A lot of Torontonian’s would agree to the notion that newly elected Mayor Rob Ford rode a wave of discontent in to office, by stirring up public contempt and dissatisfaction against big easy targets like overspending and waste. Among the many populist positions he took to ride such waves of public opinion was the greatly trumped up “War on Cars”, and the enormous frustrations that most people in Toronto feel about our now infamously long commute times, and notoriously noxious and congested roadways. But aside from the fact that the downtown core was never laid out and designed to carry this much surface, much less subterranean, traffic…Why should we get bogged down in these wars of words and rhetoric, where motorists, and cyclists and perhaps someday even pedestrians get turned against each other…Often to just serve short term political ends.
It might seem obvious to take a more collective approach to solving traffic related issues, but before taking a slide down that slippery slope of self-interests, perhaps we could at least declare a truce in the War on Cars. Not with some egotistical remark from some individual politician or lowly blogger, but with just one more example of how truly ridiculous the entire notion (and election platform pillar) really is.
Toronto city Councillor Bill Saundercook has proposed that all of the city’s posted speed limits be reduced by 10 km/h with a bottom limit of 30 km/h as a response to traffic safety issues, and to appeal to the fears of pedestrians in the GTA
A more responsible approach would be to address the issue of jaywalking, and pedestrians who jump out into intersections to try and cross as lights are starting to change, however that would have been more akin to solving issues at their roots cause. Not something that is ever too popular in the political world, since not only does it create acrimony for singling out those who are truly at fault, but also it wastes an opportunity to take a more simplistic and popular approach to the issue. Therein lies the rub of trying to fix Society via politics!
Councillor Doug Holyday said the idea doesn’t make any sense to him but he wouldn’t be surprised if council adopted it.
“The nuttier it is, the better chance it probably has of gaining traction,” he said.
Saundercook is also proposing a pilot project near Union Station that would see speed limits reduced to 30 km/h, and pedestrian traffic controls removed.
“Make it a zone where any vehicles that are travelling in that area have to go 30 km/h or less and let the people cross the roads, making their judgement whether they can go in front or behind that vehicle,” Saundercook said, arguing it would reduce the large groups of traffic-clogging pedestrians crossing streets near Union Station.
So here we go again with short term “fixxes” to situations that don’t come even remotely close to addressing the root cause!
Fortunately, Toronto’s growing reputation as one of the worst metropolitain areas (in the World!) for traffic congestion and commuting times is providing more opportunities for journalists to publicize some genuinely good ideas, and possible solutions…All we need are for politicians to sit up and take notice if they can just see an opportunity to leverage a growing Public Opinion!
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The Toronto Sun