I invite you to read and participate on a different approach to urban mobility presented at the newly created Transportation Toronto blog: transto.wordpress.com. This is a true balanced approach that aims to get improvements for transit riders, car and truck drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
For over 4 decades, the people of Toronto have been listening to the constant diatribe of the anti-car establishment about how to get people off their cars, instead of receiving sensible solutions in order to get them moving better. In the meantime, with more people moving into this city, roads are progressively going into a state of gridlock, which is not just slowing down commuting times, and delivery times, but it is also reducing business productivity times, leisure time, and family time.
Although we are still yet to see plans to improve Toronto’s road capacity, Torontonians felt that with the last change in administration at City Hall, the pendulum on transportation planning would swing back to a more sensible approach, since the Vehicle Registration Fee got killed (a tax created solely to punish car drivers), Transit City got replaced for a plan that aims to build subways, TTC was declared an essential service, and bicycle lanes began getting separated on thoroughfares. However, the anti-car establishment restarted making noise once they “perceived” that Mayor Ford was losing his influence on Council after the last 2012 budget debate. They are now trying to resuscitate Transit City, an eleventh-hour plan aimed to slow even more the movement on the streets, so they can show how a 22 km/h at-grade LRT would move faster than cars on a standstill.
Contrary to the anti-car movement, this blog will aim to prove the different arguments presented to the public discussion on transportation. Torontonians are tired of extravagant arguments, like when they are told that underground transit costs over half a billion dollars per kilometre (1.3 km of tunnels between Don Mills station and Consumers Rd. cannot cost over $1 billion), or when councillor Vaughan says, without showing the facts, things like: “Every capital dollar, every operating dollar for the next 50 years, every increase above and beyond today, goes into paying for Ford’s (subway) dream, it’s a nightmare” (http://www.torontosun.com/2012/02/02/critics-rail-on-sheppard-subway-report), or when councillor Perks says that Gordong Chong’s report on the Sheppard subway “isn’t about the future of transit. It is about making water flow uphill”, while he is arguing in favour of a “Transit City” plan that, ironically, aims to clog the arteries of this fine urban being called Toronto.
The Transportation Toronto blog was brought to the public debate so we can comment, discuss, and evaluate the different proposals and opinions that are pertaining to one of the most urgent issues for the livelihood of Toronto, the transportation issue. Tax payers, and Torontonians in general, should participate and get more involved in the decisions related to the improvement of our transportation infrastructure, so our representatives at City Hall can make more informed decisions. The end goal is that Torontonians would get a true and comprehensive transportation plan that will improve roads, transit, cycling routes, and pedestrian ways for all; and finally, to put it into practice.
Enjoy the reading. Yours sincerely,
Jose Ramon Gutierrez