““Philadelphia has a growing 50 and older population. It is essential for our Administration to utilize innovative approaches to assist older Philadelphians navigate daily obstacles.”” —Philadelphia, PA: Mayor Michael Nutter commends the AARP’s Walkability Study, surveying the city for challenges facing older pedestrians, aiming to make the city more walkable for all residents. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has commissioned a study to eliminate specialized crossings in the city’s busiest pedestrian areas, because of minor impacts on vehicle drivers.
“I’m thrilled if I could shine a light on some of the work of these community volunteers.” —Calgary, AB: Mayor Naheed Nenshi becomes the first Mayor of Calgary to act as grand marshal of the city’s annual Pride Parade, attracting a record number of participants and parade-goers. Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford went out of his way to avoid the city’s week-long Pride celebrations, expected to attract more than a million participants, and even left the city for the weekend Pride Parade. Ford and his allies have called for funding for Toronto’s Pride Week to be stopped.
“The groups that will benefit from this funding are what make Lower Manhattan a dynamic 24/7 neighborhood, not just a place to live or work.” —New York, NY: Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces $17 million in new funding for non-profit social service agencies. These organizations provide a wide range of programs and services for youth, seniors, health care, education, recreation and culture, all services that Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford wants to eliminate to balance lost revenue from his ill-advised tax cuts.
“The Environmental Excellence award is a great honor. … We are very proud of our transportation system.” —Portland, OR: Mayor Sam Adams comments as the Portland Streetcar is awarded national recognition for its contribution to reducing emissions from highway traffic. Toronto’s mayor has just announced cuts to almost every public service, including transit. Facing reduced service, fare hikes and the elimination of overnight transit, more people than ever will be forced to drive in Canada’s largest city.
“This policy is about taking land that is literally sitting fallow and turning it into a job creator and a revenue creator.” —Chicago, IL: Mayor Rahm Emanuel touts the city’s pioneering community gardens program, now expanded to allow commercial farms to operate within the city, bringing jobs and a constant source of tax revenue while helping the environment. Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford wants to sell the city’s existing urban farms and close any that can’t be sold, all to pay for making vehicle ownership tax-free.
“Hold on to your hats, folks, we’re actually removing a lane for a car — in favor of a bike lane — in Los Angeles.” —Los Angeles, CA: councillor Ed Reyes speaks to a news conference unveiling the city’s newest 3.5km bike lane in the city’s core. The famously congested city plans to install 320km of bike lanes on its roads every year for the next five years, encouraging more residents to leave their cars at home. In Toronto, a city with even worse congestion, Mayor Rob Ford’s bike plan calls for only 70km of exclusively off-road non-dedicated trails to be constructed in the next four years, and only if money becomes available.