Cyclists accuse Toronto mayor Ford of 'war on bikes'
I know this guy has been posted about before, but man…just gross.
For as much as we rant about Lukey, the one thing he does right is the support of Pittsburgh bicyclists.
“Swimming with the sharks” mentality, really? That sounds like something Pittsburgh suburbanites would say… yoi.
I’ve found that there’s two types of people who actually make comments like the “swimming with sharks” and are willing to make them to my cycling face.
There’s the type of people who don’t realize what they’ve said, are willing to engage in conversation with me, and afterwards get it a little better (never 100%, but a little better).
Then there’s the beings masquerading as people, complete with language and thumbs and bipedal locomotion, but who are not actually people. I suspect Toronto’s mayor is one of these.
Mayor Ford is your worst nightmare of a suburbanite in charge of a major Central Business District and trying to sic it to everything that doesn’t fit his idea of what “right” is. In essence, CBDs are the antithesis of what he considers right.
He’s also made a pretty strong try at eviscerating the city’s transit system, from what I’ve heard. Kinda like Corbett on steroids, I gather.
In a city like Toronto I don’t know how he thinks it would function after removing bike lanes and transit. They would have eternal grid lock.
Odd. Does anyone know how suburbs/villages/township and other suburb-type places do (or don’t) get incorporated into Canadian Cities?
IIRC, they do it way differently than in the US. If I recall correctly, the city limits of a place like Pittsburgh (only in Canada) would end up being bigger than the currently Allegheny county area.
Any one know?
@mick, courtesy of Wiki:
“In 1954, Etobicoke Township became a part of the newly-formed regional government, the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto (“Metro”). In 1967, the township of Etobicoke was merged with three small lakeside municipalities — the Village of Long Branch, the Town of New Toronto, and the Town of Mimico — to form the Borough of Etobicoke. The borough was reincorporated as a city in 1984. In 1998, six local municipalities (including Etobicoke) and the Metropolitan Toronto government merged to form the amalgamated city of Toronto.”
(Etobicoke is the where Toronto’s mayor is from).
@mick, again, and more to the question, from Wiki:
“Amalgamation occurred in 1998 when six municipalities comprising Metropolitan Toronto – East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York, and the former city of Toronto – and the regional municipality of Metro Toronto were dissolved and amalgamated into a single municipality called the City of Toronto (colloquially dubbed the “megacity”) by an act of the Government of Ontario. This created the current City of Toronto. The new City of Toronto became the fifth largest municipality in North America after amalgamation, trailing Mexico City, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
The merger was proposed as a cost-saving measure by the fiscally conservative provincial government under Mike Harris. By the year 2000, the new city realized savings of $136.2 million (CDN) per year from amalgamation, and had incurred one time costs from amalgamation totalling $275 million (CDN). However, in 2007, Barry Hertz reported in the conservative national newspaper National Post that cost savings never materialized. He also noted that government staff had grown, with the city employing 4,015 more people in 2007 than it did in 1998 Before amalgamation 73% of the expenses taken over by Toronto came from Metro Toronto, and were thus already integrated programs. Additionally, municipal affairs minister Al Leach touted it as a measure that would produce a stronger, more unified Toronto better equipped to compete in a global marketplace.
The amalgamation was widely opposed in Toronto and the other municipalities. This amalgamation was despite a municipal referendum in 1997 that was overwhelmingly against amalgamation, which resulted in over three quarters of voters rejecting amalgamation, with one third of eligible voters participating.”
So there would be a double-edged sword to the elimination of these dozens of micro municipalities in Pittsburgh that we often complain about – you get more suburbanites with sway over what happens in the city proper. Yikes again.
Man I just hope they don’t make Toronto suck, I used to love it there.
interesting related article via streetsblog: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2012/05/average-commute-lengths-in-toronto.html
although, i don’t think it’s as simple as US vs Canada, Mick… take a look at Houston.
“amalgamation” is a dirty word in most metro areas in Canada – for some reason people are dead set against it. In Victoria, it seems perceived loss of control over X (where X is a municipal service like PD, FD, schools, etc). It’s weird, because these “little micro municipalities” that they think of as completely different towns are actually super short walking distance from each other – indeed you could walk through two or three on your way to lunch without noticing or realizing you’d left “Victoria” except they aren’t considered “suburbs”. Like the distance through Frick Park from Edgewood to Squirrel Hill would be across 4 towns. Its so weird, I don’t really get it. They’re normally so polite about things, but somehow “amalgamation” discussions brings about heated opinions.
Frick Park from Edgewood to Squirrel Hill can be through four towns. Edgewood, Wilkinsburg, Swissvale, Pittsburgh. Each one has its own schools, taxes, police department, etc. Edgewood is < 1 square mile!
