Toronto, should we look for new city managers?

I’ve lived in Toronto for 16 years now, and it is certainly a great city, one of the best in the world. Yet I find it incredible that my adoptive town can be home to the most creative and technologically savvy people in the world, be so amazingly progressive and yet be managed in a surprisingly retrograde way.

For example, after a couple of years of keeping Avenue Road semi-closed from Lawrence Avenue down to St. Clair to replace the water infrastructure, which in itself seems to be an example of how not to manage a project, the time came to finish and resurface Avenue Road. Yet to my surprise, the paving was not fully finished as the temperatures in Toronto have been very low. Well, it is winter, and as I have seen for the last 16 years, winters in Toronto are very cold. This, of course, comes as no surprise to me, yet the city always seems to come with some explanation that the weather is to cold to fix this or to finish that. Is it just me, or any basic planning of a job of this magnitude should take the weather into consideration. So here we go, come spring, we will have another shutdown of Avenue Road to resurface yet again the road that should have been resurfaced properly the first time. What a waste.

Next in my agenda would be the subway. Why is it that countries most North Americans laugh at, like Mexico, can build subway systems so much faster than here, even though Mexico City is build on very fragile ground, yet hasn’t had engineering trouble building tens and tens of underground stations. Here in Toronto, years and years go by and we have managed to add a handful of stations to our system. I don’t know what it is, but something is definitely wrong when we can’t have an efficient transportation system for the millions of people that inhabit our city.

Finally, why is it that one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world is also the city that has no incentives for the use of small vehicles (like the smart car and others). How come our municipal parking lots have no discounts for cars in this category? And what is the reason that we are still in the list of cities with no access to systems like paybyphone.com to pay for parking using a mobile device or a computer, that even advise you when the meter is to expire so you can promptly pay. Well, I think I know the answer to this one. Why do this, when we can give out parking tickets left and right. Primitive I say.

But I have to run. Need to put more money on the meter before I get a ticket from the illegally parked officer.

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