You can read about the newly announced plan here: Sadly people who ride don't factor in. Number of times these words appear in their new strategic document:
Bike lane: 0
Carbon tax: 5
Note: under transportation in their 2006 document the word 'Cycle' is mentioned once.
Joe from iBikeTO/BikingToronto wrote to the greens asking 'Hey, what about bikes?' Elizabeth May wrote right back to her credit: (full text below)
Many thanks for your praise of our work. I am very grateful.
Our platform has many places where bicycles are mentioned with
positive policies. We want to assist municipalities build more bike paths. We will promote riding bicycles for health promotion.
This is also in our platform:
"Walking and cycling. All bikes, bicycle gear, bike racks and showers will be tax deductible
and GST free. All federal staff will be given a cycling allowance
equal to the vehicle allowance. "
I look forward to seeing you sometime in Toronto!
Thanks for your interest,
"We will promote riding bicycles for health promotion." Nothing about promoting cycling as a means of transportation? Nothing about accepting and implementing the conclusions of the Provincial Coroner; W. J. Lucas, M.D., C.C.F.P.Regional Coroner for Toronto July 1, 1998 as outlined in http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/coroner_index.htm? Nothing about intercity cycling routes enabling cyclists to realistically accomplish intercity travel without being obligated to dodge HTA ignorant motorists? Nothing about educating motorists on cyclists entitlement to roadspace and safe passing?
Damn. Let down again.
very disappointing. h
Here's the letter I sent to Elizabeth May. I'll post the response if I get one.
Dear Ms. May
I've heard you speak live a few times in Toronto when you were leading the Sierra Club. I was pleased when you won the nomination to lead the Green Party. I guess I allowed my excitment to build unrealistic expectations because I was profoundly discouraged after reviewing the GP2.
Once again, there is no federal party that is willing to take cyclists seriously.
I know that the Canadian population thinks of cyclists only as people too poor to afford a car, freaks, a menace on the road and in the most extreme cases, targets to be struck down with their vehicles. [You may think I exaggerate the last point, but I have a police incident record documenting being threatened by a driver.]
The truth is that cycling may be the answer to a great many problems that the Green Party says it wants to tackle: air quality, personal health and global warming spring to mind. Yet your document is silent on the potentially important role that cycling could play. In fact, this is how your document breaks down in terms of word counts:
Bike lane: 0
Carbon tax: 5
Where are the following?:
- mandatatory requirement for urban centres of a certain size or larger for cycling infrastructure and public transit, with accompanying financial resources to assist with implementation;
- mandatory requirement for intercity transport companies, be it Via Rail, GO Transit or Greyhound, to accomodate bicycles;
- expansion of passenger rail service;
Do you realize that currently a cyclist is unable to get from Toronto to Hamilton with their bicycle? GO Trains to Hamilton only run during the hours when bicycles are prohibited on the trains. Bicycles are prohibited at all times on GO buses that run to Hamilton. And Via Rail doesn't run a train with a baggage car to Hamilton. Am I the only one who thinks there's something wrong with this picture?
While I think the Green Party's plan is a step in the right direction I urge you and your party members to address the very glaring hole in your policy paper.
I'll be watching with interest.
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