McGill University in Montreal went car-free last May, which is a wonderful thing; not so wonderfully, they also went bike-free shortly thereafter. James at the Urban Country, who is fascinated by the North American fear of cyclists, quotes the supposed reason for the no-bike policy:
Q: Why can't pedestrians and mounted cyclists safely co-exist on campus? A: McGill has had a number of pedestrian injuries reported in recent years due to collisions with cyclists. Once pedestrians become accustomed to the reduced amount of vehicular traffic on campus, we believe the risk of such injuries would increase, should cyclists be permitted to circulate as in the past. McGill's primary concern is safety for all.James contacted an associate in the Netherlands to see if there was bike-on-pedestrian carnage in the streets.
Here it doesn't happen at all. Everyone is familiar with bikes, there's nothing odd about them, and no-one gets unduly upset. A cyclist is always expected not to collide with a pedestrian. However, having said that, pedestrians are expected to look before stepping onto a cycle path.James concludes:
Making bicycling illegal is not the solution, and it's quite sad that we are discouraging students from using bicycle. This is our future generation and we are telling them riding a bicycle is bad.Just another stupid rule that nobody will pay any attention to. More at the Urban Country