I love High Park. It’s the second largest green space in the City of Toronto and right beside the Junction neighborhood. But there are some problems. Despite having a subway line on its northern boundary, we’ve gotten the built form along its edges all wrong.
There’s very little functioning retail. The densities and heights are not nearly high enough. The streets aren’t great walking streets. And we’ve even gone and created undignified bus stops like this one here.
On top of all this, we’re now doing this silly thing where police are ticketing cyclists for riding around the park with too much vigor and enthusiasm. I’m sure somebody called to complain and this is all reactionary politics, but an even bigger reaction has now been set off.
For those of you who haven’t been following or aren’t from Toronto, hundreds of cyclists took to the streets this week to peacefully protest what has been going on in High Park.
The Globe & Mail then followed it up with this important piece calling for an end to cars inside the park. The boundaries currently house about 5 km of roads and almost 600 parking spots.
Given all this, I figured now is probably a good time to revive one of Casey Neistat’s original YouTube videos called “bike lanes.” The story is that he gets a ticket for not riding in a bike lane. And so he films a video of himself only riding in bike lanes — even if there are obstacles in his way.
It’s an awesome video with nearly 30 million views. And I’m sure that many of you have felt like doing exactly what he does when faced with this same situation. I know I have.