Pamela Gough has strongly supported safe bicycling in Etobicoke as a school trustee; I strongly support her Ward 3 candidacy

Amsterdam, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Amsterdam, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

David Juliusson of Long Branch, who I am pleased to say convinced me some time back to help out with social media efforts on behalf of Pamela Gough’s Ward 3 campaign, has shared an email in support of her campaign.

Here’s an excerpt from David Juliusson’s comments, specifically about bicycling:

Pamela Gough has also been the TDSB trustee for 17 years in both the former Etobicoke and Toronto. She has strong school council support in both Wards 5 and 6 because she represented both as TDSB trustee. She has my support as a cyclist because of her record on cycling issues. She championed the Safe Routes to School for TDSB schools. For that she was named Education Cycling Advocate of the year in 2013.

She established the TDSB Cycling Subcommittee on which Anthony Humphreys, myself and Kristen Schwartz were on. When we began the TDSB felt it was being generous to promise 15 bike racks for the entire TDSB. Pamela supported what constitutes a bike rack. The TDSB didn’t even consider cycling as a form of Active Transportation. She along with Richard Christie got cycling as part of the Ecoschools program.

She began Bike to School Day, sponsored the TDSB Vision Zero Mandate and the Slow down initiative. She has stated she can build on that for the community as a whole if she is elected Councillor. I believe her.

Pamela also attended our meeting with Councillor DiCiano as the TDSB Trustee when we advocated for bike lanes on The Queensway. She said it would make a big difference to TDSB students. Councillor Di Ciano rejected this.

Bicycling culture in Amsterdam

A previous post is entitled:

Three Ward 3 Candidates – Pamela Gough, Iaian Davis, and Amber Morley – answer questions about cyclist and pedestrian safety

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

At that post, I’ve spoken about great things I learned, during a visit to the Netherlands in August 2018, about the bicycle infrastructure that is in place in Amsterdam; an excerpt from the above-noted post reads:

I would guess, based on first-hand observations in Amsterdam in August 2018, that passion and commitment, on the part of large numbers of people, would likely have played a key role, in development of the latter city’s impressive transportation infrastructure. That’s my working hypothesis, at any rate, as I start my reading about how Amsterdam developed its commendable practice, of spending a good part of each day on bicycles.

Among other things, Amsterdam bike pathways are, when required, generally delineated by particular surface treatments, and subtle differences in elevation, that clearly separate them from walkways and car thoroughfares.

What I saw in Amsterdam, over several days of close observation, astounded me. From morning until evening, I saw thousands of residents, of all ages and walks of life, contentedly perched upon bicycles – typically sitting upright rather than crouched forward over racing handlebars – travelling back and forth across the city.

Often people would ride abreast, carrying on conversations as they pedalled along on solid, standard-issue bicycles. In many cases, carts were in place in front of bikes, where young children would be sitting, carrying on their own conversations.

Some bikes were also fitted with purpose-built carts, for the transportation of goods.

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

Amsterdam bike scene, August 2018. Jaan Pill photo

I had never seen such a sight before, except when I was a five-year-old child in Stockholm in the late forties, where bicycles were, in the 1940s – as is now the case in Amsterdam – a standard means of everyday transportation.

After I arrived in Montreal as an immigrant, at age five in 1951, the image of hundreds of bicycles, along the streets of Stockholm, stayed with me, and has never left. I visited Stockholm as well as Amsterdam in August 2018. In Stockholm, pathways are indeed in place, to guide bicycle traffic, but the infrastructure is not as highly developed, as it is in Amsterdam.

What I saw in Amsterdam underlined for me that the bicycle infrastructure, that has so far emerged in a city like Toronto, represents but one particular way, that a given city at a given time in history, goes about its planning. Amsterdam underlined for me that, under suitable conditions, cities have the capacity to take specified steps, that make transportation safer – and by far healthier – for all of its citizens, of all ages and walks of life, than would otherwise be the case.

Two related posts are entitled:

In her third campaign item, Pamela Gough addresses pedestrian and cycling safety

Astounding Amsterdam bicycle culture, and impressive Banksy exhibit at Mona Museum in Amsterdam

Click on these great photos from Amsterdam to enlarge them; click again to enlarge them further

 

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