The dismantling of Toronto continues, sadly, with the Public Works Committee nixing plans for a beautiful cyclist and pedestrian bridge (above) meant to link Fort York to neighbourhoods and parks north of the rail corridor.
Even though financing for the bridge is already budgeted, Councillor David Shiner, a Rob Ford ally who subscribes to the school of thought that anything that doesn’t make life easier for car drivers is too expensive, no matter how much value it brings to a neighbourhood or the city:
The bridge, said Shiner (Ward 24, Willowdale), does not need to be so “fancy” given the city’s fiscal constraints and given that it will not carry many people.
“You want to connect the people there, but at what cost? I have a lot of concern that we’re so financially tight — just think about what that $23 million could do for bridge rehab, for road repair; think of the community centres it could fix up, of the children’s services and child care centres it could provide,” he said.
“I think it’s important to have a sober second look at this, and that’s all I’m trying to do. I definitely want to have a connection; I know how important it is to connect our pathways and our parks. But this is like a Golden Gate Bridge . . . it’s unaffordable.”
I bet if this was a bridge for CARS, Shiner would be fine with throwing $23 million or $230 million towards construction.