Friday, May 14, 2010

Toronto is a worse city for cyclists than it was when Mr. Miller took office

By Peter Kuitenbrouwer May 13, 2010 – 9:47 am
"I am as dumb-founded as other cyclists this morning to learn that city council late last night turned down a test of bike lanes on University Avenue, apparently after Councillor Paula Fletcher (Toronto-Danforth) apparently voted in error to kill an amendment that would permit the lanes.

Granted, it was late, after a long day at council, and Ms. Fletcher was tired, and all those amendments can make things very confusing. Still, Ms. Fletcher is not just any councillor. She is the head of the Parks and Environment Committee at City Hall, a member of the executive committee, and represents one of the densest wards in town, a ward that is lousy with cyclists. How could she do such a thing?

Ms. Fletcher looks forward to getting the University lanes through “in the new round of council.” Good luck with that: whoever becomes mayor, it does not look as though we will be getting a more pro-bike council than we had now.

Or maybe Ms. Fletcher is right. Much as Mayor David Miller came in on a green, forward-looking platform, he has proven a tepid supporter of cyclists at best, a far cry from such pro-bike visionaries as GĂ©rald Tremblay in Montreal and Michael Bloomberg in New York. Toronto is a worse city for cyclists than it was when Mr. Miller took office, with more traffic congestion and few new bike lanes of any significance. The Martin Goodman trail along the waterfront, meanwhile, is closed east of downtown for waterfront construction, and has not had its markings painted in a lot of years (on Cherry Street, where the bike path competes with a lot of big trucks, the bike markings are now invisible.)

Toronto’s cyclists are voters; the attempt by Newstalk 1010 to capitalize on this lightening-rod issue (by bringing in “FOR” and “AGAINST”signs to council this week, only to be turned away, because signs are banned at council) is one illustration of how seriously people take bike rights. The mayoral candidate who stands up for bicycles stands to gain a lot of votes."

The Vote Against The University Avenue Separated Bike Lane Project
5/12/2010 9:52:58 PM “PW32.9 - Hall” 15 yea+13 nay,carried,quorum
YES Ainslie YES Ashton YES Del Grande YES Fletcher YES Grimes YES Hall YES Holyday YES Kelly YES Lindsay Luby [Chair] YES Minnan-Wong YES Moeser YES Nunziata YES Palacio YES Parker YES Perruzza
NO Augimeri NO Davis NO De Baeremaeker NO Giambrone NO Heaps NO McConnell NO Mihevc NO Moscoe NO Pantalone NO Perks NO Rae NO Saundercook NO Vaughan

Note: Mayor Miller was absent watching the hockey game!

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1 comment:

hamish said...

WoW! What an inconvenient truth, and maybe we should thanks Mr. K, and NOT write off the National Post as a right-wing-nut rag eh?
There are a batch of issues with a lot of basic things in TO.