Doug Ford wants charity events off city streets and, well, put somewhere else

Doug Ford wants charity events off city streets and, well, put somewhere else

Cyclist in a past Ride for Heart (Image: Commodore Gandalf Cunningham)

In the final months leading up to the election, Rob Ford said he’d prefer to move marathons off city streets—apparently, the traffic delays they cause are simply too inconvenient for local motorists. At the time, his brother Doug took the opportunity to engage in a little good-natured familial ribbing. But it looks likes Doug doesn’t find the idea that silly anymore. According to today’s Toronto Star, the Ford who isn’t the mayor is now singing the same tune as the Ford who is, after the Becel Heart and Stroke Ride for Heart shut down parts of the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway last weekend.

From the city’s paper of record:

“I’m a big supporter of these charitable organizations; they do a great job,” [Doug] Ford said Monday. “On the other hand, you get a few phone calls from constituents that aren’t too happy that the roads are blocked up.

“Do I agree there’s always better ways of doing things? Yes.”

Ford wants organizers of the ride and other big events to sit down with city officials and see if some can be moved off busy roads into large parks or other venues.

Of course, the brothers Ford are famous for both catering to motorists in all things and being convinced by phone calls. But when a story like this surfaces we always wonder how many phone calls it takes to get their attention—what’s the magic number? Because the 24th Ride for Heart raised a record $3.9 million this year, and we’d hate to see things change for “a few” phone-happy motorists.

In any case, we definitely think that the idea Ford floats at the end of the Star article—namely, moving these events to the city’s 100 kilometres of bike paths by 2014—is a great one. It just needs to be a touch more realistic. Like, say, including unicorns and pixie dust.

Doug Ford looks for solution to road-clogging charity events [Toronto Star]