Sunday, October 28, 2007

The American way of life is a blessed one?

"That's a big no. The president believes that it's an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policy makers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one." -White House press secretary Ari Fleischer on whether President Bush would call on drivers to reduce their fuel consumption

Monday, October 22, 2007

Air pollution decreases on Yom Kippur in Israel

Once a year, on Yom Kippur, Israel shuts down for this holiest day of the year. Most streets and highways are closed to vehicles. Places of entertainment are closed, radio and TV broadcasts have gone off the air It is quiet, and the air is clean. For the non-observant, on that day, the streets become the preserve of children on wheels. It is also an opportunity to measure reductions in air pollution in response to greatly reduced traffic. It's a country-wide carfree day.

Biking on the Ayalon Freeway facing south (Isabel Maxwell)

Sounds of the City
By Isabel Maxwell October 14, 2005

6.30am on this Thursday morning -- the sounds of Yom Kippur ---- s i l e n c e. Not one car... but the whispering wind in the blue, blue sky. It is a gorgeous day. Soon enough will come the first sounds of the "Bicycle Festival" as this holiday has come to also be known by the more secular population of the city, who use the occasion to take to the streets on human-powered wheels. But right now, at this dawn hour, not only the usual traffic noise sounds are gone, the energy of the streets feels completely different -- than that of the middle of any night for instance. It's the quiet of a city taking stock.
Soon enough the streets are filled with bicycles and skaters and parents getting their first real exercise in a year, puffing after their children -- all excitedly in the middle of the streets talking animatedly, riding higgledy piggeldly, laughter of the older children and shrieks from the little ones as they taste their new found freedoms testing out the roads they have never been allowed to go near before -- "

Daddy! Mommy!" The traffic lights are madly blinking stop! Go! Stop! Go! And of course, no one is taking any notice. The birds are calling to each other above the roof tops. Caw caw!! Chirp chirp!! Wooooo wooooooo goes the dry north wind. You can even hear crickets by the usually bustling beachfront promenade. it is all quite delightful.
11am. I roll my own bike out and head north to see a friend near Bene Brak. The long stretch of Rokah Boulevard, usually filled with streams of hurrying cars and taxis honking their horns without relief, is totally empty except for all the bicycles and roller skaters with their dogs panting galllantly along on leashes, trying to catch up.

Report: Air pollution 100 times lower during Yom Kippur
By Zafrir Rinat, Haaretz Correspondent
Air pollution in Jerusalem and the Dan region was 100 times less on Yom Kippur than on ordinary days, when cars are on the roads, air pollution monitors from the Environmental Protection Ministry found.
According to the figures released by the ministry Sunday, levels of nitrogen oxide in the Dan region over Yom Kippur were two to 12 parts per billion - but when the holiday was over, the figure rose to 205 parts per billion. In Jerusalem, the numbers declined from 250 parts per billion in the afternoon before Yom Kippur to between two and 12 parts per billion during the holiday.
Nitrogen oxide is the compound emitted by vehicle exhaust pipes and is one of the prime urban pollution indicators. One component of this kind of pollution, nitrogen monoxide, is considered particularly dangerous to health, causing chronic and even fatal respiratory conditions.
Last week, the Environmental Protection Ministry released figures for 2006, which indicated that some areas of the country exceeded World Health Organization pollution standards for ozone in the lower atmosphere. One of the causes of ozone pollution is the release of nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere.
Air pollution in Jerusalem and the Dan region was 100 times less on Yom Kippur than on ordinary days, when cars are on the roads, air pollution monitors from the Environmental Protection Ministry found. According to the figures released by the ministry Sunday, levels of nitrogen oxide in the Dan region over Yom Kippur were two to 12 parts per billion - but when the holiday was over, the figure rose to 205 parts per billion.
In Jerusalem, the numbers declined from 250 parts per billion in the afternoon before Yom Kippur to between two and 12 parts per billion during the holiday. Nitrogen oxide is the compound emitted by vehicle exhaust pipes and is one of the prime urban pollution indicators. One component of this kind of pollution, nitrogen monoxide, is considered particularly dangerous to health, causing chronic and even fatal respiratory conditions.Last week, the Environmental Protection Ministry released figures for 2006, which indicated that some areas of the country exceeded World Health Organization pollution standards for ozone in the lower atmosphere. One of the causes of ozone pollution is the release of nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Street car was desired in York Region of old

