Rob Ford Gaffe-O-Meter: Streets Aren't For People
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Rob Ford Gaffe-O-Meter: Streets Aren’t For People

It’s happened: Rob Ford has said or done something embarrassing. But just how serious was it? Torontoist’s handy-dandy Gaffe-O-Meter breaks it down.
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GAFFE: If there’s one thing that mayoral candidate Rob Ford has made clear time and time again, it’s that roads are for cars, and cars alone. That means no cyclists, and now, apparently, no marathoners.
On Sunday, after the Toronto Waterfront Marathon closed Lake Shore Boulevard from 5 a.m. to noon, a disgusted Ford told the Sun that as mayor he’d be investigating new venues for the multitude of charity-sponsored runs that frequently clog our streets, and further suggested that the bike paths in High Park, Downsview Park, and along the Humber River might be suitable alternatives.
GAFFE LEVEL: 1/5
INSIGHT INTO CHARACTER: Has probably never seen or participated in any kind of charity run or marathon.
ANALYSIS: Marathons, charity races, and the like require a lot of space—approximately twenty thousand people participated in Sunday’s run. Ford’s plan to fit them all in a park, any Toronto park, is preposterous, and potentially dangerous. The average two-lane bike path in this city usually isn’t more than three metres in width, and trying to cram twenty thousand people into such a tight area would no doubt lead to injuries, especially at the starting line. Even the roads that run through High Park and Downsview Park are quite narrow, and far too short to accommodate a forty-kilometre marathon. The only way to make any of these spaces suitable for such a large number of runners would be to pave them over. Though by Ford’s logic, that would once again make them roads, and therefore only suited to cars.
Gaffe-O-Meter illustration by Clayton Hanmer/Torontoist. Rob Ford photo by Christopher Drost/Torontoist.

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