News   Dec 04, 2023
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Rob Ford's Toronto

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I think the 'waste' people are upset about is due not so much to true waste, but is instead because of poor coordination within, and between departments.

This is one thing that needs to change.


Yes, it's a little sad that something so obvious has to be spelled out to some.
 
For Rob Ford's love affair with the car, I guess you are right. For better access to public transit, plowing the sidewalks in the suburbs is a must.

Yeah, who needs fat guys in Don Bosco jackets, get w/the program
mr-plow-picture.jpg
 
Financial Post has an comment/article on Toronto’s not-so-tiny but nearly perfect mayor, at this link:

Lawrence Solomon: Toronto’s not-so-tiny but nearly perfect mayor

So far he’s following urban guru Jane Jacob’s play boo
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David Crombie used to be called the “tiny perfect mayor” of Canada’s largest city. Toronto’s new mayor, Rob Ford, may not be tiny, but he’s shaping up to be something close to perfect.

Maybe it’s because I live in the wrong part of town — in downtown Toronto’s Annex district — but I have yet to meet a single neighbour who is proud of Rob Ford, or who can even pronounce his name without grimacing. The few neighbours who have privately admitted to voting for him — for fear that a more loathsome mayoralty candidate might prevail — did so with a sense of shame.

Rob Ford is antithetical to the anti-car Annex, which has Canada’s highest concentration of writers, artists, university profs and other pinkos. Disqualifying him further in the eyes of Annex residents, Ford is fat and suburban.

“So, what do you think of him,” my neighbours ask, knowing that I write on urban issues and that I also work for Energy Probe Research Foundation, the environmental group founded by the Annex’s most illustrious resident ever, urban guru Jane Jacobs.

“So far, Ford is near perfect,” I answer, as I have continually since his election in October. “Ford may not have an environmental bone in his body but he’s pretty much gone about things as Jane Jacobs and Energy Probe would have liked.”

The biggest knock against Ford is his opposition to Transit City, the previous mayor’s grand plan to bloat the city’s public transportation system. Ford gets top marks from me there. I have opposed Transit City from the start as a financially ruinous boondoggle that will not only harm the city’s economic viability but also lead to sprawl — unbeknownst to most, politically driven public transit projects, as opposed to those driven by true passenger demand, have driven sprawl over Toronto’s history.

What of Ford’s promotion of subways instead of mega-transit? While I’m doubtful about the first subway route that Ford is looking at, I’m encouraged by his upcoming discussions with the province over how to finance subway infrastructure using private funds. The approach they will be pursuing — selling the individual subway stations to retailers able to capitalize on the foot-traffic that the subways will attract — comes straight out of The Next City, a magazine that Energy Probe published. “The world’s subway systems should borrow a page from the subway’s past and the airport’s present, and turn stations into profit centres by selling the street-level floor space to retailers who would know what to do with the traffic,” recommended the magazine’s cover story, “Coming to a subway near you.”

While privatized subway stations would be a half-measure — in the ideal Jane Jacobs world, the entire public transit system would be privatized and run for profit — a middle-of-the road Ford approach would be miles ahead of any of his predecessors.

For all his lack of exterior polish and inability to slick talk, Ford has so far demonstrated the freshest mind of any mayor in recent history. His simple little idea to colour-code street curbs — red means no parking, green means park and pay and yellow means read the signs — will inexpensively relieve sidewalks of cluttering and confusing signs.

But Ford has big ideas too, like replacing today’s often hellish public housing with the superior system of old — rent vouchers that would allow the private sector to house the poor with more dignity and in more safety. Here again he follows the footsteps of Jane Jacobs, who cut her teeth fighting the dreary public housing projects that do so much to degrade cities and dull the human spirit.

Ford’s general approach to obtaining a smaller, nimbler, more empowering and more community centred city with big government less in your face is to reduce the city’s workforce along with taxation.

Once again he is following the Jane Jacobs approach by, for example, privatizing garbage collection to lower costs and improve service and selling off surplus real estate to raise funds and eliminate dead government space — all vital ingredients in the making of a liveable city. He could and should go much further, though, by privatizing Toronto Hydro and Toronto Water, and lowering property taxes, not just freezing them, as he plans.

Ford’s many critics claim he cannot cut taxes without cutting needed services. On the contrary, by privatizing, the quality of our neighbourhoods would improve as service levels soar, particularly if services are privatized at the neighbourhood level. Take snow clearing, which overwhelms city crews whenever a major snowfall occurs. As the city’s staff diminishes in number through attrition, Ford should contract out snow removal, beginning with neighbourhood streets. These can be bid out to neighbourhood gas stations or other businesses willing to add a plow to their existing vehicles. As it is, Toronto already has numerous private fleets servicing residential and commercial customers.

You want service? Toronto’s Monster Plowing Company not only provides a guaranteed service, its GPS-monitored trucks will automatically send you a text or email telling you when its truck arrives at and leaves your property. Or, watch its truck’s progress in real time, on its website. More service?

Monster can also clear your sidewalk and entrances, and make them safe with environmentally friendly de-icing agents. Private services such as Monster and the myriad others that would spring up to meet neighbourhood needs would invariably outcompete the city’s inflexible, unionized municipal workforce, saving taxpayers money and improving their quality of life.

Will Ford succeed in his ambitious plans to downsize the city bureaucracy and supersize the benefits of urban life? Ultimately, that depends on the support he gets from the citizenry, because there’s only so much he can do — in Toronto, the mayor has but one vote among many.

If you like his Jane Jacobs approach to date, let him and your councillor know, and if you have ideas that he or other Canadian mayors should pursue, let me know. Since Ford seems to be open minded, I plan to write regularly on reforms that he, along with other mayors, should consider. It will be my honour to pass along the best of the ideas I receive from you, for the consideration of other readers and the powers that be at City Hall.

