BikingToronto - Information about Cycling in Toronto <data:blog.pageTitle/>



posted by Joe on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



You can never have too much protection for a pretty pink bike by scienceduck.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Stop Driving by 24by36.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

No doubt you've seen the recent news items about some politicians getting their panties in a twist about mandating helmets for kids going tobogganing.

Akin to the whole "cyclists should wear helmets, to avoid a brain injury caused by a direct hit to the head" thing, because a few stupid kids (and we're all stupid as kids, aren't we?) get hurt, let's slap helmets on everyone.

Is full-body armour next? I'm surprised "safety experts" aren't mandating that for cyclists already.

Anyhow - to avoid this post being full of just my incensed rage at a society that thinks that helmets will prevent dumb accidents on a toboggan hill (or on a bike), I went out and found some hard numbers for you:

This is from the Canadian Institute for Health Information - a very reputable source.
Traumatic head injuries were sustained during sports and recreational activities in 28% of children and youth admitted to hospital for traumatic injury, and 8% of adults. Cycling is one of the leading causes of sports and recreation–related head injury. Of the 4,605 cycling injury hospitalizations in 2003–2004, 18% were due to head injuries. The highest proportion of hospitalizations due to cycling-related head injuries was seen in children and youth (60%).
Let's look at what is implied, but not said in the above paragraph:
  • Traumatic head injuries were NOT sustained during sports and recreational activities in 72% of children and 92% of adults.
  • Of 4,605 cycling injury hospitalizations in 2003-2004, 82% were NOT due to head injuries.
Oh yeah... I can't forget this part of the study, from the same link:
Among Canadians between 20 and 39 years of age, more than half of traumatic head injuries were due to motor vehicle incidents in 2003–2004 (1,867 admissions), followed by assault and homicide, which accounted for one-fifth of cases for this age group, or 722 admissions. For Canadians between the ages of 40 and 59, motor vehicles also accounted for the largest proportion of traumatic head injuries (40% or 1,308 admissions), followed closely by falls (39% or 1,290 admissions).
The CIHI site also has some good tables and charts about this issue.

I find it interesting that only about 10% (~500 out of ~5000) of traumatic head injuries suffered by children happened while cycling - yet helmets are mandatory for them. 90% of child traumatic head injuries did NOT happen while cycling! What about the 90% of the time they aren't on their bike and their heads get hurt? Shouldn't they be wearing helmets then too?

There are some provincial politicians who think that helmets should be mandatory for adult cyclists too, yet only about 2.5% (~300 out of ~12,000) of traumatic head injuries suffered by adults happened while cycling. 97.5% of traumatic head injuries did NOT happen while cycling. In fact, most of them happened in motor vehicle accidents.

Why don't people in cars wear helmets? They are MUCH more likely to hurt their heads in a car than on a bike.

Combat the hysteria with common sense and cold hard facts.

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posted by Joe on Monday, January 29, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


A bike-tastic vision for the waterfront (Spacing Wire)

The graph on page 30 of the report illustrates the massive increase in bike traffic during the Quay to the City “test drive” in August. Page five shows bike traffic increased from 10 to 661 at the west-bound evening peak. I would call a 60-fold increase an “overwhelming need” rather than a “demand,” but, hey, that’s just me.

That Bike is Pimped! (Torontoist)

The bike is being used to courier postcards with personal hand scribbled greetings to people whose addresses are within the border of St. Clair & Queen's Quay and Roncevalles & Carlaw. The cards – that depict a man casually riding his bike into a Dutch canal – are being dispatched every Monday until they have all been delivered.

Bring on the bike lanes (Eye Weekly)

Community councils now have the power to approve bike lanes (unless they somehow conflict with city bylaws). That's good news for Toronto and East York, whose bike-friendly councillors will be able to outvote cyclists' public enemy No. 1 on council: Case Ootes.
(bikelane stuff at end of linked page)

2007 Budget Process gets underway, time to support funding the Bike Plan (BikeToronto)

The 2007 budget process will get underway soon and the work to ensure that the Toronto Bike Plan is fully funded in 2007 has to start now. The budget process will start on February 8th, 2007. The first opportunity for the general public to make deputations will be on February 14th, 2007. Due to the revised budget process this year, this will be the only opportunities for the public to have formal input on setting the Capital Budget.

