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letters | some make a bugbear of bicyclists

A surprising boost in cycling infrastructure in Toronto

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, famously pro-car, once said, “Cyclists are a pain . . .  to the motorists.”
Chris Young/Associated Press/File 2013
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, famously pro-car, once said, “Cyclists are a pain . . . to the motorists.”

As a Torontonian, I’d like to point out that the situation in our city concerning cycling and our colorful mayor, Rob Ford, is more nuanced than your Dec. 15 Ideas article describes (“A new menace to freedom: the bike”).

Ford’s anticycling rhetoric has not matched up to his administration’s actions advancing cycling infrastructure, which have been surprisingly impressive. Toronto has embarked on the biggest expansion of separated cycle tracks in the city’s history under the supervision of a suburban, non-bicycle-riding conservative, Councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong, with Ford’s acquiescence.

The left in Toronto was firmly in power for the eight years before Ford was elected, and it was unable to advance a network of separated cycle tracks in our downtown.

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If you look at two of the world’s leading cities, the biggest expansion of cycling infrastructure in London and New York has occurred under conservative mayors — respectively, Boris Johnson (not quite as colorful as Ford) and Michael Bloomberg (more sedate).

A. Milliken Heisey

Toronto

The writer, a former Toronto police commissioner, currently sits on the city’s transit authority.