What was The Toronto Sun thinking in running a piece written by Doug Ford? Kudos to Ben Spurr who took to Twitter to say “Postmedia publishes Doug Ford op-ed that falsely describes King St as a “car exclusion zone,” and falsely claims “millions” of drivers have been affected”. Price Tags has previously written about the success of this demonstration project.
On the last day of 2017 the Toronto Sun published an opinion piece by City of Toronto Councillor Doug Ford that has more holes in it than a rusty carburetor in an Edsel. While the rest of the world has watched with fascination when Toronto found that you could actually take the majority of cars off Toronto’s downtown King Street and efficiently move more people faster and more safely in street cars, Doug Ford got on board with his own set of truths. Very much like his late brother Rob Ford’s simplistic take on how to improve urban transportation (get rid of street cars, more money for roads) much of the information is based upon conjecture, not statistics.
“What I have heard and seen from small business owners is that sales have sunk to an all-time low, traffic has been driven away from the area and the neighbourhood has become less vibrant.Gridlock has become unbearable on neighboring streets, businesses are suffering devastating consequences and drivers are getting fined during the holidays…Where did Tory (the mayor of Toronto) think the millions of motorists were supposed to go? How did he think that businesses could survive a 50% decrease in revenues? Why did he think it would be fair to hand out Tory Tickets of $110 and two demerit points? Is all of this worth a couple of minutes saved on the streetcar?…
The city is reviewing the project, but one of my biggest concerns is that the facts will be glossed over. To say that businesses aren’t hurting, or that travel times on neighbouring streets have only increased marginally is scandalous. A City Hall journalist conducted a test drive and results showed travel times on adjacent streets more than doubled — and that was outside of rush hour….If congestion on neighbouring streets does not go down, and if business revenues are still sagging, and if the streetcar travel times do not decrease beyond a couple of minutes, then Tory needs to wake up, stop using commuters as pawns and scrap this ridiculous King car and business exclusion zone.”
Despite the fake facts and the calling out on the unsubstantiated claims by a reputable member of the Toronto press, the editorial is still on-line in its original form. Twentieth century concepts of motordom still reign supreme in Toronto. You can view a video with Doug Ford on King Street here.