Where I Stand
By Joshua Ho
Whether it’s helping to reduce gridlock or making Toronto an attractive place for tourists, the TTC plays an important role in Toronto’s economy. The use of transit increases the efficiency of Toronto’s economy by reducing gridlock, pollution-related illnesses, transportation costs and the mobility of workers and consumers. A more efficient transportation sector means lower prices for goods because of costs saved in transport. The average cost of traveling one person-kilometre by car in Canada is 46¢. For public transit, it is 12 cents. This means an annual savings of $2,495 for every Torontonian who uses transit.
Jaywalking tickets and crossing signals work great for people, but not so well for our furry friends. With 725,000 to 1.5 million wildlife-vehicle collisions in Canada every year, all of us hardcore animal lovers need to do something to stop these accidents.
- Drive slow. What’s the rush? By driving the speed limit and driving a little slower at night, the risk of killing a poor animal that wants to reach the other side of the road can decrease.
- Never swerve. If you can't break or switch lanes then just go through it. Even if it is a deer. Hitting any size animal is better than swerving.
- “Beep, Beep.” When you see an animal that looks like it is about to dash in front of your car, just honk the horn. The little guy will hopefully run in the opposite way.
- Flash. If you see an animal standing in the middle of the street with that “deer in the headlights” look, or if it is an actual deer in the headlights, flash your high beams.
- Be prepared. Know the number of your local animal control department so they can help the injured animal or remove it from the road. Never attempt to touch or aid the animal because it can be unpredictable.
Stop the road kills!
Despite green bins, plastic bag taxes and a litany of other projects launched as part of Mayor David Miller’s push to make Toronto “a North American leader in recycling and composting programs,” the amount of garbage the city sends to the landfill is dismally close to where it stood in 2007. In 2011, only 49% of Toronto’s waste was being recycled, composted or otherwise kept from the landfill. The number is only slightly higher than the 42% diversion rate of 2007, and significantly less than the 70% target Mr. Miller had envisioned.