Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Biking becomes an election issue in Toronto

See "Bike lanes divide mayoral candidates: Conflicting views emblematic of divide between right and left" from the Toronto Star. One candidate is against bike lanes, another proposes to charge a registration fee to bicyclists. From the article:

"Cycling should be a non-ideological, dare I say common-sense, issue that spans the political spectrum. It should transcend left-right ideological divides. But in reality, it doesn't," said Myer Siemiatycki, a politics professor at Ryerson University.

"Some of it has to do with if your mindset is locked into the idea that the city is a place of business and efficiency," he said. A right-wing point of view, municipally, means "putting the needs of business and development and growth first," he said. "The left seems to have more concern, generically, for quality of life, the recognition of diverse and different needs and lifestyles."

Ironically, if the "needs of business and development and growth" were considered in a more nuanced fashion and optimal mobility was prioritized, sustainable transportation--walking, biking, and transit--would have to take center stage in mobility policy.

Also see these Star blog entries for further discussion, "The Goods: Tax the bike?" and "Blog: It's not just about finding room for bikes."

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