Driving through the centre of Toronto these days is maddenly slow. With lanes reduced on the Gardiner Expressway, which crosses the south end of the city, and heavy congestion elsewhere getting from east to west in the city can take three times longer than it did just a few years ago. And the longer a car - more often than not with one occupant - sits in traffic, idling and moving slower than the highway laws allows, the more C02 emissions it pours into the atmosphere.
This in a city that has been making it harder for scooters and motorcycles to find a place to park downtown.
So Bravo Melbourne. The Australian city has come up with a Motorcycle Plan for 2015-2018 to give special treatment to scooters and motorcycles to encourage more commuters to ride two-wheeled vehicles into the city.
The draft plan calls for an expansion in free parking for scooters and motorcycles throughout the municipality as well as requirements for private buildings to create extra spaces as well.
It also addresses concerns of safety.Twenty per cent of Melbourne's traffic accidents in 2013 involved scooters and motorcycles, a far higher percentage than the number on the roads. The plan calls for all levels of governments to rethink hazards like posts and sharp metal barriers and come up with new safer street designs.
Why is the city doing all this? Because its council believes that getting more two-wheeled vehicles on the streets will reduce travel times and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. It cites a European study that showed that if 10 per cent of private cars were replaced by motorcycles, the commute decreases by almost half.
The plan still has to pass a vote. If it does, here's hoping Toronto and other North American cities take note.