Wednesday, October 26, 2016Clear 3°C

City councilor to dead cyclists: it's your fault!

Posted by Jerrold Litwinenko / March 9, 2007

20070309_bikelane.jpgEarlier this week the TTC was chastised heavily (and rightfully so) for launching an ad campaign that blames the ridership for delays in the transit system.

This morning, the blogosphere radar is beeping loudly with another foot-in-the-mouth, better-back-paddle move related to our transit woes.

This time, city councilor Rob Ford made a big-time boo boo when speaking about bike lanes, essentially blaming cyclists themselves for being killed on our streets. YIKES!

"I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day."

-Rob Ford, Toronto City Councilor

The quote, which first appeared in an article published by the Toronto Star, was picked up by bloggers and powerblogs like Raise the Hammer, The Accordion Guy, and Boing Boing. And it'll spread.

Care to rephrase that, Mr. Councilor?

(filmtastic photo by .natalie)



Speller / March 9, 2007 at 10:26 am
Jerrold, in spite of what your spell-check may tell you, Toronto has councillors not councilors.
Dave / March 9, 2007 at 10:48 am
Rob Ford is obviously a Douchebag. However, I fully support the TTC add campaign. It may not be the main reason that trains are delayed, but I really freakin' hate it when people hold the doors open like that. Wait for the next god damned train!
Jerrold / March 9, 2007 at 10:48 am
Speller, open any good dictionary and you'll find that both councilor and councillor are accepted spellings. The distinction is American vs. UK English.

I taught English for two years overseas, and picked up a number of American English habits during that time, some of which I still exhibit from time to time.

Thanks for coming out :)
Drewmac / March 9, 2007 at 11:06 am
Total dick. Here's his email:
Sameer Vasta / March 9, 2007 at 11:08 am
Once again the councillor representing my riding had showed his true colors. And next election, once again, he will be elected by a large majority of the people here in our ward. I just can't understand it.
nate / March 9, 2007 at 11:16 am
If you're going to flame for spelling, at least highlight the actual error in the text. It's Accordion, not Accordian.
Jerrold / March 9, 2007 at 11:23 am
Relentless! Busted! Fixed!

Back to dead cyclists?
Speller / March 9, 2007 at 11:29 am
C'mon, Jerrold, now you're just getting defensive. It's clear by any standard that in Toronto we have councillors and not councilors.

And if you want to re-read what I wrote, I didn't say that "councilor" is an incorrect spelling generally, just that it is not what is used for a Toronto city councillor.

Drewmac, you can send emails to Rob Ford til your fingers fall off and he won't care because he's a pompous jerk. The only effective way of shutting him up would be to have the friends and family of a cyclist who was killed go down to City Hall for a photo-op designed to shame him into an apology and have him acknowledge the importance of bike lanes.

That's the way the couple he harassed at a Leafs game did it and it seemed to work like a charm. Surely a cyclist's death is much more serious than being subjected to derogatory remarks at a hockey game but creating awareness of cycling issues is surely a noble cause in the name of a person who was killed in such circumstances.
Steve / March 9, 2007 at 11:34 am
This was such a ridiculous statement, I just had to laugh out loud.
Get some cyclists together and blcok some traffic around town...just for grins and to show him who the roads "belong" to.
What a dickhead.
Tyson Williams / March 9, 2007 at 11:39 am
I almost got run over once on my bike by a cab driver who was too busy on the phone while turning... I think the city would benefit from dedicated bike paths/lanes but they would need to be separated from the roads all together. Some European cities were very successful in creating them. (did not use spell checker so don't go off on me now pleaseeeeeeeee)
Matt / March 9, 2007 at 11:42 am
Wow, something that actually makes me angrier than the TTC ad campaign, and in the same week, too. Amazing.

Thanks for publishing the e-mail address, Drewmac. Time to make my voice heard.