Streets near Old Town Hall such as the Main and Botford streets area (left) used to offer streetcar rides in the early 19th century.
Oct 15, 2007 08:18 PM
Newmarket street car service? It's been done before
By: Sean Pearce
It’s perhaps a little ironic, seeing how many commuters are forced to crawl along highways or cram into buses on a daily basis, that Newmarket once possessed a streetcar route into Toronto.
No, that’s not a misprint. According to the town’s own website, in 1899 a set of electric railway tracks came up Yonge Street and curved over towards Newmarket’s Main Street via what would today be Cane Parkway.
The terminal for Newmmarket was at the Railroad Hotel, later known as the King George Hotel, at Timothy and Main Streets, although later on it did move a little west and a new terminal was built on Botsford Street across from the Old Town Hall. Amazingly, the tracks then continued northward up to Sutton West.
It can be problematic at times these days to even catch a bus up that far.
The so-called radial was quite the phenomenon for tourists from the big city of Toronto to the south.
Many Torontonians came up for the popular Newmarket Farmers’ Market held each Saturday in the town and, according to the town of Newmarket’s website, a North York Agricultural Fair was held here each September that also brought a great number of weary urbanites out for a bit of country charm.
The streetcar line also had other uses and was sometimes utilized to ship freight, such as fresh produce, down from the area and into Toronto.
The line was at first operated by the Metropolitan Railway Company from 1897 to 1904, before being acquired by the Toronto and York Radial Railway Company.
The TYRRC operated the service for a further 18 years until it was acquired by the City of Toronto and operated by Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario as the Hydro Electric Railways: Toronto and York Division in 1922.
As the automobile continued to gain traction as the faster way for folks who could afford it to get around the fortunes of the streetcar line began to sour.
A better network of roads and highways and cheaper automobiles also contributed to a sharp decline in the service’s usage.
Ultimately service beyond Richmond Hill was discontinued in the early 1930s and in 1947 the tracks running from North Toronto to Richmond Hill were torn up as the automobile was clearly ruling the road.
Remember that the next time, when you’re caught in traffic, and you’re wondering if there isn’t a better way to get to the city.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Green Party's Vision for transportation

The Green Party's full vision can be found here

Railroads – re-establishing the national dream

Canada’s national rail systems are in decline. We are the only country in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with no national transportation strategy. While Europeans have highly efficient inter-modal connectivity, with high speed rail linking downtown cores to airports, with bicycle lanes allowing people to move around cities safely, efficiently and pollution-free, with streetcars in the downtowns and even rural areas serviced by bus and rail, Canadian communities are increasingly stranded. Nothing links our downtowns to airports other than a stretch of gridlocked traffic. Even along the Windsor-Quebec corridor, passenger rail is increasingly infrequent and outmoded. In much of Canada, rail routes that once moved thousands of people are abandoned. Edmonton to Calgary, Saskatoon to Regina, Halifax to Sydney have all been axed, despite their profitability.

Sir John A. Macdonald understood that to be a nation, to have a sense of shared identity and common purpose, Canada needs effective east-west links in communications, in energy delivery and in transportation.

To renew this “national dream” today requires a complete overhaul of our rail system for both passenger and freight. It will mean shifting cargo containers off highways and onto freight trains, driving the development of freight distribution nodes (off-loading containers onto local trucks) along new “green corridors”.

The rail system changes will include a separate line for passenger trains. At the moment, freight owns the tracks and controls the traffic signals. Passengers are at the mercy of freight. New high-speed commuter trains will almost halve the travel time between Toronto and Ottawa and Toronto and Montreal to about two and a half hours. With downtown-to-downtown service, the train will be faster than the plane, especially when security and other airport delays are factored in. Reducing air travel will reduce greenhouse gases and remove the need to expand airports or build new ones, including the Pickering airport near Toronto. Better rail service will take cars off the roads between major cities, reducing air pollution, congestion and loss of life in traffic accidents. An improved rail system will make Canada more economically competitive and provide thousands of new jobs.