I’ve heard, though perhaps apocryphally, for years that the reason all the bars are on one side of Braddock Ave is that that’s the Swissvale side; the other side is Edgewood. Pretty sure Edgewood’s not dry, just a pain in the ass, but…
Also, it used to be possible to tell when you’d crossed from Swissvale into the city by the vast difference in the quality of the pavement.
it’s Wilkinsburg that is dry in terms of Regent Square area.
Allegheny County has 130 municipalities. Every now and then when the City and the County talk about “merging services” it sends a chill through the other 129 towns.
Many of these small towns enjoy improved services like public works and police than the city, and fear that if they were consumed by the city or the county they would not only lose local decision making authority over zoning, etc., but suffer from diminished services, like street repair, snow removal and police coverage, etc.
It’s a 1,000 pound gorilla, wrapped in a bow of “cost savings” that local municipalities will either be wrestling with soon, or will be brought to submission by.
What made the Toronto mayoral vote so contentious was that it pitted a candidate representing the interests of the center city against one representing the interests of the outer areas (Etobicoke being only one). The differences between them could not have been more clear, and like Bush-Gore in 2000, it was a hair’s-breadth finish, 51-49 or less, and having everything to do with voter turnout in the respective areas.
If we do a merger of outer areas with the city, that is the sort of future vote we might be looking at. I would rather the various outer areas merge with each other and not the city. My guess is that the city will emerge as the strongest municipality of any of them, come a generation from now. Why would it want poorer hangers-on?
If I recall, Nashville and Louisville have basically done the opposite–the center city and county have merged, but there are several towns and townships in both counties that have remained independent at least on the municipal level.
@stu – some municipalities feel that in a merger, it would be the city doing the sucking, and the smaller municipality the lesser for it. If I recall correctly, the city still has a huge money problem, and it seems these mergers are always proposed as a means to reduce costs – like Toronto was supposed to have.
Nashville is weird, and while I do really like Nashville in a lot of ways, its consolidation plan seems to have been a bad idea. It did indeed merge with Davidson County in the ’60s, to combat urban sprawl (lolz, that didn’t work too well—some probably-not-very-scientific rankings put Nashville first in urban sprawl among cities of its size). The “Metro (Nashville)” government is really the “Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County,” but then there are municipalities within the county that have varied degrees of autonomy. Some of them are actually incorporated and some of them are not… and some of the things that are officially separate towns just seem like neighborhoods, and some of the things that are officially neighborhoods seem like separate towns. It never made much sense to me when I lived there. (Wikipedia: Nashville / Davidson County / Nashville-Davidson (balance))
it’s Wilkinsburg that is dry in terms of Regent Square area.
Both Edgewood and Wilkinsburg have some sort of limit or ban on alcohol sales, however Root 174 asked Edgewood council for a liquor license and it was granted. They are now serving cocktails.
@ALMKLM – I was less thinking of the smaller municipalities merging with the city, and more with each other and the townships near them, such that we end up with 30 to 50 entities in the county instead of ~130. Same arguments, though.
“Many of these small towns enjoy improved services like public works and police than the city. . . “
Like how “amalgamation” turned out for the City of Allegheny in 1907.
Stu, I initially thought perhaps what you wanted was a ring of united suburbanites encircling the city… reading it sounded like “yeah, they can amalgamate their suburban-ness and lower costs without messing with the city…” but typing it just makes it sound like some kind of mass-HOA siege of the city, surrounding the metro area and forcing cul-de-sacs and strip malls on residents.
No, not that at all. I’ve been saying for years that the suburbs are doomed.
World petroleum production peaked in 2005-2007, yet world demand continues to increase and is likely to. When we get to $<insertTooBigToImagineNumberHere> per gallon gas, as seems likely, nobody is going to want to live out there, but at the same time the infrastructure built 1970-2000 starts to crumble. The city will have a growing population, while the ‘burbs will have steady to declining, hence tax rates will go up, exacerbating a circular pattern of too much to fix, too few to pay for the fixes, and those who are still there can’t afford to pay it because fuel costs are so high.
I’d wager we are already at that point, though it might take 5 to 10 years (or > $5/gallon gas) to wake people up.
Far and away, the ‘burbs are made up of “red state” folks who are wedded to their way of life and well into paying off their mortgages (and the farther out, the redder they are, and pay even more for fuel), and so have a vested interest in maintaining that status quo, at any cost.
Net effect of all this, they themselves will have to merge to stay alive, but who to merge with? Their pride will prevent them from joining the city, so they will join with whoever’s closest: Each other, and the possibly thriving little boros in their midst.