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posted by Joe on Monday, January 29, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Directions by Gabi~.

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posted by Joe on Sunday, January 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

The Toronto HPV (Human Powered Vehicles) club is meeting tonight for one of their always interesting "Bike Geek and Food" get-togethers.

Where: La Commensal, 655 Bay St. (entrance is on Elm)

When: Sunday, January 28th, 6:30 pm.

La Commensal is a vegetarian place, but I'm a pretty hardcore steakaholic and I think the place is great. It's a fave of Tracy and mine. Tons of selection - and it's "pay-by-weight".

Everyone is welcome to dinner tonight, or to join Toronto HPV (the website is a "wiki" so it's easy to add your name as a member).

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posted by Joe on Sunday, January 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Beach (1986) by .Allan.

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posted by Joe on Saturday, January 27, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Passing Me By by freshvision.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 26, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Foggy Saturday Morning by andyscamera.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 26, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Woman killed in Clarington crash

Man Killed In Airport Road Accident

Fifth Teen Succumbs To His Injuries After Terrible Car Crash Near Barrie


Related:

CityNews: Distracted Driving Survey Lists Some Outrageous "Multitasking" Behind The Wheel

U.S. drivers eat, shave, email -- oh, and drive - Yahoo! News

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posted by Joe on Thursday, January 25, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Cyclist Down by beemphoto.com.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, January 25, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Well, a quick check of the Cog's Lost and Found section, as well as a perusal of the bicycle listings on craigslist, and I can't find information about any bikes being stolen over the past week.

Is it being naive to think that is actually the case? :)

To fill up some room, I'll remind you that tomorrow is BikeFriday. If it's too cold for you to ride (it's going to be a doozy of a frigid day!), then think about how you can participate on the last Friday in February (the 23rd), or in March (the 30th), and in April (the 27th), etc., etc.

There's good BikeFriday stuff coming. :) Be patient, my fellow cyclists. We shall fill the streets with cyclists this summer. Make the air cleaner, the streets safer, the cars slower.

Ride Daily, Celebrate Monthly with BikeFriday!

Oh, and check out the first map of the BikingToronto Map section - a map of hydro and rail corridors in the city - perfect places for "BikeWays" all over Toronto.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

City Council has endorsed in principle creating a network of trails in rail and hydro corridors across the new city. Planning, parks and transportation will be working with the Toronto Cycling Committee in the coming year to develop a multi-year implementation plan.
(Cyclometer, November 1998)

It's been almost 10 years since that "New Trail Corridors" item in Cyclometer (scroll down about halfway), and yet... there is really nothing to show for that decade.

Everyone seems to think these things are good ideas... great ways to create extensive cycling corridors seperated from automotive traffic (for the most part) at a relatively economical cost, and without (seemingly) the political opposition that proposed bikelanes sometimes creates in a city neighbourhood with a oil-company former executive as city councillor.

From "Potential Business Opportunities from Bike Trails Situated on Hydro and Rail Corridors" to the West Toronto RailPath, there are lots of people pushing for these things.

And yet... the railway companies are reluctant to sell any land in their rail corridors, and the City and Ontario Hydro (or whatever they are called nowadays) seem not to be talking about using the tons of land in Hydro Corridors.

Now, if it was beneficial for the railways and hydro to have these cycling paths on their corridors... maybe we could get some progress. What about the City paying for a nice two-way bike path... which is available to Hydro or Rail company vehicles for maintenance work? Even better, what about letting Hydro or CN/CP put up some advertising in areas so that they can advertise to cyclists as they are biking by?

Finally, just what is the potential here? Where exactly are all the hydro and rail corridors in the city? What kind of network could be possible?

I've been wondering that, so I finally made a Railpath & Hydro Map that plots out where they all are. I think I've got all of them on there, but if I've missed some, let me know and I'll add them.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



A Warm December by Fanis.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

The latest news of BikeFriday:

It may be January and still a little blustery out there, but BikeFriday is still rolling.

Meet up at any of the Group Commute meeting points listed, or start your own Group Commute - it takes as little as one person. Email us and let us know your route and starting times.

I'll be riding from Danforth and Woodbine at 7:30 AM.

Martino will be riding from Bloor and High Park (going downtown) at 7:30 AM.

Vic will be riding from Bloor and High Park (going to Mississauga City Centre) at 7:30 AM.