Green Solutions
Green Party MP’s will re-establish Canada’s National Dream and:
  • Re-invest in our national rail systems, building more train cars in Canada, and create green transportation and energy infrastructure corridors in key regions.
  • Improve rail infrastructure and intermodal connections, increasing joint federal-municipal light rail investments, as well as improving VIA rail service nationwide.
  • Work with railway companies to improve rail infrastructure and to restore VIA rail service to all major regional cities.
  • Create a national clean freight initiative, using both regulation and financial incentives to improve fleet efficiency and safety.
  • Support the trucking industry, reducing pollution through add-on generators to avoid the need to idle to maintain air conditioning and refrigeration, while ensuring the right fit of trucking in a more efficient, rail-based intermodal system.

Green urban transportation

Urban sprawl means commuters crawl. More roads don’t solve the problem, they make it worse, quickly filling up with more cars. Gridlock means more air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. We have to break this vicious cycle.

We must build our way out of the problem of clogged roads and smog-choked cities, not by building more roads and bridges and more distant suburbs, but with “smart growth” infrastructure. Excellent public transit and efficient housing in high-density nodes along existing transit corridors will make cities livable and people friendly. The federal government must take the lead in funding the “greening” of Canada’s cities. (For more details also see the section on government: Federal-Municipal Relations.)

Green Solutions
Green Party MPs will:

  • Increase federal funding for pedestrian, cycle and car-sharing infrastructure in towns and cities.
  • Double existing funding to stimulate a massive re-investment in public transportation infrastructure in all Canadian towns and cities to make it convenient, safe, comfortable and affordable.
  • Make transit passes tax-deductible to encourage workers and businesses to use public transport and provide financial support to provinces that provide free public transit passes to people living below the poverty line.
  • Cancel all funding for specific highways and bridge expansions (like the Gateway Program in Greater Vancouver) that encourage urban sprawl, increase private vehicle use, truck transport of goods and consequently increases greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Ensure federal infrastructure funding does not go to expanding highways and roads.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

GO save the planet

taken on a blistery cold day in Feb at Union Station, Toronto...

Friday, October 12, 2007

New roads make it easy to ignore public transit

Another road opens in Vaughan, with sprawling, low-density subdivisions under construction as far as the eye can see. Take a drive on Major Mackenzie between Keele St and Dufferin St to see for yourself. How will public transit effectively serve them? Buses will be too slow, infrequent, and inconvenient to attract people away from their cars. And that's an inconvenient truth. -S

October 9, 2007


VAUGHAN, ONThe McNaughton Road extension which runs from Keele Street to Major Mackenzie Drive was officially opened to the public today.

“The completion of the McNaughton Road extension will have a positive effect on our community as it will allow the City to provide the appropriate infrastructure to relieve gridlock through Maple on Major Mackenzie and help attract and retain businesses,” said Mayor Linda Jackson. “The extension is especially important to the redevelopment and intensification of the existing Civic Centre site.”

York Major Holdings constructed the capital work on the City’s behalf in order to accelerate the development of their nearby lands. City Council authorized completion of the extension in April 2003.

“The extension and the development of York Major Holdings’ land is an important part of the City’s strategy with respect to the closure of the Keele Valley Landfill,” said Ward 1 Councillor Peter Meffe. “It will also encourage redevelopment of the secondary buffer zone of the landfill.”

The new four-lane road runs east 1.6 kilometres and connects to the existing McNaughton Road at Keele Street, approximately two blocks north of the intersection at Major Mackenzie Drive and Keele Street.

The extension is adjacent to the former Keele Valley Landfill Site. These lands, with an area of approximately 245 hectares, are being rehabilitated under the Maple Valley Plan that includes new parkland and natural open spaces, and some commercial development.

McNaughton Road east will reduce traffic volume at the intersection of Keele Street and Major Mackenzie Drive, site of the new Civic Centre currently under construction.

The Record
11 Oct 2007

New roads make it easy to ignore public transit
Byline: Shelley Maw

As long as we continue to build more roads in Ontario to reduce traffic congestion, we will not stop driving and start using public transit.

Human beings do not change their ways of doing things until their current method becomes unbearable, and when there is an alternative that is reasonably convenient and affordable.

