Okay, this isn’t exactly a breaking news headline, I admit, (in fact, it could be called an understatement) but check out the latest anti-cycling installment from the weird world of Ootes-land, in the Beach-Riverdale-East York Town Crier:
Why does the Town Crier add “says report” when, in fact, the City of Toronto report says that the bike lanes had “little, if any, impact on traffic operations”?
A summary of the City’s report can be seen here.
As for slowing down cars, the biggest increase for car travel time was under a minute and this was only during the morning peak period. The rest of the increases were mere seconds. I think the best descriptor for this “increase” would be, negligible.
The lanes on Cosburn were installed in 2004 in spite of stiff opposition from Councillor Case Ootes. At the council meeting to approve the lanes, it was Ootes who moved a motion asking for a detailed report on the impact on traffic after the bike lanes are installed.
This is a tactic used by anti-bike Councillors to slow down the installation process.
This Map of Ward 29 shows the existing bike lane on Cosburn Avenue (solid red line) and proposed bike lanes (dashed red lines) to connect the bikeway network. (Dashed blue lines are proposed signed routes). Thanks to biketoronto.ca for the image.
So it would seem, since Councilllor Ootes didn’t get the report he was hoping for — that would be one showing utter chaos and mayhem caused by the bike lanes — he is now blatantly trying to have them removed.
The Town Crier reports:
Councillor Case Ootes wants to poll residents in the area around Broadview and Coxwell Aves to see if they are in favour of keeping the bike lanes or not.
His motion went to council in late July, but was deferred until the next council session in September.
Why wait for a poll? If you would like to tell Councillor Ootes what you think of his plan to remove the bike lanes, you can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . On the flip side, Councillor Paula Fletcher in the adjacent ward states the obvious and presents a voice of reason:
“It’s safer for pedestrians, kids and people on bikes.”
She said that bike lanes force cars to slow down, which makes it safer for everyone including students from Cosburn Middle School crossing the road.
But it is the slowing down of traffic that Ootes has a problem with.
“This is an attempt by left wing councillors to slow down traffic and force people out of cars,” he said.
“People won’t get out of their cars. It doesn’t happen. This isn’t that kind of city,” he said.
Finally, I think Fletcher should be congratulated for having the guts to counter hyberbole with hyberbole:
“If you are simply a slave to the car, why not remove all the bike lanes?”
Councillor Fletcher also points out that the lanes are part of the City’s overall bike plan to help people commute safely and promote cycling.