Minneapolis, MN: the recent winner of Bicycling Magazine’s award for most bicyle friendly city in America shows off its famous Midtown Greenway, a dedicated bicycle route attracting new development and business in the city centre. In Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford’s bike plan calls for removing bike lanes from many city streets, because as he says, “roads are for cars and trucks.”
Guangzhou, China: the city’s 22.5km bus rapid transit service, which opened just last year, has already improved travel times by more than 20% for transit users and drivers alike, carrying almost one million passengers daily. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford turned down funding from senior governments and has shut down several new large-scale transit projects in the city, and slashed the local transit authority’s operating budget, making it harder and more expensive than ever for residents to move around the large city.
Bangalore, India: Every month, the growing, congested Asian city offers a day of free rides on the city’s bus system to commuters, aiming to raise awareness of transit options ahead of subway and rapid transit projects under construction. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wants to raise transit fares to cover eliminating the city’s vehicle registration fees, forcing more residents into cars on the city’s already gridlocked streets.
Chicago, IL: Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to make the city the most bike-friendly city in North America, outdoing previous cycling mayors by installing more than 150km of separated cycle lanes and a bike sharing program starting with 3,000 bikes. Toronto’s mayor has started calling for cyclists to be licensed, even though he thinks bicycles shouldn’t be allowed on roads.
Detroit, MI: in response to sharply increasing use of bicycles by commuters, America’s Motor City plans to add to its network of almost 60km of on-street bicycle lanes. Despite sharply increasing demand in Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford will delete 7km of existing bicycle lanes this year, and vows to never install new lanes in the city.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: New Clean Cities Initiative program begins testing new electric and clean hybrid buses in mixed traffic and Bus Rapid Transit applications, aiming to develop a market for the environmentally-friendly vehicles in other Latin American cities & help reduce the significant greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. In Toronto, mayor Rob Ford wants to rid the city of electric streetcars and hybrid buses, and replace them with hundreds of dirty diesel vehicles.
New York, NY: Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces a new round of grants to several New York City businesses, enabling them to train workers, pay higher wages and expand to larger facilities. Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford has slammed thousands of Toronto’s downtown small businesses, saying there is not enough shopping in the core, and planning to bring a suburban mall with low quality McJobs to the city centre.
“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.
Curitiba, Brazil: Former mayors and transportation experts discuss the city’s pioneering BRT system, which includes fare prepayment and dedicated, grade-separated bus lanes, and operates at the capacity typical of subway lines for a fraction of the cost. In Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford cancelled the city’s rapid transit plan, vowing to eliminate streetcars and promising no new surface transit ever again, focusing instead on one prohibitively expensive subway line.
Stockholm, Sweden's congestion pricing is based on congestion pricing in London, UK: the city aims to reduce the number of cars in its downtown core. Congestion pricing has reduced the Swedish city's traffic by 18% and public transit use is up 5% since the new tolls were implemented. Toronto's mayor Rob Ford acknowledges the horrific congestion in the city, but his solution is to eliminate all taxes on vehicle use and pay for the lost revenue by raising transit fares, putting pressure on commuters to continue (or start!) driving.
Los Angeles, CA: following many complaints of drivers harassing cyclists with insults and throwing objects from their cars, and following the death of an elderly cyclist run off the road by a car, Los Angeles City Council passes tough new laws to allow cyclists to sue drivers for harassment without criminal charges being laid. Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford should warn his councillor brother Doug to stay away from the American city - he’s become infamous for his claims of running over cyclists on his way to work, and offering to give bicycle-riding councillors a ride on his SUV’s front bumper.
“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.
Miami, FL: by investing in arts and culture over the last decade, Miami’s leaders attracted a new wave of business investment and growth. Toronto’s mayor is on a crusade to defund arts programs and clean up street art, saying graffiti should be reported by calling 911.