We always agreed with the healthy aspects of cycling and never thought much about bike lanes on city streets. That was until city council’s passion for cycling got carried away. They are spending millions of taxpayers’ money on restricted bike lanes and further tying up traffic. Are these people nuts?
You really have to wonder where the councillors think they are? Toronto has annual rainfall of about 831 mm and another 122 centimetres of snow. And the combination of snow, sleet and rain leaves damn few days each year to consider the joys of cycling. And as long as you are only going east-west, you are in luck because the north-south routes are all uphill.
One of my friends on council years ago used to take his bike down to city hall to be greeted by the news media. He never told the media that his driver put the bike in the trunk of the car for the trip home.
As a kid, biking around Toronto was a joy. Did we mention that we got a hand-me-down bicycle in 1948? For the next several summers, Toronto was ours to explore. From Swansea to Scarborough, from Forest Hill to the Beach, there were fewer people and few cars. The old streetcars of the era would always clang their bells at us if we wandered on to their rails.
But the city was growing. Did you know that today there are more than 4100 people per square kilometre in Toronto? There are now more that 2.6 million people in the city? And cars carrying commuters are not the enemy of cyclists. The enemies of all of us are the trucks, the delivery vans and the taxis. These people have their deliveries and time is precious to them. They are not the tourist gawkers and country cousins lost in the melee of traffic gridlock. The city depends on its commerce to survive. You cannot freight the goods for the Eaton Centre on the subway.
Somebody has to show some common sense. Those are supposed to be adults that the voters select for city council. You will have to ask them how many are riding their bikes to city hall in snow storms or cold driving rain? Even the city cops who ride bicycles in their short pants know when to park their bike. There is a time and place for bicycles. That is not year-round in Toronto.
Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry
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