Vancouver Mayoral Candidate Attacks Bike Lanes … For the Moms!
Word to the wise: Do not try to use single moms to make your case against bike lanes — especially on Twitter.
Wai Young, a conservative candidate for Vancouver Mayor, learned that lesson the hard way last week, after Tweeting that bike lanes “discriminate” against single moms, seniors and other groups.
Bike Lanes are divisive and discriminatory. They discriminate against seniors, single Moms and many other groups. They are a private roadway system that have been built to benefit a very specific few in society. 1/3 #commonsense #vanpoli #VanElxn18 #Vancouver #coalitionvancouver
— Wai Young (@WaiYoung) September 5, 2018
The Tweet inspired a much-more popular series of responses. Including this :
Hey, I am a single mum. ??. Please do not speak for me. I don’t own a car. I cycle everywhere. Protected cycle infrastructure keeps me alive, so I can care for my kids. Thanks. pic.twitter.com/fMLKqvG2XH
— Moosycle (@MamaMoose_Be) September 12, 2018
— Peter Flax (@Pflax1) September 12, 2018
This line of attack reflects stereotypes about who bikes and who benefits from investments in cycling infrastructure. Men are more likely to bike than women — but in Vancouver, where a whopping 10 percent of residents bike to work, there are still a huge number of female cyclists.
An anti-bike lane group made the same argument in Seattle about a year ago and local moms had a field day.
Twitter feuds aside, Young is a pretty serious in her antagonism. The local news site, the Tyee, reports Wai spent 20 minutes at a recent campaign event talking about how horrible Vancouver is for drivers. Her plan? To blast cyclists and pedestrians with tickets until they learn “mutual respect.” She also wants to make street parking free on Sunday.
Her candidacy in Vancouver, that includes some other divisive remarks, has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump, the Vancouver Sun reports. But perhaps the more apt comparison is former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who harnessed suburban votes to win election as mayor of Canada’s largest city on an anti-urban platform that played on the same kinds of stereotypes and resentment Young is peddling. She is a former member of Canada’s House of Commons.