Who to call & email to save the Jarvis bike lanes

With some information that’s rolled in over the past week, I’ve been able to update my projected City Council Scorecard for the vote on keeping or killing the Jarvis Street bike lanes that will take place at next week’s Council meeting.

Councillor Josh Matlow made us wait, but confirmed last night that he would not support removing the lanes. The other Josh — Councillor Colle — has also indicated in responses to email that he does not believe that the City should spend money to remove the existing bike lanes.

I’ve moved some 100% Ford-supporting councillors like Giorgio Mammoliti and Frances Nunziata into the kill-it category, despite that they both voted to implement the lanes two years ago. There was never really a chance that they would vote against the mayor.

That leaves a scorecard that looks like this:

This leaves us with 19 in favour of keeping the lanes, 18 opposed, with eight undecideds or uncommitted councillors. Of the undecideds, six lean toward the Ford Nation side of Council, with middle-skewing Ron Moeser joining them more often than not. My suspicious is that Councillor Ana Bailão is likely to vote in favour of keeping the lanes.

The Toronto Cyclists Union reported yesterday via their twitter account that Mayor Rob Ford has claimed that 70% of the calls he has received regarding Jarvis Street support his view to eliminate the lanes. This is despite numerous reports via Twitter and social media channels from those who have called the Mayor’s famous phone number — 416-397-FORD – who say they were not asked for their name nor was their position seemingly recorded.

Calling Ford is never necessarily a bad idea, but I think it is becoming increasingly clear that it is not an overly effective strategy on this issue. As far as I can tell, the phone calls the mayor talks about receiving have only ever hardened his stance on key issues. Dissenting voices are dismissed as a minority. Calling him is not going to make a significant difference on this issue.

For those who want to truly influence the vote — which is likely to take place this coming Wednesday — I’d urge you to contact the councillors who are still listed as uncommitted votes in the chart above. Particularly if you live in their ward. You can find their contact information on the City’s website.

And if anyone has received an email or message from any of the uncommitted councillors above that makes their intentions clear, please let me know.

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