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my letter yesterday to the Editor of the Star

Re: Star article “Hundreds of cyclists, pedestrians caught in blitz”

So our trusty police force is busy protecting the city against its nefarious pedestrians. Recently, when the frightening increase in Toronto pedestrian fatalities was being discussed, the police solution was to tell pedestrians to use crosswalks and not to jaywalk. Nothing was said about another solution: making sure that cars in the city slow down.

As a pedestrian and cyclist, I would like to inform the powers-that-be, who seem not to have noticed, that the drivers of cars and trucks in this city are out of control. For years, at intersections I cross regularly such as Gerrard and Church or Jarvis and Carlton, I’ve watched cars, SUVs and trucks, already going too fast, speeding up to get through yellow lights and often zipping right through red lights. Streams of dump trucks have recently been hurtling over the speed limit along Gerrard. Over and over, I’ve asked myself, where are the police? Out ticketing jaywalkers.

People on bikes and foot can be careless and foolish, absolutely. But in an encounter between a careless 150-pound pedestrian or cyclist and a 3000-pound automobile or 6000 pound SUV that can’t stop, who is going to lose? Why aren’t police targeting speeding and aggressive driving?

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2 Responses to “my letter yesterday to the Editor of the Star”

  1. Shari Ulrich says:

    As a Vancouverite, where the aggression of drivers has certainly increased in the last few years, I still find myself fearing for my life when I walk, drive or cycle in Toronto. There is no mercy here. And I often wish for that fairy tale scenario where a police car shows up just as the rude driver screams by me and chases him down. Where was the traffic cop as I stood outside the St. Lawrence market yesterday on Jarvis and watched an SUV park for 15 minutes in the curb lane while its arrogant driver ran in for veggies causing a huge traffic back up blocking the lane? The wife of the driver sat with her small dog on her lap with that familiar air of entitlement, both barking at the drivers who dared to honk in frustration. Oh, if only… OK, I'll stop kvetching now.

  2. Beth says:

    With you 100%, my friend! But heedless parking doesn't bother me so much, if it just inconveniences other cars, because driver problems aren't my problem. It's when heedless speeders try to kill me and mine that I'm roused. And the police are on the job … ticketing pedestrians.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

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