For years I have jokingly said that Toronto has two seasons: Winter and Construction… As my car sat in traffic yesterday, I had lots of time to think about what could be done to alleviate the gridlock in the City.
First, I have never understood why Toronto stopped building Subways. Weeks ago I was in Chicago, was thrilled to be able to take a subway from Downtown to the Airport (avoiding Traffic jams), happy to view a labryinth of Subways in a City not much different than Toronto.
So here is what ticks me off. If Toronto is lacking in mass transport, which puts pressure on those of us living in Toronto, then this Mayor and his henchmen making it even more difficult to drive cars in the City only puts pressure on those of us who live here. They think that making it harder to get around by car in the City will deal with a traffic problem that is really created by the lack of infrastructure. The present infrastructure is pushed to the limits because of the major highways that surround the City and by a work force working in the City and paying taxes in the suburbs.
It is time to bite the bullet and have user fees on the Highways that will support their repair and extend the transit in the GTA to World-Class standards. A City growing at the rate of Metro Toronto should never stop building Subways and extending the Subways may get more day-timers to leave their cars at home.
It may also be time to do what New York has had to do: Everyone working in the New York City pays a tax directly to the City of New York. The idea of making your income in Toronto and then paying taxes in another jurisdiction….when you spend a good part of your day using City of Toronto services must be visited seriously.
Under this Mayor and his followers, if you are a homeowner (ie. Taxpayer) and a car owner you are better served and respected in the 905. Last year’s Miller Taxes (Land Transfer and Car Licensing fees) have not raised the revenue that the City of Toronto promised and only made the 905 Real Estate Market increase at the expense of the 416 Market.
Continuing to re-invent this City as a bicycle and pedestrian haven when most residents avoid the bitter winter weather in their cars or transit for half the year does not make sense to me. To “deal with Cars” by making it more difficult to get around in them will never work but it will make Mr. Miller’s supporter’s happy and get us further and further away from real solutions.