Martino and I will be meeting up at Yonge & Charles (just south of Bloor, in front of the Second Cup) at approximately 8:00 AM and then heading down Yonge to City Hall for 8:30.

You can meet us at Yonge & Charles around 8 AM, or in front of the main doors of City Hall around 8:30.

Feel free to join us! There's safety in numbers.

Things like the Grassroots Bikers Breakfast at Danforth & Chester (8-9:30 AM) and Critical Mass (Bloor & Spadina at 6:00 PM) are of course still going on too!

Ride Daily, Celebrate Every Month on BikeFriday !

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Trike in Kensington Market.
Photo by Shannon Roy.

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posted by Joe on Monday, January 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Golden Energy.
Photo by Duchamp.

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posted by Joe on Monday, January 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Can Bike Share live again? (Spacing Wire)
When CBN asked Crawford, who runs the city’s Inner City Outtripping Centre, for permission to store the yellow bikes in Lamport Stadium for the whole year (not just the winter), the thought of perfectly good bikes sitting unused for so long inspired him to take action. His idea: run BikeShare out of community centres with Parks, Forestry and Recreation footing the bill to hire a project manager and mechanic. The money, he says, is already there. Funds can be found by simply reallocating cash from underused programs, such as that guitar class nobody signed up for. Best of all, by running hubs out of community centres, the program will be able to reach a broader audience.

Squeegee panhandling washed out by Ontario Appeal Court (CBC news)

Public safety and the flow of traffic must override violations to freedom of expression when it comes to washing car windows in traffic, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled.
While this isn't "Bike News", I don't like the possible precedent this decision sets. The "flow of traffic" is trumping personal rights in this case. These homeless people were stepping into traffic, but it was stopped traffic, so that's not really dangerous. The CBC.ca article says "The so-called squeegee practice — involving mostly young "squeegee kids," as they're known, halting drivers to clean windshields for money..." but the kids didn't stop the cars... just washed their windsheilds while the cars were stopped at red lights.

Don't stoplights stop the flow of traffic? Stop signs? Pedestrian crosswalks? Ahh, let's rip them all out. Don't even get me started on those damn cyclists...

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posted by Joe on Sunday, January 21, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



A casual commute in Kensington Market.
Photo by snapdragon9mm.

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posted by Joe on Saturday, January 20, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



King & Parliament.
Photo by gbalogh.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 19, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



King St. West & Simcoe.
Photo by Sevres Babylone.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 19, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Crash Sends Two Kids To Hospital

Run over, woman rescued with car jack

Crash In Brampton Splits Car in Two

Head-on collision kills 2 teens, police officer

Man Killed In Airport Road Accident

Man killed in Caledon crash

Tragedy kills family dreams

Pedestrian Hit


Related:

Get gadgets out of cars, experts warn

Why The Province's Most Dangerous Stretch Of Road Has Been A 45-Year Long Problem
This article is about Canal Road - up in Holland Landing, near Newmarket. It's a stretch of road designed for farmers of the Holland Marsh, but people are using it as a shortcut to highway 400.
Having grown up in Newmarket and driven Canal Road a few times (I knew someone who lived in the Holland Marsh), I can tell you that the road is safe if you drive it safely. Drivers frequently speed along Canal Road, which is right beside an old canal, with no guardrails, and there are very few streetlights for night-time driving. No wonder people keep driving into the canal while talking on their cellphones.
It's tragic that people are dying here, but I bet a lot of the tragedy could be avoided with some common sense.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, January 18, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I thought I'd try to start posting about whatever stolen bikes are reported over on the Lost & Found section of the Cycling Cog - it's a great place to post stolen bikes and perhaps help someone get one back.

You can see the complete listings, or subscribe to the RSS feed, if that's more convenient for you.



Only one this week, to start:

Yellow Norco with Large Bike Seat

Date of Incident: January 11, 2007
Nearest Intersection: Ossington and Davenport
City: Toronto

Description:
bike was stolen friday the 12th at noon. My neighbour saw the thief boldly take my unlocked bike from my backyard, and didnt know it wasnt the guest staying with me. if bike is found please call Damian 416-858-4771, $50 reward. We have a description of the thief with the police.

