Daniel Rotsztain decided to show how inadequate Toronto’s sidewalks are for maintaining social distancing by creating a “Social Distance Machine.”
The result is a pretty funny video of Rotsztain wandering through Toronto wearing his “machine” – a large hoop surrounding his body on all sides at a two-metre distance. Obviously, Rotsztain can barely fit on a sidewalk without running into things, people, cyclists, construction cones, overhangs, and well, just about everything else you can imagine.
His intention is to demonstrate just how difficult it is to navigate Toronto’s sidewalks while maintaining the suggested measures put in place for safe social or physical distancing. Rotsztain, who runs a site called the urban geographer, is pushing for the City to open up streets to pedestrians during COVID-19, particularly Yonge Street. However, just this morning, in an interview with CP24, Mayor Tory said, “if we’re not trying to get people to be on the sidewalk on downtown Yonge Street, why would you close the street so more people could walk on the street?”
The familiar argument, of course, being that opening streets will encourage people to congregate in them, effectively undoing the very policy the City is currently trying to enforce – social distancing.
Regardless, Rotsztain’s video is certainly getting its point across. Since being posted to Twitter at 9:35 am today it has already earned more than 41,000 views. And “U Can’t Touch This” playing over top of the video is, well, the perfect touch.
Made a Social Distance machine to show why @cityoftoronto needs to close major streets like Yonge during COVID-19. Our sidewalks are too narrow to keep a safe distance.
Tell @JohnTory and your local councillors: #streets4peopleTO!https://t.co/uUmYOxOGZv pic.twitter.com/ZiCwuSECx9
— Daniel Rotsztain (@theurbangeog) April 13, 2020