A recent article in the Toronto Star outlined a ten-point plan to enhance transit in that city.
The ten points can easily be adopted in Hamilton, and should. If we ever hope to be a progressive, safe, family-friendly city with a strong economy and a place where immigrants and people of all income levels are able to live and work, we must have a good transit system.
We all know the damage cars do to our health, environment and destruction of lives such, as the recent rash of children being killed in their own neighbourhoods while riding bikes.
The local media generally blames these kids for not wearing helmets, but I'm willing to bet that getting nailed by a car or truck while on your bike will almost always result in serious injury or death. Helmets are not steel, full-body armour.
The fact that the media are so quick to allow cell-phone using, burger-chomping, music-pumping drivers off the hook and blame a poor ten-year-old who is simply doing what all of us did when we were 10 shows how car-centric we've become.
Kids can't ride on the sidewalk. Kids can't ride on the road. Perhaps families with kids simply need to stop moving here.
So much for creating "the best city in Canada to raise a child", a noble goal recently stated by City Council, yet one to which they aren't really committed, based on real-life decision making and city policy.
I urge all council and mayoral candidates running in the upcoming election to adopt ten points like these ones and show Hamiltonians that you truly are committed to kids, families and creating a safe city.
This doesn't mean banning cars or getting rid of them. It simply means putting them in proper balance with other, healthier modes of transport.
The savings in human lives, health care costs, strong social fabric and an increased economy due to more people (aka, shoppers) on the street make this a win-win proposal. It's time for leadership in Hamilton.
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