One of the lines from this Guardian.co.uk video that struck me was,
“..anybody that knows anything about these schemes, is that, in order for it to work you need enough docking stations. In London at the moment there’s 316 compared to 1600 or something like that, in Paris.
“So it’s not going to work if there aren’t enough docking stations.”
So, take note city councilors looking to be elected – if we’re serious about this we need more Bixi bikes, more docking stations and a connected, safe, efficient bike lane network.
- from the Christopher Hume op-ed published in the Toronto Star.
I’ll quote again part of what Hume had to say,
“Rather than build a cycling network that would enable riders to reach all parts of the city, we have a hodge-podge of rules, regulations and lanes that probably make a bad situation worse.”
So, the gloves are off?
It’s about time.
I don’t see a friend of Mayor Miller’s Transit City plan amongst the Mayoral contenders in this falls election. I see no hope that the cyclist’s lot will be better in this city any time soon. In fact, I see quite the opposite – I see a rainbow of reaction to Transit City and all that it stands for – from every political colour.
Transit City is one of the first victims of the fiscal conservatism being championed by neo-liberals (like Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty) that are aimed at balancing budgets as tax revenues crash after the toxic assets financial meltdown of 2008 that resulted in 500,000 lost jobs in Ontario alone.
In the setting of this cities Mayoral campaign Transit City is something we can do locally to pursue a progressive agenda that could have an effect nationally on our economic viability over the long haul. Fiscal conservatism, or cutting stimulus spending to deal with the global economic collapse of 2008, in this writers opinion, is a recipe for a global depression.
In this election only Joe Pantalone is standing up for Transit City amongst this years flock of no-bodies running for Mayor. Because of his complete lack of TV ‘Q’, his non existent budget, and the campaigns lack of a social networking guru - it makes it highly unlikely he can win. (Those things can change through. Go to Joe Pantalone’s “MayorJoe” website to lend a hand.)
I see the shadow of a dark-age coming after this October election, an ignorant back-lash where bike lanes are removed for more car lanes, where perhaps a councilor suggests a Spadina Expressway. A place back in history where policy begins again to reflect an imaginary 1950′s advertising dystopia – full of shiny ostentatious cars, draped with goddess mommy/whores.
Representatives of this reactionary agenda, like Rocco Rossi and Tom Ford are accompanied by so-called ‘progressives’ like George Smitherman and Sarah Thomson, who bob and duck the issues – so as to not create enemies – rather than setting out a vision that will advance the tiny steps, timidly taken, by the current council.
I’m non-partisan in this post right-left political landscape. I stand for progress; and if that’s represented by a Liberal, a Tory or a New Democrat – that’s where I’ll put my vote.
In the new world order (read, post republic empire) as more and more industrial production moves to the far corners of the earth – this country, and especially this province’s good jobs of the future lay in super high efficient technology. It is based on a vision of Technology that revolutionizes industrial production, industry that mirrors nature – rather than rapes it. A mirror of the biological and chemical dialectic that is this biosphere, and that although we are far from understanding it - due to the great leaps in computational ability – we are on the verge of at least uncovering the extent of our ignorance. Coupled with our understanding of the causes of global warming, our acceptance of the nearing of the end of cheap oil, our increasing grasp of complex systems cognition and the great leaps forward in miniaturization – all point to a third way: The Super High Efficient Economy. This isn’t radical thinking, it’s the central plank of President Obama’s economic recovery strategy and it’s in part the thinking behind Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Wind Power project.
Future industry will have to mimic the processes that have evolved in this planet’s biosphere over the last 4 billion years. In order that we can sustain the kind of growth that seems necessary to a stable global economy, future industry will have to give back to Gaia as much as it takes.
This Industrial Renascence can begin with an investment in a hyper efficient transportation infrastructure. On the local level that can seen as Transit City, which envisions a multi-vectored approach to transportation – a small step – but in the right direction. To continue this project and begin to see some of the cost benefits, we need a visionary group of city councilors, and a Mayor, willing to take the small steps – like a connected, safe, efficient cycling network.
Leading this change will result in our, and our children’s, prosperity. Doing nothing will guarantee social chaos and poverty. Public works are a quick and effective way to jump start change by instituting high efficient technology standards we already have, with-in the obsolescence planning of our present infrastructure. As well, Government spending on development and utilization of already understood micro and nano-technology will create a ‘next generation’ of even more efficient economies with-in the greater economy that will then institutionalize across even more facets of the economy.
Going forward this process of constant re-newel and re-efficiency will become the natural order of the global economy through the processes of the free market (that works quite well – as long technological improvement sustains, and is subservient to, a democratic society).
Right now though, the governments are full of timid, fearful, go with the flow-ers, who are content to manage this dying economy – us and our children – all the way into our collective graves.
For example, a continuation of the regressive Federal tax, the GST – the regressive Homogenized Sales Tax (HST) will have cyclists pay as much as car drivers for infrastructure; yet receive pennies on the dollar in infrastructure compared to the technologically and economically obsolete internal combustion engine powered vehicles – while at the same time the cyclist does way more than their fair share towards the greater good.
These neo-conservatives have a vision so reactionary they have to keep it a secrete from us ‘knee-jerk reactionary liberals’ of the enlightenment. If the decisions reached by the G20 Summit,and championed by the Federal Tories and especially Stephen Harper are an indication, they’re agenda continues to be dangerous and reactionary; making the poor pay for the financial crisis of 2008 by cutting back badly needed social programs – while at the same time creating more tax loopholes for multinational corporations to avoid paying tax.
These people ideas are like dead dinosaurs: thick, black of spirit, and toxic to the community.
These are the philosophy of the Tom Ford’s and Rocco Rossi’s of this election.
Minneapolis Minnesota’s new Bike Sharing system is up and running this month.
Utne Readers’s associate editor Julie Hanus’s column ‘The Sweet Pursuit’ grabbed hold of Minnesota’s new BikeShare program, “NiceRide” that’s rolling out this month and gave it a good look. Entitled The Future of Biking, and oh, David Byrne!, thr article gives a nice overview of the program celebrated at a “Pint and Policy” public meeting last week in Minneapolis.
Below is the interactive map at Nice Ride Minneapolis. Notice it’s set up to keep riders informed going forward. I’ve opened a bubble that shows how many bikes are at each Bike Station. Stations that are “Out of Service” are marked in red.
Minneapolis Minnesota's 'Nice Ride' Bike Station Map
Your at the Blog - the Wiki is: "The Toronto/GTA Bicycle Route Mapping Wiki"
Click on the BikingToronto icon to go to this Blog's sister site"The Toronto/GTA Bicycle Route Mapping Wiki"
I manage two blogs here at BikingToronto: "@Blog_FreeWheel" and the "Toronto/GTA Bicycle Route Mapping Wiki". The Blog and the Wiki are two sides of a coin - the blog to discuss bicycle routes and the politics of bicycle routes - and the Mapping Wiki to publish bike route maps contributors and I have discovered to help city planners, cycling advocates and road users to choose and advocate for, safe and efficient cycling routes on Toronto's busy and dangerous car-centric infrastructure.