Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Transit in Toronto needs an expert, not Rob Ford

As an ex-Torontonian (born and raised, in the west end is where I spent most of my days, around the Village with Future Bakery and all, eating Polish food on Roncy and playing in High Park in the fall... did you read that with the melody from the theme song for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air in your head? ) I find it incredibly insulting that an elected official like Ford, who grew up in Etobicoke, the most pedestrian un-friendly suburb at its peak, where even today most of the neighbourhoods still don't have sidewalks, where EVERYBODY has at least two cars in the driveway, considers himself THE person to know what's best for transit in Toronto - a guy that doesn't even take transit to work let alone to public events.

Ugh. I'm so done with his mug in the news.

Anyhow, got this email last week:

from: AW
date: Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 8:40 PM
subject: FordNation supporters on the TTC

Always an interesting day when Ford supporters dress up a giant teddy bear, put it in a stroller, throw some propaganda on the front of it, and march up and down the subway with it. 

He had even re-written lyrics to songs (This Land is Your Land) so they were about Toronto and was singing them. 

Apparently his name is Jim McMillan and he's a huge Ford supporter.

The board says "Rob Ford & Jim McMillan. We got the team. They got the horse & wagon (tough slogging). Rob for lower taxes, Jim for clean air & e/rail on the gardiner & Don Valley middle lanes. If you want to use the other 4 lanes for cars, odd plate endings one day, even plates on the next day. Odd plates the next. Jim McMillan"

See attached photo.


Anonymous said...

You can find his Wikipedia entry here...

C.J. Smith said...

^ And this was probably his second time in his life that he ever rode a TTC subway.

I have no interest in listening to politicians (even the failed ones) who drive to their jobs in a major city like Toronto. I could care less about what they think about transit and what should be done about transit. These people are anti pedestrian, anti-bike, anti-light rail, anti-bike lane, anti-streetcar, anti-dedicated walkways and anti-anything that gets people out of cars. I can't. I just CAN'T.

Squiggles said...

Yes. I did sing along to the Fresh Prince theme!

Valentino Assenza said...

In fairness to Mr.McMillan as someone who has lived in Toronto all their life it very much feels like we're going at the speed of a horse and wagon right now. I never remember getting from A to B in this city taking as long as it does nowadays. But at the same time I understand it.

Our illustrious TTC has had zero evolution. Meanwhile condos are sprouting like wildfire in the core. The population and the population density are through the roof, so this may be why our TTC system is so strained and could provide a clue as to why you're waiting for three subways during rush hour before you get on one.

But I digress.

On Rob Ford's first day in office he stepped to the podium and proudly proclaimed "The war on the car is over." While everyone wondered "war on the car?, WTF is he talking about?" He boastfully cancelled Transit City, a plan that was fully approved and funded by the province. He always talks about how he has saved "taxpayers" money, but he won't answer how much it cost to cancel Transit City considering shovels were already in the ground. That told me everything I needed to know about Rob Ford, and how much he knows about transit. He spent the next four years scratching his head on a new plan, and hired a dunce for a TTC Chair in Karen Stintz, and between the two of them they came up with three lame stops on a Scarborough Subway?

This alone should tell people that he is not the man for the job, and he and his dumbass brother should get out of politics altogether. But somehow they still have support. Either the smog is getting to some Torontonians, or they're smoking the same thing Rob does....or did...who knows.

What's more concerning though is besides John Tory, other candidates have little to no transit plan. Rob Ford is valiantly sticking to his Scarborough subway plan with money from Oz or the sky to fund it. Olivia Chow generically says she is going to increase bus services. Karen Stintz, again remember this was the former TTC Chair, disses everyone's transit plan, says she wants a downtown relief line, but she has provided no definitive plan for what this will be, and her funding idea is to tax hydro? Keep in mind she supported "Mayor" Ford in cancelling Transit City, then she supported LRTs, then she supported the Scarborough Subway.....Ford appointed her the TTC Chair...yeah great judgement. Socknacki says he supports LRTs but has not provided any definitive plan. Oh yes, and then there's Sarah Thompson, who says she is helping formulate The Big Move, but all that really means is that Metrolinx devised The Big Move, and she is tagging along kissing Metrolinx's ass. If the right has a doofus like Rob Ford, the left has a space cadet like Sarah Thomson.

