14 April 2010

What the Toronto mayoral candidates have to say about the dedicated bike lane project on University ave

Yesterday the Toronto Sun published a short article of quotes by the mayoral candidates of their reaction to the proposed pilot project for dedicated bike lanes on University ave. Their reactions are not all that surprising and give a great sense of how each of them as mayor would deal with the "bike question" in Toronto.  In order of most supportive of the project to least:

Joe Pantalone: 
According to his executive assistant “Joe Pantalone strongly believes that cycling is an essential part of Toronto’s transpiration solution. He is reviewing the proposals from that perspective and will subsequently be commenting on the proposals.”

Sarah Thomson:
“I think there’s a safety issue. I think when you look at all of the ambulances coming in and out along University (Ave.) there, I really think (the protected lane) should go down the centre, the landscaping area along the centre, the boulevard ... I believe we need a bike lane there but I would prefer to see it in that centre area.”

George Smitherman:
“I say take a timeout on new bike lanes. Use the money to improve the existing ones, some of which are barely passable.”

Rob Ford:
“I can’t support something that’s going to congest traffic more than what it is ... I don’t mind trying it but I know it’s going to be a traffic nightmare. The people are going to be freaking right out. They’re going to be very upset.”

And, tied for last place:

Rocco Rossi:
“Pulling two lanes of University Avenue out of commission, particularly right now with our transit funding in doubt, is sheer madness. And there is a larger issue of democratic fairness here, too. Bike lanes on arterial roads have emerged as a major issue in this election campaign. I am calling on the mayor to acknowledge the basic rights of the people of Toronto to choose their own future.”

Giorgio Mammoliti:
“I can promise you this: When I’m the mayor of the City of Toronto, if they succeed with these bike lanes, I will take them down and that will be the first thing that I do ... All you’re going to do is create accidents. The agenda for the bike needs to be there but it is not going to take over the car. It’s not going to do it in this city. Not in this lifetime.”

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