In the War on Cars, Only Drivers Kill

A Toronto Star columnist frames a recent spate of pedestrian fatalities in stark terms.
October 10, 2017, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Edward Keenan has seen the drivers in Toronto who believe there is a war on cars evident in decisions to slow traffic, remove lanes, or devote space and money to alternative forms of transportation. "But if there’s a war going on, the cars are pretty much the only ones inflicting any casualties," Keenan writes.

Keenan's column follows a tragic week in Toronto: "two more pedestrians killed after being hit by cars Wednesday night and Thursday morning. That makes seven in the past eight days, including four in one day leading into Sept. 29."

Kennan's concern over this string of tragic events produces a line of argument that counters the usually pro-car stances of most mainstream media columnists:

This is not a war. If anything it’s more akin to a slaughter. Measures to make streets safer by changing speed limits, changing road design, introducing bike lanes and so on are not ways of waging war. They are proposals that seek to provide peace. To end the deaths and injuries. To preserve life.

Kennan's argument comes in the context not only of the recent deaths, some of which occurred at locations where safety measures were proposed but rejected, but also as the city of Toronto reconsiders the Bloor Bike Lane pilot project.

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Published on Thursday, October 5, 2017 in Toronto Star
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