i don't know how many cities out there have streetcars as a public transportation system, but here in toronto, they're everywhere. so if you're ever riding in toronto, watch out riding over the tracks embedded in the road. this morning riding to work, i was passing a car parallel parking, and i hit the track at an awkward angle and took a spill. i got a few scrapes, a badly bruised shoulder, and three stiches in my chin, but it should end up as a fairly distinguished scar. the moped came out with nothing but a bent side view mirror. i actually think she runs better now.
now comes the rant, i hate streetcars, that's why i got a moped. streetcars have little value in an urban environment. it's based on a system from the turn of the century with little regard for today's traffic patterns. and they're immensely dangerous for everyone, from passengers getting off the streetcar into the middle of the goddamn street, to mopeds as i've found out the hard way, to cars, which a co-worker told me that if a cars tires are on the tracks and they brake hard, they'll slide and lose control. not to mention jamming up traffic everytime they stop.
because of the myopic view of the urban and transportation planning board we are stuck with these god awful monsters for a long time, for mainly two reasons, no insight to do anything about it, and some strange sense of historical attachment. there's no reason to be emotionally attached to something which is so fundamentally flawed, especially in canada. the tracks need replacing every few years because of the weather, which just sucks up the money and disrupts traffic for weeks on end. and now they have to raise fares to compensate the operating costs. if they had any foresight, they would have realized that they are building a 'surface' system in a horrible climate, it's canada for goodness sake. and it's not very pleasant waiting in a blizzard for a streetcar which inevitably gets delayed because of the snow. when toronto got the something like $3 billion to fund tranportation some 15 years ago, they should have actually done something with it. what proper city that thinks itself as world class has only 2 lines for a subway system? well, the public transporation system is now bankrupt, building useless extensions out in the suburbs where everyone drives anyway. no financial relief in sight, and i have very little faith in our planners.
thank god for my moped. i just got to avoid the toronto transit commission, tracks and all.
i'm done now.