If we keep making driving easier and more convenient, we might as well save our breath (and our money) trying to sell the idea of leaving our cars at home and taking public transit.

Why do people in this region take public transit? By far the majority of those who do, do so because they don't have an available vehicle. Why do those of us who drive not take public transit? Because it is neither easier nor more convenient. Far from it. Why do many of us take public transit to or in Toronto? Because it is easier, and more convenient than trying to drive and to park in Toronto's traffic.

Forget a new Highway 7 and the proposed 424 bypass, and give us a public transit alternative that is reasonably simple and convenient.

Eventually the traffic nightmares will push us to use it. If you solve the traffic congestion problem, we won't change our car habit.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Has Toyota No Shame?

The same car company that put the world's best-selling hybrid on the road is now asking Congress to drive America's energy future into a brick wall.

Toyota has sold more than one million Prius hybrids to environmentally conscious consumers who want to do the right thing for our planet.

But, incredibly, the company is now forsaking us by opposing the first improvement in U.S. fuel economy standards in nearly 20 years!

Please tell Toyota to get back in gear by supporting a measure that guarantees a fuel economy standard of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 for cars and light trucks.

Congress is negotiating an energy bill right now that could do just that -- and save America 1.2 million barrels of oil each day by 2020, more than we import from Saudi Arabia.

But the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers -- the powerful lobbying group that includes Toyota -- is claiming that a 35 m.p.g. average for cars and trucks is "unattainable."

Go tell the maker of the 50-m.p.g. Prius to get out of reverse!

Thank you for taking action to reduce America’s dangerous dependence on oil.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bells on Bloor 2007

500 cyclists turned out on Sept. 23 to call for a bike lane on Bloor
dubbed TaketheTooker.

Viva ! La Velorution !

.~.. _.-\.<,.-\.<,_

Monday, October 8, 2007

Some modest proposals to liberate city streets

From John O'Gorman (getsmart listserv)...
"There are significant challenges to altering more than half a century of automobile-centred urban design, not the least of which is political inertia, according to the experts at an international walking conference here this week."
Also, there is a video available at the web address below.
Some modest proposals to liberate city streets

A conference here this week aimed to turn around a half-century of car-driven urban planning, Oct 06, 2007 04:30 AM

Tess Kalinowski, Transportation Reporter

The sidewalks are wide. They're lined with flowers and trees. There's a bus stop, a bench, maybe even a small park. There's room for bikes and cars, but children and seniors don't have to worry about being run over.

That's the street everybody wants to live on, shop on, work on and walk on.

The planners and engineers know how to build it.

So, why are so many of us trapped in labyrinthine suburbs where, even if we want to walk, we imperil our lives doing so on the gravel shoulders of arterial roads?

There are significant challenges to altering more than half a century of automobile-centred urban design, not the least of which is political inertia, according to the experts at an international walking conference here this week.

But there's also a growing movement of pedestrians and cyclists ready to turn the transportation hierarchy on its head – to put people ahead of cars.

New developments can be made walkable, according to Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman, considered a maverick for his designs that rely more on human behaviour and less on road signs – eliminating elements like traffic lights, stop signs and lane markers altogether – to encourage civil traffic patterns.

"If you want people to behave like they're in a village, you have to build a village," he said.

Put car windows at a level closer to curb height so motorists see pedestrians differently. Vary paving materials and landscaping according to space use. People will instinctively know what to do, says Monderman.

The British conference chair of Walk21, Jim Walker, says he's seen "lots of disgusting places, but they can be sorted."

Other cities that have hosted the event wanted to show off their pedestrian-friendly strides.

Toronto was different, Walker said, because it chose the conference as the launch date for its new pedestrian strategy, part of a sustainable transportation plan to reduce reliance on the car.

The revolution is already under way in places like Kensington Market, now closed to cars on Sunday. St. George St. south of Bloor St. is another example.

"Ten years ago, (St. George) was a four-lane road with very narrow sidewalks and no landscaping and the very simple act of brilliance was to get rid of two traffic lanes, widen the sidewalks and landscaping. (Now) the sidewalks are full all the time and you have a beautiful street with trees that will eventually arch and meet in the middle," says Toronto's former planning chief, Paul Bedford, now a teacher and consultant.

