Hideouswhitenoise,Issue 29, Winter 1996
It has been an especially hard year for pedestrians and cyclists. Therehave been too many horrible accidents; people run down, crushed, headssmashed in, legs ripped off. All dead, maimed and crippled because of thosehorrible machines and their carbon burning engines.
By the time you read this article, more then seventy people will havedied because of the automobile in Metro. To get a up to date body countcheck out the front window of Police Headquarters at 40 College St. Thereis a display with the death count in big letters and a plea to buckle up.It makes them look like they are doing something, but they arenıt. Theywould rather park in a bike lane then do something about the number onekiller of youth in North America.
Its not just the police, it is everybody and it is everywhere. The policereact to the publicıs outrage. If the public is upset about dogs crappingin the park, they react, if cyclists are killed, they crack down on cyclists.They donıt take the initiative.
Automobiles kill. They kill more people in Metro than are murdered.You would think this number would push politicians into action, but theydonıt care because like everyone else, they are part of the problem. Automobilesproduce millions of pounds of pollution a year. The smog makes living inToronto, especially during the summer time, intolerable. A car runs a redat Dufferin and St. Clair, gets broadsided and plows into a bus shelterfilled with people. One dead, a mother crippled. The driver receives a$300.00 fine. Seven cyclists in Metro, five in Toronto alone are crushed,pulverized, run down. No charges are laid. No one gives a shit.
If any other product had killed so many people, it would have been takenoff the market a long time ago. Citizen groups would have been formed topressure government to change laws, like they did with cigarette smoking.You take one hit from a cigarette, you get dizzy. You take a hit from anautomobile, you get dead.
The addiction to the personal automobile is far more epidemic. The wholepopulation seems to be addicted and that is why no seems to think thereis a problem. Except for those who work outside all day, or choose to commuteby bicycle, or rollerblade, or walk. Government will do nothing about thesehorrible machines, so it is up to us.
You donıt have to write your elected official, but it would be nice.When your standing by, find out what ward you live in and phone the man.Demand a car free downtown. Demand enforced bike lanes.
Something you can do and its good for you is never give up your bike,do not give into the dark side. Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride yourbike. Walk, rollerblade anything but get into one of those stinking coffins.
And if you think that the fight is futile, if you think doing some ofthe above is a waste of time then just think of one thing. If ten yearsago someone would have told you that cigarette smoking in bars and restaurantswould be outlawed, you would have thought them crazy. But its happening.Anything is possible. And if you still donıt think its possible, then getlost punk, we donıt need your type around here.
If you have comments or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org