The individuals who have signed this letter met recently to discuss the theme of transportation in our city. We are a diverse group of people involved in all aspects of this issue who came together to help build a constructive consensus on this critical issue. We believe in transforming our city’s streets into livable spaces that function both as sustainable transportation routes as well as vibrant destinations. Complete Streets would bring us closer to Toronto’s stated goals of being green, clean, competitive and diverse.
We do not believe that there is a “war on the car.” The Complete Streets model strives to provide room for everyone including drivers, cyclists, transit riders and pedestrians. It’s simply about offering choice, and ensuring that everyone can travel safely. If there is a war, it’s just a war on old thinking. A war on inefficiency. A war on traffic. A war on pollution. Cities around the world are making this shift with great success, improving the quality of life for all of their citizens and their competitiveness as places to live, work and invest.
To describe transportation issues in Toronto as a conflict between drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians is a divisive approach that does our city a disservice and misses the whole point. There are not two Torontos, comprised of cyclists or drivers. In fact, statistics show us that those who own bicycles are more likely to own cars than those who do not. We are one Toronto. We drive, we ride and we walk. The goal of Complete Streets is to ensure that our streets are designed to safely accommodate all users.
This goal can be achieved by attracting more citizens into the process, turning neighbours into engaged informed advocates, and we are committed to working together collectively towards this goal.
We encourage all candidates to embrace this comprehensive and democratic approach to transportation, rather than perpetuating or encouraging a divisive framing that unnecessarily pits Torontonians against each other. We can only build a green Toronto if we all work together.
Jehad Aliweiwi • Executive Director, Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office
Yvonne Bambrick • Executive Director, Toronto Cyclists Union
Rahul Bhardwaj • President and CEO, Toronto Community Foundation
Matthew Blackett • Publisher and Creative Director, Spacing Magazine
David Crombie • Chair, Toronto Lands Corp.
David Crowley • Vice President, Halcrow Consulting Inc.
Julia Deans • CEO, Toronto City Summit Alliance
Susan Eng • Vice-President, Advocacy, CARP
Jane Farrow • Executive Director, Jane’s Walk
Luigi Ferrara • Director, School of Design at George Brown College
Adam Goddard • Composer
Eti Greenberg • Wellington Place Neighhbourhood Association
Ken Greenberg • Architect and urban designer
Paul Hess • Professor, Geography and Planning, U of T
Ed Levy • Senior Transportation Consultant and Transportation Engineer
Roberto Martella • Owner/operator, Grano Restaurant
Dave Meslin • Founder, Toronto Cyclists Union
Shawn Micallef • Senior Editor, Spacing Magazine
Eric Miller • Director, Cities Centre, U of T
Steve Munro • Transit Advocate
Gil Peñalosa • Executive Director, 8-80 cities
Dylan Reid • Co-chair, Toronto Pedestrian Committee
Nancy Smith Lea • Director, Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation, Clean Air Partnership
Adam Vaughan • City Councillor, Ward 20