Jerrold: your spelling is THE BOMB. Let no one say different!
Matt / March 9, 2007 at 11:46 am
Tyson: only 9 e's in pleaseeeeeeee
Neil McIntyre / March 9, 2007 at 12:03 pm
I got hit by a car on Bloor last summer while riding my bike. It was at that point that I realized roads were built for cars, buses and trucks.
Ben / March 9, 2007 at 01:27 pm
I am afraid I have to disagree with Neil. Roads are built for the people who use them and this includes cyclists. If you are concerned about cycling safety on Bloor, I suggest you take a look at the Take The Tooker project.
<a href="";></a>
Mark Dowling / March 9, 2007 at 01:56 pm
The only way to get Ford out might be to persuade a former MP/MPP to run for Council - a new face is not getting it done. According to articles I have read, Ford seems to be extremely active in the interests of his ward constituents - obviously to the exclusion of any Torontonian who lives in any other ward - which is why at large councillors or multi-member, larger wards might be an idea. However, all politics are local and being the most local guy in Toronto keeps him re-elected.
Jerrold / March 9, 2007 at 02:00 pm
If Ford doesn't respond to your comments or questions, perhaps his <a href="";>staff</a> will.
marta / March 9, 2007 at 02:19 pm
I sent mr. ford a scathing email yesterday regarding his comment in the paper. he called an hour later to explain himself. he didn't do a very good job of it though. i also learned he drives a gas-guzzling jeep to work everyday because 'there's no other way for him to get into the city'. way to go at setting a good example. perhaps his time would be better spent advocating public transit rather than mouthing off to the media. no wonder public transit/bike lanes are in such a poor state - city hall is run by wankers like him.
Jerrold / March 9, 2007 at 02:39 pm
Miller wants to put Toronto on the map as a GREEN city, but we can't get the support for bikeshare funding, and we have councilors that outright oppose bike lanes? Clearly we have lots of work to do.
Speller / March 9, 2007 at 02:52 pm
Marta, it's unfair to hold other councillors to account for Rob Ford's actions. There are a lot of losers down at city hall but Ford is one-of-a-kind bad.

Mark, that's probably true. The problem, though, is that Ford's dad was a popular MPP there and he died recently. So Ford likes to play that for all it's worth (I kid you not, the first bullet in his campaign literature was "Son of the late Doug Ford." In fact, you could just follow the link Jerrold posted to see that it's also in the first sentence of his biography.)

You're also correct that he has a reputation for being a very hands-on local councillor. But I've heard from secondary sources that he pays almost all his attention to the homeowners in his ward and when he does talk to the tenants he will boldly lie about his position on issues that are traditionally important to tenants (the majority of tenants in his ward are newcomers who aren't as politically savvy as the homeowners who have been here a lot longer and learned the "system".)
geoffrey / March 10, 2007 at 10:53 am
Can't this be considered hate speech - ie encouraging acts of negligence or outright hostility by motorists against cyclists?

As such wouldn't it be actionable?

On the subject of blockading; how about blockading his driveway - while his vehicle is parked in it. Denying use of roads to those who refuse to share the roads makes sense, no?
Andrew / March 15, 2007 at 03:23 pm
Neil McIntyre said (with tongue in cheek I assume)
>I got hit by a car on Bloor last >summer while riding my bike. It was at >that point that I realized roads were >built for cars, buses and trucks.

I was hit in 2004 by a car while I was walking on, wait for it... the sidewalk. I guess this means sidewalks are for cars too, eh Rob Ford? I guess, at the end of the day, it was my own fault for leaving bed.
Christ, I hate the sense of entitlement drivers have. What is it about a steering wheel that turns people into raving lunatics? I suffered from this when I used to drive. Crazy road rage, the feeling that everyone is slowing you down and is a moron (which many are but that is for another blog). I mean, is 5 seconds of slowing down or waiting going to ruin your life? The dude who nailed me was trying to make a light and save himself 30 seconds so he floors it out of a gas station over the sidewalk and dislocates my shoulder, tears my biceps tendon and gives me whiplash. Turned out costing him alot more time than 30 seconds.
However, leave it to our injustice system to give this guy a walk. He was found guilty but had no sentence or fine. At trial his lawyer grilled me trying to insinuate I ran out in front of an jumped onto his car. Puh-lease! Yeah, it's a new sport called "mess yourself up real bad". It has all the great rewards of surgery, recuperation and being houseridden. I suffer everyday still because my shoulder will never be the same and he doesn't even get a fine.
Cyclists, pedestrians and dogs beware! You are a motorist target and mean nothing to the law or our councillors.
ereplenue / October 20, 2010 at 02:34 am

Can not but agree with previous authors. I fully support it.
Rob / November 6, 2013 at 11:42 am
Also, if you get caught reading while driving, or you get caught lying about smoking crack/drunkenly abusing tourists/having a drink thrown at you, it's your own fault at the end of the day for being such a stupid, entitled sack of shit.
Me / November 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm
Drivers are bad drivers for the same reason cyclists are. Canadians have no respect or consideration for anyone else as a people and also combined with no actual driver training in both cases make it obvious what happens. We live in a time where the chronically stupi and inept are protected and instead of giving them responsiblity in driving we take it away by legislating dangerous "safety" equipment on cars such as stability control and lane change warning systems which make excuses for stupid/inconsiderate people and allow them to pay even LESS attention to DRIVING than they already do. On top of that the effect of a few generations of drivers with our awful graduated licensing helps not at all. Drivers will never get any better by encouraging inattention. We need to stop giving them excuses and make legislation against cellphones/texting that are not the slap on the wrist that people laugh off now but are as serious or MORE SO than current drunk driving laws. If a person is facing a one year driver's license suspension for texting, they might even think about not doing it!! But of course modern society is all about not giving a shit so........
Other Cities: Montreal