Comment 116730

By MattPinder (registered) | Posted March 02, 2016 at 21:59:38

The missing element here is empathy, for all road users. If our decision-makers spend all their time experiencing streets from behind a windshield, how can they be expected to make decisions from the perspective of pedestrians or cyclists?

When John Tory ran for mayor in Toronto he realized he needed to understand the experience of biking in Toronto. So for his first time ever he went out on a bike on one of Toronto's downtown streets, unprotected from traffic, and was nearly was doored by a motorist. Shortly thereafter, protected bike lanes were extended on Richmond and Adelaide streets. This year, Bloor street is getting protected bike lanes and Toronto's cycling budget is set to grow. Coincidence? I think it's more likely that Mr. Tory's experience gave him a renewed sense of empathy for Toronto's cycling community.

Last year Hamilton's councillors were challenged to take the HSR to work for a week. Unfortunately, few complied. The result - the decision makers don't have empathy for the tens of thousands of Hamiltonians who are forced to use a substandard transit system on a daily basis, and the HSR continues to receive an embarrassingly low level of capital funding.

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