Bread and Circuses; Mostly Circus

July 16, 2015 at 9:52 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s the end of the first week of the Pan-Am games in Toronto, and it’s the third week of HOV madness on some of the roads in the city.

I have to say that the games themselves have made little direct impact on my consciousness. I have a vague sense of Canada winning this or that, but it’s really not a source of interest for me.

Or too many others it seems. When Toronto wanted to bid on the Olympics a few years back, there was a vigorous opposition mounted (“Bread not Circuses”). For Pan Am, opposition is muted.

But I digress. There is one thing. Right now I work around Broadview and Danforth, and since I live in Don Mills, the quickest way to get to work is the Don Valley Parkway. Except that now, the DVP’s three lanes are restricted to two lanes with the third reserved for high occupancy vehicles (3+), motorcycles, buses, taxis and those with passes for the games. Oh, and a lot of pickup trucks, vans of any size, those willing to risk a $500 fine and three points on their licenses (like the former Mayor Rob Ford who admits to driving in those lanes because HOV “is a pain in the ass”) and a lot, and I mean a lot of police vehicles. It’s a crawl.

The funny thing is that the city seems to have decided that now is a good time to do construction on all of those other routes that people avoiding the Don Valley Parking lot might try.

None dare call it conspiracy? OK, I think it’s more likely the people making the decisions pay no attention to the broader picture.

But, here’s what it might look like: Underfund public transportation so that driving a car becomes more attractive. Then block off lanes, so that like water finding its level, people spill into the HOV lanes only to be ticketed by the vastly increased police presence.

It’s a circus alright, but one that seems to consist only of clowns. Can I have some bread now please?


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