Motorists vs cyclists?


This ‘explainer‘ about the road rules for cyclists was one of several articles about cycling published by the Canberra Times this week. The article argues that “relations between cyclists and motorists on Canberra roads can be some of the most vexed” and that “both sides accuse each other of hogging the road.” The familiar cyclists vs motorists discourse frames the correlative identities of the subject, instead of focusing on the activity being undertaken (for example, most cyclists also drive, and many motorists also engage in the activity of cycling).

Rather than focusing on the ‘vexed’ relations between the figure of the motorist and the cyclist, we should instead be focusing on what can be done to enable roads and other public spaces to be safely shared by those engaging in different activities such as driving, cycling, and walking. To date, the 200 comments on Facebook in response to the article are, for the most part, antagonistic and to a large extent reproduce the cyclist vs motorist framing of the debate.


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