We have asked our members to weigh in on our two pillars: jobs and
infrastructure. We will be posting blog contributions throughout the
course of the campaign. This week, Patrick Gossage weighs in on the
Mr. Gossage is the Chairman of Media
Profile, the Former Press Secretary to Pierre Trudeau, and was on David
Miller's two successful campaign teams. He writes and comments
frequently on federal provincial and municipal politics.
The Congestion Conundrum
Midtown congestion, especially gridlock on main north south traffic
arteries, is a frustrating and costly problem for the city, one which
lends itself to some relatively easy short term fixes, but few
manageable long term solutions.
Yonge Street is our historic north-south artery and early in the last
century travelers were frustrated by its muddy condition. Today drivers
face virtual gridlock. Spadina, which virtually terminates at Davenport
below Sir Henry Pellat's folly Casa Loma, and Mount Pleasant to the East
are no better.
Are there solutions? Happily a number of fresh new Councillors are
putting their minds to what they all agree should be an "integrated"
solution with some interesting "fixes". They deserve our
Josh Colle (Eglinton - Lawrence) is proposing an Anti-Gridlock Task
Force to advise Council on issues related to gridlock, commuting and
mobility in the City and that membership should include members of the
cycling community, pedestrians, transit riders, taxi-cab community, and
representatives from both the Toronto Board of Trade and the Canadian
The other Josh, Josh Matlow (St. Paul's), wants police to have tow
trucks standing by to remove the "bozos" who stop for a Tim Horton's and
block a lane on Yonge St and nail them with a $500 fine. Same approach
on the streets around downtown towers where traffic is regularly blocked
by delivery vehicles. Or take the New York approach where these
deliveries have to be made at night. He is also convinced that traffic
lights could be better synchronized on Yonge and Avenue Road.
Now veteran Councillor Adam Vaughan (Trinity - Spadina), always ready
with a fresh approach, echoes Matlow's integrated strategy, proposing
giving people something for not using cars - such as new Green P parking
tickets which would work on transit, and a transit pass providing free
use of a Bixi Bike. Now that the TTC has belatedly decided to come into
the 21st century and offer a fare card this "intermodal" approach could
work. Park your car, get on transit and at the other end ride the rest
of the distance on a bike. The reverse going home.
We're a long way and a lot of original thinking to getting to smoother
commutes to and from, thje city core. But a more thorough study of
actionable solutions is worthy of support. It's not cars vs. everything
else - it's in fact all modes working better together.