Today the Jarvis Street bike lanes are being removed after a contentious fight over the return of the much-needed fifth, reversible lane of
parking traffic. We are not sure why parking meters have appeared on the side of Jarvis last week, but we are sure they won’t interfere with the incredibly critical fifth lane of parking traffic. The fifth lane of parking traffic is needed, Karen Stintz told us, so working moms in North Toronto could be with their kids. We get that. We need the fifth lane of parking traffic to keep Toronto moving. To keep Toronto’s economy going and Toronto’s moms with their kids for longer times, rather than stuck in parking traffic. The desperate need for this fifth lane of parking traffic has made us internationally famous. Toronto is on the map, and it’s moving again.
Perhaps the parking meters will somehow help the fifth lane move even faster. We don’t know, we’re not traffic engineers, we just don’t want moms blocked by
The battle was fierce, and there is still blood on the curbs fighting for the fifth lane of
parking traffic. It was a battle worth having. Worth all the political capital spent and worth, in fact, $1.3 million (as the local councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam points out, this civic exercise included a $950,000 environmental assessment for the bike lanes, $86,000 to install lanes, and now $275,000 to reinstall the very much needed middle lane of unencumbered, free-flowing parking traffic).
We at Spacing have used the appearance of these parking meters as an opportunity to honour the councillors who took courageous steps and went against their previous, misguided pro-bike lane statements. At a ceremony later this week, we will unveil now-covered parking meters dedicated to Josh Colle and Ana Bailão, for their leadership in these confusing times where it’s hard to know what lane to pick in the supermarket, let alone a busy street like Jarvis. Councillor Michelle Berardinetti, who was also one of the three to take a courageous stand, will have a traffic light named after her in her Scarborough ward, where bike lanes have already been removed on Birchmount & Pharmacy, so instead we will dedicate another of these surprise Jarvis parking meters to Councillor Jaye Robinson, for much ado about being an independent on Mayor Ford’s executive.
Three cheers for a liberated Jarvis! Never again will the fifth lane of
parking traffic be blocked. Remember the councillors who took these courageous, rebel stands in 2014.