London Moves – Prologue

Welcome to London Moves, my proposed mobility plan for Londoners.

Let me begin by apologizing for the time it is taking to roll out this alternative vision for London’s transportation network. The reasons for the delay are threefold.

First, I still have a number of roles at Western University, and understandably,  must ensure that my job responsibilities are my first priority.

Second, given my limited background in transportation planning, I had a lot to learn. That took time.

Finally, before posting anything publicly, I wanted to secure the input of transportation experts into my plans, and that too took time.

I am particularly proud and very grateful for the subject matter experts that have and continue to contribute to the formation of this plan.  They include two former transit executives, a transportation consultant, a former city engineer, university professors, cyclists, an airport executive, and my daughter.  Admittedly, I am especially proud of the contribution of my 25 year-old daughter. She is now a Toronto-based architect who uses transit exclusively and experienced both the good and the bad riding transit systems in London, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco and Rome.  She knows what she likes and does not like, and she’s not at all afraid to coach good ol’ Dad.

The process for rolling out the plan is pretty simple and emulates the multi-week approach I previously used to introduce my series on London’s most vulnerable, and London’s economy. The series will begin with a review of the reasons why transportation is important to our community from a public policy and market perspective, and why we need to invest in it. I will then outline what I believe to be our community’s transportation goals, and where they overlap, reaffirm and align with several civic initiatives including the London Plan, the Transportation Master Plan, the City’s Strategic Plan and the LTC Strategic Plan.  After all, I am not interested in re-inventing the wheel.  There has been some very good work done to-date and in my view, it makes all of kinds of sense to use it.

The posts will then focus on what I believe should be our transportation and infrastructure priorities by mode of transportation, including: roadways and sidewalks, bike paths and walking trails, air, rail and transit. The final post will lay out the estimated financial impacts of each investment, risks and potential rewards.

I would have liked to include a comparative analysis with the Shift BRT and LTC plans. However, the source data, underlying assumptions and the financial analysis associated with those plans have yet to be made public.

At the publication of each post in the series, I invite you to provide comments, criticisms, suggestions, and possible amendments. I want to make this process as interactive as possible so that when the election begins, I am in a position to introduce a plan that gives Londoners a real, reasonable alternative to Shift BRT.

I recognize and even anticipate that this plan will generate a wide spectrum of reactions – both positive and negative – depending upon your current perspective regarding Shift BRT. It is unfortunate that this issue, one that is so important to our economic and social future, has become so divisive. What I am hoping to convey through this plan and this process is that Londoners can choose a balanced alternative;

  • one that is still much better than the status quo,
  • one that is respectful of all stakeholders: riders, staff, taxpayers,
  • one that positions our city well for the future,
  • one that is doable, affordable, and inclusive.

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Tomorrow – Part 1 – Common Good v. Personal Utility