A Hollow Victory on Jarvis St.

When Toronto Council voted last week to kill the centre lane of Jarvis St., widen the sidewalks and add some bike lanes, cycling advocates went bananas. It felt like an important victory. Perhaps the city was turning the corner on bike lanes and soon Toronto would be a rider’s utopia.

But I’m not convinced.

For having received what I see as a pat on the head, cyclists are showing a bit too much exuberance; especially when the only real winner is Mayor Miller, who scored a good PR victory and enhanced his green/keen/clean image with the city’s younger, more liberal crowd all the while allowing the contrary “right wing” morons on council to make their own nooses a little tighter. And car advocates, who one might incorrectly sight as the big losers here, got a bit of a win as they now have a cause célèbre, the amusingly named “war on the car”. Cyclists only scored a victory if you think the proposed redesign is a) necessary, b) properly conceived and/or c) working toward a bigger plan.

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