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Sharrow Hal

Either something’s happening, or it isn’t, but it’s been a heady couple weeks for Toronto’s one step forward, two steps back approach to becoming a more people-friendly city.

Witness the sharrow lanes on College Street, new pedestrian friendly zones, City Council’s approval of the BIXI public bicycle system, public toilets at Harbourfront and the tabling of the 3-foot bicycle passing law.

Photo by chewie2008~, from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Photo by chewie2008~, from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Imagine if boneheadedness hadn’t scrapped the University Ave. bike lane trial.

But, is it just me or does it seem like we are hodge-podging our way through some cool initiatives without really committing to them.  Lots of good ideas, but not enough of any.  It’s like we’ve gone to the shopping mall of nifty urban planning ideas and picked up a few things.

- One public toilet
- 1,000 public bikes (Montreal started with 3,000)
- Sharrows on one street
- Two pedestrian friendly zones

List done, let’s get sushi.

Is it just the way we do things in Toronto?  Rarely bold, never leading, cautious in every step.

Or maybe it’s like what Lock wrote in a comment on BikingToronto’s Pedestrian Friendly Zones blog post, it’s baby steps. It’s better to have a seemingly unfocused, spread-shot approach to making the city more people friendly than to have none.

Except for the University bike lanes embarrassment, the recent news is all very good.

But doesn’t it feel like we’re being teased?



Posted: May 20th, 2010
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