Thursday, June 09, 2005

flipflops n summertunes

Though cars are destroying our cities and the very air we breathe, I can think of at least one benefit to the beast: it's the best place to listen to music.

Driving back from a meeting in Stouffville (small town about a 45 min. drive from my Toronto office) in a company big old 'mini'van, I listened to the latest K-Os disc. Man it's good! I've listened to it a few times now and loved it from the start, but there's nothing better than listening to a kickass new disc while stuck in slowburn traffic with the window down (further reducing fuel efficiency) on a sunnyhot day. Did I mention I'm a professional environmentalist? It's the professional that sinks the ship (after a few too many drinks usually). As soon as you start paying someone to do something and they take it up full-time, they start taking shortcuts and lose their passion.

Speaking of flipflops, I'm thinking of signing that petition after a lot of good debate over a listserv I'm on for 'Smart Growth', which refers to the crazy concept of good urban planning, crucial in Toronto where the population is skyrocketing with new arrivals. How to meet everyone's needs now without sacrificing the future?

A lot of new information has surfaced (to my eyes) about those bike lanes and the pesky trees reducing their width. Essentially, according to most of these listserv luddites, City Council cooked the deal and threw up the trees like a red herring - you'd puke too. It seems there may indeed have been far fewer trees at risk than our local rag reported, and that such risk was more the product of a road widening. At the same time, the road width has to be a certain minimum in order to be safe for buses. But the crux and crucifix of it is that the bike lane could have been included without any additional risk to the trees, but the ratepayers didn't want any more width to the road for damn bikes. The leftist City Councillors conceded, probably (in my guess) because they didn't expect to win any more concessions from the more conservative peeps in power, they figured a 1.25 metre bike lane is better than none, and this way the more conservative councillors owe a favour or two. It's nothing new, and I still see these particular City Councillors as allies, but I now understand why all the cyclist groups are angry. Still, not sure what a petition will accomplish.

Better perhaps to continue working with the leftwingnuts who have some legitimate power to change car culture and start investing more in public transit. That's long-term thinking. So fuck it, I'm still not signing.


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