Exponentially better | Walk left, stand right | Bon vivant | Flaneur | Tweets are my opinions

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Let's get active with drivers

We here in the West have grown up being taught to eschew passive verbs in favour of active verbs. A brief, simple lesson in grammar can help clarify this.

Quick grammar primer

In English, I might say  "the ball was kicked by Jennifer." Look at the pieces of this sentence:
  • the subject, the person doing the action, is Jennifer;
  • the action being done, the verb, is kicking or, specifically, (was) kicked;
  • the object, the thing being done to by the action, is the ball.
And, hey, free bonus - this provides simple clarification on when to use "who" vs. when to use "whom" - "who" is the subject, the one doing something; "whom" is the object...so, I can ask "Who (the subject) is speaking?" or "To whom (the object) am I (the subject) speaking?" but not "Who am I speaking to?" But I digress...

Note, the order of the pieces - object, verb, subject. And we here in the West do not like this.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Twitter conversation about the some of the history behind some crime statistics

Do you hear versions of this question a lot?

It drives me nuts. So, I began to answer the question.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Not sidewalks...walkways

Photo by Bryson Gilbert from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
What do you think of when you hear the word “side”?

The sidekick perhaps? You know that character who isn’t the hero (and may not even be in every installment or episode)?

How about that side dish you have to be reminded to order while you’re thinking about your main entre? The garlic mash or rice pilaf that was but an afterthought, it stays on the side before being scrapped, scraped away (because the side is for refuse…)

I'd like to propose that Toronto retires the term "sidewalk" and replaces it with the more intentional "walkway."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Toronto falling on Global Cities Index - transit is a part of it

The Global Index

First, check out this chart:


Follow the link above, check out the entire report - notice that there is not a single mention of Toronto in the report, at all. It's utterly un-noteworthy. It's been said "love me or hate me, but don't be indifferent" and that's exactly what Toronto is here - reflective of its tepid, insipid mediocrity. That's sad enough...but it gets worse...

Toronto's trend over the last five years?
  • 10th in 2008
  • 14th in 2010
  • 16th in 2012
We are entrenched in the wrong direction.

Better scheduling to help people get to work would be appreciated (and good for the economy, too)

Heading into the downtown core to work and participate as a productive member of society? 

Below is GO Transit's morning rush schedule for the westbound Lakeshore East GO Train, with my scribbles highlighting what I think is an issue.

6x less service to 416 commuters than to 905ers? (and it's actually more than 6x less, because 5 of those 6 rides available from Pickering are express).

C'mon, GO Transit, you can't do better than that?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Modal split across GTA

There's plenty of data showing that urban living can be healthier for very non-mysterious reasons. Recently I saw this image:

While the numbers are hard to see on this image, what does jump out quite clearly is the balanced use of transportation modes in downtown Toronto, and the gross imbalance outside downtown.

If subways are not going to lace across the entire GTA (as a real transit system should), then the bus and light rail system and service, in lieu of subways, must be competitively good at moving lots of people quickly, in order to reduce dependence on cars - and the problems created by that dependence (pollution, poorer health, etc.) - outside the downtown area.

The graph above illustrates clearly that there’s no fooling people – buses and light rail in Toronto have thus far failed to provide an equivalent degree of service beyond subways, beyond downtown, which is a primary contributor to Toronto having the longest average commute (yes, longer than Los Angeles, longer than New York City) and choking gridlock that costs the region upwards of $5 billion each year in lost productivity.