Wednesday, December 7, 2016

open letter to Mayor John Tory

Mayor Tory, I voted for you and I approve 100% of your plan for tolls on the DVP and other roads. A longterm Cabbagetowner, I sold my car a few years ago and get around on my bike and TTC. 

Today's Star article on the shocking number of pedestrians struck yesterday by cars - "22 pedestrians hit in city on Tuesday" - contains this absurd statement from Const. Craig Brister: “I have no idea why it’s happening,” he says. "It could be the weather, darkness ... anything."

I know why it’s happening; it’s simple. Of course the weather and careless walkers are a small part of the equation, but mostly, pedestrians and cyclists are being hit because Toronto drivers feel free to drive too fast. That’s all. I see it every single day as I make my way around the city - people speeding through red lights, down quiet streets, along busy roads. Especially now that there’s so much construction and road work, and so getting around the city is even slower and more frustrating, impatient drivers feel they have the right to zoom whenever possible. And they do. I am amazed, not at the number of people hit and even killed by drivers, but at the fact that there aren’t more.

The speed limit in the city needs to be lowered. Traffic cameras are needed to enforce regulations. Drivers need to know that they cannot speed or they will pay a penalty. If that happened - if you reduced the speed limit and made sure the limits were enforced, and drivers KNEW they were being enforced - you would solve the great mystery of pedestrian casualties. Suddenly there would be far fewer. I guarantee it. 

With best wishes,
Beth Kaplan

P.S. This was just sent to me by friend Richard, a tweet from Toronto's fabulous city planner:
jennifer keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat)
Slowing down when driving is the #1 way to reduce pedestrian fatalities. The number one way. Pic @Visionzeronet

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