Wednesday’s favourite album is Jock Jams, Volume 1, but don’t think less of him. It’s just how he gets all pumped up before the big dodgeball game. In the news: say goodbye to bike lanes on Jarvis; say goodbye to Enwave ownership; say hello to taxes that probably won’t happen anytime soon; and say nothing to Metrolinx. Whooomp! (There it is.)
It is set: the bikes lanes that currently run along Jarvis Street will be ripped from the road by the end of the year, as one final effort from councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) to save the lanes was voted down at city council yesterday. However, this ripping will apparently not happen until a separated bike lane one street over, on Sherbourne Street, is completed. The price tag of removing the lanes—between $280,000 and $300,000, roughly—will not be coming out the cycling budget as had originally been planned. Instead, the transportation budget (why are these different things?) will be picking up the tab for this one. Get out and ride those lanes while you can.
Enwave goodbye to the city’s partial ownership of Enwave Energy, because we sold it for a bag of magic beans! Sorry, not magic beans, $100 million! The actual decision to go ahead with the sale was not that eventful. However, deciding where to put the money drew a slew of suggestions that included the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, leaky basements, and, as was planned earlier, Toronto’s outstanding bill on new streetcars. In the end, the decision was referred to the budget committee for review. Budget Chief Mike Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt) choose the interesting analogy of a carcass to describe the new money and the act of chewing on said carcass to describe the actions of his councilmates looking to spend that money. Sounds like somebody can’t stop thinking about that sweet zombie costume they have planned for this year’s office Halloween party.
Because you can’t always sell everything all the time forever (don’t tell the mayor, we want it to be a surprise), a new report [pdf] from the city points to raising taxes as a possible route for funding transit expansion. Income taxes and a special one per cent sales tax across the GTA could bring in $2.7 billion each year, according to the report. But, really, who wants to pay for necessary things anyway?
In a last bit of news related to moving around the city, yesterday Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s) withdrew his council motion to throw a temper tantrum if the TTC doesn’t get to operate and do the maintenance for the new Metrolinx LRT lines in the city. The reason that Mihevc is no longer asking council to insist that the TTC run the lines is that the discussions with Metrolinx are going well. That is correct: talks between two levels of government are apparently going well.