Congrats to Ontario NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo for first presenting her private member's bill last year about a three-foot passing law for cyclists, and doing the legwork that made it a centrepiece of the New Democrats' environmental platform released Thursday.
While I applaud the fact that so many of the media reports focused on the one-metere/three-foot passing law proposal, I was a bit surprised that the whole platform seemed to have been condensed to that one point. It is almost an attempt to dismissively reduce the platform to the "nuttiest" thing.
It was really disappointing to read that Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne, who has been a showcased speaker at two Ontario Bike Summits, and has been cast as a friend of cycling, seemed to dismiss the idea out of hand. And Kitchener-Waterloo Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer also dismissed the three-foot passing law, saying it was out of touch with rural Ontario. Yikes! It's the rural roads with gravel shoulders and no respect by motorists for speed limits where cycle tourists need the most protection. Sounds like Witmer is out of touch with cycling.
It's a challenge and an opportunity to raise issues like this at election time.