Monday, June 01, 2009

The War on the Car

From WorldChanging Canada: City Changing: Re-mixing Built Environments:

Recently, Toronto's city council approved plans to transform Jarvis Street from a five-lane car-only street to a four-lane street with bike lanes. This came after significant resistance from council members who claimed that an alteration of the street was but one battle in an alleged "war on the car". Dissenting council members also claimed that all parties involved—the some 27,000 cars that traverse Jarvis Street on a regular basis—had not been consulted. Instead, the city had sponsored an ad in NOW Magazine querying public opinion on the idea of bike lanes. Because NOW is a local, youth-oriented publication, it was assumed that thousands of drivers were being excluded from the conversation at the expense of Toronto's cyclists, who appeared at public planning meetings in droves to exhort city planners to move forward with the bike lanes.

While the approval of the lanes is good news for both environmental improvement and cyclist safety, the length and speed of the debate indicates the kind of uphill battle in store for people who want to engage in what we might consider "urban re-mix."
I love the "war on the car" part.

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