Let's get back to pedalling
I thoroughly enjoyed Joshua Errett's piece on the politicization of cycling in Toronto under the Ford administration (NOW, May 24-30).
But whoever wrote the cover headline for your bike issue clearly neglected to read Errett's article.
An homage to Gil Scott-Heron's cultural-reference-drenched [song] of (almost) the same name, The Revolution Will Not Be Motorized contradicts Errett's argument that "making cycling a political choice deters riders."
Yes, we bikers still face the aftershock of Don Cherry's famous "pinkos" blast, but instead of once again crying "fascist pig," can't we just get back to pedalling?
Bike spending a lane drain
Thanks for a pretty good section on biking, including favourable mentions of Bloor bike lanes (NOW, May 24-30). But besides your chiding of Cycle Toronto, we need a more substantive and cynical analysis of our bike politics.
The Ford administration's bike scheme touts $30 million for off-road paths, but that is all subject to annual approval. The average cost of each kilometre of path is $1 million, which could create 40 kilometres of on-road bike lanes.
Ninety per cent of commuting cyclists won't get much real benefit from all this spending, if it occurs.
And remembering Jenna Morrison would mean mentioning that the city dropped Sterling Road, where she was killed, from its suggested bike routes on this year's bike map.
Gee, what changed?
For Fordists, a reality check
It's clear that politicians like Denzil Minnan-Wong remain out of touch with cycling reality.
In 1975, the old Metro council passed a motion to "discourage" cyclists from using Metro roads. It was the result of a consultant's study detailing off-road bike paths. Cyclists continued to use arterial roads anyway.
It is most unfortunate, too, that Cycle Toronto (formerly Toronto Cyclists Union) is so timorous in truly advancing environmentally friendly cycling. As a dedicated long-time adult cyclist, I have to wonder where they have placed their priorities.
Cycling is a legitimate form of transportation in a modern city. Cyclists have no need to apologize.
William E. Brown
I neither own a car nor ride my bike frequently, so don't really have a dog in this fight, but I think NOW could perhaps have chosen a better photo to accompany Ashley Botting's article (NOW, May 24-30). The image seems to reinforce the stereotype of cyclists as bird-flipping, hotheaded assholes.
Regarding I [heart] Bixi, by Glenn Sumi (NOW, May 24-30). Honestly, requiring bikes to be outfitted with bells seems like a silly bylaw. When my life depends on alerting someone to my presence, a little tinkling bell isn't nearly enough. I prefer a sharp shout - no obscenities or anger, just enough to replicate a car horn. If the situation doesn't warrant this, I prefer to just slow down and manoeuvre around.
Hitting the ground riding
Some weeks ago, I saw the turn of the streetcar tracks from my new road bike a second before my head (with helmet) hit the ground. A complete error in judgment on my part.
Immediately, a group of people rushed to help me. My boyfriend was there to lend a hand, but I could just as easily have been on my own - and I was very appreciative of all who stopped to help.
Since the fantastic paramedics at East York General picked me up (hairline fracture of the hip), I have been hobbling around on one crutch, and it never ceases to amaze me how kind people are. Thank you, fellow Torontonians.
G20 blame not Bill Blair's
It's no surprise that Julian Fantino's name doesn't appear in the OIPRD report on G20 police abuses (NOW, May 24-30).
I suspect that Stephen Harper's name doesn't appear in it in a critical way either, yet it is Harper who stuck it to Toronto by ignoring calls not to hold the G20 in downtown Toronto.
The resulting police abuses are an accurate reflection of his style of government.
Boss Blair's brand of justice
Billy boy Blair knows all about law but absolutely nothing about justice. Why do Toronto cops need a union when they have Boss Blair?
What revolution looks like
What are we to make of 100 days of mayhem in Montreal (NOW, May 24-30)?
Coddled kids with a mistaken sense of entitlement? Yes, there's some of that. But if it were just that the strike would have fizzled long ago.
The idea of free education, which has deep philosophical and political roots in Québec? Okay. But does it run deep enough to pull thousands of young Québecois into the streets week after week?
Ah-ha! The unions have hijacked the demonstrations.
Dial down the diatribes for a bit and what do the streets of Montreal look like? They look like Toronto or Seattle during the G20. They look like Occupy Wall Street. We say we want the young engaged in the political process. But they're young. Why are we surprised they engage in a way we don't approve of?
Two faces of gay extremism
In homophobia extremism, letter writer J. Kraken says we should just let the mayor be about his decision not to attend Pride (NOW, May 24-30).
The mayor of any city with a large gay population attends the local Pride parade if he has any kind of feeling for being mayor of all the citizens. It's no different than attending the St. Patrick's Day parade.
That Ford doesn't think so is a mark of his immaturity and ignorance, the kind that manifests itself as homophobia. He may just be starting to learn what being a mayor is all about.
But does Kraken think his own sexuality is a "lifestyle" or a "belief"? I doubt it. Yet this writer has the nerve to compare people who just want mainstream acceptance to religious extremists?
If you're looking for an intolerant extremist, buddy, look no further than the face in your mirror.