Cars Outduel Bullets Killing > 42!
Toronto drivers have now killed more individuals than all the loudly pronounced shootings through 2019. Yet, this scope of mass murder has mysteriously remained a benign issue with all levels of media, except till the Christmas week massacre at Centennial College. One can only ask the rhetorical question of why?
This daily reality is compounded by an exhibited political culture that gives top billing to vehicular transportation. The city of Toronto and the Province of Ontario are very unlikely to have a political metamorphoses through 2020 regarding actual affirmative initiatives to diminish the number of fatalities and injuries incurred by pedestrians and cyclists on the streets of the Ontario’s capital.
The 42 pedestrian deaths in 2019 speaks volumes about a civic mindset that decidedly favours vehicle transport over bi-pedal. This prevailing political perspective will likely manifest itself by creating the vivid potential that > 200 of our fellow citizens will be crushed by a vehicle over the next 5 years becoming a stark reality. Disgracefully, the last 1/2 decade has sanctified this macabre benchmark. Certainly, we as a community deserve much better.
That being said, it is best to keep in mind that this level of carnage is not a singular issue of blame; both drivers and negligent pedestrian behaviour all play their part in this burgeoning tragedy.
Sometimes the simplest of initiatives can foster lasting change and results. Perhaps encouraging cyclists and pedestrians too port brighter apparel might facilitate some immediate results.
Just Imagine for a moment… Our city with spacious bi-pedal oriented hubs with interconnected safe passage pedestrian zones. Theoretically, they would spread themselves out, in an interspersed compass-like pattern. Figuratively, the epicentre could be the Dundas & Yonge Street square. Yonge street would become defacto an urban oasis with it’s ultra wide sidewalks and vibrant shop life, stretching north to York Mills or Sheppard and South to the lakefront. Vehicle traffic would work on parallel conduits with restricted special access, limited to commercial, emergency & licensed traffic (i.e. taxi cabs, etc.), plus (large) off-hour deliveries would be highly encouraged. The reduction in air pollutants would also be an obvious improvement.
Simultaneously, the peripheral (fringe) hubs would be designed to best accommodate parking and high tech manufacturing, but also developing as centres for longer inner city and intercity travel (think of an expanded Up Express).
Toronto is no longer the city of our parents and grandparents. Over the last three decades, it has fast-forwarded from being affectionately called “Hog Town” into the nation’s beloved “Queen City”. The country’s primary economic engine is filled with bustling, bright millennials and civically-minded active generation Xs. This swath of urban humanity has repeatedly expressed that gaining a sense of community, combined with fluid bi-pedal interconnectivity and battling climate change, are 3 momentously important civic issues.
All elected officials would be wise to heed their call. We sincerely hope that this issue of building a sense of community, interlocked with safe passage between communities and reducing the level of pollutants could easily become a galvanizing point in response to the unmentionable tragedies involving our youngest citizens.
To paraphrase Edmond Burke, “evil prevails when good people do nothing”. It is your right to speak out, so hopefully these insidious numbers will be your clarion call if Toronto is expected to ever become a truly world class city. Now is the time to deliver our streets back to the people.
Finally, to end on a positive note have a safe & prosperous 2020!
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P.s. the articles attached below further validate the points above, and contain equally mind-boggling facts about this growing concern. Further, we have also attached links to a few of our past blog posts related to this issue. Accurate (Peel) Appraisals has been diligently pushing for positive change in terms of road safety.