Build More Bike Lanes to Save Lives, Say Toronto Doctors

Following the arrest of Dr. Tomislav Svoboda for obstructing the removal of Jarvis Street's bike lanes last November, the doctor and his colleagues have joined together to ask Toronto to speed up the installation of bike lanes to save lives.

Read Time: 1 minute

January 22, 2013, 12:00 PM PST

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


In advance of a court appearance last week to face criminal charges for his role in protesting "the now-infamous removal of the Jarvis Street bike lanes," Dr. Tomislav Svoboda released an open letter signed by nearly two dozen of his colleagues that "asks city council to 'change lanes and save lives,' by speeding up the installation of bike lanes throughout the city," reports Desmond Cole. 

"Svoboda, at his press conference, scolded city council for falling behind its own targets for bike-lane expansion (set in the 2001 bike plan), and for removing lanes even as major cities like Montreal, New York, and Chicago add dozens of kilometers of new bike thoroughfares each year. Citing the six cycling fatalities and thousands of injuries that have occurred in Toronto in 2012 alone, Svoboda said that what we usually describe as accidents 'could also be described as a failure by the City to protect its residents and to build a healthy city.' He urged councillors to consider the preventative benefits of cycling and active living in general. 'Cardiovascular health, mental health, insomnia—all these things are treated with exercise…this is a public health issue, and an issue of primary care,' said Svoboda."

So what punishment did Svoboda receive for his act of civil disobedience? He must perform 50 hours of community service with Cycle Toronto, a local bike advocacy group.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 in Torontoist

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