Toronto bicyclists awoke to the unpleasant news this morning that city councillor Rob Ford has been elected mayor of that Canadian city.
Aside from his notable physique, you may recognize him from his notorious comments regarding bicycling:
“Roads are built for buses, cars and trucks… Not for people on bikes. … My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day.”
Much to Ford chagrin, I'm sure, Toronto already has about 117 miles of bike lanes and plans to expand to about 500 miles, based on the city's 2001 bicycle plan. The city also has 141 miles of shared roadways and 168 miles of off-road paths, with plans to expand to 249 miles.
Meanwhile, the city has approved a bike-share program based on Montreal's Bixi program with a May 2011 launch date. Toronto has guaranteed a $4.8 million startup loan for Bixi, but must come up with another $600,000 in sponsorships.
It remains to be seen if Ford can curb any of these improvements. I'm sure he'll try.
These guys are everywhere. Some gnat-brained politician like Ford could wind up as mayor of your city, or win a seat in your state legislature, or “represent” you in Congress. That's why it's always important to vote.
Remember the Colorado gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes? He said that bike share programs, like the one in Denver, were a United Nation plot to threaten our personal freedoms. Latest polls give him a miniscule 9.3% of the vote.
Here in the Seattle area, the Cascade Bicycle Club lists candidates who are bicycle friendly in the upcoming election.
Thanks for the heads up from Michael on this.