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Morning Brew: TTC won't save struggling Bixi program, Mammoliti takes a health break, painting the curbs red, Toronto targets The View, and cops probe pinched piano

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 23, 2013

toronto bay streetThe TTC will not save Toronto's struggling Bixi program because it is not part of the transit agency's core business, according to a report to be released Wednesday that labels the bikeshare a possible "distraction." The document goes on to call the company "not financially sustainable." It was hoped integrating Bixi into the transit network would make it a viable mode of transportation. Bad news?

Cllr. Giorgio Mammoliti, normally an outspoken member of city council, is taking a summer break on the advice of his doctor after a recurrence of a brain problem. Mammoliti says he felt pressure in his head last week after missing the marathon transit city council meeting. He underwent brain surgery earlier this year to correct a problem that could have lead to a stroke.

The city is hoping bright red curbs will make it clear to drivers where parking is prohibited in Toronto. Rob Ford is due to unveil a pilot project today that will involve painting red stripes on the road where parking and standing is prohibited at all times such as around fire hydrants and at pedestrian crossings. Will this make the rules clearer for drivers?

Toronto Public Health is taking aim at the new presenter of ABC's The View over its new choice of presenter. The group responsible for the well-being of Toronto's residents Tweeted that Jenny McCarthy, a former Playboy model turned activist who believes vaccinations cause autism, should be replaced for her controversial and scientifically unsupported views.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a baby boy yesterday and apart from the CN Tower glowing bright blue the birth really will make very little difference to Toronto right now. Not to be put off, the Star tracked down some babies born here on July 22.

The widow of a cyclist killed on Toronto's streets wants the investigation in to her husband's death re-opened. Police originally told Kasia Briegmann-Samson that Tom Samson ran a red light before he was hit but subsequent reconstructions seem to cast doubt on that theory and the reliability of police investigations into cycling collisions, she says.

Finally, Cops are investigating after a gang of thieves allegedly swiped a baby grand piano from Toronto General Hospital. The three suspects hit the Peter Munk Wing earlier this month, placing the Boston Steinway on a dolly and rolling it out to an unmarked truck. Clear CCTV stills will likely mean the crooks face the music soon.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: mikey/blogTO Flickr pool.



James / July 23, 2013 at 08:33 am
I would think that Toronto Public Health has enough to do in Toronto, than to worry about whom ABC picks to be on a talk show, which has zero effect on TPH, or Toronto itself.

Sounds like we have some bored people at TPH.
vic / July 23, 2013 at 08:42 am
Somehow I don't think the lack of clarity about where you're allowed to park or not is the real problem.

Many motorists just take the risk and park wherever the hell they want. Signs, rules, safety, traffic flow be damned.

I'm sure that if existing places in Toronto with signs, coloured pavement, and even a bit of grade separation don't make it obvious to motorists not to park there, them I'm sure a wee bit of extra red paint won't make much difference either.

I wonder if they would consider enforcement.... nah... war on the car and all that.
DL replying to a comment from vic / July 23, 2013 at 08:48 am
It can get confusing. Putting a painted marker if you're encroaching on a TTC stop, too close to an intersection, in a delivery zone...I know what i'm doing when I park on a downtown street, but not everybody does. The point is to make the city as welcoming and easy to figure out for everybody, particularly out of towners. I've been told by visitors they find Toronto pretty difficult to navigate.
Dave / July 23, 2013 at 08:53 am
There are several councillors that could get the summer off due to recurrance of brain problems. It is no surprise that the chameleon Mammoliti is the first.
Vic / July 23, 2013 at 09:21 am
Any place where they would paint the curb red should already be really obvious that it's a no parking / no stopping zone. Signs or other clues should already be really obvious.

Painted No Stopping zones wouldn't have all those admittedly confusing restrictions (No parking on the second Tuesday of every month from May to July 7am to 7pm except during quarter moon).

