Transportation

Quote of the Day

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 08, 2007

An article in today's Toronto Star on the city's burgeoning debt crisis contained the following nugget of wisdom by councillor Rob Ford of Etobicoke, which I repeat here without further comment:

I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day.

(Thanks to Jason for finding this.)

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal.

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By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted March 08, 2007 at 17:31:17

Ford is an idiot, there's no defending that, but he highlights a common problem among City Councilors:

a. he does a great job at meeting his constituent's needs. A recent Star article highlighted a day with Councilor Ford which found him working 12 hours, and visiting constituent's homes personally, along with various city staffers, to address their complaints directly. Now that's service. He is also ethically astute and regularly files the lowest expense reports of all Toronto Councilors. But: b. he has a complete lack of understanding of how to build and manage a livable city. His ignorance is truly astounding.

All this brings to mind a sort of Vancouver model of local government whereby the City staffers and councilor assistants take on the lion share of the constituency work, and the councilors concentrate on making decisions that affect the city as a whole.

I have always felt that the job description requirements of our city councilors are too broad. We should have reps who attend to constituents needs, and reps who are dedicated to (and understand how to cater for) the good of the city as a whole. It seems it is too much to ask our city councilors to be good at both.

Ben

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By Sharchy (anonymous) | Posted March 08, 2007 at 22:23:31

Do we have asylums for people with this degree of ignorance yet?

Here are some cardinal rules regarding dealing with such people:

People with little understanding about the manner in which cities function shall not be allowed to speak in public regarding the manner in which cities should function.

People with little understanding about the manner in which cities function shall not be allowed to make decisions on the manner in which cities should function.

People with blatant ignorance who make commentary leading to the disruption or degradation of city life should be sent to an asylum until their sadistic tendencies are dealt with through proper medical counseling.

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By A Robot (anonymous) | Posted March 08, 2007 at 22:35:02

Forget all that, just make them ride a bike in traffic.

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By Lugubrio (anonymous) | Posted March 08, 2007 at 23:59:51

I used to bike to work in Bellevue, Washington. As you may know, bicyclists often overestimate their ability to get through yellow lights. As luck would have it a woman cyclist in front of me got hit in the intersection. I heard the tire pop and when I got to where I could see her she was wailing "I can't move my legs!" It's really quite dangerous. Look at the statistics.

Now I live on a windy country road which cyclists love. Everyone neighbor I talk to worries that a car passing a bicycle around a curve--they often do that--is going to kill one of us.

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By Spanners (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 03:19:20

His heart bleeds for them? It certainly will when the pedestrian areas are filled with cyclists, trying their best not to plough through Toronto's children and pensioners.

Wheels go on roads for a reason, Mr. Ford.

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By re90 (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 04:19:51

I would very much enjoy driving without bike lanes. Too many of them drive as close as they can into my lane (and yes, I say my lane because I am driving heavy metal at high speeds with other cars driving around me and thereby reducing my maneuverability. It scares me every time I drive past a cyclist.

I like the idea of bikikng to work for the sake of the environment, but until everyone has the option to work a bike ride away, measures should be taken to protect cyclists...whether it may be completely removing bike lanes (hopefully not) or something more reasonable.

It's just that....cyclists (and drivers) can do some really stupid things...

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted March 09, 2007 at 09:24:41

re90,

A simple way to reduce your fear of passing cyclists is to pass slowly and leave lots of space. If this means changing lanes or waiting for a gap in oncoming traffic, so be it.

You call it "your" lane... it is only "yours" in this case because there is a bike lane. If there was no bike lane, the cyclist would be entitled to the entire car-width lane. So until you own the deed to the land on which "your" lane is located, we'd all appreciate it if you shared it with the rest of us (cyclists and drivers alike)

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By foo (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 09:41:46

It's easy to get along with cyclists. Treat them as any other vehicle. If you want to pass one, do it when and where it's safe. That's not hard to understand. The rules of the road work, if they're followed.
If you think it's OK to endanger the life of someone else on the road so that you can get to the next red light 5 seconds sooner, maybe you should be riding the bus instead.

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By geogblog (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 09:43:08

Councillor Ford is a right-wing blowhard. He may have a good work ethic, but he spends absolutely nothing on communicating to his constituents. His office expenses are so low because he doesn't send out a newsletter or anything. His views of cycling are deplorable, but so are his views on most things.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 09, 2007 at 10:53:39

re90,

Regarding "your" lane, here's what the Ontario Highway Traffic Act has to say on the matter:


Vehicles meeting bicycles

(4) Every person in charge of a vehicle on a highway meeting a person travelling on a bicycle shall allow the cyclist sufficient room on the roadway to pass. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 148 (4).

