A hole new approach to road pricing

I figure I knew the reason for all the potholes in Toronto about four years ago. Now others are starting to cotton on. According to John Barber, the Toronto Pothole Proliferation Program is no accident:
"In Toronto today, their proliferation is the visible legacy of an intentional policy…" *
For those with a long enough memory, you will recall that running up to the 2003 mayoral election, David Miller said “We need to consider every possible avenue to address congestion in our city.” When asked if that included road tolls, Miller replied: “We have to look at everything” – clear evidence of an open mind. His 2003 opponent John Tory, now Ontario’s newest ex-Conservative leader was photographed the following day wearing a sandwich board that read: “Say No to Road Tolls.” In 24 hours the entire debate went silent.

Miller remains stuck to today with crowed, underfunded roads that now require an SUV to navigate (thank god for the low gas prices, eh?)

According to Barber the road-maintenance backlog continues to grow. (That’s some news, eh?)

I live on Kingston Road in South Scarborough and I have watched the backlog for the past several years, now. On one bone-jarring ride in my Honda Civic (the only non-SUV still on Kingston, it seems), I finally understood the Mayor’s plan.
Let the motorists beg for road tolls so they can still drive.
By letting the roads go all to rat@#$%, journalists on slow newsdays will point out the potholes to drivers dodging the same. One day, one of the journalists will ask, why not get the money to fix these things from the users?

On that day someone will see the brilliant method in Miller’s Madness. Or perhaps his successor will…
* ya gotta love the art of taking quotes out of context, eh?

1 comment:

Justin said...

Barber is only slightly correct here. Rather than beg for Road Tolls, the prevailing 'Green' opinion on Council is to do nothing that benefits drivers and force them to take Transit since it will be made better. This is the non-stick stick approach to forcing drivers onto Transit - hope they get so frustrated that they just stop driving!

Benevolent neglect?