I could see them doing this in a few exceptional places, but widespread painting seems like a waste of time and money.
Logan replying to a comment from vic / July 23, 2013 at 09:26 am
Vic, the reason that the city has to resort to this type of parking site recognition is due to the fact that many people that are parking in these "restricted places" are actually placing citizens at risk. The city does not want the revenue from people who cannot read the signs, they want the spaces clear for safety sake.
I myself have to applaud the city for yet another forward idea to protect its citizens.
EricM replying to a comment from Logan / July 23, 2013 at 09:39 am
Ok... and when it snows?
Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo / July 23, 2013 at 09:41 am
If the piano thieves get jail time they might change their tune.
DL replying to a comment from EricM / July 23, 2013 at 09:49 am
They plow the roads and you see the red lines on the pavement...?
DL replying to a comment from Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo / July 23, 2013 at 09:49 am
But when they get out it'll just be the same old song.
Dave / July 23, 2013 at 09:51 am
Why did the City make a $4 million investment in the Bixi program without getting some form of security over the assets? How can the City end up getting zilch in the deal, not even the assets invested with their money?

Oh wait, it was a Miller initiative. Right.
bikenomore / July 23, 2013 at 09:53 am
Oh would someone please just take Bixi out behind the shed and put a bullet in it's head? The desperation of the so called "pinko" bike lobby out there literally begging for another hand out is just pathetic. City should never have touched it in the first place - they just can't admit that the mayor actually called this one right.

markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 09:59 am
re: that poor cyclist widow -- I ride everywhere with a GoPro running so I can be avenged when I inevitably get flattened by some driver doing something so unfathomably stupid I can't hope to predict it.
Miller Sucks / July 23, 2013 at 10:00 am
David miller ruined this city for future generations, Bixi is just one example!
Logan / July 23, 2013 at 10:03 am
You're right, Eric. It's nanny state behaviour, but drivers aren't the brightest and often can't figure out the parking signs. It's a courtesy for drivers, basically because they're dumb.
All Hail Miller: Still Racking Up Wins Long After he's Gone replying to a comment from Dave / July 23, 2013 at 10:14 am
Health Canada went on record to say that estimated savings in decreased long-term health care costs are almost always the equivalent if not larger than the costs of implimenting activity-based programs, and they specifically cited the Bixi initiative as a prime example. So...yeah, it cost $4 million bucks, but those costs are neutral, and we're incrementally healthier as a result. I say Miller actually SAVED us money, and we should ramp up those kinds of programs across the board wherever possible. Get some of those fat slobs in the burbs off their Mama's couches and burn a few calories for a change.
markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 10:15 am
What's with the anti-Bixi hatred? Did a Bixi bike assault you in a rough neighbourhood?

It came close to working on its own. Could argue that it was hamstrung with its tiny initial roll-out and service area. And that even with a bail-out, provides nice city/transit infrastructure. I think drivers need to remember that more bikes mean less cars competing for space.
markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 10:16 am
Meant to add that the money involved in a Bixi bail-out is relatively small compared to lots of city infrastructure boondoggles. Let's keep cancelling/restarting LRT a few more times.
All Hail Miller: Still Racking Up Wins Long After he's Gone replying to a comment from Miller Sucks / July 23, 2013 at 10:23 am
Yeah...guy gets his garbage interrupted for a few days and suddenly he's not only does all his memory fall out of his hed, but he loses the ability to reason as well.

Here's a fun game, the things Miller did RIGHT. If you can name his biggest acheivments, I'll actually listen to your future arguments. But I doubt it. You're still one of those crybaby thumbsuckers who are still sore that your incredibly garbage wasn't carried by servants on a velvet pillow to the curb, and it's short circuited your brains.

Everything Miller did wrong, Ford has done twofold. Pay unionized workers too much? Ford DOUBLED their pay. Waste too much money? Ford has gone a crazed spending BINGE, wasting several times over anything Miller ever goofed on. And, unlike Miller, Ford doens't know how to see the writing on the wall, admit a mistake, and cancel something when he can see it's clearly not working. Ford just puts on the blinders and his oat bag, and it's full stam ahead, taxpayers be damned.

