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  • Writer's pictureDave Shellnutt

#ActiveTO Response to Blue Jays' Mark Shapiro

June 12, 2022

Mark Shapiro

President & CEO

Toronto Blue Jays

RE: Your June 6 Letter & #ActiveTO

Dear Mr. Shapiro,

At 7:00 a.m. on Saturday May 14, 2022, a woman riding her bicycle on the Martin Goodman Trail was struck by a motorist who jumped the curb, hitting her on the multi-use path. Last week, our office was contacted by a cyclist hit by a right turning car driver on the MGT who failed to yield the right of way.

#ActiveTO, had it been operating on Lakeshore West on Saturday May 14 could have prevented that tragedy, but that’s perhaps unfair. Though, also unfair is the rate of cyclists injured by motorists on our roads. Rather than being late for a ball game, these people will lose months to rehab and recovery, at best.

For cyclists in Toronto, safe open spaces to ride are literally a matter of life and death. It is therefore disheartening to read your letter opposing those safe open spaces.

Shapiro: Public Transit is not an option for Blue Jays Fans.

Have you ever ridden the GO Train on game day? Rather than burdening our City with endless gridlock and pollution, the Blue Jays should be promoting GO Transit and TTC use. For out of towners, there are stations along the 401 E/W, QEW, and 400 that would allow fans to ditch their car and cruise in by train. With gas prices soaring, your out-of-town fans will be thankful for public transit options.

Shapiro: Construction in the City means LSW is one of the only routes to the Rogers Centre.

The DVP and Gardiner, not exclusive to bike use, offer motor vehicle only multi-lane highway options for fans. Union Station drops fans arriving by subway or train from every conceivable direction into the heart of the City and the Roger’s Centre’s back yard.

Shapiro: Baseball is the main attraction on summer weekends.

Although a great summer option, it is but one of many. Let us not go down the road of prioritizing summer events. If the returning Caribana parade gets in the way of a baseball game, should it be prohibited from using LSW? Should the Pride Parade be diverted off Yonge to keep traffic moving? Acknowledge and support a plurality of great summer activities in Toronto.

The Blue Jays play 6 of the next 13 weekends at home. It seems disingenuous to suggest a widely successful public health and safety project be cancelled in its entirety.

Rather, we call upon the City of Toronto to extend #ActiveTO for the following reasons:

  1. Public safety: take a firm stance, encourage, promote, and prioritize safe streets through the continued use of public space for modes of transportation and exercise that do not involve motor vehicles. De-prioritize the automobile in our daily lives. Treat driving as a privilege and not a right.

  2. Set #ActiveTO schedules, inform the public and accommodate. Without a set schedule and awareness campaigns around #ActiveTO it will be difficult to fully engage the public. Set certain weekends in consultation with community partners to accommodate competing needs.

Kind Regards,

David Shellnutt

Managing Partner & Advocate

The Biking Lawyer LLP

P.S. My mother and grandmother are/were both long time Blue Jays fans from Guelph. Taking a train in to the game is the only option they would consider.

Cc Mayor John Tory, City Council, Cycling Community and News Media

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