Those of you who don’t live in Toronto are unaware, but a previously unfathomable thing came to pass on Wednesday. Toronto City Council voted in favour of a pilot project for bike lanes on one of Toronto’s major (if not the major) thoroughfares, Bloor Street. The rallying call of “Bike Lanes on Bloor” from cyclists […]

Like most issues, people engage with transportation mainly in an individualistic way. Hence most “debate” about transportation infrastructure, as in this¬†predictable piece, merely amounts to recounting a set of personal anecdotes such as seeing cyclists riding on sidewalks, without extrapolating any broader insights beyond expressing one’s peevishness. Maybe this is just systemic – people are “inherently” selfish (or encouraged to be so), and have great difficulty considering some issue beyond their immediately personal wants and experiences – say on a societal or structural level. Whatever the case may be, what’s frequently missing from the constant stream of indignant rants about transportation (and even transportation debates by our finest politicians) is a discussion about what the relative societal benefits (and costs) are of differing transportation schemes. What kinds of transportation systems and urban planning are most efficient, affordable, safe, and least damaging to human and environmental health? Continue reading

The insinuation that cyclists do not pay for roads (with the further implication that motorists are paying for cyclists’ use of roads) is a well-worn refrain from motorists who are unenthusiastic, to say the least, about sharing road space with people on bicycles. The main thrust of the cyclists-are-freeloaders argument stems from the notion that […]