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Dead Cyclists Always At Fault, Says Councillor Rob Ford

Ah, I kind of pity Rob Ford. He’s way out in Etobicoke-land… his braincells always under assault by carcinogen-laced car and truck exhaust…

From the Star, and picked up by BlogTO:

“I can’t support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.”

-Rob Ford, Toronto City Councilor

I’d like to invite Rob to check out archive of Toronto’s Weekly Carnage – it’s not just cyclists in there… most of it is other people in cars dying, and pedestrians dying. Using your logic it’s their fault they were killed because they were in a car, or going for a walk.

And for the record, roads have been around for FAR longer than cars have been. Thousands of years longer… the Roman Empire had a fantastic road system, and not one car! Not even a moped!

Even here in Toronto, roads pre-date cars.

  • Andrew

    That’s just a brutal comment.

    Isn’t this the guy that got loaded at a Leafs game, caused a public scene and then denied it afterward when someone complained to city hall?

  • Joe (BikingToronto)

    Yup, same guy.

  • Tuco

    Hmm. Doesn’t he realize that the reason cyclists get killed is because they’re on a road WITHOUT a bike lane? I.E. if there were more bike lanes there’d be fewer deaths?


  • geoffrey

    Could his comments not be considered as fomenting hatred against cyclists? ie. hate speech?

    Some are likely to consider his comments as endorsing vehicular assault and vehicular homicide when the target is cyclists.

  • Darren J

    I’m wondering seriously if he could be sued if a cyclist gets hit by a car, especially if the driver lives in his ward. He has a position with some authority, which should come with some responsibility. He’s giving the public entirely wrong information.

  • scruss

    Rob Ford looks like a bit of a chubster. Surely it’s his own fault if he has a coronary in a McDonalds ‘cos he didn’t ride a bike now and again …

  • Simon

    Rob Ford is not a genius of note. In fact I would describe him as a walking side of grade F ham.

    “It is very preventable,” he spouted in his typically bombastic fashion. “If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably, that’s bottom line.”

    His comments are not directly related, but his style is to shoot his mouth off regarding subjects he has no understanding of. I just can’t figure out how this slab of grease keeps getting elected to public office.

  • Andrew

    I live on Annette Street where we now have bike lanes. I can’t go out on my front porch anymore because of the car smog. Why so much smog? Well now with the nifty new bike lanes all of the car traffic is backed up in front of the house most days. And the bike lanes…well there are a few bikes going by, but there are very few cyclists using these bike lanes. And the car traffic, which used to flow past the house is now completely chocking the street.

    Ford is right – bike riders take huge risks riding on the busy streets of Toronto.

    If the bike lanes could be moved to less congested streets it may make a difference. Calling Ford names and dissing him on this forum could also be discribed as hate speech. Doesn’t help the discourse when someone who tells
    it like it is gets pummelled for his efforts. Guess what – most people in Toronto would agree with him!

  • Andrew… I don’t know what stretch of Annette you live on, but most of Annette hasn’t changed with bikelanes… it’s still 1 lane of traffic in each direction, which it was before bikelanes. What has changed is that there is less parking.

    Nice try trying to say that bikes cause pollution. Hilarious, and not accurate.

  • Andrew – I doubt there is a single cyclist on this forum who would disagree with the idea of taking secondary streets over busy streets *when decent alternatives are available*. But the fact of the matter is, in many cases decent alternatives are *not* available. At best, many residential streets are slow due to traffic calming efforts (alternating direction one-way streets, stop signs at each corner). Those scofflaw cyclists many complain about? The ones going the wrong way on the one way streets? They’re likely doing so for just the reason you point out – they feel uncomfortable on the direct alternative. And it gets worse the further from downtown you go. Try finding a secondary route to cross the 401. I’ll save you the trip to google maps: One’s on the Humber trail at the far west end of the city, the other’s at the far *east* end near the DVP. My commute, from Dufferin and College to Dufferin and Steeles would be 16.5 km by Dufferin Street if it weren’t a death trap because of its lack of a bike lane. The best alternative I could come up with (which still requires that I ride on St. Clair, Finch, and Dufferin north of Finch for a bit) is over 25 km. This is far from practical and clearly illustrates the fallacy that is the idea of a bike network constructed purely of secondary routes. It’s as much a fallacy as the idea of a “war on the car” in the same year that less than 1km of bike lanes was installed.

    This isn’t to say there are *no* secondary roads that work. Duplex is a nice alternative to Yonge, Feywood/Wilmington is a great alternative to the Allen Expressway, and I’m sure there are many others. But the idea that bike lanes should never be on arterial roads is severely flawed. In most cases, bike lanes aren’t even *necessary* on the secondary roads except, perhaps, if the city were to add a significant number of contra-flow lanes downtown

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  • Hilo

    Some cyclists are stupid but moast are not and it is not their fault but almoast always the cars or bad trafic managment by the city. Maybe physicaly seperated bike paths like they have in europe would help protect cyclists.

  • Andrew but not that Andrew

    Like the name suggests, I am not the same Andrew that commented above.

    Not really on topic, but I just wanted to say that it is embarrassing for me as a human, as an Ontarian and Canadian, as a person who tries to be informed about all things that I open my mouth about to discuss, to see Rob Ford elected as Mayor of the capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. Seriously, who voted for this guy? You should all be ashamed.

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