Serial Number: dont know
Reward Offered (Canadian dollars): 50.00



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posted by Joe on Thursday, January 18, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



One wheel short of a bike.
Photo by Thomas Rosenzweig.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Here's a play on the "5 Things You May Not Know About Me" thing that you may have seen on some blogs. Essentially the concept is that someone lists the 5 things, and then "tags" 5 other people to do the same thing.

I've kept my list to bike-related stuff. I'll tag people at the bottom.

1. I know squat about bike maintenance. I can clean the grime off my bike, and de-grease and re-lube my chain… and fiddle around with my brakes a bit, but other than that, I know nothing about bikes. I’m kind of an anti-“gearhead”. I know in theory how to change a flat, but have never done it – but I don’t mind giving the business to my favourite bikeshop – and at $10 a pop, it’s about the only fairly regular expense my bike incurs, which is loads cheaper than car ownership and year-round TTC reliance. Don’t even mention derailleurs to me… they’re mysteries wrapped in enigmas to me.

2. I’m generally lazy about everything regarding my bike. It takes me weeks to go from thinking “I should clean my chain” to actually doing it. When I think I should go and buy some more lights for my bike at MEC.ca, it takes me a while to do it although MEC isn’t really out of my way on my bike-commute home from work.

3. I’m a slow cyclist. I don’t pretend to be racing in the Tour de France like some cyclists seem to. I generally bike along at a comfortable pace, according to how much energy my legs have and the traffic conditions around me. I coast when I can. I yield to stopping streetcars, and pedestrians in general.

4. I’m impulsive. I’ll go on a long ride through the ravines and trails of Toronto with very little preparation. In fact, I’m more likely to do something like this if the thought comes to me at the last second. A good example is from last March when I biked the waterfront, the Humber valley, over to Eglinton & the Allen, down the Beltline, through Mount Pleasant Cemetary, the Moore Park Ravine, the Brickworks and the Lower Don Valley in a big circuit, just to see if I could do it. It’s by far the longest ride I’ve done (51 km) and it took me 4 hours (see point #3), and it was something I thought of and started on with zero preparation. I did take my camera and one water bottle though.

5. I'm a calm cyclist... until I snap. Most of the time, in my cruising and slow cycling through Toronto, I do it with a Zen-like attitude… life is good… biking is fun… la-de-da. I can even shrug off minor transgressions against me… the car passing a bit too close, the FedEx truck parked in the bikelane. However, sometimes, all drivers start commiting major transgressions against me, all at once, and I do not let them get away with it. I use my middle-finger quite liberally on those days… I pull up on the left side of cars who have nearly hit my handlebars when passing me and proceed to berate them loudly and for all to hear, using the most colourful language I can… I have punched the windows of taxis who have almost killed me by not paying attention… I’ve hit them so hard that I’ve feared that I’ve broken my hand… and have been amazed that the window did not break.

I realize that point #5 is not good for driver-cyclist relations, but there comes a point for all of us when not sticking up for one’s self is akin to being led to the slaughterhouse. Thank drivers who drive courteously around you. Punish those who don’t.

Toronto "Bike-Bloggers" I'd like to see write about 5 bike-related things about themselves we may not know about:

Martino of BikeLaneDiary
Darren of BikeRefugee
Chris of TucoRides
Andrew of MonkeyMartian
Tanya of CrazyBikerChick

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Yonge & King Streets - looking east in 1900 and in 2006.
Photo posted by alan1n.

I love this photo because it proves that roads were not built for cars. Anyone who thinks they were should be shown this photo.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Here's some good recent things I've come across:

Green team gets a new champion

A nice article all about City Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, one time environmental activist turned lord and master of the public works and infrastructure committee. It not only mentions that he wants to divert enough waste from garbage to recycling or re-use, but that he's a hardcore cyclist, biking downtown even in the dead of winter from the outer reaches of Scarborough.

Bike lane decision-making authority may move downtown

Thankfully, Council is moving city-wide things like bike-lane decisions to City Hall - so that they can decide when and where bikelanes are put in for the good of the city as a whole - much to the chagrin of the narrow-minded, anti-cycling and gas-company-stock owning people.

A New year and a new council, the Bike Plan could take off in 2007

A great Happy New Year post by the king of all things cycling in Toronto - Martin Koob of BikeToronto.ca.

Bikely Redux

A nice update by Shawn Micallef of Spacing about the bikeroute website Bikely. You can find a ton of routes in Toronto and the GTA here.