I sure hope our children can forgive us for the mutli-decade debt hole Ford is putting us in now. First Detroit, now Toronto will go bankrupt under this bum.
garyT267 / July 23, 2013 at 10:24 am
Rogers and Bell have been making mad cash off the good citizens. Can't one of them dig in with a little Bixi sponsorship? The money needed isn't even a rounding error to them. Most other bike share programmes are sponsored. None of them make much money but are useful services in the core. Why does the mayor want to dump almost 3 billion dollars on a subway to a mall to serve 24,000 people so badly but walks away from something this small?
cathy replying to a comment from James / July 23, 2013 at 10:28 am
It does have an effect on Toronto if stupid people buy into her anti-vacc theories and leave their kids vulnerable to disease. Plus disease carrying tourists visiting the city. How do you think SARS got here?
Dave replying to a comment from All Hail Miller: Still Racking Up Wins Long After he's Gone / July 23, 2013 at 10:29 am
I know you say that Miller actually saved us money, but the proof is in the pudding son. Miller did not win a Life Time achievement award for government waste for nothing.
jim replying to a comment from All Hail Miller: Still Racking Up Wins Long After he's Gone / July 23, 2013 at 10:34 am
that debt increased sharply under miller, yeah saddling our kids with his debt.
All Hail Miller: Still Racking Up Wins Long After he's Gone replying to a comment from Dave / July 23, 2013 at 10:40 am
See...couldn't name ONE thing. I knew someone would fall flat on their face, but didn't think it'd be Dave.

I guess I've been giving you too much credit Dave, and you're actually in fact a complete moron.

Hm...fancy that.
All Hail Miller: Still Racking Up Wins Long After he's Gone replying to a comment from Dave / July 23, 2013 at 10:40 am
Jim = Dave.
Dave replying to a comment from jim / July 23, 2013 at 10:41 am
Jim, here is a break down on the Miller legacy.
Har har Dee har har. replying to a comment from All Hail Miller: Still Racking Up Wins Long After he's Gone / July 23, 2013 at 10:45 am
I agree with ALL HAIL.

And the loveliest thing? For all those Miller years, the downtown core got EVERYTHING. The best programs, the best upgrades, the most innovative projects...and we're not only STILL living high off the hog as a result, but we're riding this miller wave right through to whoever ushers in the post-Ford era in 2015.

Yep...the burbs can crow all they like, and Ford can dismantle Miller's programs/legacy as fast as he's able to, but we're just too far ahead of the game for it to matter. We're still living FAT here in Fort Toronto, all y'all can't do a thing about it.

So suck on, burbs.
tl:dr replying to a comment from Dave / July 23, 2013 at 10:54 am
Dave thinks blogs of his buddies are now citable references. Um, are we watching Billy Madison here? Because Dave really ought to repeat grades 5 through 9 sometime soon.

Dan / July 23, 2013 at 11:01 am
It should be noted too that once Ford became mayor, many cycling initiatives/infrastructure were cut. So any city-based promotion and expansion did not occur over the last two years.

"All Hail Miller" - Ha that is a good point re health. Seriously take a look at our very own mayor - how much $$ will he require in healthcare in the next decade?
markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 11:06 am
I'm a little annoyed with Ford over that because he campaigned on building off-road bike trails. He's done the removing infrastructure part, but not the alternatives-building part. It was a reasonable campaign promise seemingly forgotten or likely was never earnest.

(I'm a cyclist but I don't have a hate-on for Ford ... or Miller. Just not so partisan.)
iskyscraper / July 23, 2013 at 11:10 am
Another Miller highlight.
Heintzman Steinway / July 23, 2013 at 11:12 am
When those guys are caught the caper will end on a sour note.
Dave replying to a comment from markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 11:14 am
I too am a cyclist. I enjoy your you tube videos as well. But local government needs to focus on the main aspects of transit infrastructure that serve the majority first, then when that is accomplished they should extend to other areas.
Alex / July 23, 2013 at 11:16 am
Bixi is useful, but does Toronto really have the biking infrastructure to support it? People park in bike lanes, bikers don't obey the rules of the road, and there just don't seem to be any safe streets to bike on. Plus most people don't bike in the winter. Maybe something like Bixi can come back if things change.
Good call on the health thing though, any initiative that gets people more active pays huge dividends in reduced health care costs. Maybe we should increase our biking infrastructure for that reason alone? With so many people in condos downtown I bet a lot more people are close enough to bike to the office now. If it was safe to do so, maybe they would.
Shut Up replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 23, 2013 at 11:29 am
Dave, be man enough to post under your own name and stop stealing iSkyscraper's and all of the other user ids. If your goal was to single-handedly ruin the comment boards on this site, I guess you succeeded.

