Re: F1 in London!
We're well aware of Ken and his little scheme. Well, not completely aware, as we only get the spun version over here. The congestion charge is a complete success. London's traffic problems have been solved. The city is now more pedestrian friendly, and even the drivers are happier because there is more parking, and it is easier to get around the city....You get the picture.
The reason why we are getting this version (which I wouldn't buy even if it were wrapped up with a big, shiny bow, and offered to me for the never-to-be-repeated price of two cents) is because local politicians are rubbing their hands gleefully at the thought of imposing a similar charge here. They see a congestion charge as the solution to every problem under the sun. It will reduce traffic, encourage cycling, decrease pollution, provide funding for public transit, just as it did in London.
Of course, politicians and the city traffic management departments can't see beyond the end of the cash box and haven't bothered to come up with any real, workable solutions to the growing traffic problems we are facing. They haven't addressed simple things like increasing the number of advanced greens at intersections. They haven't built a subway/train track to the airport. They haven't cracked down on cyclists who believe that the traffic laws (and the laws of physics) don't apply to them.
Instead politicians waste their time playing with red light cameras and trying to find ways to bring back photo radar. Recently they've a imposed significant number of lane restrictions on major roads, limiting their use to buses during rush hour. And they have studied, restudied, and studied again the idea of eliminating the Gardiner Expressway -- the main, southern, east-west artery that brings traffic (and tourists) into the city. Because parts of the Gardiner are raised above street level, the local brain trust in city hall has concluded that this is what is ruining our waterfront.
They feel that people are upset because they can't see Lake Ontario's shores from the downtown because the Gardiner blocks the view of the water. Of course, they tend to ignore the wall of condominiums that their good-buddy developer friends errected around the edges of the lake. They also fail to realize that there is nothing to attract tourists and locals to the shoreline. Every tourist attraction from Ontario Place to Harbourfront has been a massive failure -- or at best, an underwhelming success. Nobody in their right mind would swim at the main downtown beaches, unless they feel like playing Russian roullette with their health. There really is no good reason to visit the waterfront more than once, just to see what the lake looks like, but city council has decided to ignore these realities, and just focus on the big, bad road, because as we know, all roads are bad and all motorists are evil.
So I guess in my typical, long-winded way, I'm just saying that I really do understand your frustration, and I admire your act of civil protest. Plus, I really did enjoy reading your post. I appreciate your way with words.
Last edited by Toronto Spider; 02-07-04 at 01:33.