Dodgeville

Random Wanderings and Wonderings

Posts tagged: politics

Pharmacy bike lanes gone but not forgotten

By , November 4, 2011

The bike lane was removed from Pharmacy Ave last month. As someone who rides regularly along Pharmacy as an alternative to Warden and Victoria Park, I think the city, driven by the misguided local councillor Michelle Berardinetti, made a big mistake taking it out. But what’s even worse than taking out the lane is the way that they did it. Before the bike lane was originally put in, Pharmacy was four lanes wide. When the bike lanes were painted, Pharmacy went from four lanes to…four lanes: two bike lanes and two vehicular lanes. The reconfiguration also allowed painting of a centre median and the creation of left-turn lanes at every intersection. So in places, there were actually five lanes.

When the city took out the bike lanes, it would have made sense to configure the street as it had been originally, with four traffic lanes and no turn lanes. Instead, they simply erased the bike markings, retained the centre striping, and reduced Pharmacy to a single lane in each direction. The current configuration has absolutely zero benefit to anyone over the configuration with bike lanes.

Confused, I emailed Councillor Berardinetti earlier this week to ask whether the road would be restored to four lanes or left as-is, and this was her reply:

Operation crews promised that the full restorative work would be complete by the end of this month. However, given the colder November nights and shortage of equipment, city staff are indicating that the work will now only be complete at the onset of spring.

Having said all that, we are all glad [Ed. note: actually, "we all" are not glad] that the lanes are going back to their original state but if the work could not be done at a single time, then they would have been better off leaving everything as was until the spring.

So the lanes were removed this fall for, really, no reason whatsoever.

In a followup email, I asked the councillor if she could recommend an alternative north-south cycling route to access the businesses on and around Eglinton. No answer yet. If she (or a staffer) took the time to look at a map to try to answer my question, she’d have seen that there is no such beast.

One less car here, one more car there

By , July 1, 2011

“(But) we need to change the direction the past has taken us in and go in the direction we need to go, which is less car.”

[Emphasis added.]

So sez Councillor John Parker, quoted in this week’s East York Mirror, positively glowing about a North York Community Council decision to deny a gas station redevelopment in Thorncliffe because it included a doughnut store drive-through. The same article also quotes/paraphrases Parker saying:

“But I don’t support this application. It is the best thinking of 1950s futurism” that envisioned everyone living in highrises and reliant on cars.

Wow. That’s the sound of a councillor clearly coming out against car dependence as a basis for planning. Unfortunately, this is the same Councillor John Parker who  just last week made a surprise motion to eliminate the Jarvis Street bike lanes without any real reason, but presumably just because he (or whichever of his City Hall bosses handed him the motion and told him to put his name on it) thinks that cars should take precedence over other considerations when it comes to planning.

So to summarize: cars in Thorncliffe, in his ward, bad. Cars on Jarvis, in someone else’s ward and on the way between his home and City Hall, good. Is it any wonder that politicians rank somewhere below personal injury lawyers, E. coli, and Lucy van Pelt holding a football on the trust scale?

If I knew then what I know now…

By , June 24, 2011

…I would have taken a picture of Rob Ford campaigning at the East York Canada Day Parade last year, where he was glad-handing the crowd instead of kicking back at the family cottage where he says he’s spent Canada Day for the last 30 years.

Granted, he could have gone up to the cottage after the parade, but his claim that July 1 is some sort of inviolable family cottage getaway is pretty tenuous.

Rob Oliphant: MP, tech trailblazer?

By , April 1, 2011

QR code on Rob Oliphant election sign

This is the first time I’ve spotted a QR code on an election sign, right down there in the bottom right corner. Rob Oliphant, Liberal candidate for Don Valley West, has them on all of his signs, though I haven’t seen them on the signs for other Liberal candidates. Are any other candidates around the city using QR codes? I was hoping that this one would be a direct link to Oliphant’s views on UBB, mobile competition, digital law, or something else that might be of particular interest to the kind of person who would use a QR code, but it just links to the main page of his web site. Still, kudos to him (or someone on his campaign team) for thinking to put the code on his signs.

Informed democracy

By , October 18, 2010

“Who are all these people on the ballot? I thought there were only five people running for mayor.”

“They’re just a bunch of random people who don’t have any chance of winning.”

— An ill-informed voter gets an equally ill-informed answer from a worker at Sunday’s advance poll.

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