Administrators, Disqus please!
Dave / July 23, 2013 at 11:36 am
Ford will easily win the next election he does not need the downtown to win. You will see he will not bother campaigning downtown or acknowledging downtown. So keep riding the miller wave, it will end very soon!
iskyscraper replying to a comment from Shut Up / July 23, 2013 at 11:39 am
A textbook narcissistic who travels the world while his city wears down, he inherited one of the world's best infrastructures in one of the coldest major cities. He is allocating scarce monies into the wrong areas: bicycle lanes in a city with is too hot or too cold for most cycling ten months of the year. The transit system is archaic. The unions are getting crippling contracts in a major recession. He is regulating and taxing citizens and businesses out of the city. Hundreds of homeless people obstruct businesses and sidewalks, driving tourists away. His solution for unending gang shootings? Close legal shooting ranges with safety records going back decades and ban starters pistols.
Mr. Miller has stolen laurels from the city for himself to wear.
markosaar replying to a comment from Dave / July 23, 2013 at 11:40 am
Cycling infrastructure is relatively low-cost and helps reduce congestion. Of course cost-benefit should be looked at and compared, but paving a path through a hydro-corridor is relatively cheap and has a low chance of being a major political headache.

The city dithers on mass-transit and stuff like the Gardiner endlessly. It's a relatively uncontroversial band-aid. The easier it is for someone to bike, the less likely someone needs to own a car. If someone can bike 8 months of the year, they might be willing to take transit for the uncomfortable months?

I just don't think biking should be dismissed in the long-term future of the city. It seems to be working great in many European centres with comparable climates. Even some smaller progressive US cities seem to be having a lot of success with it.
Gabe replying to a comment from markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 11:59 am
Yes agreed cycling is important whether there is a BIXI program or not. Bixi is a nice to have not a MUST have. Most bixi users could get a bike off craigslist should they need one.
The annual member fee for Bixi in TOronto is $97
Ottawa FEE $80.50
Montreal FEE $82.50
Paris Bike Share $53 canadian

Were already overpaying for this service, and we'll continue to dump funds into it every year to keep it a float, and rates will go up every year as well. Are we gonna treat this like the TTC and all the users will start complaining that the fees are too high, service sucks etc..

Our user rates for Bixi are higher than the other European cities you reference and that's without the Telus, Dejardins, and City of Toronto corporate sponsorship that our Bixi program receives.
Edward replying to a comment from markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm
These sound like some really great ideas.

I hope that all cities all over the world will become more biker friendly and that people will be able to utilize their bikes to go to work and shop.

Tom replying to a comment from markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm
Cycling infastructure is low cost on the city you're right - go by yourself a bike they start at $99.00 at Walmart and Canadian Tire
seymorebike replying to a comment from Gabe / July 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm
I note that the Bixi stand in front of Union Station was removed, presumably because of the construction. Whoever did it did not put up a sign directing people to the nearest Bixi station.

That type crappy treatment leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

markosaar replying to a comment from Gabe / July 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Ottawa's Bixi programme is a joke, something like 100 bikes.

The last published Toronto numbers said that Bixi was very close to breaking even on annual costs. The problem is that that's not enough to pay back the loan from Toronto. Theoretically, a bigger system would make it easier to break it even, but as it can't even pay back it's initial capital, and people are already convinced it's a waste of cash, that seems unlikely. I just think there are added benefits to the city for having such a programme. (That is assuming the costs aren't out-of-control -- which they are not.)
iskyscraper replying to a comment from markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm
This comment won't address east-west access past Union Station but I would STRONGLY support extending hours of the diamond lane on Bay Street. Not to mention some enforcement.

Bay Street is one of the few continuous, bike friendly and well connected, North-South routes into the core. Unfortunately, the diamond lane is only in effect from 07:00h through 19:00h during the week. While this may serve the needs of bus and taxi transit usage, it tends to deny cyclists safe(ish) egress from the core outside of these hours.

It occurs to me that a 24h diamond lane with SOME amount of enforcement (I have NEVER seen enforcement of the diamond lane on Bay except when I have specifically requested it from a police cruiser on Bay and related to a specific automobile that the cruiser can see) would serve commuters better.

