Vision “I Give Zero Fucks About You”

As of this Monday there have been more than 20 collisions involving a pedestrian or a cyclist in Toronto.  Yet, John Tory has stayed silent.

At this point of John Tory’s mayorship I don’t expect him to represent or push through the agenda of Toronto Cyclists.  He is the mayor who decreased the breadth of the cities proposed 10 year cycle plan, who  expects Vision Zero to be implemented with Zero Budget, &  yet has approved a $1 billion + budget to expand the Gardiner Expressway east of the city.  But, at the very least I would have expected the Major to acknowledged what happened &  express some sentiment of regret.

Silence Speaks Volumes

I do not expect John Tory to alone implement the changes that will make Toronto a safer city for people, but his silence after this weeks events speak volumes.

Silence means you are hoping the problem goes away so you do not have to deal with it.

Silence means you do not care about vulnerable road users.

Silence means you are afraid to take a stand.

Silence means you are afraid to make the tough choices to implement changes.

I am Angry Because this is too close to home

I live in the Annex & I regularly bike along Dupont from Bathurst to Christie to go to the Loblaws at the corner.   I know how dangerous the street is for cyclists.   The road is wide, motorist drive fast & are impatient.  I have been passed by vehicles going 50km/hr centimeters from my handle bar.   I have been cut off & squeezed to the curb.  I have been honked at for taking the lane for my own safety.  Yet all I am doing is riding to the grocery store.

Yesterday a man died on that very route.  He was blamed.  He was going “too fast”, because for some people it seems impossible that you can go 30 km/hr on a bike.  He was “swerving in between cars.”  He was careless.  Yet, it turned it he was not at fault.  He had the right away.

I’m not angry at the motorist, he made a mistake & someone died. He has to live with that & it can’t be an easy thing.

I am angry about the victim blaming, pro-car convenience rhetoric that exists in the halls of our local media, City Hall & Police Stations.  

I am angry about the ineffective policing of cars parking in bike lanes. 

I am angry at the constant push back to building safe infrastructure in our city, because it may take someone “longer to get to work on x street” or because we will lose parking. 

I am angry about the lack of consequences for motorists who drive aggressively, carelessly & inattentively, & cause unnecessary injuries & death.

I am angry about the silence of our mayor. A mayor who has time to tweet about Baseball & the Rogers Cup, but has nothing to say about a 71-year-old man dying.  

I am angry that my mother worries every time she hears about a cyclists involve collision in Toronto because she fears it was me. 

I am angry & I am asking, how many people have to die before the leadership of this city removes their collective heads out of their asses & finally acknowledges that something needs to be done to protect vulnerable road users in Toronto? 

3 thoughts on “Vision “I Give Zero Fucks About You”

  1. hamish wilson says:

    Thanks for the anger; some of us carmudgeons are a bit despairing and they’ve also heard from us a few times.
    It’s not just the TOroglodytes of the suburbs, who are often the carservative Clowncillors – at times it’s the progressives, though we sunk too low in the Fordwards was backwards era to have the bar all that high.
    Consider the new Bike Strategy – oh, strongly approved, and maybe we’ll get Bloor. Vote for us, and send money to Cycle Toronto. But in a background document, not linked in the PWIC
    http://www.torontocyclingnetwork.info/studying-toronto/
    there are two maps of crash sites about halfway down, showing intensities of crashes where we get hurt, and worse. One map is of the outer suburbs; another of the inner core. Yet in the print above these maps is a qualifier – it takes two of us to be smeared in the core to make the same colour as a suburban crash. This is really discriminatory and wrong. We already have the carism, and to have core cyclists discounted as the basis of a new Bike Strategy is almost surely at odds with how pedestrian, transit and other injuries are counted. Worse, either Cycle Toronto missed this aspect, or went along with it to get the “Win” – and yes, the suburban areas are very dangerous still, but the City core itself ain’t safe enough either yet.
    A further issue is that streetscar track harms still aren’t counted.
    With the latest fatality, the Star has a pretty good piece on the reversal of analysis/comment of the police – and that’s something.
    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/07/06/police-officer-apologizes-for-cyclist-collision-comments.html
    But then why no charges?? If the parked car lane was full of moving cars, then the turning motorist would be at fault, and charged presumably. The culture of speed and carism means other lives are cheap, too cheap, and that’s wrong.
    We’ll be outvoted in the core; the trick to pressure is to either laugh at them – which the I give Zero Fucks is a good one thanks; or get people like your caring mother to up the pressure from a different area, and maybe to a different level.
    Like, since the City is a creature of the province, how about Ontario mandating the deducting the cost of every funeral of a vulnerable road user from the Mayor’s salary? If too harsh, half-deduction with the remnant being from local Councillor and the Councillor of the driver.
    And an automatic 9-month jail time for someone creating a death.
    While sometimes we cyclists aren’t so lily-white respectful, this is now too extreme.
    Thanks again for your posting and anger.

    • Kinga P says:

      Sorry I missed responding to your comment Hamish. As always, thank you for the info & in-depth comment. What can I say? We are in the middle of a mess today, lots of new cyclists in the city (regardless of what some of the Car Toronto demographic say) & the infrastructure or policing policies in place to deal with it. Instead, everyone is getting frustrated & angry.

      As a cyclist what I want is simple: a well-connected network of protected bikelanes that efficiently & safety gets me around the city & actual policing for bikelane parking.

      This will benefit motorists, as we’ll be in our own lane where there is less of a chance of an accident occurring due to inattention, stupidity & bad luck. And maybe it’ll improve the commute if more people have the option to bike on short commutes.

      • hamish wilson says:

        My turn to apologize; just noting your reply now, tho have caught some tweets.

        We still really need a continuous network, not the patchwork, and as nice as the Bloor trial is, it is a continuation of the patchwork, and ward-by-ward bike infrastructure/safety – which is really really wrong. We need continuity first, then concentration, and if we had gone for Bloor/facility continuation first, we’d have something west of Ossington and we’d have had the bit of Bloor St. E. in the 2001 Bike Plan between Church and Sherbourne done with bike lanes too. And why wasn’t this part of Bloor St. E. in the pilot?

        Having bikeway relief of the troubled transit is a smart thing; maybe that’s why it hasn’t happened. That, and it’s too cheap and doesn’t use enough concrete or make enough jobs for men. (though blessings and clouds and wind for those doing the work, thanks)

        Because our roads are often relatively narrow compared to NYC etc.,- plus tracks that dictate lane positions – we mightn’t be able to get that network of protected lanes in place in the next few years despite the need, and I’d settle for some painted lines first – if it were a network – than a small bit of separated lane here, and some there.

        With Bloor, in the wide but horribly rough segment close to where you were nearly smeared, the City hasn’t been able to patch up the road first, ahead of the new paint. It’s only August…. so we have to ask some questions of competency, right?

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