Sketchy the Clown would make a terrible mayor, especially for those of us you who have an unnatural fear of clowns. But the candidate does support Toronto’s cyclists. Doug Ford would also make a terrible mayor, and that is partly because he doesn’t really like bikes. Ford, the elder brother of our current ailing mayor, recently stunned the audience at his first mayoral debate when he said he would support separated bike lanes. But he also famously made homophobic comments last spring about how showers at the new cycling station at City Hall (which he opposes) would become a “bathhouse“ with “towel boys.”
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.”
Very weird… an entire Toronto Sun article about bikelanes and the columnist doesn’t talk crap about them. (but don’t read the comments. Never read the comments. Especially in the Sun).
It’s good that both Soknacki and Chow want bikelanes, but it seems that Chow is the only one that realizes that making a bikelane physically separate from car traffic does not have to spend a lot. There are cheap ways to make safe bikelanes. See my quick video about the Laurier Ave. bikelane in Ottawa. Flexi-bollards, modular curbs. Easy-peasy and economical.
Soknacki compared his own cycling plan he publicly presented in May to Chow’s, which was announced Friday. Both plans promise to build 200 kilometres of bike lanes in four years, but Soknacki said Chow’s is based on “unrealistic budgeting.”
“She plans to do this by ‘reallocating priorities within the existing budget for bike lanes’ and she would also add up to $1 million a year to the cycling capital budget,” Soknacki said in a statement. “If she plans to achieve the same goals with just over half the money, this can only means she intends to abandon entirely any plan for separated lanes – the kind of bike lanes drivers and cyclists really want.”
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.”
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!”