Barring a 24 hour diamond lane, an extension of hours to 06:00h - 23:00h would be a cost effective, and (in my opinion) equitable option.

Edward replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm
That is a great suggestion and input Bay. Didn't find the proposal on her website so here is what I have written to Councillor Wong-Tam.

*Hi Councillor Wong-Tam.

I commute via bicycle to Yonge & Queen about 200 times a year. My route includes Bay Street from Davenport.

Have heard that you may have proposed parking changes on Bay and am interested in what the proposal may involve. Did not see the proposal on your website so assume that it may include other components.

Because I am often on Bay Street after the 19:00h cut-off for the diamond lane, I am interested in what measures may support cycling on Bay before 07:00h and after 19:00h on weekdays.

Many thanks in advance Councillor.*

markosaar replying to a comment from Tom / July 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm
Have you ridden a $99 Canadian Tire bike? I would never trust one to reliably get me to work, nor to travel over 20 km/h.

They're basically throwaway bikes with cheap challenging-to-replace components. Even their higher-end ones generally fall into that category.

With Bixi you don't have to worry about theft. Also winter maintenance is taken care of. A Canadian Tire bike wouldn't survive.
Mrs replying to a comment from bikenomore / July 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm
The TTC (subways, streetcars, buses) dont make money either. Public transportation loses money. Why should it be different for the nice, non-polluting, healthy and traffic-helping bikes?
Cyril Sneer replying to a comment from James / July 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm
It does have an effect because there are idiots out there who actually listen to what this woman has to say and will therefore not get vaccinated; this in turn has an direct negative impact on the community as a whole.
iskyscraper replying to a comment from seymorebike / July 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm
The BIXI station at Union was originally installed right where it should have been , directly in front of Union Station and in plain sight to the main entrance.
Yes it was moved because of the construction to an inferior location out of sight and mind.
And this is where it is supposed to stay after the reconstruction of Front Street!
The EA ignored Metrolinx and its guidelines and proposes the Bixi stations be located east of Bay Street and west of University Avenue where they cant be seen.
Taxis can be right in front of the building.
Every mode of transport will be closer to Union than Bixi.
The absolute last order of priority amongst transportation options in this environmental assessment was ... bicycles. No priority was given to cycling.
Support Cycle Toronto's request for a review and write the Minister of the Environment at complaining about this EA and request an environmental assessment process that gives priority to the role of cycling in our City's future.

bikerforever replying to a comment from markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm
I'm actually riled at both sides on this. If we really ask cyclists what facilities we/they want, odds are they'd say "more bike lanes", which don't have to cost millions per km to install, and we need to have a useful wider network first, right? And for me - looking at years to decades of crash and harm stats - take a guess, where would I put $1.2M of bike lane?!! We could both revive the Ford-cancelled EA for Bloor/Danforth bikeway, AND repaint the entire length of the B/D subway in something that could effectively expand the subway as load would be shed. And there'd still be a batch left over.

Sure some don't like painted bike lanes, and in an ideal world, we'll move to upgraded ones. But to put in a batch of costly ones in the core as rebuilds while removing others - it's a foul-up, and that includes some of the advocates. Why are we putting in costly bike facilities at City Wall when it is out on the streets that we need the expenditures and political will?

As for the Fords, they are hypocrites, and carist to boot. Why not focus on the other $50M of the revamp of City Hall square as waste? What about the over $600M for the Gardiner repairs and rehab, when that could go a Looong way to start up a downtown core subway, a Queen St. subway being approved by voters in 1946! Penny wise; Ford foolish...

Logan replying to a comment from Alex / July 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm
As presented in this post, the financial and public health benefits of cycling are significantly underestimated. The author appears to have failed to use the latest information from The City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health and Torono's Medical Officer of Health. I refer specifically to the report on the cost of the deaths and injuries caused by car drivers poisoning the citizens of Toronto at:

And also the report that quantifies the health benefits of active transportation at:

We see from the first report that, by way of their lethal poisons:

*Car drivers in Toronto poison and kill 440 people every year.
*Car drivers in Toronto poison and injure 1,700 people in Toronto so seriously every year that they have to be hospitalized.
*The health care costs due to people being poisoned by car drivers in Toronto are $2.2 billion per year.

