Car-free event illustrates Canadian tolerance and compromise

Dear editor,
Well, Car Free Sunday has now come and gone and those that supported it were probably quite pleased.

Dear editor,Well, Car Free Sunday has now come and gone and those that supported it were probably quite pleased. The weather, which looked like it would be ruinous, cleared at just the right time and allowed people to come out and celebrate streets, which for a short time were free of motorized vehicles. For these supporters it was a celebration in which for a while they were able to “take back” their streets and enjoy part of the public space from a fresh new perspective. For others it may have been something of an annoyance. It may have slowed down their travel to or from a destination.What right did this minority have to restrict their ability to travel freely on roads that they had paid for through their taxes?  In this respect it was like any strike or protest, an inconvenience of the majority by a minority.However, in another sense it allows all of us to reconsider issues and wonder perhaps why a group would wish to do this.Perhaps for those people who choose to cycle on a daily basis it was a chance to have their viewpoint recognized. They may feel marginalized when they are using public streets for cycling.My experience as a cyclist has been that the vast majority of car drivers go out of their way to move safely past me. I am also aware that there are times when I, through no fault of my own, cause them some delay in their day.Hopefully, an event like Car Free Sunday gives us a chance to consider other viewpoints and practise again the great Canadian qualities of tolerance and compromise. In a sense, the more cyclists in the valley, the better it is for all of us.It means that there are that many fewer cars on the road and that makes the commute for drivers faster and easier. It means that there will be more parking spaces available, and hopefully less speeding on residential streets, which certainly is a bonus for people living on those streets. It reminds us that many of these cyclists are making a big effort to improve our environment and it is hard to argue against that. They also provide us with an example of an activity that greatly improves our health and reduces the strain and costs on our health care system. Our streets are public places and as such they are owned by all of us and paid for by all taxpayers. Let’s celebrate our streets and keep them as “friendly” for all users as we possibly can.James Taylor,Comox

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