Posted by: energyblogwalter | February 25, 2010

Re: Bike lanes an election winner for Rossi :: Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/771020–bike-lanes-an-election-winner-for-rossi#article

(email)
To Mr Hepburn and Letter to Editor;

Thanks for the good laugh. According to City of Toronto’s own statistics, the “Largest increase in utilitarian cycling (is) in (the) suburbs. Although Toronto-East York has the highest proportion of utilitarian cyclists, the largest increase has occurred in the suburbs: Etobicoke increased from 15% to 26%; North York increased from 11% to 25%; Scarborough increased from 14% to 22%. Also noted that cycling by adults had increased from 48% in 1999 to 54% in 2009.

This should be retitled “Bike lanes an election winner” denoting instead support in the population. Given this clear and obvious trend, a candidate who bridges the issue between cars and bikes fairly, not create a wedge, can win the election. Instead we read indignation, instigation and culpability in ignoring trends.

When Tory lost provincially, there too he thought better of democracy and of the trends, with inevitable results. In this case we have actual statistics which took all of 5 seconds to find from the city’s own toronto.ca/cycling website. Thus if Rossi pursues this issue as a wedge instead of a bridge his loss is more likely and not less so.

Given this data and its ease of finding, it’s difficult to accept the analysis here and highlights more a knee-jerk reaction to instigate fear rather than build, even grudging acceptance. This unfortunately speaks to a delusion of some drivers who think they own the road, when it is in fact shared by the city. The issue is safe cycling and accepting reality because there will be no new roads built, and outlets to reducing increased traffic must be enthusiastically embraced for the best positive outcome. But hey, that takes leadership and bridge building. Something that unfortunately neither Rossi nor this author can find as the underlying deeper cogent election issue.

With Best Regards,
Walter

P.S.
Sources:
City of Toronto website http://www.toronto.ca/cycling
Key Findings: http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/reports/pdf/2010-survey-backgrounder.pdf

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