The dream of every Torontonian, save maybe the purveyors of overly large, overly powerful, toxically fuelled motor vehicles, is to be able to move more freely in and around our town, whatever their personal mobility preference might be.
This city is becoming ever more congested by design, intentionally growing up and sprawling further out, but the amount of space we have to transport ourselves and our goods is finite. The previous century's status quo is no longer viable.
Some would still have us believe that the construction of more roads is the answer to handling more highway-capable vehicles. But the reality is that smaller two-, three- and smaller four-wheeled vehicles better designed for in-town, point-to-point jobs and journeys are the only real solution.
Of course, the best are human-powered vehicles. Any time we walk or cycle to a destination, we all benefit.
Despite current local roadblocks in the mayor's office and the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, the use of such transportation modes continues to grow. In fact, a recent late-summer rush-hour count actually found more bicycles heading west along College than motor vehicles.
Still, for many of us such options can prove unsuitable due to distance, weather and load-capability limitations. Improved TTC service beyond the decades-away promise of an additional three subway stops in Scarborough could address such needs.
But the main issue remains the impact the struggling (dying) Canadian auto industry continues to have on our urban transportation model.
For more than half a century, the auto industry's marketing push for even larger, more expensive motor vehicles has driven our version of the North American mobility system.
Disincentives to driving, such as legislating urban-access road tolls and parking fees based on vehicle size, are one solution.
But we could also easily introduce a secondary product line of urban vehicles that would be licensed for city (no highway driving) only.
Thankfully, we in 21st-century Toronto are still free to think outside the rolling metal box, aren't we?
Wayne Scott is a retired foot/bike/transit messenger, City of Toronto cycling ambassador and former chair of the Toronto Pedestrian Committee.