QUOTED: Denzil Minnan-Wong scolds Toronto’s chief medical officer for wanting to cut speed limits
—Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the public works committee, getting testy over Dr. David McKeown’s call to cut the speed limit in Toronto in a report released yesterday. Apparently, the rate of car collisions with cyclists and pedestrians is about twice as high in Toronto as in Montreal and three times as high as Vancouver. McKeown advocates cutting the citywide speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h, and the limit on residential streets from 40 km/h to 30 km/h, writing that “small increases in traffic speeds results in a disproportionately large increase in pedestrian fatalities.” Faster than you can say “war on cars,” Minnan-Wong got territorial about what he saw as outside “meddling” in his department—not all that surprising given his previous mistrust of the pedestrian scramble at Yonge and Dundas. Still, even without he suburban councillor’s reaction, we’d bet the proposal to slow Toronto traffic would be a tough sell. [Toronto Star]
7 thoughts on “QUOTED: Denzil Minnan-Wong scolds Toronto’s chief medical officer for wanting to cut speed limits”
Minnan-Wong’s no stranger to outside meddling. Just ask Kristyn Wong-Tam, the Toronto Centre-Rosedale councillor who wasn’t consulted about the costly and ideological removal of bike lanes from Jarvis. What a stupid jackass.
Thank God he set Tam-wong right on Jarvis Street. It unfortunate it takes an outsider to tell a local councillor what her own constituants want. KWT is useless.
Minnan-Wong is wrong on Jarvis Street. It unfortunate that an outsider is interfering with local councillors with what their own constituants want. DMW is useless.
Pedestrian lives are unimportant compared to the harried life of the commuter. We can’t drive vroom vroom down the road to our offices if the speed limit is too low, because people will just ignore it and drive whatever speed they want like they do already.
“Sure, it’ll save a few lives, but millions will be late!”
I don’t know what the fuss is about – traffic in downtown Toronto never gets fast anyways.
While I agree with suggestions to improve safety, I am not sure that reducing the overall speed limits are totally going to solve problems. I think accidents happen when people accelerate in their cars for short distances or when they are stuck in a traffic jam they make dicey maneuvers without checking around them. I think for starters, we need ways to improve the flow of car traffic and provide much much better (safe AND not ridiculously convoluted) routes for bikers. If people can use alternatives to cars downtown, that would be much better because to be honest, Toronto streets were never designed for this flow of traffic. That does mean better public transport from the suburbs…but don’t even get me started…
Yet another standard, straightforward urban-planning issue where Team Ford shows that they are a bunch of ignorant dimwits completely unaware of how other cities work.
The suggestion is modeled on the new Slow Zones program in New York, which applies 20 mph limits (no enforcement, but several behviour-adjusting modifications made) to small, purely residential 5×5 block areas that meet strict conditions and demonstrate local support. That is how you do it, and there is nothing wrong with this concept or approach. London has 400+ similar zones.
But why would I expect the Chair of Public Idiocy to agree with anything that another modern big city does successfully whether it be traffic safety, congestion charges, cycling infrastructure, light rail, streetscape improvements, pedestrian crossings… I’m typing these words from London right now, which makes Toronto seem more and more of a backwater dump with every renewed public street, sidewalk, transit station… need I go on?
Comments are closed.