TORONTO — In a bold move to address the growing impatience of urban pedestrians, the Mayor of Toronto, Olivia Chow, has announced the introduction of “fast lanes” on city sidewalks. The innovative initiative aims to provide a speedy walking option for those who simply can’t tolerate the leisurely pace of regular foot traffic.

“Time is money,” Chow declared at a press conference on Tuesday. “And in this city, we’ve decided that even our sidewalks should reflect that principle. If drivers get express lanes on the highway, why shouldn’t pedestrians get the same on sidewalks?”

The fast lanes, marked with bright red paint and the icon of a sprinting figure, will be implemented on major downtown streets starting next month. According to city planners, the lanes will be strictly for pedestrians who can maintain a brisk pace of at least 5 km/h. Strolling, window-shopping, and dawdling will be prohibited in these lanes, with fines for violators.

“We’ve all been there,” said city planner Melissa Boyd, a key architect of the project. “You’re late for a meeting, stuck behind a group of tourists taking selfies or someone leisurely walking their dog. The fast lanes are a game-changer. Now, you can get to your destination without the slowpokes holding you back.”

The announcement has garnered mixed reactions from the public. “I think it’s a fantastic idea,” said commuter Dave Robertson, who frequently finds himself late for work. “Now I can finally get to the office without having to dodge people left and right.”

However, not everyone is on board. “This is just another example of prioritizing speed over community,” complained local resident Susan Mitchell. “Walking used to be a social activity. Now, it’s like we’re all in a race. What’s next, traffic lights for pedestrians?”

Enforcement of the new lanes will be handled by specially trained “sidewalk monitors” equipped with speed guns and ticket books. These monitors will ensure that only those meeting the minimum speed requirement use the lanes, and that loitering is kept to a minimum. Initial plans suggest penalties ranging from $25 for a first offense to mandatory speed-walking classes for repeat offenders.

In addition to the fast lanes, the city is considering implementing “slow lanes” for those who prefer a more relaxed pace, complete with benches and scenic detours. “It’s about giving people choices,” Boyd explained. “Whether you want to speed-walk to your next meeting or take a leisurely stroll with your coffee, there’s a lane for that.”

Mayor Chow hopes that this initiative will serve as a model for other cities grappling with pedestrian congestion. “Toronto is leading the way,” she said. “We’re not just a city that walks; we’re a city that walks with purpose.”

By Sebastian Panache

Editor-in-Chief. You can follow him on Twitter @SebPanache, except he quit posting there after Elon bought it. Search for Mooseclean's on Mastodon instead.

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