Is Councillor Taylor even thinking about dropping out of the election? Sources say he might; Taylor says – not true.

Newsflash 100By Staff

July 11, 2014


Is there a member of Council so put off by the case being made by the cycling community for bike lanes on New Street that he has actually said to people he might withdraw his name from the race?


Every report put out by staff gets a thorough going over by Councillor John Taylor.

Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor does wear his emotions on his sleeve and he does get exercised with how we manage the re-building and maintenance of our roads.

Councillors Taylor and Dennison both look for ways to scrape money away from any budget line they can find and apply it to road repair – which both men will tell anyone who cares to listen that we are millions of dollars behind on.

New Street is due for major work and the cyclists have argued, quite convincingly, that this is the time to get bike lanes in – once the re-build is done it will be 30 years plus before there is another opportunity to put in really safe bike lanes.

In many of the staff reports that get sent to Council we are seeing consistent reference to the need for a project to be walk-able and cycle-able.

The cycling community has become quite a bit more aggressive in their push for safer bike lanes.  One advocate points out that planners often talk about providing a service and watching that service get taken up.  “Build it and they will come” is the catch phrase.  Build more roads and the cars will find those roads.  Build a transit line and people will find it – not so much in Burlington but certainly in most municipal situations.

The cyclists argue that if more bike lanes are built – and they are safe bike lanes – we will see more people using bicycles to get around the city.

Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor will want to have his mitts all over who is on the committee that selects the artist chosen to do the public art for the Mountainside recreational centre.

Councillor John Taylor

All this appear to have Councillor Taylor very exercised.  We got a call from a source we see as very reliable saying that other council members are talking about Taylor’s concern over the re-build of portions of New Street.  We spoke to a senior staff member who commented that he had heard the same thing.

Is John Taylor thinking of throwing in the towel and withdrawing from the October election?  He has served the city well for the past 20+ years – but age, energy level and overall health do change the way we look at things.

There is a time to leave public office – and John Taylor may have decided this is that time for him.

And that presents some very serious problems.  Taylor has been such a success in ward 3 that no one has come forward to run against him.  Cory Judson did his best – but he moved to Stoney Creek and started a family.  Lisa Cooper, a several time candidate, sees herself as sitting in the wings waiting for Taylor to leave.

Should John actually decide to spend more time smelling the roses – he owes it to the ward to work hard in the next month or so and find a candidate that understand the political process at the municipal level and then do two things: Work to get that person elected and stick around to mentor them during their first year.

John Taylor is a little bit like the American Library of Congress – he knows it all and we need him to make that background and history available to others.

And while we are at it – could we appoint Taylor to the Hamilton Harbour Commission – John still has a lot to say.

We were able to reach John Taylor,  who said he has never run from a difference of opinion and he is not pulling out of the race.  But there are still those three sources – all very reliable, and none of them have a vested interest – they all speak very highly of John, know him well and respect the work he does.

There may be more to this story.


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4 comments to Is Councillor Taylor even thinking about dropping out of the election? Sources say he might; Taylor says – not true.

  • henri de beaujoulais

    I am surprised Councillor Taylor (and Meed Ward) would be against cycling. They say they are for cycling, but look at the voting record on cycling initiatives – nyet, nyet, nyet and more nyet.

    People in their situation are ideal candidates for promoting a livable vibrant City, of which cycling in a part. It is much easier than you think to build cycling into your day.

    1. You live within 5 km from their place of employment, so that will be a 15 minute bike ride at an easy 20 kph pace. (these two do)

    2. You can build some moderate exercise into your daily routine. This will improve body mass composition (less fat, more muscle), strengthen your heart and reduce your blood pressure while improving your mental acuity. All are benefits to any one who exercises on a regular basis.

    3. People could safely ride on the Brant Street sidewalk, or any sidewalk in the City (use your bell when approaching walkers!!) until you get to the bike lanes south of Fairview. (few people walk in Burlington so why not use sidewalks for bikes? Other than the fact it isn’t the right thing to do, and is illegal in most every other city in the 1st world. Bad precedent, but it is better than riding beside 18 wheelers traveling at 20 kph over the limit)

    4. You are getting a car off the road, so less congestion, less pollution, more money in your pocket because you are spending less on gas and one more parking spot is available. So car drivers SHOULD BE promoting cycling – for others! They will have more room for themselves!

    5. Bonus for City Staffers: Staff can pocket the parking allowance (what is it $250 / month?) and save enough for a winter time trip to Cuba to show off their fit body! These two would qualify for the parking allowance.

    The future is here, you can’t ignore it, and it includes cycling. Time to find solutions. Cycling will progress with these two ‘stuck in the 70’s’ proponents gone this fall. Au revoir, enjoy the beach.

    Ride on mes amis,

    Garder le vent à votre dos.

    Henri 🙂

    • Mr.Bean

      Point #3 can go both ways. Very few people use the existing bike lanes, so why don’t we unclug the city streets and allow automobiles to use them. If an automobile comes upon a cyclist, just toot the horn or ring a bell when approaching a cyclist. I cycle but I do my best to keep out of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, but many cyclists in Burlington do not. Like when I smoked cigarettes years ago, I would find a place to smoke where it would not bother people, yet many smokers felt it their right and would light up where they pleased out of convenience. There are bad smokers just as there are bad cyclists and I am sick of them.

      • Chris Ariens

        That presumes that bike lanes are “clugging” city streets. I haven’t seen any evidence of that in the city at all. The only places where any lane capacity for cars has been removed is on streets south of New St. where there were 4 lanes, and peak traffic volumes that can be efficiently handled with 2.

        When cycling, I also do my best to keep out of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. I could do a much better job of that, if there were actually bike lanes that went to the places I go. I guess, since I have to cycle on busy roads like Appleby Line to get to my GO train, that makes me a “bad cyclist”. Sorry that you are so sickened by the idea that people can choose their mode of transportation instead of being forced to take the car everywhere.

        And please NEVER honk your horn when you see a cyclist on the road. It’s unnecessary and potentially deadly. Just pass safely as you would any other vehicle.

  • Martin Stevens

    Well I certainly hope he goes for one more term. He has been a strong and effective advocate in favor of our rural Burlington’s status quo. We need a strong voice to protect this treasure.