Paul Berton’s ‘Road Sharing’ Half-Truths


With respect to Paul Berton’s recent Point Of View column…

The LFP editor asks “how disturbing…to hear about hit-and-runs involving cars and cyclists like one over the weekend on Exeter Road”? He asks some questions about interaction between motorists/biyclists/pedestrians and he cites some stats (presumably obtained from the police, although he doesn’t say so).

Since Mr. Berton generally just ignores my posts to the LFP website, I’ll put it here as well, and you can comment about it if you like:

It’s About Time
Greg Fowler (

How long have I been trying to interest you in pedestrian rights/safety issues? Nice of you to finally get around to writing something. Too bad though that you didn’t think to pick up the phone and talk to me. Are pedestrians using crosswalks? Who’s determined to be at fault, numbers of tickets issued, etc? Did you think to ask any questions about those stats, Paul? Did you think to ask Tom O’Brien why only 30% of auto operators are being ticketed for striking pedestrians? When you want to give this serious issue the attention that it deserves, you let me know.


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One Response to “Paul Berton’s ‘Road Sharing’ Half-Truths”

  1. Sean Hurley Says:

    I remember becoming aware of a transportation master plan for London that set some rather modest goals for supporting alternative transportation and reducing vehicle use. I have concluded such master plans are produced to silence critics and for PR purposes only. In London, the car is king regardless that the future for the personal automobile is a dim one. London will only change when change becomes both inevitable and painful.

    On the same subject, I noticed you had a post that says bicycles belong on the road. I agree with you. As a cyclist in London, I insisted on being on the road. My wife, you might know, is an expert cyclist. She rode competitively and once provided road training for cyclists on the roads of Toronto. To say she is experienced is an understatement. I remember her coming home, on evening, angry and upset because an LTC vehicle, refusing to give her space — to share the road, narrowly missed crushing her.

    The hostility to alternative transportation methods in London runs all the way from the horseshoe at city hall to the barns of the LTC to the angry driver in the SUV racing to get to work or a mall.

    It has been reported that traffic fatalities kill 40,000 Americans annually, and air pollution kills another 70,000. Climate change threatens all life on the planet and energy scarcity threatens the foundations of our civilization.

    By comparison, the mad obsession with the personal automobile is far more deadly than Osama bin Laden. And yet while trillions are spent destroying life and the planet in reaction to 9/11, nary a dime is available to develop alternative energy strategies or to rebuild our cities on a human scale for pedestrians and bicycles and free of speeding hunks of metal filled with rage and squandering our planet’s precious resources.

    At a time when financial resources are scarce and we enter into the annual debates about closing splash pads, reducing community services, and cutting back on programs, there is always – ALWAYS – dollars available for widening, expanding, or building roads to cater to the needs of the machine.

    Think about this: It costs about $1,000 per lane kilometer to maintain a road. It costs about $80,000 per lane kilometer to resurface a road. And it costs about $250,000 per lane kilometer to build a road.

    Now when your city council says it doesn’t have the dollars to rebuild crumbling infrastructure you know why. Londoners are literally paving the roads with their tax dollars.

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