2007/04/27

Bring the Nanny State Noise

I think that left turns for cars should be abolished.

The fuel savings would be astronomical. It is strange to think that going around the block uses less fuel. That probably means going around is faster a lot of the time too.

There should be wide ranging restrictions on the rights that cars are given. I see no reason for the city to offer parking, or allow idling, or allow cars on certain streets. The more that cars are restricted, the less attractive of a transit option that they will be.

I have no problem with the government restricting what cars are allowed to do. I figure if you want freedom, then you should ride a bike or walk. To be the most free, take the TTC.

2007/04/25

Why Stop Driving?

Remember the Cake Decorator who went to the doctor. He poked himself in the kidney, and said 'Doc, it hurts when I do this!' Of course, the doctor told him to stop. So stop he did. You see, when an expert tells you that you are harming yourself, you are supposed to stop doing it.

Carbon dioxide emissions from transportation account for about a quarter of total emissions. Canadians keep our houses too cold in the summer, and too warm in the winter. We live too far from work, in houses that are too big, and we have too many coal fired gas plants. It is not as easy for us to stop these damaging practices as it is to stop poking a kidney, but it needs to be done.

The Myth of "Freezing in the Dark"

Reactionary antienvironmentists hear talk like this and make comments like 'god damn patchouli breath granola crunching tree huggers! They won't be happy until we are all unemployed and freezing in the dark.' I will break my reply to this comment:

  • patchouli breath: I don't even know what patchouli is. I doubt that you know. You probably heard Bill O'Reilly say this once. He misheard talking about repairing a quilt while he was coked out of his mind and selling used cars. Forget the patchouli.
  • granola crunching: You'll have to forgive me while I sit here not eating a dead cow. I can see how you would find that offensive.
  • Tree Hugger: I live in downtown Toronto. Any trees I see could use the affection. Just remember where that oxygen (that's some kind of clear shit you need to use a V8) comes from.
  • Unemployed: A reference to the 'inevitable economic downturn' that is the end result of moving away from an automotive based economy. I take offense to this. The idea that people can only be productive if there are people somewhere else building cars is ridiculous and lacks imagination. It also lacks faith in the individual and the community to take care of themselves.
  • Freezing in the Dark: I don't advocate a return to the middle ages. I am a fan of modern medicine, cleanliness and self determination. It is obvious that people will need to make sacrifices, but given the right combination of personal responsibility, clean energy and lifestyle change, things will be better for everybody.

Better for everybody? Are you mad?

Yes, better for everybody. Driving is boring. What fun is sitting in grid lock for an average of 63 minutes per day?

If you have not biked, walked, taken public transit and rollerbladed to work, I suggest you give each a try. Cars don't just emit carbon dioxide, they emit a range of other noxious pollutants. Over 5000 people die in Ontario every year from illness related to automotive exhaust. Cars don't just kill from afar either. 1 in 84 American deaths is in an automobile crash.

We can remove this foul influence from Our lives, and be better off for it.

2007/04/18

Reaction to the King St. ROW Meeting

Tonight I attended the public meeting at City Hall discussing the plans for the King St. ROW test run, planned for the summer of 2008. The evening began with Adam Giambrone explaining about the problems with service on the King St line, and how the ROW would be an attempt to solve these issues.

He was repeatedly interrupted by some business owners from the King st portion of the entertainment district. When he finished his presentation, they took about an hour to air their grievances about the project. They basically were opposed to losing on street parking, and said that cars already had enough trouble downtown.

I think that increasing the quality of the streetcar service on King St. is extremely important. The plan is not overly disadvantageous to motorists, and business in the entertainment district would not suffer from the loss of something like 100 parking spots. If these people can only manage to stay in business because there is parking nearby, they have worse problems than streetcars.

One of the attendees of the meeting even complained that there is not enough automobile access to downtown. He spoke glowingly of a plan for a private toll supported expressway leading into downtown Toronto, mirroring the path of the DVP. Taking advice from someone who advocates adding another freeway into downtown seems like a dumb idea to me. That idea is definitely not something that would be popular in this ward (remember the Front St. Extension and Spadina Expressway). The same man made about 10 minutes worth of comments, basically considering nothing but the profits at his business, and ignoring more pressing issues like the health of the public and climate change.

After about 40 minutes of comments from the business owners, Adam Vaughn asked Adam Giambrone to remove the end date from the planning stage of the plan and send the idea back to the community council.

I was slightly upset with this request. There is a lot of support for the plan of a trial run of a ROW on King st with the residents of ward 20, as well as with those who use the King St. Line. Councillor Vaughn seemed to take the opinion of those attendance of the meeting tonight as being representative of the opinion of all of the people in this ward.

2007/04/02

How many highway planners does it take to cross the road?


101: 100 to idle in traffic while another designs a road for the next 101 motorists.

Repeat until thoroughly bored and asphyxiating on smog.

2007/04/01