Blogs, Toronto Daily Blog Report: Large Police Presence at OCAP Meeting, Queen Street Car Needs Work, Cycli

by ANDREW RIDEOUT - Date: 2007-11-08 - Word Count: 932 Share This!

This is a selection of recent popular blog articles from TorontoIAM where you will find the best blogs from Toronto, Ontario as well as video uploads, social networking, rumors, and blog authoring.

Food vs. Surveillance Cameras

A recent post from the Torontoist recounts the OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) press conference that was observed by as many police officers as there were attendees. The irony was not lost on the organizers, as the theme of the conference concerned the amount of funding spent on surveillance versus food and shelter for the homeless. OCAP spokesperson Gaetan Heroux noted that all of the cameras installed in the area in the past week “are within a neighbourhood that has one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in Canada."

The post goes on to say that Toronto’s service reduction has meant the loss of 300 shelter beds and 314,000 meals in the past year and yet "we're told somehow that these cameras are going to keep us safe." Zoe Dod of Street Health points out that police surveillance cameras often "displace people into alleyways and streets that are less well-lit." And resident Mark Bill added "On top of everything else, they don't work. A study by the British Home Office showed them to be a near-complete failure in Britain." A recent survey of the area’s homeless revealed that 69% of those surveyed went hungry at least one day per week. In response, Beric German of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee exclaimed, "This camera doesn't provide food! $2 million could provide a lot of food and keep two shelters open for the winter!"

Riding the Queen

Steve Monroe’s Web Site, a popular blog about politics and transit, asks “What can we do about the Queen Car? A December 4 meeting of the Rocket Riders will address the issues and how to fix them. His post includes an overview of the issues including problems with the route structure, peak period operations, vehicle allocation, and service levels. He goes on to say that there has been little attention paid to the streetcar network “on the grounds that the fleet is fully committed already,” which he says is simply not true, especially during off-peak periods. “The TTC needs to account for the large number of spare cars during the peak.”

In the post Monroe proposes his own route structure “to shorten routes and to provide overlaps so that short-turns will not totally devastate service” and makes recommendations for integration and consolidation. He also states that the current “macro” schemes don’t address major sources of congestion. “Proposals for transit priority must focus on “micro” changes to individual intersections and neighbourhoods with parking restrictions and signal improvements.” He cites that the cheapest improvement is in managing what we already have and there should be huge incentives for the TTC to do so.

Biking Budget Shifts into High Gear

In its latest post, Bike Toronto calls attention to the official start of the 2008 Capital Budget approval process. This budget setting process will result in a five year spending plan. Since the capital budget funds the cycling infrastructure “this is an important time for those wanting to see the Bikeway Network of bicycle lanes, park paths and signed bike routes completed by 2012” The blogger calls on the bicycling community to take note of the city’s proposals in this area and offer input.

The post reminds us that in the past, due to scheduling, there was no opportunity for Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee to be consulted or comment on the budget. Not so this year. Individuals and cycling organizations will have input into the budget because hearings will be held earlier this year on November 13th. “To have input into the process you can write to the committee, speak in person to the committee or write your councilor.” The two budgets with the most impact are those of the Transportation Services Division and the Parks Forestry and Recreation Division. The blogger notes that there are still improvements in both budgets that need to be made in order to complete the Bikeway Network by 2012.

Raptors Lose to Magic

A post-game report from Raptor’s Talk cites reasons why the Raptor’s lost to the Magic 106-95. The blogger points out that having good players on reserve can sometimes backfire. “Mitchell realized that he didn’t spread around the minutes enough, so he bellowed down the bench, and threw TJ in ice cold.” Dwight Howard's lack of offensive potency was definitely a talking point. “The man had 5 fouls with 4:50, and not even an attempt.”

The post states that Bosh and Bargnani played well, but it wasn’t enough. Additionally, it “didn’t help that every time Nelson penetrated, and Bosh helped, Howard got a nice lob for a dunk.” Together, Howard and team-mate Rashard Lewis were too much for the Raptors and spirits sank. Raptors Talk blamed coach Mitchell for the lack of shots. “There is no game plan to get the shooters out of a funk.” Seemingly, the Raps will have to step it up before a few losses starts to turn into a full-blown losing streak.

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