Too ambitious. It’s on that I’m blaming my lack of updating this blog. I keep having (and even starting) great ideas for posts, but they never see the light of day because they’re too ambitious. So, I’m going to take a step back and try to be more off the cuff.
To start, let’s talk about Rob Ford. Specifically, his plan to cancel Transit City, a plan that will cost Torontonians more than $100 million and for which he has no viable alternative. Moreover, it’s a plan that would deny improved transit service not only to areas rapidly becoming among those where lower income residents (aka those who cannot afford to drive) are now required to live due to rising housing costs, but also where Ford garnered a great deal of his support.
I’m not the biggest fan of Transit City. It has some flaws that I’d love to see revised. But, it’s the best plan we have and is at least 90% right. Ford’s whim is to build subways instead of streetcars, but everyone knows we’ll never get the money to build a fraction of the mileage in subways that we can build as streetcars. This means that much of the city will exist under the status quo — accessible only by car or several TTC transfers — an utterly unsustainable and unfair proposition.
Here’s the good news: Toronto’s council is remarkably progressive considering our choice of mayor, so he’ll have some obstacles to carrying out this and other schemes. But, if we let our councillors know that Transit City is worth saving, then even those more likely to follow Ford won’t so as to not anger constituents. There are a lot of new councillors and they don’t want to be one-term (lack of) wonders. Call them or write them or pay them a visit or whatever it takes to let them know what you expect of them, be it on this or any other issue.
It’s your city, not just Rob Ford’s. Make sure it still looks like it’s yours four years from now.