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posted by Joe on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Red Bike Rings Outside St. Clair Station.
Photo by themkt.

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posted by Joe on Monday, January 15, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Parking in Commerce Court North.
Photo by hogepodge.

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posted by Joe on Sunday, January 14, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



"End of the World" - at the mouth of the Humber River.
Photo by animekiksazz.

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posted by Joe on Sunday, January 14, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Whenever a cyclist is killed on Toronto's streets, the cycling community bands together to remember them with a memorial ride and sometimes a ghostbike installation to bring attention to the fact that cyclists are vulnerable road users, and that all road users (but especially car drivers) should always be careful.

NYC's Streetsblog asks "Memorializing Killed Cyclists: Is it Good For Cycling?", pointing out that sometimes memorial rides and ghostbikes actually scare people away from cycling:
With a new year having just arrived, perhaps it is a good moment for bicycling advocates to take a step back and ask what our goals are and whether heavily publicized memorial rides and prominent Ghost Bikes are helping to achieve those goals. Is there a way to advocate for bike safety improvements and acknowledge cyclists' deaths and injuries without sending the message to potential new cyclists that New York City is too dangerous to try biking?
Fortunately, another Streetsblog post lists all the good points of memorial rides and ghostbikes. Here's a partial list for you:
  • The Ghost Bikes memorialize people who deserve to be remembered for their bravery, both physical and cultural.
  • They are an antidote to the sad, ordinary fate of deaths by automobile -- to "flicker briefly across the city's consciousness and then flutter away, leaving in their wake only grieving families and friends."
  • The Ghost Bikes and Memorial Ride create an opportunity for victims' families and friends to engage publicly and politically.
  • The Memorial Ride promotes cyclist solidarity.

Personally, I find them bittersweet. It feels good remembering a fellow cyclist who was out there trying to make our city a more livable place with cleaner air and safer streets... but it feels awful knowing that they died doing this.

What's your opinion?

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posted by Joe on Saturday, January 13, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Down on King by Metro Hall.
Photo by Gabi~.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 12, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


January 26th is sneaking up quickly - so here's what's going on so far on the first BikeFriday of 2007:

  • Group Commute
    The concept is simple - let's meet up in groups and ride to work together. Biking to work can sometimes be dangerous - but it's safer when you ride with other people, and that's why the Group Commute is happening.

  • Bikers Breakfast
    Join the folks at Grassroots-Danforth, 372 Danforth Avenue @ Chester, for our monthly "Biker Breakfast" in support of Toronto's Bicycle commuters. On the last Friday of every month Grassroots will host an early morning bicycle commuter breakfast between 8am-9:30am. Grassroots would like to support and encourage all of those folks that commute to work by bike, and hopefully we will inspire others to try commuting by bike. On Friday January 26th, plan to stop by Grassroots-Annex for a delicious, wholesome breakfast snack.

  • Critical Mass
    Join lots of other Toronto cyclists for the downtown ride called Critical Mass! Meet from 6:00 - 6:30 PM on the south-east corner of Bloor & Spadina.
Know of an event going on Jan. 26th? Let me know in the comments and we'll publicize it here and on the BikeFriday site.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 12, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



I'm almost positive that this is Church & Dundas (I'm using the revolving Esso sign as a reference). Photo by thevariables.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 12, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Today marks the first anniversary of the first post I made on BikingToronto:

Welcome to Biking Toronto. This is the first post. That is all.

It wasn’t a very exciting start, but In the past year, I’ve made 458 posts and just over 24,000 unique visitors (based on a 6-hour cookie – if someone visits BikingToronto twice within 6 hours, they only count as one “unique” visit). This works out to an average of about 1.25 posts and about 66 visitors a day.

I’ve learned a lot about Toronto’s cycling community over the past year, and the issues it faces in Toronto… everything from getting local politicians to pay attention to (and promote) cycling as a great way for Toronto to be more livable and cleaner, to just simply making the roads a bit safer for those of us who chose to bike to work, to the store, to our friends, or just exploring the city.

I’ve met some great people doing this for the past year – I was going to list them all here but I’d inevitably miss someone, and since I don’t want to hurt any feelings I’ll just say you know who you are.

It’s been a busy year too… I got married, went on a few trips, started renovating our bathroom (it’s almost done), and changed jobs (at the same place).

