According to city clerk John Elvidge, the buttons that city councillors—including Paula Fletcher—use to vote are about two centimetres square. One is clearly marked “Yes” and the other “No.” When it’s time to vote, the former lights up green, the latter red. City councillors then have as much time as they need to press the illuminated button that best expresses their will. Sure, if they are taking too long, Elvidge will call their name out and remind them to press one of the brightly lit-up buttons in front of them, but it’s not like they’re on Jeopardy! It’s not a race.
And yet, bicycle lane proponent Fletcher (Ward 30) somehow managed to push the wrong button when it came time to vote on whether to take University Avenue out of a larger bike plan that will put cycle-friendly lanes on more city streets. She pressed “Yes” instead of “No,” effectively killing bike lanes along University by one vote.
According to the Star: “Had she voted the way she intended, there would have been a tie. From there, councillors would have been left to vote on the larger bike lane plan, including University. This would likely have passed.”
We’re willing to assume that Fletcher (who now feels “very, very badly” for the mistake) just got confused by the wording of the question. Still, she’ll be the one cyclists will be thinking about when they have to go all the way to Jarvis for a north-south bike lane. Oh, wait.
• Mis-vote derails University Ave bike Plan [Toronto Star]
• Ooops! Councilors mistake derails bike lanes on University [Globe and Mail]