across the country.
In order to help others find their local cycling advocacy groups to join, or support, I created this national map of Canadian Cycling Advocacy Groups.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. We need to do more than wish if we want to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe on our streets.