John Forester is a "cycling transportation engineer" and the father of "vehicular cycling", the concept that cyclists are safest when they behave as a vehicle. Vehicular proponents tend to be vehemently against most bicycle infrastructure - bike lanes and paths - as opposed to the "facilitators" who are in favour of special infrastructure for cyclists.
Most people likely don't identify with either view since they don't see them as being mutually exclusive: cyclists need to learn some skill as well as be given infrastructure to make them feel more comfortable and safer on the road. Forester, however, takes an extremely negative view to any special favours for cyclists. It's interesting that Forester calls himself a cycling transportation engineer yet seems to never propose any actual unique cycling infrastructure. (It strikes us as similar to laissez-faire government - governing by not governing).
Darren of Toronto Cranks and I will be exploring Forester and his views over a few blog posts. We'll look at some of his central views such as:
- "cyclists fare best when they behave like regular traffic"
- the belief that education alone is needed
- no special treatment should be given to cyclists