Cycling is one of the solutions to this problem. Even at the existing low rate of cycling in Toronto, due to inadequate spending on our crappy infrastructure, to quote from page 26 of the second report issued in April 2012:

"Over the next five years, $9 million of the City’s capital transportation budget will be allocated to cycling infrastructure and projects each year. At the same time, cycling is expected to prevent 49 deaths each year, for an annual value of $54 million to $200 million."

I could write more, such as the effects upon children of being poisoned by vicious car drivers, but this is so heart-rending and I am in no mood for such sorrow now.

CW / July 23, 2013 at 01:00 pm
Painting curbs red won't help cars illegally parked in rush hour. Those curbs can't be painted red.

Painting curbs red won't help stupid people who can't figure out the parking signs. Those curbs can't be painted red.

The only curbs that will be painted red are those with absolutely no parking at any time. Who has a hard time figuring that out??
bikenomore replying to a comment from Logan / July 23, 2013 at 01:07 pm
If you're talking about savings in the health department, why isn't the province paying for the bixi program directly since it gets the monetary benefit? The city can't afford to lose the money.

Why does the rest of the city have to pay to subsidize those few people that actually use it? It's probably cheaper to just buy them a new canadian tire bike once or twice for those that actually attempt to use it and scrap the program
Logan replying to a comment from bikenomore / July 23, 2013 at 01:12 pm
I think this is missing the point. Bixi is useful for brief trips around the downtown core. Dozens of cities have implemented similar programs with considerable success.

The government is actually involved in a number of ways when you purchase and store a bicycle. There are safety regulations that manufacturers must meet, various laws to be obeyed, government provided places to lock up your bike, etc.

It seems that people are overlooking the fact that Bixi is largely self-sustaining in funding, but requires some subsidy for expansion and operating costs. When the Feds might be spending upwards of $30 billion on useless fighter planes, it seems quite odd to hound Bixi for a tiny fraction of this and hold that up as an example of government waste. However Bixi does need to present a clear plan for both operating and expansion subsidy. A recent article here noted that the operating deficit for this year is only $100,000, not much more than a single constable.

As well, it is important to note that Bixi uses Canadian-made bikes and employs low income people to maintain the bikes, providing them with valuable job training.
Logan replying to a comment from bikenomore / July 23, 2013 at 01:16 pm
One more thing, Toronto has guaranteed Bixi's loan, so if the program goes under Toronto is out both nearly $4 million and a bike lending program. Not exactly prudent fiscal planning in my book.
Tom / July 23, 2013 at 01:16 pm
Yes I've ridden a Canadian Tire bike. They arent the best soooo if you want a better bike buy a better bike. Bixi is not sustainable and why should my dollars fund the bike of your choice... You know I wish AutoShare had BMWs to drive because I cant afford one by I dont expect city hall or my fellow citizens to pay for them....
Stuart / July 23, 2013 at 01:21 pm
Canadian businesses are methodically replacing all their Canadian workers with foreign guest workers. It's happening on a national scale. The end result will be 80% or higher unemployment and economic collapse. All left leaning politicians should join hands and fight against this treasonous plan like lions. Instead they fight for bike lanes, subsidized bike rentals, bike racks, showers for bikers on City Hall, huge tax increases on hated "drivers" as if we were UFOs, and so on. The left has become utterly irrelevant and outright insane. I see absolutely no value in the left side of politics. I do know that they have been sidetracked and made to fight for the wrong issues on purpose; it's part of the globalist plan. However, I hate the left for not recognizing that they are being misled and "redirected". I hate their narrow-minded stupidity.
Poopdawg replying to a comment from Stuart / July 23, 2013 at 01:51 pm
It's like you almost grasp the bigger picture, but refuse to let go of your personal partisan bullshit to really quite 'get it'.
markosaar replying to a comment from Stuart / July 23, 2013 at 01:51 pm
What exactly is the right-wing doing, with action (federal), or policy (provincial), to solve your problem with foreign guest workers? Since it's happening on a national scale, what does it even have to do with municipal politics, where their primary focus is more along the lines of getting us to our jobs or taking our garbage away?

