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Morning Brew: Stintz mulls a TTC takeover of BIXI, Rob Ford wants election, marathon tragedy, painting Ford, longer pedestrian crossings, and a look at ranked ballots

Karen Stintz says she'll motion for a report on whether the TTC could take over Toronto's struggling BIXI system. She says if the transit system ran the bike share scheme we could expect more stations at bus stops, streetcar shelters, and subway stations. Last week coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam proposed tethering BIXI to parking space negotiations in new construction projects. Which sounds better?

Rob Ford wants a provincial election, and he's calling on the NDP to help. Speaking on his weekly radio show Ford urged MPPs to "just say no" to the Liberal budget and trigger a vote. "Taxpayers want an election," he said, and presumably so does his brother coun. Doug Ford who's planning a run for office. The NDP need to support the proposed budget to prevent the province going to the polls.

Yesterday's Toronto marathon turned tragic close to the finish line. An 18-year-old woman from Cape Breton collapsed and died after suffering an undisclosed medical problem while running the race. Elsewhere, a police officer from the city's 54 Division was found without vital signs close but was resuscitated.

An Ossington Ave. house that was the scene of a 2011 murder has sold for $900,000, just $50,000 short of the asking price. The sale proves not everyone is squeamish about living in a house that's seen violence, especially if it's in a good location. Would you have a problem owning a former crime scene?

Rob Ford is going to be immortalized in an oil painting by artist/councillor Gary Crawford. Ford's mother, Diane, told Crawford she wanted him to paint her son a few years ago but he's only now found the time. No word whether we'll get a chance to see the finished product, but there's a chance Doug Ford could get the same treatment. Crawford also says he's considering reworking Da Vinci's Last Supper for City Council.

Pedestrians are getting longer to cross the road thanks to traffic signals tweaks around the city. Crossings used to allow for a person walking 1.2 metres a second but now it's being reduced to allow for the elderly and people with mobility difficulties. The difference adds up to about 5 extra seconds per crossing.

Finally, Toronto is inching closer to a discussion on switching to a ranked ballot system for municipal elections. The Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto, lead by civic activist Dave Meslin, hopes votes for mayors and councillors will be ranked in order of preference in future. The system eliminates vote-splitting and strategic voting. It's possible the discussion could land on the government management committee agenda in May. Sound good?



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

Image: Jesse Herzog/blogTO Flickr pool.

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