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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hume: London Mayor Boris Johnson says bikes civilize cities [The Star]

Boris Johnson, mayor of London, England, pauses for a portrait in Toronto. Johnson is touring North America with his new book, Johnson's Life of London.
Boris Johnson, mayor of London, England, pauses for a portrait in Toronto. Johnson is touring North America with his new book, Johnson's Life of London.
TARA WALTON/TORONTO STAR
The Mayor of London, England, Boris Johnson, wants to make it clear that until Friday morning, he had never been to Toronto, and never heard of Rob Ford.
With that out of the way, the great apostle of urban bicycling does have a message for Toronto.
“Bicycles,” declares the man who rides one to work every day, “civilize cities. Closing bike lanes; that’s not what we’re doing in London. In fact, I’m very proud that bicycle use went up 15 percent last year. Bicycles put the village back in the city. It’s not a war on motorists. I’m a motorist, too. We’re going to keep going, extending bicycle routes all the way out to the suburbs of London.”
In town to flog his latest book, Johnson’s Life of London (Harper Press), the shaggy-haired blonde is, by his own account, having the time of his life. Fresh from an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman — “How long have you been cutting your own hair?” — Johnson likes what he has sees.
“Toronto looks beautiful,” he enthuses, with apparent sincerity. “You have some lovely old buildings. The quality of life is obviously very potentially high.”

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