The ‘burbs have already started declining in population, some more than others, and the taxes in the 1st generation suburbs are already deemed “too high” (so they move farther out to where it’s “cheaper” in the exurbs). Just look at the number of people who would never consider crossing the county line back to Allegheny.
Then ask their children where they want to live. 99% of the time, it’s not “in the next cul-de-sac over! yeah!” It’s mostly either “in the city, where stuff actually HAPPENS” or “about 20 minutes down the road there’s this new development…”
World petroleum production peaked in 2005-2007
I’m not sure this is still correct. This page shows world production in 2008, 2010 and 2011 was higher than any year since 1980 (it only goes back that far), with the highest number being in 2011. (Click on Petroleum, then Production, Annual.)
Energy production being so cyclical, I think it’s pretty hard to tell when we’re really hitting a production peak, not just a plateau, but it looks like we’re not there yet.
@ steven Energy production being so cyclical, I think it’s pretty hard to tell when we’re really hitting a production peak, not just a plateau, but it looks like we’re not there yet.
I’m guessing that when we get past the plateau, gas prices will go up, perhaps rapidly, and not come down. And I dont’ think $4 or $6 gas is “up” worth mentioning.
Agreed. Look at inflation-adjusted gas prices over the past 60 years, and the very highest prices in that period, a few years ago, are only about 3 times the very lowest prices at any time in those same 60 years. Not a very large swing at all.
But when will we see a major price increase (like “for the third year in a row, gas prices have doubled”)? Part of it depends on technological advances, like the sort that led to Marcellus shale development, and good luck predicting the timing of future breakthroughs. And that’s hardly the only element we have basically no clue about. Energy prices could stay about the same for 2 years, or 20, or 200, given a breakthrough or discovery or two. Or not.
Unfortunately I don’t see higher oil prices reducing peoples energy consumption. They’ll just make ever nastier extraction methods more economically feasible such as tar sands, arctic drilling, mountaintop removal. As a species humans are filthy wasteful creatures that will burn the house down before switching off a light. Smile!
Anonymous 05/16/2012 at 12:56am #
What a sick loser that guy is. Sure makes Toronto look like some backwards city. I guess it is. Never knew they were like that in Canada. What a sad country.
Toronto isn’t backwards, yet. It’s horrifying to see this buffoon at the reigns of my favorite city.
There are dozens of Fords here in the U.S. Some are running cities, some states. Play the low tax tune and certain people will overlook almost all manner or incompetence.
The fact that he draws so much press in Canada indicates that he’s a bit of an anomaly. However, his election is part of a general, disturbing change in culture in our fair neighbor to the north.
I think make the assumption that suburbs are all “red state” folks” isn’t a correct assumption. I think it is entirely a generational thing. I am Definetly what you would probably consider a red state person, but I live in east liberty, in the city. I also feel I am not the only red state persone who rides or commutes to work by bike, but I have often wondered…
Anyway I agree that the suburbs will begin to decline after the generation or two before is gone. You get generations want to socialize and be around others.
@zjc2a – Yep. We tend to think of suburbs as the normal human living arrangement because that’s all most of us alive today have known. But they aren’t. The historical normal living arrangement for large numbers of humans for thousands of years has been the city.
Suburbs are an hisotrical aberration. They didn’t begin to develop seriously as a living arrangement till about 1850 in England, and 1945 after WW2 in the US. For various reasons, enough people became prosperous enough to afford the extra time, cost and expense of living in the hinterlands in one place and commuting to the place of your livelihood in another.
If/when that prosperity fades, so will the suburbs because people won’t be able to afford to live in them any more. Most likely they then will revert to the historical mean of traditional urban living.
For this reason I often say that we cyclists are just ahead of our time waiting for everyone else to catch up with us.
@ cdavey – Here in the US, the suburbs are almost always prosperous. Some other places, for example Paris, France, that is not true. In Paris the poverty and squalor is mostly in the suburbs.
Something my canadian family has been saying for a long time – if you want to see Canadian politics in 10 years, just look at the US.
Their current PM is very similar in ideology to GW back in early 2000’s (they had the Canadian Clinton while we were enjoying Bush II). I’m not sure they’re capable of having a TP movement comparable to ours, but they seem to be gearing up for it with this mayor. But it’s ok, because in 2018, they’ll elect a Visible Minority as PM, and s/he’ll fix it.
That, and our Center is their Right. Our Right is their Fringe Lunacy. Our Left is their Center, and their Left is all the Americans that left in frustration during Reagan and Bush II but didn’t want to learn another language.
> Look at inflation-adjusted gas prices
is that a good metric? if gas prices get high enough, they can drive the inflation rate along with them.
Because gas is volatile (see what I did there) it’s excluded from the most commonly used measure of inflation along with other forms of energy and food.
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