Fewer people might be buying cars in the U.S., but around the world, cars are selling in record numbers. In five years, there may be 2 billion on the road. At the same time, there are also more bike lanes than ever before.
As cities evolve, will more end up like Copenhagen—where 40% of people bike to work every day—or gridlocked Toronto, where Mayor Rob Ford tore up bike lanes in 2012? A new documentary called Bikes vs. Cars, premiering on March 15 at SXSW, takes on this question.
The removal of the Jarvis bike lanes in November 2012 was costly and disregarded the wishes of the residents and cyclists who protested the removal and demanded public consultation. The removal of these lanes damaged Toronto’s reputation on a national and international scale at a time when other cities were forging ahead with more bike lanes. In removing ours, we weakened the image of Toronto.
The timely “resurfacing” of the lane markings presents an opportunity to consider once again what’s at stake, before the road is repaved. Are the markers merely a reminder of a battle that cyclists lost with City Council almost two years ago? Or can a call for re-installation make the Jarvis bike lanes an official part of mayoral candidates’ bike plans?
Down at City Hall, they chase gravy trains and fight a war on (or for) the car—and show respect for certain areas of the city by promising their residents underground transit. At some point, it seems that politics in Toronto passed into the realm of almost pure symbolism. This is especially true in the case of the Jarvis Street bike lanes.
At a time when the world’s other major cities—New York, Chicago, Copenhagen, London—are rapidly installing pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and discouraging car travel, Rob Ford’s Toronto is instead removing a major bike route before the painted lines on the road have even had a chance to dry.
Read the full post: “The Jarvis bike lane is just the latest in City Hall’s symbolic struggles” on The GridTO .
Interesting viewpoint from the Toronto Standard on the whole Jarvis thing:
People are, of course, entitled to have an emotional response to political issues, and, in many ways, such a response is natural and to be expected. But by allowing emotional responses to dictate the nature of our political discourse, we create a false dichotomy between groups of people. Since its inception as a political issue, the Jarvis bike lane removal has been, almost exclusively, positioned as a debate between cyclists and drivers. In reality, however, the configuration of one of Toronto major arteries is something that affects all of us. After all, roads are the means by which all modes of transportation traverse a city — that is, pedestrians, public transit, cyclists, and, yes, cars all need access to roads to get anywhere. However, when someone claims that a mother’s commute became significantly longer due to a recently installed bike lane, or when someone sits down on a road to protest the removal of a bike lane, what they are doing, in effect, is asserting that their claim to a major road is somehow more legitimate than everyone else’s.
Read the full post: “Jarvis Bike Lane Debacle We Let Our Emotions Get the Better of Us” on Toronto Standard .
We need the fifth lane of
parkingtraffic to keep Toronto moving. To keep Toronto’s economy going and Toronto’s moms with their kids for longer times, rather than stuck in parking traffic. The desperate need for this fifth lane of parkingtraffic has made us internationally famous. Toronto is on the map, and it’s moving again.
Perhaps the parking meters will somehow help the fifth lane move even faster. We don’t know, we’re not traffic engineers, we just don’t want moms blocked by
Read the full post: “Parking meters appear on Jarvis — an opportunity to honour courageous city councillors” on Spacing Toronto .