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Bicycles -- Fastestů Or In The Way?

The Toronto Star had a fun article today about a rush hour race between a cyclist, a transit rider, and a driver, from North York Civic Centre to City Hall.

The cyclist did it in 26 minutes, the rocket rider in 35 and the driver in 36.

That was interesting, but what made it more interesting was who the driver was.

The driver was a volunteer representing the CAA. It was James Alcock, one of the four fathers of the CAA's Mobility Express plan.

Surprisingly, his comment after losing the race was not that we should replace Yonge Street with a limited-access expressway. Instead, he blamed his defeat on bicyclists! From the Star:

Last in was driver James Alcock, who ran up the clock to 8:40 looking for parking. "That's not bad, (about) 30 minutes from the suburbs to downtown. And I got to ride in comfort listening to the radio," he said.

Alcock, a volunteer driver representing the CAA, followed Smith's route down Yonge and then Bay Sts.

He said apart from heavy traffic at Eglinton and St. Clair, cyclists, including [race competitor Fraser Smith], proved to be his biggest obstacle.

"Toronto needs separate cycle paths. But it goes to show the city is multi-modal. All the times were very close," he said.

"Separate cycle paths" is part of the CAA's "balanced" plan. They want to "help" cyclists by getting them out of drivers' way. They plan on doing this by creating paths in isolated areas like hydro corridors. Since only leisure cyclists would be using pathways that aren't in line with their journey, I wonder if folks like Alcock would like to outlaw bicycles on major streets like Yonge?

POSTSCRIPT: Read here to see James Alcock's attempt to discredit Jane Jacobs.



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