Posts Tagged ‘mode’

Toll Roads: Part of a Smart Anti-Congestion Plan

February 25, 2008

You may recall that I’ve previously suggested that toll roads (congestion fees) would be a good thing for London. 01 Now Toronto’s Mayor has joined the choir; David Miller thinks that tolls would be good for his city too. 02

It isn’t a new idea. In 1700s Britain “turnpike roads…were private businesses that maintained roads using the income obtained from charging for its use…” Over the past +100 years most new roads have been built “using funding from income tax and other government taxes.” But increasingly, old is becoming new again, as cities struggle to cope with serious congestion problems. “Toll roads like the M6 Toll are funded in a different and much fairer way. The cost of building and maintaining them is borne by the developer who recovers his outlay and interest charges by levying tolls on the traffic which uses the road – in exactly the same way as turnpike roads were operated 400 years ago. Thus toll roads are paid for only by the people who use them.” 03

01. 2008/01/09 – FMBS: Ted Kheel’s fight…
02. 2008/02/23 – Toronto Star: Mayor backs serious look at road tolls
03. M6toll

Other Links:
Toronto 407 ETR
Indiana Toll Road
Harris County (Greater Houston) Toll Road Authority
Cobequid Pass (Nova Scotia) Toll Road
(Orange County CA) Transportation Corridor Agencies
(Denver) e-470
2008/02/29 – Toronto Star: Strong premier would steer toward road tolls
2008/04 – Toronto Life: Toronto’s Traffic Time Bomb

London Parking Authority?

December 7, 2007

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City administration presented a written submission and showed a presentation at the 2007/11/26 ETC meeting with respect to the 2008 Parking Strategy Business Plan. ETC directed administration to assess “the merits of establishing a parking authority in London” and to report back.

What is a Parking Authority?

In Toronto, the mandate of it’s PA is “to provide safe, attractive, conveniently located and competitively prices off and on-street public parking, which is required by commercial strips and neighbouring residential areas to survive. ”

Is this an attempt by those who believe that the culture of cars is indispensible to aid them in achieving a proliferation of cheap parking in the city core? (see: ‘Transportation Choices & Their True Cost‘)

Is this the way that London tries to get more people out of cars and tries to influence them to adopt alternate modes of transportation? (see: City of London’s Transportation Master Plan)

Where did the impetus for this come from?

Although it was signed by Mr’s Leckie & Steblin, the parking report contains an acknowledgement that it was “prepared based on the extensive work of Shane Maguire.” Readers of this blog will recall that (according to the City’s forced response to my Freedom of Information request) NO ACTION was taken after Mr. Maguire received the police report which identifies that the design of the Commissioners/Pond Mills signalized intersection is dangerous to pedestrians.

2007/12/11 – TheGuardian: McParking row as slow eaters are fined

Obstructive Landscaping

November 14, 2007

I still say that London deserves to have a Pedestrian Committee. Can you imagine if a tree fell across Commissioners Road, obstructing the automobile traffic, and wasn’t removed within an hour? Our City Council purports to appreciate other modes of transportation, but continues to treat them as poor cousins to the automobile.

From: Gregory Fowler
To: Heather Lysynski; Harold Usher
Cc: Roger Caranci
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 1:00 AM
Subject: Regulation of Obstructive Landscaping
Chair and Members
Environment & Transportation Committee

November 14, 2007

Overgrown trees, shrubs, and other plants do effectively reduce the width of the sidewalk and impede/obstruct pedestrian traffic and may cause physical injury (see:, see also:,

In the past, I have attempted to resolve observed problems of this kind by seeking the assistance of the ward Councillor. However, given the reduction of the number of ward Councillors from 2 to 1, and the increased incidence of non-response to communications, I no longer believe that this informal approach is workable (see:

Might I be informed about what regulation, if any, exists with respect to maintenance of landscaping along the pedestrian right-of-way (sidewalks, walkways, etc), the specific staff member to whom reports of pedestrian obstructions should be addressed, and any background or other information you may feel is appropriate in this regard?


Mr. Greg Fowler
962 Eagle Crescent
London, Ontario; N5Z 3H7

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Drive-Thru Review

October 31, 2007

London’s Planning Committee will address the topic of drive-thru’s at a Public Meeting on Monday, 2007/11/12 at 7:00 p.m.

Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 13:47:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: Gregory Fowler
To: Charles Parker
Subject: City Wide – Drive Through Review

Mr. Chuck Parker, Senior Planner
The City of London
Planning Division
P.O. Box 5035
300 Dufferin Avenue
London, ON N6A 4L9

Re: City Wide – Drive Through Review


I understand from the city’s “Living in the City” page (…/LivingInTheCity/civiccornermain.htm) that the regulation of drive-thrus is undergoing a review and that safety will be one of the considerations.

Notwithstanding my many communications to City Hall staff and members of Council with respect to pedestrian safety which have been unanswered, I wish to express my opinion, FOR THE PUBLIC RECORD, that no transportation-related review can be considered to have been adequately completed unless pedestrian safety has been studied and given a higher priority than other modes of travel.

With respect to drive-thru’s specifically, I wish to suggest that there is significant room for improvement. As an example, I ask that you consider the drive-thru which is in the plaza at Commissioners Road and Adelaide Street ( This drive-thru exits between buildings, and it is not at all uncommon for drivers to pull away from the pickup window, head down (or averted), and totally oblivious to any pedestrians who might be crossing to/from the coffee shop and the adjoining businesses. If drive-thru’s are to be allowed, then I propose that they be designed in such a fashion that vehicles exit on the periphery where pedestrian travel can be restricted without unreasonable inconvenience.

I would respectfully remind you that driving an automobile is simply a priviledge, whereas walking is a natural right.

Mr. Gregory Fowler
962 Eagle Crescent
London, Ontario N5Z 3H7

Green Transportation Hierarchy

April 29, 2007

The green transportation hierarchy is the basic concept behind transportation reform groups all over the world. The hierarchy puts city-friendly cyclists and pedestrians first. It rewards their low cost, space efficiency, and zero environmental impact. Trucks are not last because they perform vital commercial functions in cities. An important part of the green transportation hierarchy is that trucks get priority over personal automobiles for scarce curbside parking.

His Heart Bleeds…

March 8, 2007

In a sidebar to today’s feature Toronto Star article (“City decays as debt climbs”; Jim Byers, Paul Moloney; 2007/03/08), Councillor Rob Ford is quoted as saying that “I can’t support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.

Sad, but maybe London isn’t the only Ontario municipality still living in the dark ages.

But then again, Toronto does at least have a Pedestrian Committee ;(

Why Not Monorail?

February 18, 2007

As a child growing up in the 50s, I was always facinated during the intro of the Sunday evening Disney program by the futuristic-looking sight of monorails whisking tourists through a fantasy park. But is that really just the stuff of science fiction?

After happening across “Monorails were a great idea in 1902…” I followed a link to The Monorail Society‘s site, and I have to say that there’s lots there to think about.