From The Age. The executive summary of a very good article.
"Want to help the environment? Get on yer bike!
We should stop abusing the travellers on two wheels - they are a far lesser menace than drivers, writes Catherine Deveny.
……..I've had a gutful of "cyclists are a menace" comments. A car cuts them off? The driver is an idiot. A cyclist cuts them off? ALL cyclists are menaces and they should ALL be off the road and NONE OF THEM should be allowed to breed. Here's the truth: cars kill, injure, annoy, abuse, cut off and hassle far more cyclists than vice versa. And if you don't believe me, get on a bike……….I want to say thank you. To all the cyclists getting out there in the wind, and the cold, and the rain and pedalling to work, to school, to get about their daily business. They are cutting down on road congestion, helping the environment, freeing up parking spots and reducing their stress levels through both exercise and the financial bonus of a cheaper form of transport……….Many households could (and do) solve the "no time to exercise, can't afford a second car and no parking at work" equation with a bicycle. Others solve it by buying a second car that they can't afford; which contributes to the national debt and in turn inflation and then up goes the interest rates as well as our carbon emissions………Lay off the cyclists. They should be paid for commuting. We should be standing at the traffic lights handing them drinks and giving them towels when they arrive at work. The Government should be doing everything in its power to encourage and facilitate safe cycling in our glorious city………More good news. The British Medical Association found that the risk of inactivity is 20 times greater than the health risk posed by a potential accident on a bike……..Between 1974 and 2003, travel to school by car rose from 22.6 per cent to 70 per cent. Children being driven to school accounts for 18 per cent of peak hour traffic in Melbourne. We are constantly being told that children are getting fatter and driving cars is now the environmental equivalent to piping cigarette smoke into humidicribs….."