Comment 49605

By John Neary (registered) | Posted October 15, 2010 at 09:56:02

Matt and Martinus: thanks for your thoughtful comments. As Matt mentioned, I have had the occasion to speak to him about some of these issues in recent weeks. I have also spoken to Martinus and at least one other candidate (Marvin Caplan) about these issues as well. I would be very happy to discuss Beasley issues with the remaining seventeen candidates, but the opportunity has not yet presented itself. (It might present itself at the joint Beasley/North End all-candidates meeting on Monday evening at Dr. Davey School.)

I decided (rightly or wrongly) to advocate for issues rather than for candidates in this election. That decision was driven by a number of factors: (1) I don't think that anyone else would particularly care if I endorsed any candidate, (2) I believe that active members of neighbourhood associations (such as I) should stay away from being too partisan in civic elections, (3) I thought that the best way to achieve my goals for the neighbourhood was to promote them widely and try to get broad support from the various candidates.

I might have been mistaken in my third point. Maybe a lot of the candidates don't read RTH. Maybe they didn't consider these questions from a private citizen to be worth their time. Maybe they think that the CKM should remain empty, that a police storage facility is better land use than a mosque/school/housing complex, and that liveable streets don't matter in Beasley. (If that's true, I'd love to hear their arguments.) Or maybe they are just really busy and haven't responded yet, or perhaps they have addressed these issues in other venues, and I am blissfully unaware.

In the end, if anyone else in Ward 2 considers these issues to be important, they can see that at least some of our candidates have taken strong public stands on them, and they can take those stands into account when they cast their ballots. That matters more than a personal conversation between me and a couple of our candidates, and that is what I had hoped to achieve.

@dreed: traffic lights don't matter much to young, able-bodied people (like me), but they matter a lot to people in scooters, people who walk slowly, and people pushing baby carriages (also like me.)

@FenceSitter: two-way expressways would have slower traffic speeds, which would be safer and more pleasant for pedestrians. And they would make our neighbourhood much more negotiable for cyclists. In the end, it's a lot harder for a four-lane street to be an expressway if it has two-way traffic.

@mrgrande: I called for desynchronization as well as two-way conversion. But they might as well happen together: once the lights aren't synchronized, the benefit (to crosstown motorists) of one-way traffic is minimal.

@mystoneycreek, FenceSitter, jason, H+H: thanks for the encouragement. I wonder if other people out there have similar lists of issues for candidates in their neighbourhoods.

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