Its looks like the "war on the bike" in Toronto may have begun. A recent meeting of the city’s Public Works Committee voted to get rid of established bicycle lanes on Jarvis Street, Pharmacy Avenue, and Birchmount Road. Ironically, these last minute decisions came at a meeting where the committee recommended going ahead with a series of separated (segregated) bike lanes in downtown Toronto.
The "war on the bike" is not altogether unexpected ever since Rob Ford was elected Mayor of Toronto last fall. His first major declaration after taking office was that "the war on the car is over".
Rob Ford's position on cycling is well known. During the 2007 Toronto city budget debate, he said, "Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. Not for people on bikes. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day." At a city council meeting in 2009, Ford also said that cyclists are "a pain in the ass" for motorists. People also noted that as a special guest at Ford’s inauguration, Don Cherry called cyclists "pinkos".
For a while, it looked like Mayor Ford was starting to back down on some of his anti-bike positions. However, he told reporters that the Jarvis Street bike lanes had to go only hours before the committee made its decision on the matter.
Click here for the story in the Globe and Mail.