Rocco Rossi’s bike plan: missing the point

It’s somewhat ironic that I was just considering offering a reward for a recent picture of Rocco Rossi riding a bicycle.

Today, Rossi released one of the emptiest bicycle network proposals so far. I would link to the proposal, except it doesn’t seem to be online. All that Rossi’s website has put out is a vague media release with a rough map. Rossi’s plan calls for installation of separated lanes on only four streets, three of which already have painted lanes and none of which are major routes, and nothing else at all. Even Rob Ford’s bicycle network proposal is more comprehensive – Ford at least recognizes that cycling is a city-wide issue, and not just bound to a small part of downtown.

Fellow cyclist and blogger Lizz Bryce has already wrote in great detail about why anything Rossi says about cycling is suspect, and too little too late (“The Candidates go for a ride“).

Rossi has made his opinion on cycling very clear with his various anti-cycling pronouncements. He has spent the entire summer and most of the campaign railing against the installation of separated bicycle lanes. He suggested that a trial of separated lanes on University Ave would surely cause GRIDLOCK (see @larrylarry‘s article debunking that fantasy), and he swore that the reconfiguration of Jarvis Street was “madness”. Even with today’s press release, Rossi vows to remove the community-demanded lanes on Jarvis, and touts his commitment to keep bicycles off of major streets.

Every group of voters Rossi panders to has already heard a better platform from another candidate. Cyclists have a far better proposal in Himy Syed‘s Bike City, an actual plan for complete streets throughout the city. There is nothing original at all in Rossi’s plan, and as I’ve written before, Rossi’s alternative network of bicycle lanes on less-used side streets will do nothing at all to protect cyclists who are already using major routes like Bloor Street. Rossi has missed the meaning of complete streets entirely.

@thatgirlpam @toddtyrtle @robmcewen So far, according to top candidates, if you don't drive, you don't matter. #voteTO
@ivanvector
Greg Burrell

Sorry, Mr. Rossi, you’ve made clear with your rhetoric where you stand on cycling in the city. You still haven’t admitted that the Jarvis bike lanes didn’t cause massive congestion, and it’s clear that you just don’t understand the issues facing people who ride bicycles daily without the privilege of a police escort. I’m not interested in your half-assed bike plan or your sound-bite campaign.

Further reading: Mayoral Candidates Join Cycling Advocates For Morning Commute By Bicycle (Toronto Cyclists Union)

About Greg Burrell

Greg is an accountant, cyclist and political observer living in Toronto, Canada with too many cats.
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