Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Planning to do nothing

I've often thought that city hall wants to turn Toronto in Beijing - a megacity where the roads are full of bicycles and people hanging onto the backs of buses. War has been declared on the car by the City of Toronto, even though our transit stinks (literally and figuratively), distances are great and it is fricking freezing half of the year.

Here is a statement buried deep in a City of Toronto report called "REDUCING CAR DEPENDENCE - Transportation Options for the City of Toronto" by the Transportation Planning Urban Development Services, City of Toronto (2001):

"Consistent with the overall objective of reducing auto dependency, there should only be limited plans for expanding the capacity of the City’s road system, particularly for peak period commuters."


There you have it folks - the people in charge of transportation don't believe in it, as if it was any surprise.

Transportation planning is only to benefit the bike-riding Sandalistas of Riverdale and College Street West, and not anyone who has to drag children, groceries or aged parents around the city. Toronto is only for the young and strong, who leave their loft-based consulting businesses to pedal from Starbucks to Starbucks.

I'm reminded of a quote by the Duke of Wellington when asked about the first street cars: "I don't approve of it. It encourages the lower classes to travel."