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NEWS: John Tory continues anti-bike crusade on Eglinton

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John Tory continues his plan to be THE Anti-Bike mayoral candidate.  Everyone knows Rob Ford is, but Rob Ford is old news, and John Tory will flip and flop in whatever direction will get him votes… and he’s after “Ford Nation” votes.  Plus Nick Kouvalis is Tory’s lead strategist this time around.  You may remember him as the ass who tapped into the less-intelligent voters of Toronto last time round, getting Ford elected.

It doesn’t matter to Tory that he’s wrong.  That Eglinton Connects INCREASES traffic capacity.   He says what will give him votes.

Props to Olivia Chow and Karen Stintz for doing their homework on this project and supporting it.

The plan, known as Eglinton Connects, is related to the light-rail line being built under the midtown road. Buried transit will reduce the need for bus lanes, freeing up space and prompting a reassessment of how best to use the roadway. Among the ideas are separated bicycle lanes and expanded sidewalks. In some parts of Eglinton, where there is lower demand, there would be fewer lanes for vehicles.

John Tory, who was on hand in Nathan Phillips Square for the launch of Caribana, said he wouldn’t support any project that takes traffic lanes out of service.

“The [traffic] study says that it’s going to lead to an increase in traffic on residential streets off Eglinton of 10 per cent and I don’t buy into that,” he said. “I don’t think that the residential people who live in there are counting on that.”

Read More: Mayoral candidates divided on plan to make Eglinton more cyclist, pedestrian friendly – The Globe and Mail.

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NEWS: John Tory is now the Anti-Bike Candidate in the Mayoral Race

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Okay, Rob Ford will always be THE anti-bike candidate, but let’s just hope his support stays at 20% (in related news, 20% of Torontonians are on crack) and we don’t have to deal with him again.

John Tory’s campaign has come out against Olivia Chow’s plan to drastically increase bikelanes in Toronto, creating a Minimum Grid of infrastructure to help Torontonians get around the city by bike, safely.

Tory doesn’t understand that less people driving cars actually eases congestion…. but it’s really not a difficult concept.

A spokeswoman for John Tory, one of Ms. Chow’s main rivals, suggested that drivers cannot be inconvenienced by new bicycle infrastructure.

“John does not support anything that increases commute times for drivers,” Amanda Galbraith said in an e-mail. “John is in favour of building a network of separated bike lanes where it is practical, to ensure cyclists can safely travel throughout our city.”

More: Toronto mayoral race: Chow pledges 200 km of bike lanes – The Globe and Mail.

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On The Blogs: Rob Ford and Toronto’s Political Spectrum

http://bikingtoronto.com/michaelhollowayblog/2010/11/07/an-anti-cycling-mayor-rob-ford-does-not-a-council-make/Blogger Michael Holloway has an interesting post about the possibility that mayor-elect Rob Ford will take Toronto down the road from civic power to corporate power:

The over all strategy is to reduce government power in favour of corporate power, and this was made very evident on election night when the first words out of Fords face, after he knew he had won, weren’t the catch phrases he repeated consistently through the election run, but a brand new one, one very familiar to me:

“Toronto is now open for business, ladies and gentlemen!”

(The Globe and Mail 10 25 2010)

Read the full post on Michael Holloway’s Blog

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How To Deal with an Anti-Cycling Mayor?

Toronto is waking up this morning with an “Oh My Gawd, what have we done?” look on it’s face.

More people voted for noted anti-cyclist mayoral candidate Rob Ford than any other (but not the rest of them combined, it should be noted) yesterday, meaning that on Dec. 1st, he’ll become mayor.

Now that the campaign is over, it’ll be interesting how Toronto and the cycling community deal with the next 4 years.

Will the organized and political parts of the cycling community realize that, just like Ford has to build bridges with City Councillors, they have to build bridges with a Ford-run City Hall?

Or will they just devolve into the anarchistic behaviour of the more extreme factions of the cycling community?

What do you think is the best path?

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Your Guide to Voting in Toronto Today

How Bike-Friendly is your City Councillor?It feels as though the municipal election campaign has been going on forever, but we’re finally at Election Day.  Remember to get out there and vote.

Your City Councillors:

We put together a cool graph (to the right and below, click to enlarge) a few weeks ago that documents how bike-friendly a bunch of Councillors have been, according to how they’ve voted during the last 4 years.  Check to see if your Councillor is on there, and if you are happy with their record:

How Bike-Friendly is your City Councillor?

Your Mayor:

The Mayoral race gets the most attention… but remember that whoever wins… they are still only 1 vote out of 45 votes on Council.  The Mayor does not get free reign over city policies and funds.

Rob Ford is infamous for thinking that cycling is not a valid form of transportation.  He wants to keep bikelanes and paths to Hydro Corridors and Ravines.  To give him due credit, he *has* said that bikelanes “make sense downtown, where there are lots of cyclists”.

George Smitherman is a little bit more pro-bike than Rob Ford.  He has called for physically-separate bikelanes and a re-imagining of Toronto’s BikePlan to integrate it into public transit better.  He has called for a moratorium on new bikelanes until this “re-imagining” takes place.

Joe Pantalone is the most progressive of the 3 “front-runners”.  His policies basically are a continuation of the policies of Mayor Miller (Joe’s the Deputy Mayor, after all).  He says the current BikePlan can be finished by 2012, but considering that recent years have only seen 5-30 km installed per year, and there are hundreds and hundreds left to install, 2012 seems a tad ambitious, if not entirely fantasy.

If you’re like me, you’re also looking at how a potential Mayor will address issues like the less-fortunate, the arts, and public transit among other things.

BeautifulCity.ca has put together a handy chart that shows you how the 3 candidates rate on a bunch of progressive issues:

Your Guide to Voting in Toronto Today

Get out there and vote!

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