But keep looking for that conspiracy.
Dave Lies / July 23, 2013 at 02:08 pm
Just to be clear, iskyscraper = Dave. The real iSkyscraper has retired from this site and Dave has appropriated the name, along with numerous others.
CW replying to a comment from Stuart / July 23, 2013 at 02:18 pm
> All left leaning politicians should join hands and fight against this treasonous plan like lions. Instead they fight for bike lanes, subsidized bike rentals, bike racks, showers for bikers on City Hall

Dude, immigration is not a municipal matter. See the breakdown:

Temporary foreign workers was brought up in one of last weeks council meetings. The only power they have is to not hire them. I'm not even sure they are allow to discriminate against outsourcing to companies that use them.
iskyscraper replying to a comment from Dave Lies / July 23, 2013 at 02:56 pm
How is this a war on bikes and not a war on the %1. Bixi is used by such a statistically insignificant number of people it is amazing that we would spend this kind of money on it. We could have provided 10,000 bikes to children who can't afford them and still had enough change to buy them all helmets and bike locks. We could have built 2 dozen bike storage systems like the one at VicPark and still had change. Instead a couple thousand folks with credit cards who could have easily used other means were handed a slight convenience. It is absurd that we are willing to spend this kind of money on a program that will likely never have more than 10,000 members when it could have paid for infrastructure that would have been used for 10 times that. We need to make wise ROI choices with our money not just feel good decision.
Stuart replying to a comment from CW / July 23, 2013 at 03:02 pm
The answer is of course to leave the company in private hands and provide a subsidy that reduces over time that lets them build up the bike network. In the core City, the roads are over conjested and the subway system at the max, the only way forward is people to walk and use bikes. It is part of public transit. Having short term rentals available also reduces the gross number fo bikes all over the City. Biki is narrowing its shortfall. However they need more bikes and I do not like being on he hook for more loans, just a fee for service subsidy with a sufficient time frame to entice lenders to put up the capital.
Dave Price / July 23, 2013 at 03:09 pm
Why are my hard earned tax dollars going to pay for painted curbs? These will become absolutely useless once the snow starts falling. Just another example of Ford wasting money.

Here's a great article showing how Ford has been spending just as loosely as Miller and Lastman:

If you add in last week's transit debacle where we just dumped $85 MILLION to change a fully funded LRT line into a subway, one can see that Ford lies exactly like every other politician. Notice Bob and Doug haven't mentioned their billion dollars in savings recently?

Dave replying to a comment from iskyscraper / July 23, 2013 at 03:10 pm
IT is one key way to look at it and to date the price is small enough that it isn't a make or break item. However on a dollar per user model we spent $200 per year on each member after we include the money they paid. Did we get the bang for our buck or is this a poor ROI compared to other options. Would we be better off building bike storage systems and giving away free helmets and bike lessons? would we be better off investing this money in road markings? I believe that we are subsidizing yuppies who don't need to be subsidized and that if the program needs expansion to work we need to find a partner to expand the program. I suggest that one of the car share programs or one of the cab operators would be a great choice, I suggest partnerships with grocery stores and big box retail centres, I suggest partnerships with large office towers, I suggest that the solution has to be found outside of city hall and city staff. Bixi isn't a bad idea but its market isn't the poor or vulnerable and it doesn't provide a drop in the bucket compared to the normal cyclists who use our roads every single day. We don't subsidize autoshares and we don't subsidize skate rentals why would we subsidize bicycles?
Dave / July 23, 2013 at 03:15 pm
Why are we paying to fix the Gardiner? That hulking monolith should be torn down! Why are we subsidizing drivers and their elevated roads? They get in the way of pedestrians and bikes.
Logan replying to a comment from Stuart / July 23, 2013 at 03:27 pm
don't get it. If all the equipment is only worth $800,000 to $1.2M - why on earth would the City pay $3.9M? Why not just let it go bankrupt give up all the existing bixi bikes, then go back to the open market and replace them for $1.2M max?
Logan replying to a comment from Dave Lies / July 23, 2013 at 04:10 pm
So iskyscraper is Dave, then who are you?
Jackson replying to a comment from Stuart / July 23, 2013 at 04:26 pm
It's an extremely niche program that is useful to only a very select few who both live and work in the down town core. For these annual members, the program costs less than a quarter a day, which is laughably unsustainable for any business, let alone one that has equipment that sits uncovered outdoors at all times that needs to be maintained. For casual users the model is essentially useless and ridiculously expensive. Who needs to go from one general area to another in 30 minutes for $5 when the TTC is $3? There is no way to make the thing work, nor should we attempt to make it work. There's obviously little demand for it. We should cut our losses, repossess the assets, and sue the parent company for misrepresenting their business model and profitability outlook to the city when they agreed to guaranteed the loan. If selling our bikes won make back the whole amount, maybe we can sell Montreal's too :)
Jackson's comments: headscratcher! replying to a comment from Jackson / July 23, 2013 at 05:31 pm
Jackson, you don't make any sense whatsoever.

