Moving Mississauga: For whom the road tolls

Modern Mississauga's Junior Vice-President of humour and satire, John Murray Lewis, learns more about what it will take to keep Mississauga moving, road tolls and just how realistic telecommuting is during a recent exclusive interview with Craig.

Here's the unedited transcript that is, in fact, safe for work:

I sat down recently with Craig Rodriguez, civil engineer and self-proclaimed "fancy man," to chat about the future of transportation in Mississauga.

John Murray Lewis: We meet again, Craig.

Craig Rodriguez: Happy to be here.

JML: Nobody asked you. So, did you read the op-ed that Bonnie Crombie wrote for the Toronto Star in January?
CR: Bonnie was reacting to Premier Wynne's decision to scuttle John Tory's road toll plan. Tory wanted to use the money to pay for Toronto's infrastructure and transit needs, and even though Bonnie doesn't agree with road tolls, per se, her point was that municipalities should have more control over how they fund the essential services that...

JML: Excuse me, Craig, but are you telling me that John Tory is seriously entertaining the idea of letting bloodthirsty gangs of hideous road trolls roam our highways in a relentless pursuit of carnage and human flesh?
CR: What? Did you say "trolls"? Do you really think John Tory was proposing mythological creatures...?

JML: No, of course not. Moving on. What about subways? Is there a future for subways in Mississauga?
CR: Subways are an ideal solution, but they are expensive and time-consuming to build. Think about how much trouble Toronto has had expanding the TTC. I can't imagine that Mississauga would fare much better.

JML: And let's not forget about the mole people.
CR: What?

JML: Easy now, Craig. An interview is not a two-way street. And speaking of streets, there's nothing I hate more than when two streets cross each other at right angles. Haven't we figured that one out yet?
CR: Are you talking about intersections? Well, Natural Resources Canada estimates that every 10 minutes of idling in your car wastes over 1 cup of fuel. Now think about how much time you spend idling at stop lights every day. It's crazy! That's why roundabouts, like the one at Duke of York and Square One Drive, are a great way to keep city traffic moving.

JML: Point taken, but what if everyone just telecommuted?
CR: Well, telecommuting isn't practical for everyone. And people still need to get to the supermarket, the doctor's office, school...

JML: Can we just pause for a minute to regret this intensely dissatisfying world we live in? A world where poor suckers like me and you have to actually leave the house to fulfill our societal obligations? A world where the promise of teleportation and continuous, instantaneous gratification of our every whim remains far off and elusive? 

[One minute later]

OK. Follow-up question. Do you see any other way to reduce congestion in our city? Helicopters? Drones? What if every family gave up its least favourite child to the dread lord Gibboreth in exchange for a shorter commute? That's probably a solution you could get behind, right, Craig? You monster!
CR: I'm not sure what you're getting at there. Transit and infrastructure and driving habits are thorny problems with no easy solution. But I think we're starting to take the right steps. Like Bonnie says, municipalities across the GTA will need to work together for a future that benefits the entire region.

JML: What if we dug up all the parking lots and replaced them with underground garages, or mixed-use parking tower/community art spaces?
CR: Well, actually, that's not the worst idea I've ever...

JML: Ha ha, out-civil-engineered by some hack who writes humour pieces for Modern Mississauga. How embarrassing for you.
CR: ...OK, sure.

JML: Well, Craig, we're out of time. You are, as always, more disappointing than Justin Trudeau's back-pedalling on electoral reform. Now get out of my basement. 
CR: Thanks, I guess. I... I assume you'll be editing this for print? You're not going to call me a fancy man again, are you?