Read more: http://opinion.financialpost.com/20...-tiny-but-nearly-perfect-mayor/#ixzz1AXtXP0Pa

Hey man, I'll have what he's been smoking. Where did I put my rose-coloured glasses?
 
Wow, I haven't seen anything so utterly bizarre since the after-the-fact justifications of Anglos who voted for René Lévesque and the Parti Quebecois in the 1976 election. LRT on Sheppard East bad because it promotes sprawl while subway is good? Give me a break!
 
Subways don't service communities as well as LRT's do. As energy cost skyrocket in the next few decades, we should be planning to build communities where people can live, work and play. Many areas in the inner suburbs are already as vibrant as some of the core arteries. The difference is that they cater to cars. LRT's and rezoning for higher, mixed use density would make them livable without as much reliance on cars. Why is this such a hard concept for Ford and his supporters to grasp?
 
Subways don't service communities as well as LRT's do. As energy cost skyrocket in the next few decades, we should be planning to build communities where people can live, work and play. Many areas in the inner suburbs are already as vibrant as some of the core arteries. The difference is that they cater to cars. LRT's and rezoning for higher, mixed use density would make them livable without as much reliance on cars. Why is this such a hard concept for Ford and his supporters to grasp?

-Because Transit City besides Eglinton is NOT rapid Transit.

-The subway already exists on Sheppard and a complete line linking STC, NYCC and the Spadina line has a lot of merit if you look at this long term. Centers should be link by rapid transit. The only reason I'm defending Sheppard is because the technology already exist on the same corridor. Switching technology on the same corridor is counter productive...You're just recreating the Kennedy Transfer all over again at Don Mills. The LRT doesn't even go to STC while the subway would.

Transit city (SELRT)=short term vision
Subway on Sheppard is a long term vision

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/lo...-special20101229/20101229/?hub=TorontoNewHome
Click on the link for CTV Toronto: Toronto's skyline imagined 50 years in the future
Look at how much densier NYCC and STC will get within 50 years...without the subway.
The subway would accelerate the growth of both centers and along Sheppard Avenue East.

What makes you think that the way SELRT is being built will handle that 50 years down the road? What's the solution if it does warrant its own fully separated ROW in 50 years? We'll just put the line underground...Sure! At what cost in 50 years? They'll be thinking (rightfully so) that it should have been built that way in the first place.

As for Eglinton, I support it. It's Rapid Transit and the outer portions will most likely be fully separated from the roads since Metrolinx brought up elevated structures for the LRT. That's good thinking there.

As For the rest of Transit city, it’s a great idea. Since it's cheaper than subways, expending Transit City on Jane, Don Mills, Waterfront, Finch and Malvern will be easier in the future. Lawrence, Wilson and Islington also belong on that list. Since Most of Transit city use the same method as St.Clair, it is something that even the city could make happen without depending too much on the province and the Feds.
 
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-Because Transit City besides Eglinton is NOT rapid Transit.
It's much more rapid than the bus it replaces, and almost, but not quite, as rapid as subway. Yet it costs only a fraction of the cost. Whether you call it Rapid Transit or a Purple Gorilla doesn't matter. It's the only sensible choice for routes such as Finch and Sheppard where the demand for subway decades from now is significantly lower than what it is now.

Best to fix some of the small problems with the proposed lines - such as an increased stop spacing, rather than propose a solution that will never be built because of the excessive cost.
 
It's much more rapid than the bus it replaces, and almost, but not quite, as rapid as subway. Yet it costs only a fraction of the cost. Whether you call it Rapid Transit or a Purple Gorilla doesn't matter. It's the only sensible choice for routes such as Finch and Sheppard where the demand for subway decades from now is significantly lower than what it is now.

Best to fix some of the small problems with the proposed lines - such as an increased stop spacing, rather than propose a solution that will never be built because of the excessive cost.

Finch and Sheppard are totally different but hey, let's just agree to disagree
 
Finch and Sheppard are totally different but hey, let's just agree to disagree
Every street is different.

As long as you keep posting misleading and erroneous information, I'm going to point it out. Wanting someone to agree to disagree is simply asking for carte blanche to ignore facts.
 
I think Vaughan's unwillingness to compromise (or even consider compromise) will disqualify him from the mayor's chair. Plus he's too 'downtown.'

I'd predict Shelley Carroll in 2014 and (if the worst happens and Ford's a two-termer) Josh Matlow in 2018. Both come from more suburban ridings and can play both sides of the fence.

Carroll also has good political connections which I think Vaughan kind of lacks. I know people accuse him of being NDP but I think the NDP still holds a grudge against him.
 
-Because Transit City besides Eglinton is NOT rapid Transit.

Which is good if the goal is to increase density and reduce sprawl. Queen Street is not a freeway, but it is far better at servicing the community than a freeway would. The faster transportation moves the less it promotes compact land use. If speed is the be all and end all then freeways are better than anything else and we should focus on widening them and forget about transit. With freeways you don't stop until you get to your destination and travel at 100km/h... transit can't match that at all.
 
Which is good if the goal is to increase density and reduce sprawl. Queen Street is not a freeway, but it is far better at servicing the community than a freeway would. The faster transportation moves the less it promotes compact land use. If speed is the be all and end all then freeways are better than anything else and we should focus on widening them and forget about transit. With freeways you don't stop until you get to your destination and travel at 100km/h... transit can't match that at all.

Unless your travelling on a freeway between 10PM and 6AM, You're seldom doing 100km/hr. I agree, we need transit that services communties, not that bypasses them.
 
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