Campaign promises. Bah! There should be a rule preventing candidates from making them. Because they rarely, if ever, deliver. It would be bad enough if they said "If I'm elected I would like to ..... ." But no, they promise. "When I'm elected, I will ... ." Until they don't.
It's a universal problem, happens everywhere the world over.
Intellectually we know it's bullshit, that even if they're well-intentioned and want to fix whatever it is they're promising to fix, they may not be able to get it done. But we fall for it anyway. Wishful thinking, I guess. Or eternal optimism. The "this-time-it-will-be-different" syndrome.
Or maybe we're just naive and too trusting. Saps.
To be perfectly honest, I usually tune that stuff out. This isn't my first rodeo, I've been around for far too many campaign speeches to take promises seriously. But this time, it was a subject so close to my heart I bought in. Believed.
Still waiting, though.
So what's my beef with Mayor Tory?
Let me explain. I live in Toronto. We have a terrible, terrible traffic problem in this city. There's all kinds of reasons for it:
Too many people driving when they could take public transportation. Badly-synchronized traffic lights. Cyclists zipping around cars, paying no attention to the rules of the road. Cars and trucks illegally double-parked on already congested main streets. Badly-planned road construction. Condo development everywhere you turn, either causing street closures where and when it's the last thing we need or blocking traffic because their huge cranes are in the middle of the road and no one can pass.
Well, Mayor Tory made a big deal of this when he ran. In fact, here's an article from The Globe and Mail that proves it.
The article is from December 4, 2014, right after he took office. Like I said, here we are, less than two months away from 2017 and there's been no improvement whatsoever. If anything it's worse.
Because I live downtown, because my friends live downtown, because, for the most part, my clients' offices are downtown I got rid of my car years ago. Don't need one. I either walk or take the subway most of the time. And, on the odd occasion when I do need wheels, I rent a Zipcar. Or take a cab, depending on where I'm going or what I'm doing.
Last week I needed a cab. I'd gone grocery shopping and although "my" Loblaws is not even a 10-minute walk from where I live, my groceries were too heavy to schlep, even on the subway. Normally it's less than a six dollar ride.
But now Bloor Street is down to one lane, east- and west-bound. We have new bike lanes. We have street parking. We have cars and trucks double-parked (even though Mayor Tory said he'd stop that -- which he did for five minutes).
When you get near the Intercontinental Hotel it's even worse because there's guests being picked up and dropped off constantly -- that's on top of the rest of the chaos I've just described.
And oh yes, there's road work and construction in the area, on Avenue Road and on many of the cross streets in the neighbourhood.
There's virtually nowhere to turn. You're just stuck there. Can you imagine what it will be like in winter? Add some snow drifts, snowed-in cars and tow trucks to the mix. Happy, happy days!
Interested in how much that cab ride the other day cost me? More than 12 dollars!
That's just one example. I have dozens more. And I'm not alone. Just ask any taxi driver who's stuck in it all day (and all night). And of course the constant subway closures this year haven't helped. The replacement busses have just made the gridlock, and the frustration, even worse.
I'll admit it. I'm disappointed. I had high hopes for John Tory.
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