Toronto Skyline

Saturday Brew: More Embarrassing TTC Photos, Yonge St. Revitalization, Island Airport Tunnel, Pedestrian Fatality Analysis, An Odd Article from John Cruickshank

Photo: "TO.keh..." by Chewie 2008, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):

Another week, another photo of a TTC employee doing something dumb: a streetcar rider snapped away as his driver stopped on the busy 501 Queen route to get some cash at a bank machine, holding passengers up for an estimated seven minutes. While less visually damning than the sleeper photos, the behaviour is actually far worse. With a sleeper, you might be in store for a free ride, but when a driver goes on break mid-route, traffic goes haywire.

The Star wants to know what you think about the state of Yonge south of Bloor. After dumping on the strip in a previous article, the paper was contacted by Joe MacDonald, a member of the Yonge BIA, who invited the writer on a guided tour of the street. What he saw was an area in the process of revitalization. The question is, has anyone noticed?

You can forget the talk of a bridge to the Island Airport -- now the controversy will surround a plan to build a pedestrian tunnel instead. Or will it? With the Toronto Port Authority seeking to finance the project by boosting airport improvement fees and private sector investment, there will be no request for public funding. That'll make their plans very difficult to halt. And, hey, at least pedestrians will be safe down there.

Speaking of which, the Globe has an extensive look at Toronto's "mean streets" in an effort to ascertain if there are any patterns to be found in the 14 pedestrian fatalities this month. The article features some illuminating graphs, but the expert analysis is anything but scientific. More useful information -- both statistical and interpretive -- can be found here (see bottom of page). But, ultimately, part of the frustration that surrounds this trend is that it's nearly impossible to know precisely why fatalities are happening with such frequency.

There's an odd article by Star publisher John Cruickshank today. Under a title that promises to deliver "good news for newspapers," he outlines much of what we already know about the print industry -- the usual stuff about the migration of advertising dollars onto the internet and mobile devices. So what's his good news? Well he wants us to know that despite a drive to cut costs by outsourcing production jobs at the paper, management and the union have reached some kind of agreement. What exactly this involves remains unclear because he fails to offer any details. I can't help but think he needs a better editor again.

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