The Ultimate in D-I-Y: Urban Repair Squad At Work
Images credit Martin Reis
Toronto was blessed with a beautiful waterfront and a network of gorgeous green ravines with rivers feeding into the wetlands near the harbour, so of course they filled the wetlands with toxic waste, blocked off the waterfront with rail viaducts and put a highway down the middle of the biggest, most beautiful ravine. One remnant of pre-parkway days is Pottery Road; as Toronto grew, it became a major route and a serious hazard for cyclists and pedestrians.
This is a job for the Urban Repair Squad, the vigilante artists who want "to encourage bicycling as an antidote to the poison that is car culture." One of their many mottos is "Your city is broken. Don't wait for the bureaucrats to fix it. DO IT YOURSELF. So they did, painting SLOW onto the busy roadway. It worked.
Welcoming City of Toronto cycling infrastructure
Martin of the Urban Repair Squad explains:
While City Council is busy voting against modern Pedestrian/Cycling bridges, Urban Repair Squad quietly struck again a couple of weeks ago. The group installed a big reminder in favour of traffic calming on the soon to be rebuild and very busy Pottery Road. The six foot tall SLOW stencils were painted on both sides of the road before the infamously hideous crossing for cyclists and pedestrians along the Don Valley. Disguised as a road crew, the stencils took less than two hours to install mostly due to busy traffic and cost less than $5. They have been there for over two week now slowing down hundreds of motor vehicles and improving the safety of those using the crossing along the Don Valley trail.
The City is finally getting around to fixing Pottery Road this year, once again following in the path of the Urban Repair Squad, who never sleep in their mission to "actively construct a positive future of what urban transportation could be by installing it NOW." With the current anti-bike reactionary Toronto government, we need them more than ever.
More interventions from the Urban Repair Squad:
Batman in the Bike Lanes: Guerilla Bike Activists Fight Back
Bike Boxes Come To Toronto In Last Gasp Of Bike Infrastructure Investment