Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008 Predictions

Last year I scored 35% for my predictions.

Here are my predictions for 2008. Feel free to add yours to the comments.

1. There will be less than 15kms of bike lanes installed.
2. The Mayor will praise cycling during "Bike Month" but will ignore it for the rest of the year.
3. There will be an aberration in the average of number cyclists killed in Toronto. The crystal ball is not clear but let us hope that it means zero.
4. The new Bicycle Union will have a rough start but an event/incident will thrust it into the forefront sometime before the end of September. At which time it will prove it is a force to be reckoned with.
5. David Miller will cease being Mayor of Toronto.
6. Toronto, along with several other North American cities, will face a transportation crisis. There will not be enough mass transit available in face of a gas shortage.
7. An American will win the Tour de France. No one will really care much for the winner or the Tour.
8. A significant increase in the number of cyclists will be seen on Toronto roads. It will be hard to measure this one but a good indicator will be cyclists complaining about traffic jams. Not of cars but cyclists.
9. Toronto will face some of its worst ever smog days although the total number of smog days will be fewer.
10. The crystal ball still sees the demise of the Gardiner, especially the elevated section. The view is much clearer than last year.


Zach said...

I'm gonna say Leipheimer or Hincapie for number 7

Anonymous said...

Not really going out on a limb here, are ya Darren?

1. The city constantly paralyses itself on stuff like this
2. Like every year he's been in office, if he makes that far in to the the year, see 5.
3. Next time get waterford crystal. With more newbies means more short-term risk for them, but if they can stick out for a few years, it means lower collision risk for all road users where there are cyclists
4. Any new group almost always has a bit of a rough start, what will YOU do to help?
5. Will he retire suddenly, or resign his post out disgust of Queens Park's game? Or are you planning something to remove him from office (and can I help)?
6. Gas shortage, again? Those damn things are getting near common. We just had one a few day ago. I'd be more worried about a transit strike from GO or the TTC!
8. We can only hope! Every year there has been a few more cyclists, why would this year be any different?
9. Again, you're just counting on past trends here.
10. Uh huh. And do you think that Ottawa and/or Queens Park will come up with the money to accomplish the equivalent of Boston'e Big Dig? Right... And what do you think will go in it's place, beautiful public spaces, an active tranportation corridor, or more likely: infill development?

How about some BOLD guesses for the coming year!

Anonymous said...

I think you'll score 20%, number 2 and 8.

Tino said...

Darren will become famous for his book about CM in Toronto.

Darren said...

Anthony you have very valid criticisms though maybe the crystal ball deserves a bit of a break. It probably says a lot that it did not go "out on a limb". Probably pretty reflective of what happens year after year in Toronto with respect to cycling.

3. Newbies are not an issue. More often than not it is street mart experienced cyclists that are getting killed.

4. I think the Bike Union will have a horrendous task ahead of getting "legitimatized". Maybe more work than they expect.

5. I do not have to power to get Miller out of office nor do I argue with the crystal ball.

6. The question remains is can GO and the TTC handle it.

8. The increase in cycling facilities/acceptance by the public grows at a much smaller rate compared to the increase in the number of cyclists.

9. I think we are talking about rates that are beyond academic and more practical. At levels where it will have an immediate affect on people like it did years ago in Los Angeles.

10. More in line with what happened in Oakland, CA. A traffic accident takes a significant portion. The crystal ball is clear that the all levels of government are hamstrung when dealing with the Gardiner.

Anonymous said...


I'm going to eat my words. Many of your predictions are acually bold, even if negative, or based on guesses from past trends. I'm going to both respond to your comments, but also rate each prediction for it's boldness.

1. I really hope that you're prediction is short by at least 50km. New processes, new and renewed interest in and new and/or better organised groups like ibiketo, BTAC and TCU advocating for cyclists should make it politically much easier for the city to install more bike lanes. Bold prediction.

2. Cycling is not a priority for Mayor Miller. He has a long history of paying his annual lip service at Bike to work day, but seems to ignore cyclists the rest of the year. Miller himself admits to being a fearful city cyclist, and thefore can't easily empathise with many of us. Not bold at all.

3. Perhaps more experienced die while Cycling, like Ken Kifer who through no fault of his own was hit by a convicted drunk driver who was just released from jail and got drunk again and killed within hours of his release. Perhaps this is just because they end up putting more hours on the road. However, it is inexperienced cyclists are also the most likely to suffer injuries from a fall, and to make errors of judgement due to lack of experience. But there's a new push from the OPP to catch aggressive and drunk drivers to reduce the carnage. Some of that attitude will cary over to the City Police, and drivers might actually become a bit tamer. On the other hand, the city might provide refuge from the aggressive OPP causing the speed and aggression to be seen on the city streets instead of the highways. Or there might be no effect. I can see why your ball cannot be clear on this. My judgement is as unclear as your ball ;-) I want to give you bold for mention that this year will be anomoulous, but take off bold for not knowing which way it will go. Neutral for boldness.

4. I agree that the cyclists union will have a horendous time getting legitimized until it both has some momemtum behind it, but also on the quality of thye people that Mez can attract to participate. So what are you going to to be doing?
And I think that you are right, it will take an "event" for the group to get noticed, and you are right the most likely event will be an unfortunate incident. I just hope that it's a political blunder that is the incident, and does involve somebody's life of limb. Not a bold predition.

5. I wish Mayor Miller no harm. I just wish that cycling was a much higher priority for him. Your "Boldest" prediction in the list

6. We both know that the answer is no, they can't handle a rush like that. But if it is a fuel shortage, busses would be affected as well. And the trucking industry would be yelling bloody murder if the goverment tried to step in and give priority to Busses over Trucks for diesel. However, I will put you down for being bold for predicting a fuel shortage severe enough to put signifigant strain on public transit (TTC and/or GO).

7. I know that many, many people care deeply about their sports. But many don't. What with the scandals that have recently plagued cycling, fewer care overall about cycling. Not so bold.

8. Ironic, isn't it. Cyclists still have little social status, but we still do it anyway. And there are more of each year. But enough of us to complain about! Cool, I hope you're right. A reasonably bold prediction.

9. I hope not, but if it scares people into encouraging accepting and encouraging more cycling... No, I get affected by it too, and my asthmatic wife suffers terribly during days like that. No, too scary to consider. Now I'm just afraid you might be right! Bold prediction.

10. Ouch. You're proposing that at least a portion will be destroyed by a crash or some other mishap? I only hope not during the Annual Becel Ride on the Gardiner, as I plan on going with my family again this year. I'll mark this as a very bold prediction.

I think that you just like rubbing our noses in the Fact that Mayor Miller ignores cyclists except during Bike Week. And show your fustration with how little get done by the city with regards to bike lanes.

But overall you have actually made bold 6 predictions, two of which I think are extremely bold. 3 of these predictions I don't think are bold. And one neutral.

Darren, ou have done a good job with your predictions. I look forward to next year when we discuss how your predictions turned out!

But because of the many negative predictions you made I'm not sure how many I hope that your are right with.

Anonymous said...

Anthony, in terms of negative or positive, it is how you look at it. For instance, the Mayor leaving could be good for Toronto if he left to become PM... bad if he leaves under a cloud of suspicion.

The Gardiner destruction is similar. Good for the city as a whole, bad for those drivers having to get to work.

Anonymous said...

Personal bias aside, I was trying to rank how "bold" the predictions were, not if I thought they were good or bad.