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(No BMW content) Toronto The Good vs Ontario The Logically Challenged

Hello all,

For riders who live in or near the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, 
Canada, Saturday's "Wheels" section in the Toronto Star has an article about 
the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes that are nearing completion on 
Highways 403 and 401. These lanes, which are intended to reduce congestion 
on our already choked highways, are restricted to vehicles that are occupied 
by two or more people.

Before you let loose with a resounding woo-hoo, realize that Ontario also 
basks in the distinction of being the first region in North America to 
disallow motorcycles from HOV lanes unless you are riding 2-up. The 
honorable Minister of Transportation was quoted are arguing that if he 
allowed motorcycles in HOV lanes, scooters would be next, and then Smart 
Cars, and then where does it all end? I see his point -- This may lead to 
condoning the use of HOV lanes for commercial aircraft landings when 
airports get too busy. He argued that car-pooling, or should I say more 
accurately "vehicle pooling", is the answer to reducing traffic congestion 
on highways, or using public transit instead of highways. So while Ontario 
motorcyclists sit single-file in stopped traffic during rush-hour (because 
Ontario does not allow lane splitting either), mommy with baby in the back 
seat of her 3-ton SUV can take the fast way home in the HOV lanes.

As is the custom amongst Canadians, we have already taken action by saying 
nasty things about the Minister, and talking about how this pisses us off at 
local bars and coffee shops. This may even escalate to writing letters to 
the editor of the newspaper article endorsing his opinion. My understanding 
is that clever bumper stickers are already being designed as you read this.

In a move that parts from the wisdom of the Provincial government. Toronto 
City Hall voted to make the city more motorcycle-friendly in order to reduce 
traffic congestion. The have devised innovative new ideas such as allowing 
motorcycles to park free in municipal parking lots, and creating free 
motorcycle-only parking spaces in areas that are too small for car parking.

- -Steve Makohin
 '01 R1100S/ABS
 Oakville, Ontario, Canada

PS: If your are not Canadian, please refrain from pointing out the obvious 
lack of reasoning on the part of some of our politicians. We are very 
sensitive to that sort of thing, and we can get feisty.