Where candidates stand on walking and biking
The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation has released its survey of candidates' positions on walking and cycling issues in the city, asking each whether they support pedestrian policies and the city's bike plan and the timelines they project for implementation. The survey which includes all municipal candidates from mayoral wannabes, to councillors to trustees.
Not all candidates responded, however, including mayoral frontrunner Rob Ford. But he did do the survey in 2006 and his positions haven't really changed.
Here's the media release:
The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT) releases the results of its 2010 Municipal Candidate Election Surveys today. TCAT surveyed all Toronto candidates to provide voters the candidates' views on active transportation issues and the concrete steps that can be taken to improve cycling and walking in Toronto. Surveys were sent in August 2010 to all of the mayoral, councillor and school trustee candidates – 475 candidates in total, with 137 respondents to date.
The survey for mayoral and councilor candidates contained nine questions gauging support for specific cycling, pedestrian and public transit projects in the city. School trustee candidates received a different survey, related to increasing opportunities for students to safely walk or bike to school. Of particular interest was support expressed for TCAT’s top three priorities for the next term of council:
- A Complete Streets Policy for Toronto: 69% per cent of 13 mayoral candidates and 77% of 84 council candidates strongly support developing and implementing a Complete Streets policy. This policy would ensure our streets are routinely designed to provide the safe travel of all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
- Full implementation of the Toronto Walking Strategy by 2019: 54% of 13 mayoral candidates and 79% of 84 council candidates say they would fully staff and fund the Pedestrian Projects Unit of the Public Realm Section.
- Building a new major east-west bicycle lane on Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue: 46% of 13 mayoral candidates and 45% of 83 council candidates strongly support this important artery for cyclists.
“It was important that our questions reflected issues that both our coalition members and the city as a whole have told us are major concerns and priorities,” said Nancy Smith Lea, TCAT Director. “We asked about a Complete Streets Policy because they are hugely successful in the United States, Toronto transportation staff supports it, and it provides a holistic solution to providing safe streets for all users of Toronto’s streets,” continued Smith Lea.
Promoting cycling, walking, and public transit use is crucial for Toronto to reduce local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; fight obesity; provide safe routes for the elderly, children and people with disabilities; and bolster local businesses. “Safety, health and the economy are all concerns that the majority of the population shares. Promoting policies that improve the safety of our streets increases the number of people walking and biking. This in turn improves individual’s health and increased customer traffic to local businesses. These surveys provide voters what they need to choose candidates that will take steps to promote active transportation,” said Smith Lea.
To read the candidates’ individual responses, visit TCAT’s web site
Download a copy of this press release here.
This is the second Toronto election that TCAT has conducted a municipal candidate survey, with questions based on its active transportation platform. The 2010 TCAT platform, “Action 2014: Taking the Next Step,” provides a detailed analysis of concrete steps for the city to take in all areas of its operations to improve walking and cycling in the next term of council.