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Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

Mayor Ford’s Personal Road Paving Crew

I’m sure he was just doing it out of concern that bicyclists might hit a pothole:

Mayor Rob Ford called senior staff to his office this summer to request unscheduled road improvements outside his family-owned business in time for its 50th anniversary bash. The job, completed before the August celebration at the Etobicoke headquarters of the Ford family’s Deco Labels and Tags, cost the city between $7,000 and $10,000, staff estimate.

The official, Peter Noehammer, told The Globe in an interview Thursday that he did not know the mayor had made the request himself.

Mr. Noehammer is the director of transportation responsible for the Scarborough district and he was filling in for Mr. Mende when The Star made its first call in August, he said. In his 16 years in the city’s transportation department, Mr. Noehammer said he had never had an elected official ask him or his colleagues to expedite road work on personal or business property.

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You Voted For Him Toronto

So I check Google News to see if Toronto Mayor Ford had done anything embarrassing lately, and the answer is Yes:

The head of the TTC union alleges Mayor Rob Ford drove past the open doors of a Toronto streetcar on Wednesday and then got into a confrontation with the driver.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 president Bob Kinnear said the driver did not know it was the mayor when he got up from his seat to confront him. TTC spokesperson Brad Ross later confirmed the driver left his seat, adding that he should not have done so. Failing to stop behind the open doors of a streetcar is a violation of the Highway Traffic Act and carries a fine of $109. The mayor was not charged and Ross told the Toronto Star the matter was closed.

 

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Toronto’s Lunatic Mayor

We are so fortunate in America not to have to deal with angry right-wing lunatics:

Moments after my phone died, the Mayor appeared, wearing a white campaign t-shirt, at the sole entrance and exit to the parcel of property; he had walked around from the front of his house. He appeared extremely agitated.

“Hey buddy,” he yelled. “What are you doing? Are you spying on me? Are you spying on me? Are you spying on me?”

I shouted, astonished, that I was not – that I was writing about his attempt to buy TRCA land. He began to approach me at a brisk walk, asking again, at an escalating volume, if I was spying. I continued to plead that I was writing about the land.

At some point, perhaps 10 or 15 seconds into the encounter, he cocked his fist near his head and began charging at me at a full run. I began pleading with him, as loud as I could, with my hands up, for him to stop. I yelled, at the top of my lungs, something like, “Mayor Ford, I’m writing about the land! I’m just looking at the land! You’re trying to buy the TRCA land!” Instinctually, I also reached into my pocket to grab my dead phone. I then fiddled with my voice recorder, trying fruitlessly to turn it on so that I would have a recording of any physical violence.

At some point, perhaps two metres away from me, the mayor did stop moving toward me, but his face remained menacing, and he continued to cock his fist and shake it. “Drop your phone!” he demanded, shouting louder than I have ever heard him. “Drop your phone! Drop your phone now!”

Every time I tried to sidestep him to escape, he moved with me and yelled at me again to drop my phone. I became more frightened than I can remember; after two or three attempts to dart away, I threw my phone and my recorder down on the grass, yelled that he could take them, and ran.

 

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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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