Luckily, Bixi will outlast you in this city. See ya, bumpkin! Come back to TO when you can't stay so long. :)
Jackson replying to a comment from Jackson's comments: headscratcher! / July 23, 2013 at 05:43 pm
You can bike across a major European city such as Amsterdam in 20 minutes. You would need about 10 hours to bike across the GTA. Does that answer your questions?
Jackson's comments: on the quackity quack track!! replying to a comment from Jackson / July 23, 2013 at 07:06 pm
You can sorta ski across an ice pond wearing greased ducks in 2 minutes. You would need about 10 hours to crawl across Grenadier Pond using your tongue instead. Does that answer your question?

Jackson replying to a comment from Jackson's comments: on the quackity quack track!! / July 23, 2013 at 07:10 pm
Another stupid idea. As someone said, with that money the city can give away probably 60,000 bikes for free instead of the 1000 bikes or 3000 bikes. These types of deals will get people fired in the real world. Sick of dumb city councillors that back this type of taxpayer spend.
markosaar replying to a comment from Jackson / July 23, 2013 at 08:19 pm
I understand people disagreeing with Bixi, but don't misrepresent it.

You don't have to both live and work downtown to appreciate it. It doesn't take that much imagination.

Case -- only live downtown: you come home, you can get to the bar afterward on Bixi and not have to worry about having your own bike stolen. It's a one way trip, so if you drink too much, you can take a cab or transit home.

Case -- only work downtown: it dramatically extends your range at lunch. Get to downtown places after work.

Case -- you only visit downtown: hey your $5 for 24 hours or $97 a year lets you get around without paying more fares on transit.

"Who needs to go from one general area to another in 30 minutes for $5 when the TTC is $3? "

For a one-way trip, yes, $5 is expensive. But the $5 grants you 24 hours of access. If you use it just twice, it's already cheaper than the TTC. Use it any more, and it's dramatically less expensive.

But you already knew all that and are just being a disagreeable ass.
Jackson replying to a comment from markosaar / July 23, 2013 at 09:31 pm
markosaar, can we not debate the concern without being personal?
markosaar replying to a comment from Jackson / July 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm
1. Are you going to address the points?

2. I honestly was actually giving you a lot of credit, that you understood all that before making such baseless statements. I apologise for making it personal, I just feel like I'm bashing my head against the wall because I keep seeing the same weak "arguments" come up over and over again. I felt that you had an agenda against Bixi that went beyond your points.
Jackson / July 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm
I have no adgenda against Bixi, but if they cannot succeed on their own, they should close down. How many start up operations have all of their assets covered then want more funding when they are not operating in the black.
That is my only real concern on Bixi.
Josh / July 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm
Bixi is not sustainable on its own so we should let it GO...
We are trying to cut back spending at city hall and the province but yet YOU want them to pick up the tab for the costs?

Let's not think about ourselves too much...
markosaar replying to a comment from Jackson / July 23, 2013 at 11:46 pm
I mostly agree with you, but I think that the value Bixi offers to Toronto's overall infrastructure might be worth a (relative) bit of investment.

Besides just affordable transit for "yuppies" (as some have stated), there are lots of less visible facets of the programme, like training underprivileged in repair. I can't speak for Toronto specifically, but anecdotally, I know visiting other cities with similar programmes in place, it's such a lovely convenience.

I completely agree it's a "nice to have", but I'm not convinced it's worth less than a lot of Toronto's decisions. I'm not including any specific mayor's decisions in that statement, because I believe they're all up for criticism.
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