We dole out 10-year property tax abatements to encourage new housing construction, even as the program drains the schools of revenue. Who do we expect to live in those houses, which are now typically built with three bedrooms? We say we want young, dynamic, “knowledge workers” who will establish deep neighborhood connections and improve the city overall, and then we sabotage the thing they care about most - their children’s knowledge. Less mobile working-class families, meanwhile, are simply left to fend for themselves.
… we’re living the result of three decades of neoconservative/neoliberal rule. An infrastructure deficit. A lack of affordable housing with the unsurprisingly accompanying spike in homelessness. Inequality. Grotesque and incapacitating inequality.
And yet the best we can do is sputter ineffectually every time one of these dipshits goes “Tax and spend! Booga booga!”
… the fundamental question isn’t whether on-street parking contributes some value to businesses. It’s whether that value is greater than the economic and social benefit that would come from improved transportation along major corridors. My bet? It doesn’t even come close
More facty evidency stuff calling the unearned privilege we extend to cars into question.
Bicyclists (quite justifiably) complain about cars frequently placing them in mortal danger (through risk taking, speeding, drunk driving, running red lights, impatience, ignorance, texting, eating, gabbing on the phone, general distraction, poor judgement etc,) not about “unruly” behaviour.
On the other hand motorists really just complain that cyclists annoy them. Somehow, the annoyance cyclists cause justifies their occasional murder.
The other worrisome strand in Chow’s positioning is that she seems to have opted to play on Ford’s fiscal field, by Ford’s rules. As we all know, he’s planted deeply corrosive notions that such projects can be funded simply by making all those lazy civil servants work harder, or that the private sector will pay, or that the money will magically appear from some pot of cash heretofore reserved for the watering of plants, etc. Chow must engage with the funding question, and this election presents an important opportunity to make a case for solving the puzzle.
Today and for the past several months people have been debating the pros and cons of a proposal to extend the runways in order to accommodate long haul jet service. Surprisingly we have not heard anything about the underlying air transportation problem that this proposal is intended to solve. It cannot be access to national or international cities because of the range of destinations and frequencies available at Pearson. It cannot be access from the city centre to the major business destinations because Porter already serves them. It cannot be economic stimulation because the proposed destinations are already well served by other carriers from Pearson. The city does not have an air transportation problem. The proposal is solely about revenue and market share for a private company using a publicly owned airport.
Tom Driedger’s got a pretty good point.
Absent in any of this, of course, is any consideration of The Public Good. And we’re subverting the mechanisms and institutions of governance for this because … ?
When everything has been globalised except our consent, corporations fill the void. In a system that governments have shown no interest in reforming, global power is often scarcely distinguishable from corporate power. It is exercised through backroom deals between bureaucrats and lobbyists.
I fear we’ve been trained too well to accept a greatly diminished federal government and its ideological aim to reduce its role to irrelevance, leading to a society with low expectations.
There’s a fundamental divide at work here, pitting one side who sees through their proverbial windshield any imposition on the right to drive as a deviation from the norm, against those of us who’ve come to the realization that prioritizing private auto use above all other modes of transport is harmful to healthy city building.
Some great War on the Car stuff from our good friend @cityslikr.
This is why Mr Obama calling inequality the “defining issue of our time” has moral resonance. It has nothing to do with the rabble envying Sub-Zero refrigerators. It is not about the iPhone/cheapo-cell phone gap. Inequality is problematic not because it makes some people jealous of others but because it effectively locks millions of people out of opportunities to improve their lives. Ms Anderson put it well: “To live in a low-crime, orderly, unpolluted neighborhood, free of run-down and abandoned property, graffiti-marred buildings, open drug dealing, prostitution, and gangs; to have access to public parks where one’s children can safely play, to well-maintained sidewalks and roads, to schools that offer an education good enough to qualify one for more than menial, dead-end jobs: how many cell phones and athletic shoes is that worth?”
In The Economist. Go figure.