May 21, 2019

Road Safety and the Green New Deal

Aside from Toronto’s snail pace of bike lane and public transit installation, one thing that has become incredibly frustrating for me is the lack of global climate action despite the Kyoto (1997) and Paris (2015) agreements. At a time the world’s leading scientists urged people to reduce greenhouse emissions in half by 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate change, they elect folks such as Donald Trump in the United States and Doug Ford in Ontario who are doing the opposite. Something that has gotten me worried about this fall’s federal election. The good news is millions of youth – inspired by Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg – have had enough and held school strikes urging world leaders to treat climate change as an emergency. American politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared a need for a Green New Deal; something recently introduced in Canada as the next step to the Leap Manifesto.

May 10, 2019

The Pedestrianized Folly of yongeTOmorrow

Thursday, May 9 marked the first yongeTOmorrow open house, which aims to reconstruct Yonge Street from College to Queen Streets with a second phase extending north to Davenport Road. With pedestrian volumes making up between 50 and 75% of mode share there and low traffic volumes compared to nearby streets, the focus has been more on improving the pedestrian realm while public consultation documents mused about “installing cycling facilities on Yonge Street or a nearby north-south street”. Ryerson University’s City Building Institute posted an article citing their preference for bike lanes on adjacent streets; claiming bike lanes on Yonge would lead to pedestrian-conflicts and a reduced ability to host special events. While I am normally supportive of Ryerson CBI’s initiatives and acknowledge their support for Transform Yonge in North York, this is one of the few cases where we have to disagree.