Tory so far has come up with a definitive transit plan, and to tell you the truth it doesn't look half bad. He is using existing GO lines, and a lot of the routes he is suggesting actually make a lot of sense, and it's cost effective. If I was going by transit platforms alone, he'd get my vote right now in a heartbeat. I think it's extremely pitiful that Toronto charged such an amateur with the leadership of it's city, and I think it's that much more sad to see other candidates vying for the job that aren't really providing much of a solution in what seems to be the city's biggest issue.

Perhaps closer to election day we'll see a bit more definition in opposing transit plans. I'd like to have faith that the Toronto electorate will inform themselves, and make a decision to at the very least elect a Mayor that can speak in complete sentences, I don't think that's too much to ask. But I don't think it's too much to ask our leader, whoever that may be, to show us where were going, and how we're going to get there....because for now...we're at the streetcar stop waiting and wondering when the next one's coming.

C.J. Smith said...

I am a Tory supporter. My parents voted for Ford. I would have never voted for him and I liked David Miller. I was one of few who did I guess.
As someone who grew up in Toronto I learned early on it's a city built around cars. The downtown core was parking lot after parking lot and now, as you said, those parking lots are now condos. Transit is merely an after thought. However, in downtown TO, I do see more people walking to work from said condos.
In the 70s/80s public transit was never part of the master plan, it was all HIGHWAYS ... look at them all 427, 406, 404, 407, no one thought, hey, we should run light rail along these puppies. Someone did think HOV lanes were a good idea and to stick GO buses in them and I do think that is working somewhat. No one also thought, hey, we should buy the rail lines from CN and CP and start thinking about running commuter trains on those lines. It's only now our politicians are seeing the benefits of rail and the problem is freight traffic is at an all time high in this province and with rail lines actually have been removed to make way for - WAIT FOR IT - roads, now there's no money to put the lines back in.
This province, when it comes to the GTA, made a fucking mess and it is our children's children who suffer. I'll be dead and retired before I ever see a commuter train in Bowmanville.

C.J. Smith said...

Dead and retired. I like that. I'm sticking with it.

Anonymous said...

Notice why all Ford nation supporters have a high school education (or less), are car drivers, suburban, and tim hortons drinkers

Bicky said...

I have never seen a city council flip flop on transit decisions like the one running the city for the past four years. *smh*

And it makes NO sense to run a subway line that will have three stops (3!) and serve half as many people as the LRT would have (not to mention the college campus that would have benefited from the LRT) - at (at least) double the cost!

Skin Man said...

What's wrong with being a Tim Horton's patron?

mark p said...

i cant stand the "i bulit subways" lie, what subway? oh you mean that useless extension that wont serve as much as the LRT that was going to replace the SRT and use the same right of way and not even screw up roads and wouldnt became another "st clair disaster" right..... his track record has gone off the rails so many times (couldnt resist that pun) sad thing is the stupid "ford nation" will vote this sack of shit mayor back in...

Anonymous said...


Just to remark on your comment that this is probably his 2nd time riding the subway. He has only used the TTC & a Bicycle for the past 32+ years as his car died in 1978/1979 (i was only 6/7 years old so I don't remember it exactly). I beleave your are more so talking about Ford, Jim McMillan has always been a supporter of clean air and getting people out of cars as you put it. While I might not agree with his politics and the way he likes to spread his message, please don't make stuff up about him.

C.J. Smith said...

Is Jim the reason why Toronto is the vibrant pedestrian and bike friendly city that it is?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say the city is the way it is because of Jim, but in certain instances he has been there to make a difference and stand up for what he beleaves in.

Anonymous said...

I know this is 6 years late, but he hasn't driven since 1978. He has only taken the TTC since he stopped driving.