Toronto - Apr. 14 2010 - Once again the issue of peaceful co-existence between bikes and cars on Toronto’s roads has reared its ugly head with yesterday’s bonehead announcement of the city’s proposed 12-week pilot project to test segregated bike lanes on main arterial roads such as University Avenue.
Mayoral candidate, JP Pampena, the “Man With the Vision”, says this is a recipe for disaster that would punish city drivers with more gridlock and increase safety concerns for all users of the roads. For Mr. Pampena, putting bike lanes – segregated or not – on main arterial roads is simply a further attack perpetrated on motorists by car-phobic councilors.
However, if this is to become the new reality in the 21st century, then according to Mr. Pampena, when he becomes Mayor, bicyclists will be required to be licensed and insured if they wish to use Toronto’s main arterial roads. In other words, just like motorists, bicyclists will have to pay a bicycle registration fee and in addition must carry proper liability insurance.
“Nobody will be getting a free ride in this city when I become Mayor,” states Mr. Pampena.
“Bicyclists who insist on having the right to use our main arterial roads will be paying their fair share just like motorists who already pay dearly for this privilege,” emphasizes Mr. Pampena.
“If bicyclists want the same rights as motorists, then they should abide by the same rules and be subject to being charged for any road violations just like motorists,” Mr. Pampena further states.
With over 20% of the population (388,000) being utilitarian cyclists, according to a 1999 Decima study, and using the same Vehicle Registration Fee of $74, Mr. Pampena calculates this would generate approximately 28 million extra revenue dollars per year for the City of Toronto.
“Not bad as extra pocket change,” states Mr. Pampena.