Vehicles or equestrians overtaking others

(5) Every person in charge of a vehicle or on horseback on a highway who is overtaking another vehicle or equestrian shall turn out to the left so far as may be necessary to avoid a collision with the vehicle or equestrian overtaken, and the person overtaken is not required to leave more than one-half of the roadway free. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 148 (5).

Bicycles overtaken

(6) Every person on a bicycle or motor assisted bicycle who is overtaken by a vehicle or equestrian travelling at a greater speed shall turn out to the right and allow the vehicle or equestrian to pass and the vehicle or equestrian overtaking shall turn out to the left so far as may be necessary to avoid a collision. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 148 (6).

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/90h08_e.htm#148.(4)

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By Greyhound (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 11:31:35

I hope that the good citizens of Etobicoke will vote Rob Ford out of office. Evidently he is ignorant of the law. Unfortunately he has not read up on his history either. The League of American Bicyclists, which is still in existance, lobbied congress for the creation of roads in the 1880s and 1890s. Bicycling is integral to the history of the urban landscape in which we live. Either way, injuring a bicyclist with a motor vehicle is an act of negligence at least and homicide or murder at worst and should be treated as such.

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By Kaze (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 12:31:18

Foo:
Treating bicyclists as vehicles is well and good, but the problem I see in my neck of the woods is bicyclists who refuse to recognize the rules of the road on which they ride - most notably, blowing through red lights and stop signs.

I'm not saying bicyclists don't have a right to the road - that's where they belong, after all. Some of them just need to learn that there are laws they must abide by.

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By Bikeguy (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 13:12:10

I propose a truce, Kraze: I'll stop pretending the few drivers who don't follow the law are the majority if you stop pretending the few cyclists who don't follow the law are the majority.

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By Bikeguy (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 13:12:37

Sorry, make that Kaze.

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By bumpy (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 13:21:41

I'm sorry. bicyclists are just in the way. How many times to I see a byclist acting as if he is just a normal part of traffice (t what, say 225 lbs with bike?) with a long line of angry motorist behind him. If you wnat to live your Lance Armstrong fantasies, thats fine. But get off the motorway which was made for CARS.

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By Kaze (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 13:40:41

Bikeguy -
In no way did I mean to say that each and every bicyclist ride illegally. I know that there are plenty of bicyclists who obey traffic - I'm one of them.

However, in my area a large number of the bicyclists do NOT abide by the laws - they swerve all over the lanes, they run red lights and stop signs, they purposefully cut through parking lanes to get ahead of traffic stopped for traffic lights. I'm not saying it's all bicyclists - it's just a large number of them.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 09, 2007 at 13:51:05

Dear bumpy,

Cover a third of a cup of bulghur wheat in warm water and soak it for 15 minutes, then squeeze out the excess water. Mix in the juice of three lemons, two cloves of crushed garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper. Wash and pat dry a bunch of fresh mint and of flat parsley (it's got more flavour than the curly parsley), and chop them finely with a good chef's knife or, failing that, a food processor on pulse. Mix the herbs in with the bulghur mixture, and add four thinly sliced spring onions, three diced tomatoes, and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

You've just made a tabbouleh salad. Enjoy!

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By Jon (registered) - website | Posted March 09, 2007 at 15:20:30

Oh dear God.

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By foo (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 15:51:48

There are some of us who obey the rules. There are car drivers that drive like complete morons and break rules every 30 seconds; that does not give me the right to deny proper rights to the road to all cars.

As for Ford's comments:
Yeah, and women who get raped were probably asking for it too. If only they'd all stay inside or only go out in the daylight or accompanied by male family members...

Mr Ford, in this country we expect our elected representatives to work for the well-being of the public, not to make excuses for not tackling hard problems.

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By foo (anonymous) | Posted March 09, 2007 at 15:57:09

Bumpy:
Lots of times on my ride, cars are in the way. I spent 10 minutes getting through an area I could have gotten through in 2 without cars.

Any particular road may be a poor design for bikes, but that's the fault of the engineer, not an excuse for excluding bikes. Roads are not there for the exclusive use of cars; they are a public trust, as they have been since the time of the Romans. The government puts them there for the use of all people. If the government built a road that is not serving the users, then it's not the fault of the users.

In fact, muscle-powered transport (walking, bicycling, and even horses) are an IRREVOCABLE right. With the exception of limited-access roads, you can not tell someone that they can't cycle on a given road. If there's no reasonable alternate route available, it's not even legal to deny cycles to go on interstates.

By contrast, operating a motor vehicle is a PRIVILEDGE awarded by the government, and it can be revoked.

