Dave Meslin tried to put a good cyclnig spin on Toronto’s new mayor, Rob Ford, in the Toronto Star the other day. I am in agreement with Meslin that Ford is not all that bad. Well as far as cycling goes… the rest is for someone else to take up. In fact, in terms of cycling Mayor Ford will not be any worse or better than our last mayor, David Miller. What Meslin failed to point out was that Mayor Ford will be giving his supporters exactly what Mayor Miller gave cyclists. Just a lot of round and round with no progress. Johnny-come-lately’s do not count, ie Jarvis.
Meslin offers this as proof that Ford is cycling friendly. “…Ford proposed â€œa comprehensive network of bicycle trails across the city to provide a safe, convenient â€˜backboneâ€™ for bicycle transportation across Toronto.â€ ” Where did this ‘backbone’ talk come from?
“Bicycle transportation must be accommodated in the safest possible way â€” and without impeding traffic â€”by providing separate rights-of-way for bicycle commuters and recreational cyclists…”
Most of the councillors supporting Ford used ideas proposed at ‘Get Toronto Moving’ with Councillor Berardinetti being the most blatant about it. While their plans may seem reasonable to some people and even cyclists, I urge those people to take a deeper look at what they are proposing. Along with that the cycling backbone comes beside it.
There will never be another freeway built within Toronto. Ford is simply dangling out the possibility that ‘Get Toronto Moving’ proposals will become reality to garner votes. This approach should be very familiar to cyclists. Mayor Miller and his Pinkos dangled the Bike Plan from a stick throughout his term. End result, the Fords and cyclists will get nothing but half-assed and half-complete implementations.
Meslin also talks about “working together” to get things progressed. This approach is well supported and has proven successful in other jurisdictions. It will work here too provided cyclists are not like the mouse who is working with the cat as to what time the mouse becomes dinner.
Urban legend has the late Tooker Gomberg burying Dave Meslin’s car in another friends front yard. Those who were there have written about it. Many think it is just a lot of exaggeration. 11 years after it happened you can see for yourself. Tom Polarbear recently re-discovered his photos of Tooker burying the car. To Tom’s knowledge these are the only photos that exist.
Tom writes, “The car was a 1983 Grey Pontiac which had all of its fluids drained. It was buried at 777 Craven Road in Toronto. During the dig it was discovered that they had hit a gas line. Tooker decided to continue with the burial. The car remained buried for two hours before being removed by a tow truck at the direction of the police.”
Tooker did this to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Henry Bliss. The first person killed by an automobile.
Clicking on the image will speed up the rotation. Nine photos in total.
(Corrections 10/30/10:Â It was buried in the front yard, not the backyard as I originally posted. There was some confusion on the year. Mez corrected it, see original email below.)
Below is the email Tooker and his partner Angela sent out for the burial.
At first I could not explain how I felt when I first read your blog post about the Darcy Allan Sheppard killing. Initially I thought it was anger. Then loss. Disappointment. Rage. Sorrow. Understanding. Incomprehension. Almost an unexplainable set of feelings. After much contemplation I realized your words filled me with emptiness.
I have a deep amount of respect and admiration for you. Almost any cycling event I have attended that I can think of, you have more often than not been there too. When a problem arose you stuck your neck out without hesitation to help the person in need. There is no finer quality than that in a human being. You have inspired people to dream. Taken it one step further than most by bringing those dreams to reality. If in the days after Sheppardâ€™s killing someone asked me who could lead cyclists out of this horrific mess, my answer would have been you or someone with the very same qualities as you. I barely know how to respond to your words. Dismissing you with name calling would be meaningless. I think the best way is to offer a rebuttal to the points you bring up. The irony is that you have instilled many of the ideas that influenced me in my rebuttal and how I view things in general.
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