Mayor Rob Ford Promises To Defeat Bike Parking Plan

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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has promised to oppose a bike parking project at City Hall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn | CP

A proposal to build a $1.2 million bicycle station in downtown Toronto has raised the ire of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford who calls the idea "a complete waste of taxpayer's money."

The proposed bike station would be built in the underground parkade below Nathan Philips Square and would include secure bike parking, as well as showers and change rooms.

But the price tag is high.

Not just the $1.2 million cost, but the loss of about 12 parking spots and the subsequent lost revenue.

None of it sits well with Mayor Ford, or his brother Etobicoke Coun. Doug Ford.

"We're taking away parking space down here at City Hall that are creating $70,000 worth of revenue and — ready for this folks — they're putting in showers for the bike riders to come down here to a tune of $1.2 million. That's the gravy train. That is reckless spending," said Doug Ford.

A city committee approved the proposal for the 380 bike parking spots, but Rob Ford says he intends to put an end to the idea when it comes to council for a vote.

"I'm going to try to kill it at council ... that's a complete waste of taxpayer's money," said the mayor.

But bicycle activists say the Fords are missing the point.

"It's a really great investment," said Jared Kolb, the executive director of Cycle Toronto.

"This sends a really strong signal that bikes are welcome at City Hall and that City Hall is encouraging people to cycle."

The proposal will be up for debate again in early May.

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