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted March 10, 2007 at 21:12:33

What self centered bully gene makes people rationalize that the size and weight of their vehicle is directly related to their claim to a lane?

Did their parents not love them? Or teach them anything about consideration?

Surely, the number of people moved is the thing that matters. Then, enter the concept of efficiency and you have to divide people moved by the size of the vehicle.

So by measure of transportation need alone, bikes and single occupant cars have equal claim to a lane.

By measure of efficiency, the bike has much more justification, it is simply the better tool for the job. That's not just an opinion, it is a quantitative argument.

I challenge Mr. FOrd to disagree with me after he spends a month on a bike.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 11, 2007 at 11:43:52

this is one great conversation. I've been chuckling all the way through it. I'm glad Bumpy enlightened all of us as to why there is so much traffic gridlock in the Golden Horseshoe - it's the bikes! And all this time I thought it was the insane number of cars on the road. I guess I'm wiser now. Thanks bumpy!

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By SkidVicious (anonymous) | Posted March 12, 2007 at 12:55:37

Actually Bumpy your ignorance is staggering: Roads were first built for bikes, way before cars came along.

PS: Rob Ford is a douchebag !

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By SkidVicious (anonymous) | Posted March 12, 2007 at 12:57:52

And I wouldn't count on Rob Ford getting on a bike anytime soon, a heart attack by the age of 45, maybe. but not riding a bike.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted March 14, 2007 at 12:33:10

I laugh because it seems like every single argument on here against bikes stems from a motorist who is angry not because of safety or any reasonable issue, but because they are upset about being late. Even the comment about cyclists passing stopped cars by using the parking lane reeks of jealousy of not being the first and fastest. I am certain that every motorist who has posted here has illegally passed a car on the right whenever there is space to do so (i.e. when the car in front of you is turning left and ther eis no left-turn-lane -- BUT there is space to duck to the right).

I think the real answer here for everyone is to take it easy. Slow down. There is no need for us to be running lights, passing dangerously, and punching each other out because we were cut off.

The real scary part is the fact that automobiles are capable of causing severe carnage to passers-by, whereas bicycles tend to injure nobody but the rider (except in extreme cases).

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By augidog (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2007 at 10:06:00

i run a "motorized bicycle forum" <--- search it to find us.

my post isn't about motors or no, this issue is common to all light 2-wheel transportation. we advocate safety-equipment and following the rules of the road.

well, i found this during a search about laws and motor-assisted-bicycles...interesting, but ain't it the same ole story?

yup, the cagers do seem to think they have some kind exclusive RIGHT to the road...best part is when they use that 3000lb mass of metal as a weapon of intimidation. gotta love the "squeeze-out"...but you better make it thru the next light before i catch up, or i'll have something to say (& maybe do) about you being so casual with MY life.

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By Dominion (anonymous) | Posted March 05, 2008 at 16:07:49

Rob Ford: Once a bully always a bully. From Valleyfield (JK-5), through Hill Top (6-8) onto Scarlett Heights (9-13)....Rob Ford was the terror that stalked his prey inside and outside the walls of the schools he attended. Didn’t matter the shape, size or height...his scope for handing out bully-type punishment was bewildering. Just ask former principal Mulford ( Hilltop Middle School). It doesn't surprise me to see that even today he is described as a bully by those who only know him in the public eye. It seems that a leopard truly does not change his spots. For those who had the misfortune to attend the same school as him I’m sure they can attest to his ignorance, disregard for his peers, mean cruel demeanor, and overall lack of common sense. Karma baby karma.

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By Nikolaos (anonymous) | Posted May 22, 2008 at 13:15:59

free free free free free free free free free free

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By SmartBrains (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2010 at 03:10:35

GOD HAS GIVEN ME THE BEST, PROTECTED ME FROM THE WORST. Thank You God for everything.. I am trying hard to prove myself worthy of Your love and care...I know that I dont have to...still I want to prove myself to be your worthy child... please O Lord, give me the strength to go forward with single minded determination and a positive attitude. May your Blessings and Grace always be there upon me....
http://bestforddealer.com
Best Ford Dealer

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted August 06, 2010 at 15:52:16

Roads were made for cars?

Downtown San Franciso, 1906

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By PictureQuotes (registered) - website | Posted August 22, 2010 at 17:06:40

Road were originally made for carts not cars. :) But yes, it is acceptable that bikes were discovered after cars :P

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By Martin luther king jr Picture Quotes (anonymous) | Posted November 04, 2014 at 14:02:46

well that's quiet interesting to read that road were made for carts not actually cars :)

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