Question (I have shortened the questions and not disclosed the Constituent, just the question) received: Oct 2, 2018, 2:20 PM (21 hours ago) to me. Some of the questions have been asked by many Constituents.:


You are running for Councillor in my ward. 
I have not seen any literature from your campaign, and I have some questions I was hoping you could answer. 
As a resident of this ward, and a parent, safe streets are absolutely a priority. However, as a driver, I feel like drivers are being vilainized in the discourse surrounding the vision zero initiative, with the onus for road safety being put solely on the drivers.
Why is there no discourse about cyclists being required to obtain a license and insurance, in order to be able to use the road, the way drivers do?
How will you advocate for road safety, including for drivers, in this ward, and other interests of its residents?
I look forward to hearing from you. 

(Answer) Dear Constituent:

Thanks for your questions regarding cyclists on our shared travel ways. As I chose to wait until all the challenges to City Council were resolved ie: Provincial Government downsizing City Council, my literature is on it’s way to your door over the coming weeks. Thanks for reaching out to me in the meantime.

As to any discourse on cyclists being required to obtain licenses and insurance, these provisions would need to initiated by our Provincial Government under the Highways and Traffic Act. I am appealing to the Provincial Government for these very measures to be considered to ensure safer travel ways for all road users.

When I was growing up in Ontario, (a long time ago), we were licensed as cyclists and were required to take road safety tests through Elmer The Safety Elephant programming in our local schools. Sadly these programs in conjunction with local Police Service Boards and the Ontario Provincial Police are no longer supported. However, Toronto Police Services has intimated that they will be modernizing our Police force to accommodate travel way safety.

As to my thoughts… I was spurred to run for council because of 4 fatalities in my local school zone. These were not children who parishes but long-time seniors in our community who simply crossed a crosswalk legally.

As a driver, cyclist and pedestrian I am in full support of safer streets and sidewalks. As our infrastructure dollars are spent to support all users in our shared travel ways I do support proper licensing and insurance for cyclists. As we fully share the infrastructure, we should also share the cost of usage and coverage.

I recently lost a very good friend to an arrant cyclist who struck him on the sidewalk in front of his family business. Unfortunately, there was no cameras to identify the cyclist. The cyclist did not remain at the scene of the accident. As the cyclist had no license plate, Toronto Police Service was unable to identify the cyclist. Because the cyclist did not have insurance (and was illegally riding on the sidewalk), the health costs of recovery for my friend were astronomical. Sadly his system was not strong enough to overcome his injuries.

In addition, I have a lot of concerns regarding the initiation and outlay of ($109 million over 5 years) to support VisionZeroTO. My concerns relate to not only the amount of money but how little has been coordinated for safety measures and especially in certain high risk school zones. In addition, my concerns regarding the associations of other affiliate non-City organizations (not-for profit and for profit including advocacy groups) who have been allocated funds in this program. There are organizations that are commenting and directing safe street measures, and that they may be getting funding but that ‘that’ funding has not been made clear. These questions I have forwarded to our Mayor, our Ontario Premier and Honourable Ralph Goodale our Federal Minister in charge of Public Safety.

I hope that I was able to answer your questions on the licensing and insuring of cyclists in Ontario. We share the road, so too should we share the burden.

Brenda MacDonald
Councillor Candidate, Ward 19 Beaches – East York