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KENZIE NEWSLETTER: Where is ‘pothole.com’ when we need it?

Published April 17, 2014

ISSUE OF THE WEEK

There is a web site which can tell you where to get the best price on fuel in Toronto.  It is called tomorrowsgaspricetoday and you can get to it by clicking here.

You’re welcome.

There is a web site which can tell you where the top radar trap fishing holes are in Toronto. It is called speedtrap.or and you can get to it by clicking here.

You’re welcome again.

I’ve looked and I’ve looked but I cannot find  www.pothole.com

C’mon, you car-driving nerds! Get cracking!

This idea came to me while driving on the Gardiner Depressway the other day.

Just a few dozen metres past the eastbound Spadina exit, in fact just as you approach the little white-on-green sign indicating you are about to cross over Spadina below you, about even with the white-on-blue sign indicating the next exit is for the Sony Centre, in the Jim-Only lane, is the Mother, Father, Sister and Brother of all potholes.

It must be about 20 cm square, and 10 cm deep. I have driven cars – heck, I have OWNED cars – that if they fell into this thing, I’d have to gear down to drive out of it.

As it was, I didn’t spot it in time to avoid it when I pounded into it with the left front wheel of the lovely bright red Jaguar XK-RS Coupé I was testing.

For whatever reasons, the tire didn’t blow and the wheel didn’t break.

A lesser car?

I wouldn’t want to bet against either or both things happening. Maybe the suspension collapsing too.

If there were a “pothole.com,” this would be my first entry.

The only up-side is that maybe the discussion about tearing the Gardiner down is moot – it is crumbling of its own accord.

Can’t happen fast enough for me. Bury that stupid road, erect a monument to Fred Gardiner (the first SuperMayor of the amalgamated Toronto) somewhere else, and give us back our waterfront.

Yes yes, I know – Boston suffered for two decades when they did the same thing with their Big Dig.

It has to be worth it.

There is no shortage of candidates for a “pothole.com” web site.

Bayview Avenue, anywhere from Lawrence Avenue right up to Steeles, is Kandahar-by-Night.

I’m sure you all have your favourites.

If we had a web site like this, where we could enter these mine fields, perhaps the city could use it as a guideline as to where to begin.

And, it could report progress.

Or lack thereof.  I swear the changes to Queen’s Quay started around the time of the building of the pyramids.

Front Street between York and Bay?

Don’t get me started.

I know this winter has been particularly hard on our road infrastructure. But as the Mayoral election begins to take shape, may I remind all the candidates that the mass transit system in this city, like it or not, consists of automobiles on roads.

It’s not just for cars either. You don’t see a lot of cargo containers on the subway. As the truckers say, “If you got it, a truck brought it.”

Back to those poor commuters. How people suffer through driving in and out of the city ten times a week baffles me.

What percentage of people in their cars are leaving their homes with a computer attached to a high-speed Internet connection, driving an hour and a half to spend most of the day behind a computer attached to a high-speed Internet connection, then spend an hour and a half driving home again?

Maybe half of them?

If they stayed home just ONE day per week, poof – 10 per cent fewer cars on the road.

Where’s the governmental incentive to do that?

My favourite commuting image is that stretch of the 401 – in recent times, it has been the busiest highway IN THE WORLD – between 427 and 400. I think there are something like 14 lanes of traffic there, seven in each direction.

And between about 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., and between 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., they are all stopped.

ALL stopped.

In both directions.

How can it be rush hour in both directions, every morning and every night?

If ReMax would just erect a little office in the median strip: “OK, if you just traded houses with the owner of THAT car, you’d both be home by now!”

You’re welcome yet again.

NEWSMAKING, NEWSMAKERS

- Here’s news from Honda, sort of.

Honda Performance Development together with Wirth Research announced this week the joint appointment of David Dupont to the position of International Sportscar Sales Manager across the two businesses.

The new position reinforces the companies’ commitment to the global endurance racing market, highlighted by the new HPD ARX-04b coupe which is set to debut in 2015.

- Over at Hyundai, meantime, after 28 years with Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. and serving as its President and CEO since 2002, Steve Kelleher has elected to retire on April 30. Under Mr. Kelleher’s guidance, the Hyundai brand has enjoyed a period of tremendous growth and is now one of the dominant players in the Canadian automotive industry.

Over the past 10 years in particular, the company’s dealer network has grown to 210 locations, sales and market share have more than doubled, and Hyundai products have won numerous, prestigious Canadian automotive awards.

On May 1 Chief Operating Officer Donald Romano will be promoted to President and CEO, replacing Mr. Kelleher.

THIS WEEK IN TORONTO STAR WHEELS

- The Ford Mustang is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and three Wheels writers – Stephanie Wallcraft, Mark Richardson and Rick Haliechuk tell you just about everything you wanted to know about it. Wallcraft interviewed some owners of the iconic car, Richardson drove into Death Valley in one and Haliechuk finally decided to buy one – at age 66.

- The finalists in the Green Car of the Year competition have been announced and Peter Gorrie previews them.

- The New York Auto Show opened to the public this week and Mark Richardson, Gary Grant and Peter Bleakney were there for Wheels, among others. Read their reports in this Saturday’s Wheels section in the Toronto Star.

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