Yellow Stripes of DEATH!


Well, the stripes are usually yellow. I’m talking about the new “small business killers” Toronto Mayor David Miller is painting all over our roads throughout the city. Why “small business killers,” you ask? Because these bike lanes typically come at the cost of street parking, the lifeblood of mom & pop retail storefront operations. Who could have ever guessed that something so innocuous as a line of paint could be such a threat to the success of an entire city! What’s worse is that while the rest of the world is penny pinching in this disastrous recession, our Toronto Mayor is spending like a drunken sailor and supporting this reckless spending by taxing Torontonians into the poorhouse. These bike lanes are costing tax payers $70 million. Now here’s the rub: Out of the 12 months of the year, there’s maybe three to four months of bicycle riding weather. The rest of the time it’s either too hot and humid, too wet and rainy, or to cold and snowy. Another huge irony is that while our Mayor and his sycophant left-wing lapdogs are busy destroying the infrastructure in their war on cars, our provincial government is handing out grant money to car companies to produce electric cars, and more money to encourage consumers to buy them. The GM Volt is expected to get 230 miles a gallon. In five to ten years I think we’ll see a huge resurgence of the mighty car, one that is environmentally friendly, small, and inexpensive to operate, and everyone’s going to be driving them. In those same years, however, if Mayor Miller gets his way, the state of disrepair of our roads and highways will be even worse than they are already, and traffic congestion will be at an all time high. What’s really frustrating is none of it is necessary. It’s all due to the delusions of one man and his small club at Silly Hall. Nice job, Mayor. We’ll see you at the next election. Don’t let the door his your arse on the way out. Oh, and be sure to take Councilor Adam Vaughn with you.

By the way, I spent an hour at this location on a Sunday early afternoon and did not see one single bicycle in either direction using these dedicated lanes. Oh, and for the record, I’m a big fan of bike lanes, but only in cities that are not buried under ice and snow half the year and sweltering under oppressive humidity during the summer months (this summer being the exception).

Bet you didn’t think I could be so political, did you?   🙂   If you don’t happen to agree with me, don’t be shy about saying so. I appreciate there are always two sides to an argument and I’m a big boy and can take criticism.

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4 Responses to Yellow Stripes of DEATH!

  1. lynnwiles says:

    All I’ll say is Nice shot. Don’t want to get mixed up in Toronto politics, but can relate to the weather 🙂

  2. davecandoit says:

    Thanks. Yeah, it’s definitely a contentious topic. I like bike riding as much as the next guy and appreciate it as an environmentally friendly mode of transport, but I feel there’s a smart way to employ bike lanes in a city dependent on cars, and there’s a dumb way to do it. The dumb way is to assume everyone will sell their cars and travel everywhere by bicycle and public transit if you make driving onerous enough. It’s just not going to happen. We need a Mayor and Council that makes decisions based on reality, not on lofty, wishful thinking. At least that’s how I see it. Your mileage may vary.

  3. Vincent says:

    Saying that bike lanes are a “war on cars” is like saying parks are a “war on buildings”. People can still shop on bikes. Studies show that reducing auto traffic intensity IMPROVES business for small shops, no small shop does well that is on a highway. Paris, New York, London and yes, even northern cities like Copenhagen and Montreal are investing in cycling infrastructure far more than Toronto. It just makes sense, and it’s not an attack on cars, every time someone takes a bike instead of driving traffic is relieved a bit. Cars take up far more space.

    • davecandoit says:

      Thanks for your comment. Your comparison doesn’t make sense, since comparing parks to buildings is like comparing apples to oranges. Bikes and cars are both modes of transportation. Buildings and parks are both, um, completely different and totally not comparable.

      You also make the point that taking the bike relieves congestion, and you’d be right, if that’s what we’re talking about, but we are not. What we are talking about, specifically, is reducing four-lane roads (two lanes in each direction) down to two lane roads to accommodate rarely-used bike lanes. Now, if bikes were a year round mode of transportation, it might make sense. What you get instead, street parking issues aside, is far more congestion. One street in Toronto (Jarvis St) handles 56,000 cars and trucks a day during rush hours. It’s a major hub between downtown and uptown. Our Mayor is installing bike lanes and claims it will add only two minutes to rush hour drive time. That’s probably short by half (some say it’ll be more like 10 minutes). But let’s say he’s right. Those extra two minutes are, however, not “drive time” per say, since the road isn’t two minutes longer, right? No, what it is is two minutes of “stop and wait time,” due to added congestion. Let’s say the new bike lanes get 5% of people who presently use Jarvis out of their cars, which drops usage to 53,200 cars and trucks daily (in the winter, by the way, it won’t get anyone out of their cars). Now, as we know, cars produce the worst kind of pollution when they’re idling, not when they’re moving. Well, these bike lanes, by the Mayor’s own admission, will add 106,400 minutes of vehicle idling a day to that one road alone. That’s 1,773 hours of needless idling (443,250 hours a year, based only on week days). Wow! And that’s just on this one road.

      You also mention that one can shop with a bicycle, but here in Toronto there are at least five months of the year (not counting summer heat/humidity or all the rain days) where those bike lanes are being used to store road snow from the snow plows. In other words, no one’s riding bikes to the local shops in the winter. BUT, the much valued street parking is eliminated year round, regardless of the fact that bikes are not using the lanes year round. Get me? So what about those small businesses that rely on street parking? Do you honestly believe that they will see enough bicycle business to make up for the lost business that will simply drive to a mall with parking, especially during the winter months? Of course not. And that’s the point I was making.

      This isn’t about bicycles. It’s about bike lanes and their cost on business. While both topics are related, they are somewhat different too. Bicycles good. Bike lanes bad.

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