Tuesday 26 October 2010

It could be worse...

... we could be living in Toronto.

Rob Ford has just been elected Mayor of Toronto. A man who, it seems, has made more knee-jerk, reactionary comments than he has had hot dinners.

Normally political activity in Canada holds very little interest for me, but Copenhagenize has a video link to his speech about cycling in Toronto

What he says is :

"What I compare bike lanes to is swimming with the sharks. Sooner or later you are going to get bitten. Every year we have dozens of people who get hit by cars or trucks. Well no wonder. Roads are built for buses..... cars....... and trucks. Not for people on bikes. My heart bleeds for them when I hear that someone gets killed. But it is their own fault at the end of the day"

Since Toronto was built in the 19th Century, it is unlikely (unless the city planners were very good at telling the future) that the roads were built for motorised transport. But this is a small point compared with the thrust of the argument that implies cyclists get what they deserve for messing around on Toronto's roads.

So, it could be worse. Although London's cycling infrastructure is often hopeless, at least local councils believe that cycling should form a part of our transport policy. Even if the funds and willpower to do something about it is sadly lacking.

So well done Rob Ford. For becoming Mayor of Toronto and for making me realise that it could all be so much worse...

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