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.