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Archive for May, 2012

Think of the Children

Politicians will go to any length to protect children from underage sex, predators, and abductions. But when public health professionals suggest children should be protected from speeding automobiles — well, get ready for a whole lot of stupid:

Asked if the city will drop speed limits, as suggested earlier this week by the city’s chief medical officer of health [Mayor] Ford told reporters on Friday the idea is “nuts, nuts, nuts, nuts. No.”

The report — Road to Health: Improving Walking and Cycling in Toronto— released by Dr. David McKeown recommends speed limits be reduced by as much as 20 km/h, saying the slower speed limits will protect pedestrians and cyclists.

If accepted the speed limit on Lakeshore Boulevard might be reduced to 40 km/h. On most residential streets traffic would be reduced to about 30 km/h.

Ford, who has many times referred to what he calls the ‘war on the car’ in Toronto, said the proposal is “absolutely ridiculous.”

30 kph is quite sensible for neighborhood streets, with many European cities following that standard. This BBC report goes into all the reasons why speed limits need to be lowered, especially for the reduction in fatalities among young children.

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Happy Jane Jacobs Day

BBC News gives their perspective on Mayor Ford’s “War Against Bicycles” in Toronto. It’s hard to believe someone like Rob Ford could become Mayor of  Jane Jacobs‘ adopted city.

Ironically, Toronto once honored Jacobs’ work by proclaiming May 4th 2007 as “Jane Jacobs day”. May 4th has come to be  celebrated in both the US and Canada with organized walking tours of neighborhoods. Perhaps Toronto participants should do this year’s tour by bicycle…

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