Bedford can't resist adding that a hefty private donation helped embarrass the city and the University of Toronto into tackling the project.

But it doesn't work everywhere. In 1971, Yonge St. between and King and Gerrard Sts. was turned into a pedestrian mall.

"It was great for a (while), but even though there was no traffic, people migrated naturally to the sidewalks because they didn't feel like they should walk in the middle of the road," said Bedford.

Experts admit it's tougher to retrofit the worst of 1960s- and 1970s-style planning in the old suburbs of Toronto or places like Oakville and Pickering.

Perhaps we don't view walking as an integral part of our lives like Europeans, suggests Walk21's Daniel Egan, Toronto's manager of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

North Americans "spend thousands of dollars to go to those places (like Europe) and walk around and then you come back to your suburban bungalow and drive everywhere.

"I don't think it's necessarily political, I think it's part of the culture where that's something you go and enjoy but you don't actually live in it," he said.

"I don't know how you turn back the clock. All these places that are great are old. They were built at a time when walking was the way you got around."

Kensington Market in Toronto has pedestrian Sundays. One doesn't fully appreciate the joy of being in a carfree zone until experiencing it firsthand. "The streets echo to human sounds: footsteps, voices, whistling porters, street musicians. People dawdle without worrying about onrushing traffic. " Carfree Cities, J.H. Crawford.

The stink, roar, and danger of car and truck traffic inhibit street life.


Five ways to make more walkable cities as heard at Walk21 conference:

1. Widen sidewalks to accommodate pedestrians and put curves in roads to slow traffic. Add planters as an alternative to repaving.

2. Get rid of signs that state the obvious. Street design and buildings will tell people where to go and how to behave.

3. Bring back benches, bathrooms and drinking fountains, as well as mixed-use development.

4. Safe streets are busy streets. One way to fight intimidation is to attract lots of people.

5. Subways are expensive. You could build enough bike and pedestrian infrastructure to serve the entire region for the same price as a few kilometres of subway.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Transportation key election issue in York Region

Metroland York Region newspapers
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

No one route to better commute
By: Sean Pearce

As anyone who wakes up impossibly early every weekday morning to make the trek to Toronto for work well knows, traffic congestion isn’t going away.
Far from it.

Every year, the number of cars on the road, often occupied by a single person, seems to multiply exponentially on hwys. 400 and 404 and any other route that leads into the big city.
The drive home isn’t much better.

So far, all four major party leaders have come out saying Ontarians deserve better than to become virtual prisoners in their automobiles for 10, 15 and, in some cases, 20 hours a week. And the economic implication of all this congestion is nearly as costly as the social one.
It is then safe to say, in terms of transportation issues, York Region faces a multitude of obstacles, but has a myriad of possible solutions at its disposal.

In terms of improving public transit in the region, each party presents a slightly different approach, but all agree more is needed.

The Liberals spent a number of months leading up to the election introducing a whole host of transit initiatives, each more ambitious than the last.

One of the more recent was MoveOntario 2020, a $17.5-billion plan that would see, among other things, construct a new subway into York Region under Yonge Street, up to Hwy. 7 in Richmond Hill. This, along with the subway to Vaughan, would give the region a subway in the east and west portions with the idea it would help more people to park their cars and choose transit instead.

Of course, the only problem is determining whether or not the cash-strapped TTC, who would have to pay the operating costs, will be able to foot the bill in the long run.

Is the subway even the best possible solution for York Region in the long haul? The Progressive Conservatives don’t seem to think so. The PCs, under John Tory, have vowed to create a new funding model for Ontario, one that sees all gas tax collected going back to municipalities.

That way, it is the municipal governments that can decide for themselves how they should spend the cash.

In a similar fashion, Mr. Tory has said it should be the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority, the experts, recommending these major transit projects and not politicians.
More to the point, the much touted plan for the subway, seeing as how it may take at least four to five years to get things under way, might simply be too little too late.
The time for rapid transit and action is now, Mr. Tory said.

The NDP also has said it favours increasing public transit and, in some cases, freezing fares to keep from deterring would-be riders with increasing prices. That might be a valid point seeing as how the York Regional Transit committee is in the midst of implementing a possible fare increase at this precise moment.

