Posts Tagged: jarvis street

May 11

Setting policy by imagined consensus

Speaking of Doug Ford, I thought his contribution to an article regarding the Jarvis Street bike lanes by Marcia Chen and Ashleigh Smollet of was kind of interesting:

Not even a year after they were installed, the fate of the contentious Jarvis Street bike lanes is in question.

“We would like to eliminate them,” said councillor Doug Ford. “We have had more complaints about the bike lanes on Jarvis than any other road in Toronto. Hundreds and hundreds of people.”

But ward councillor Karyn Wong-Tam disagreed, noting the revitalization of the downtown’s east side depends on the lanes and other projects on Jarvis.

“Hundreds? No, definitely we haven’t received hundreds,” Wong-Tam said. “I don’t think we’ve had even one hundred.”

via Rob Ford may consider removing Jarvis bike lanes – CityNews.

It’s a neat encapsulation of Ford-brand politics. Both Doug and Rob consistently back up their pet issues with claims that they’ve received hundreds — sometimes thousands — of phone calls supporting them. It’s a tired, easily-mockable refrain. There’s no way to confirm the reality of their claims, nor is there a way to quantify, track and analyze this data. In real terms, their claims are worse than useless.

Even if Doug Ford were accurate, and they — leaving aside for now the issue of who they is, because people really shouldn’t be complaining to the councillor in Ward 2 about an issue with infrastructure in Ward 27 — had received hundreds of calls, is that enough reason to eliminate lanes that are, by the city’s own estimates, used by hundreds of cyclists every day?

May 11

Rob Ford’s next target: Jarvis Street bike lanes?

The Toronto Sun’s Don Peat reports that Public Works Chair Denzil Minnan-Wong is looking at removing the bike lanes on Jarvis Street:

Public works chairman Denzil Minnan-Wong said he thinks there is an appetite on council to revisit the controversial bike lanes.

“I’ve heard from many councillors that they would like to revisit this issue,” Minnan-Wong said.

He is proposing a separated bike lane plan in the downtown core but the network doesn’t call for such lanes on Jarvis St. because it is a primary north-south route.

via Jarvis St. bike lanes will be re-examined | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Sun.

For the record, the Jarvis street lanes were a low-cost item. Despite rapturous concerns that they would lead to traffic chaos, they’ve caused minimal delays. Aside from a lingering desire to give the finger to their political opponents, there is no reason for Minnan-Wong, Ford or any member of council to support this change.

And yet here we are.

The cycling community, including the Toronto Cyclists Union, has generally been supportive of Minnan-Wong’s plan for a network of four protected bike lanes downtown. This news should give them pause.