Urbanist: Walking All Over The Pedestrian
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Urbanist: Walking All Over The Pedestrian

Urbanist is a photo series that will look at developments, architecture, trends and activities happening in various cities––including our own––to inspire the urbane urbanist at home to make Toronto a better place.
Is this a hospitable pedestrian environment?
Everyone in Eastern Canada noticed that there was a snow storm on Sunday. No doubt, people in many places have had a tough time getting around as a result. Toronto and many other cities talk a good talk about pedestrians being at the top of the list when it comes to the transportation hierarchy. The City’s Official Plan, which exists to guide policy and development, clearly puts pedestrians at the top of the list, and at the bottom, the private vehicle. However, when a storm like this hits, it seems that reality doesn’t match the rhetoric being offered. Pedestrians are at the bottom, left to wait while the private automobile takes precedent.
Four days after the storm hit, many city sidewalks are only being cleared now. Highways and arterial roads were cleared not long after the storm hit. Residential streets followed a day or so afterwards. Sidewalks that aren’t in front of businesses or homes come last, since many have not been cleared yet. It seems that the people running the city forget that at some point, we are all pedestrians, even if it is while we walk to the bus stop, or on our way to our cars. Either way, expect your journey on foot to be a challenge. Urbanist would suggest a protest to change the state of affairs, but with all that snow, who could march without tiring themselves out?
Photo by Erinn Cunningham