Friday, March 23, 2007

Mayor Miller & The City back-peddle on the Bike Plan even further

From the "Plan" announced today
"Potential Action " -- Complete the Bikeway network by 2012 !
Also, get this: Number of times these words are mentioned in the plan ...
Cars: 5
Transit: 7
Bus: 25
Smog: 25
Subway: 1
Bicycle: 0
Bike: 1
Cycling: 0
Cyclist(s): 0
Bikeway: 1
Bike Lane(s): 0
Bike Route(s):0


Anonymous said...

Friday, March 23, 2007
Thunderhead Alliance Newsletter

It's far past time that those nice folks at Thunderhead stopped whining and learned to ride on the road with the rest of the adults.

I read this newsletter from TA, and for now, all I can think about is the utter self-centered attitude and near blindness of it. Iraq and Afghanistan are costing us, what, a billion dollars per day? We need more troops. The troops need more up-armored vehicles, and they CLEARLY need better medical care. Yet TA whines about the loss of bicycle facilities funding. There's a fundamental disconnect in their thinking, a lapse of ethics and ordinary human empathy that reveals a grasping, money-grubbing attitude that I find revolting.

This is a classic guns-or-butter situation when it comes to federal spending. We'd all like to ignore the enormous expense of fighting two wars. We'd prefer that 'the other guy' pay for it by cutting funds from HIS pet programs rather than ours. But the bottom line is that streets and highways benefit commerce far more than any bicycle facility. This is another harsh reality. Governments spend money on programs that enhance commerce because they contribute to the tax base. Bicycle facilities and programs don't do that, for the most part, so when crunch time arrives frivolous programs are the first to face the axe.

Regardless of my conviction that this war is illegal and immoral, we cannot simply cut off the funding and leave our own people more vulnerable. On my own, personal level, there's a clear ethical conflict. We cannot cut off funding because it would lead to more death and destruction, yet if we continue funding the war, it leads to more death and destruction.

But whining about spending cuts to bicycle programs is very far down my list of priorities.


Is it me or does that sound familiar. We've acknowledged we have a problem but as we are so autoperverted we can't see past it without considering some form of motorised transport the obvious solution is negated?


Anonymous said...

the joy of bicycle commuting


Anonymous said...

Two things: the Bike Plan isn't the answer eg. Bloor St. was left out due to the politricks of removing parking as the merchants will likely howl despite all the space atop the subway, and the subway, and there are some other projects that really will help bikes that aren't in the bike budget like the Simcoe St. tunnel.

Anonymous said...

Merchants want front door loading as the service laneways were built for smaller vehicles and inevitably neighbours monoplize the space for parking (in an antisocial manner as "they can and no one is stopping them"). Bloor is not a simple problem but the unwillingness to make the laneways tow away zones isn't improving matters. Detroits obsession with "longer, lower, wider" and extending it to service vehicles is similarly a problem. Inner city deliveries should be being done with smaller vehicles. Transport trucks backing up one way streets and taking the sidewalk to drop off two or three animal carcasses to a Roncesvalles butcher daily is an affront to the community. The merchant should be reamed for using a supplier who pulls stunts like that.
The Simcoe St tunnel may be a coup but if the transportation system and planning worked the Yonge, Bay York and Jarvis tunnels would all have bike lanes and aggressive motorists would be reamed for so much as suggesting committing car-assault. That said the parks budget for cycling infrastructure was bludgeoned. 200 m of trail pavement went missing with the storm of August 2005 on the Bata (part of the Don Network south of Edwards Gardens) and is yet to be replaced. Sand and bikechains are not happy neighbours so this is a fuck up for the many bicycle commuters who use this section. Just south of the Albion Rd crossing (not to be confused with the more southerly Albion underpass) the trail has been washed out to less than 1/2 its original width. Throughout the trail network pavement is deteriorated to the point groin injury is the norm. Halving that budget is more than a deferral of implementing resources; its a guarantee for sustaining the medical community.
Enough industry think! We must demand people think! People first! Caraholics should be placed in a mandatory program.

Tino said...

The plan to expand the bike lane network has the same impediments it's always had.

Peter Gorrie - Toronto Star