The Greens are, naturally, also in favour of more public transit as the answer to congestion and, to that end, are advocating the diversion of 75 per cent of all funds currently budgeted for highway construction, up until 2012, toward transit.

The one thing all parties seem to support is the extension of GO Transit’s rail corridor through the region to Barrie and the implementation of all-day rail service in York.

Of course, improved and enhanced transit in York Region will not get everyone out of their cars and on to trains, buses or even subways.

The Liberals seem to have recognized this and have been working away building and expanding the province’s network of high occupancy vehicle lanes in the hope if people must drive, they will, at the very least, carpool.

Work on the long-discussed extension of Hwy. 404 to Georgina also seems to be under way.
The PCs, among them former minister of transportation Frank Klees, have come out saying York Region needs more than future subways and even enhanced transit.

The extension of Hwy. 404 to Georgina, Hwy. 427 to Orangeville and the construction of the Bradford Bypass are of vital importance, Mr. Klees said.

If these major arteries were built or extended, the logic goes, congestion would decrease dramatically as there would be less need for through traffic to clog up roads such as Davis Drive, Wellington Street or Woodbine Avenue on a daily basis.

The NDP and the Greens also seem to support ideas such as encouraging consumers to buy more eco-friendly vehicles and the creation of more HOV lanes in addition to new transit initiatives and simple ideas such as tele-commuting and people-powered solutions such as cycling and even good, old-fashioned walking.

The fact remains voters are looking for action on the congestion issue and it is likely whichever proposal is most sound, the real answer will likely be a multi-pronged approach. Is more and improved public transit needed? Yes, absolutely. Too many people complain schedules are inconvenient for their lives or routes don’t go where they need them to go, so, instead, they drive.

Does York Region need a faster network of highways? The answer, again, is yes. The fact is, no matter how good transit is, it will not entice everyone out of their cars.

Hopefully, as the HOV network continues its expansion, more people will be encouraged to travel with others, but the fact remains many people in this region still continue their age-old love affair with the automobile.

Creating a longer and more efficient network of highways will undoubtedly remove much of the unnecessary through traffic in the region and, in the end, allow everyone to get where they are going more quickly and efficiently.

Finally, sprawl must be reigned in. Construction continues often without the benefit of infrastructure such as adequate roads and transit. All four parties are agreeing this cannot continue.

The fact remains whoever the voters choose, there must be action and it must come soon. York Region and Ontario, on the whole, cannot afford to wait.

Monday, October 1, 2007

People-friendly streets - editorial
October 01, 2007

The car has ruled Toronto's streets, and those of other cities, for decades. Now, a promising movement is afoot to ease that domination by better serving the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.

A four-day conference on more liveable cities starts in Toronto today, attracting delegates and speakers from around the world. The meeting's theme is "Putting pedestrians first." And on Wednesday the city's public works committee is to discuss a forward-looking report that suggests several practical ways to make Toronto friendlier to those choosing to walk, bike or use public transit.

When Toronto residents leave their car at home, they help improve the planet's health by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As well, they boost their own well-being by getting exercise that would be denied them sitting behind the wheel.

Many suggestions listed in the works committee report are attractive because they can be put in place fairly quickly and are relatively cheap. Some could be done almost immediately.
Simply increasing the time allowed at stop lights for pedestrian crossings would make a big difference. Another proposed change is to stop all traffic, in all directions, for pedestrians at some intersections. This "scramble phase" would allow people to walk diagonally, from one corner to another, completing two street crossings at once. The report calls for such a system next year, on a trial basis, at the intersection of Bloor and Yonge Sts., and at Bloor and Bay Sts.
Other recommendations include conducting an environmental assessment as the next step toward building an east-west bicycle route through the downtown core in 2009, imposing longer rush-hour parking bans on key routes, endorsing bus lanes in the shoulder areas along certain parts of the Don Valley Parkway and studying the creation of permanent pedestrian streets in selected downtown areas.

Each of these proposed measures is relatively modest, but together they signal a new direction for transportation planning in Toronto. That new direction deserves encouragement and a strong vote of support from members of the works committee and from city council.