Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Is Cogtown our future?

Charles Komanoff has high hopes for Toronto. The New York-based "transportation activist" believes this city could set an example of bicycle use for the rest of North America.Like many Americans, and Canadians for that matter, Komanoff, who speaks at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Ave.), has a romantic view of this country."It is," he insists, "so much more civilized than the United States."No question, but that's not saying very much. Plenty of countries are more civilized than the U.S."Canada seems to embody the best of North America and Europe," he continues. "There's still some sense of social cohesion and civic connection. Besides, you've got to start somewhere."
What Komanoff wants is nothing less than a two-wheel revolution. In his vision of the future, mass cycling would become a genuine means of transportation. It's the only way out of the crisis brought on by our abject dependence on the car, he says.
"What's needed," Komanoff says, "is one city, one council, one body politic that will provide a model for the rest of North America. I'm hoping Toronto will be that model. The confluence of rising petrol prices, environmental degradation and the obesity epidemic dictates in favour of the bicycle."
(click on the link above for the full article in The Star today)

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