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April 30, 2011


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Erhard Kraus

Well - a misunderstanding of the numbers on your part, Jim! The "extra fourteen minutes" that you mention were the total minutes for the north-bound trip in Tess' report. You also could have mentioned that a traffic light change will address the problem, according to her article. Or that the imminent Bixi system will put more cyclists into that general area. You probably don't know that, but the Jarvis Street changes were done to enhance the street for all citizens including pedestrians (wider sidewalks and landscaping), cyclists and the people that LIVE there.

Please give us better info, and less "rant"....

christopher malcolm

Jim, I think you may be missing a point here. We have laws controlling the free movement of dogs because without these laws dogs cause car accidents. People don't like killing dogs with their cars ... killing a dog makes for an unpleasant driving experience. Bike lanes are not about hating cars, they are about making the city a less difficult place in which to drive. If you have not noticed that driving on Jarvis Street is more comfortable since the bike lanes went in it I suspect it is because you do not drive on it as part of your daily commute. Those of us who do drive on it have grown past your ideological posture.


First of all, for someone who supposedly hated cars Miller did a lot of being driven around.

You didn't mention the fact that the lights at Gerrard are causing some of the delays and are due to be reconfigured. You think that might account for the difference in travel times between southbound and northbound? Maybe different traffic volumes, perhaps because drivers are realizing that there is more than one route option?

Nor that the northbound trips were UP TO fourteen minutes between Queen and Charles, i.e., not 'an extra fourteen minutes' over the predicted 8-10 minutes' travel time.

But I suspect there's little point in pointing that out to you because you display a common type of vicarious fake concern about cyclists when it comes to their right to use the road, the weather (yes, some cyclists don't mind the rain) and having 'lost' the game of numbers. There are always going to be fewer cyclists than drivers, but so what?

The message behind such fake concern - 'Those poor cyclists, so small in number' - is always the same: there aren't enough of them, so they should give up. Bike haters always seem to put the number of cyclists at the sweet spot: too few to merit any respect, consideration or infrastructure, but just enough of them to be 'always in the way'.

On top of that, I have biked Jarvis enough times to see that it's not really the bike lanes that are slowing the traffic down, because 'rush hour' on Jarvis is still nothing compared to other, more congested routes (Eastern Ave springs to mind) that have no bike lanes and because the bike lanes are frequently being used by cars as right-turn lanes and as parking spaces.


You also didn't really 'revisit' the bike lanes, or the Jarvis bike lane issue, if all you did was read about it on a flight out of town rather than actually using Jarvis in some way, like many people actually do. And remember what they say about statistics.


Your 33-to-1 figure doesn't seem to appear in any of your posts from this time last year about Jarvis or the University Ave proposal, but it's right up there with your wild estimate about the total number of cars vs bikes, which you've been called out on before:


Jim Kenzie



Oh, how cruel...

It's always just the facts for me, Erhard...

Four extra minutes greater than the eight to ten minutes predicted - that's forty (at best) or fifty (at worst) greater than predicted?

Affecting the vast majority of road users, to benefit the tiniest minority?

All the while making it more dangerous for that minority?

Whose side are you on here?

And you think ANOTHER traffic light will solve the problem?

Haven't you been reading my ran.. - er, 'facts' about roundabouts?

Neither, apparently, have the traffic engineers in Toronto.

Too bad.


Jim Kenzie

Jim Kenzie

Hi Christopher:

Who's being ideological here?

I drive on Jarvis Street often enough to note (a) there are very few bikes on there, ever; (b) there are even fewer in winter; (c) according to the City of Toronto, the delays affecting the vast majority of road users are forty to fifty percent greater than they predicted.

And I'd be interested in learning what methodology you use for calculating' driving comfort'!


Jim Kenzie

Jim Kenzie

Hi Larry:

As always, I admire your passion, if not your grasp on reality.

I may have mis-understood that fourteen minute number.


But the measured delay is forty to fifty percent greater than predicted.


Wish my pay would go up by forty to fifty percent.

I have little-enough faith in traffic lights as it is; I doubt massaging the time sequence at Gerrard is materiallly going to improve things.

You remove 33 percent of a road's capacity to benefit the tiniest minority of road users, and you're going to have delays to the vast majority of road users.

And while you don't like to be reminded of statistics, the fact is that the fundamental principle of any democracy is (or should be) the greatest good for the greatest number.

Bike lanes on Jarvis Street fail that test - and every other test - miserably.

Once again, I don't hate bikes. I have one - used to commute (sometimes on Jarvis Street!) on it. My daughter still does commute to work on hers. My concern for her safety is hardly 'fake.'

Bikes and cars just don't play well together, and any attempt to make them do so is bound to end badly.

As for my 12 million car comment - geez; can't you bikeys take a joke??

I guess if I got home from work frozen stiff, dripping wet, and having been scared poopless a dozen times in that half-hour commute, my sense of humour would be dulled too.


Jim Kenzie


On the Darcy Sheppard issue, have you seen the video where Bryant first bumps him, and then seemingly releases the clutch and has his car leap into him, sending him on to the hood? Then Bryant takes off?!? And they let him off without even a slap on the wrist, because Darcy was a live wire; or in otherwords a sh*theel who was asking for trouble??? Maybe you'd be interested in following up on Chris Kasztelewicz, who lost his leg to an overzelous taxi driver one night in 2008; how is he doing (kinda curious if he's riding a handle propelled bike tbh)?


I guess what I'm implying is that although Cars & Bikes don't get along, it's ALWAYS the bike who loses; and not just the numbers game, but their lives...


You need to see what Jarvis is actually like to get the full picture.


Jim, if cycling safety is a concern for you, why don't you write about it? In your blog, column etc? Use your name and fame to let all know how it really feels commuting on a bicycle with or without bike lanes and potentially make Toronto commuting safer for your daughter? Hope you're not afraid of loosing your readers by doing so, are you?...

susan mladenovich

Hi Jim, I am in the market for a used car and am concerned that I don't get stuck with a "zipper" car or am conned about its history. Either W5 or Marketplace did a piece recently about all the scams in the used market so I am concerned about buying from a used car dealer. are there any services or companies that will review a potential used car purchase for any issues like this?



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