When I rode to the Harbourfront the other day I noticed this sign – DISMOUNT – which immediately struck me as offensive. The font was unnecessarily large and militaristic and the combination of the all caps and the no bike logo seemed needlessly angry. The sign could have been much more polite: ‘Please dismount your bike’ or ‘Walk your bike.’
The ‘DISMOUNT’ sign made me think of the friendlier signage I saw in the Montreal subway system directing cyclist to use the first subway car. The spokes of the bike were defined with Vs (for vélo) that closely resemble hearts, a much more peaceful and positive way of portraying cyclists to the general public.
A sign can mean more than what it says. Something cities should think about when trying to encourage more bike friendly streets.