There is an interesting piece in the National Post about the local uproar over the need to provide helmets to those people using the Bixi bike sharing service in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
In recent weeks an Ottawa Citizen editorial and some Ottawa city councillors have raised concerns about people using Bixi bikes without helmets. It is worth noting that the helmet issue hasn’t stopped other major cities around the world from implementing bike sharing programs. The only exception could be Melbourne, where Australia's mandatory helmet laws meant that its bike sharing got off to a very slow start. One also has to wonder about city councillors nitpicking about how the local Bixi program should be run when Ottawa left the NCC holding the bag for initiating the entire Bixi bike sharing system in the region.
In addition to taking a few potshots at the Citizen editorial, the article in the National Post cites some studies which suggest that if Bixi riders have to wear helmets for safety reasons, then a stronger case could be made that pedestrians should also be wearing helmets. The article goes on to acknowledge that anyone suggesting that pedestrians should wear helmets would be laughed out of the room. It infers the same should be true for those suggesting that Bixi riders should wear helmets.
Click here for the article in the National Post.
Click here for a National Geographic article about bike sharing programs around the world.