I’ve forgotten most of what I’ve done regarding this site over the past year, but here are the highlights (in my opinion), other than reporting and commenting on news stories and events happening that effect and interest me as a bike commuter:

The Bikeshop Map – a very crude GoogleMap of Toronto Bikeshops. I need to update this (and try to incorporate the Toronto Cycling Map somehow).

I Bike T.O. – I thought of this as a easily recognizable symbol of the love of biking Toronto. CBN has used it as a fundraiser, and you can buy t-shirts or buttons with it at the BikingToronto Store (another thing I want to update). Oh, and a great cycling website in Washington D.C., the WashCycle has adapted the symbol for that city too! Very cool.

8 Secrets to Cycling in Traffic – A series of posts about tips I’ve learned biking for a few years with traffic… it takes some experience to learn some of these, so if I can help new cyclists learn these things faster, all the better. I will most likely re-post an updated version of these (I’ve thought of a couple additions) in March or April, when lots of new and returning cyclists start hitting the road for warmer Toronto months.

BikeFriday – A simple idea of trying to get lots of bike-related things happening once a month (the last friday) in addition to once a year during BikeWeek. All the news outlets swarmed around this in August, a mere week after I had the idea, and there’s been less attention lately… but that will change.

With 458 posts, there has been a lot of information on this page, and while the above 4 things have stuck out in my mind as significant, I’m wondering what you the BikingToronto reader has liked the most about this website over the past year.

Do you like certain posts other than others? Are the photos your faves? The news of bike-stuff happening in other cities?

Anyhow, thanks for coming here over the past year. I’m looking forward to the next one, and hope you are too.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 12, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Perhaps I missed some news stories this week... seemed to be less carnage in the news...

Crash Sends Two Kids To Hospital

Crash In Brampton Splits Car in Two

TheStar.com - News - Head-on collision kills 2 teens, police officer

Police Seek To Close Three Unsolved Hit & Run Cases From Last Year

Crash Sends Two Kids To Hospital

Motor Vehicle Collision Involving School Bus

Gardiner Crash

Related:

Cell Phones Not Only Contributor To "Distracted Driving"

Roadway to Certain Death

Get gadgets out of cars, experts warn

Huge toll in car fatalities in U.S. goes unnoticed

27 years after 19-year-old Alex Bouweraerts was killed, the plea still stands for the hit-and-run driver to come forward

Good reasons for safety


Inspired by NYC's Streetsblog Weekly Carnage feature.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, January 11, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Nice looking red retro bike in Trinity Square.
Photo by truffes.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, January 11, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Toronto's Weekly Carnage - the first Weekly Carnage post
The Dangerous Roads - November and December were bad months to be a pedestrian
Toronto Bike News - Tues, Dec. 5th
Toronto Car-Free News - Thurs, Dec. 7th
Toronto Bike News - Wed, Dec. 13th
Goodbye 2006, Welcome 2007! - my plans for the New Year
Promotion of Cycling Petition News
2.5 Million Dollars! - if Martino had his way, BikeFriday would be floating in cash!
No BikeShare for 2007 - the (temporary?) end to a fantastic program
BikeFriday - Holiday Edition - the last friday of every month



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posted by Joe on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Hauling banana boxes on Roncy. Someone must be moving. :)
Photo by flooon.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

You may remember that my first post of 2007 was about progress on the Metropass Affinity Program - especially since the exact name and concept was adopted by the mayor's campaign team as part of his transit platform in the run-up to the fall election.

I met with TTC Chair Adam Giambrone and Vice-Chair Joe Mihevc yesterday, along with the people from the Sierra Club who have been financially supporting and doing the administrative work of the MAP.

It was my first time "in" City Hall (that is, where all the councillor offices are) and it was pretty cool. Someone in Giambrone's office bikes to work too - which is impressive, as winter is finally hitting Toronto.

While I won't let out too much news here just yet, I can tell you that Adam and Joe are fully on-board with the concept and goals of the Metropass Affinity Program (namely, to get more people using transit instead of their cars, to get more people buying Metropasses, to encourage business at Toronto stores, and to help de-smog our air). Still to be worked out is exactly how the city or the TTC will be involved, and what kind of financial obligations there will be, since there will be a lot of administrative work if this little idea of mine from a couple years back becomes very successful.

It's a significant step towards continuing the Mission Statement ("to do my best to break and destroy the dominance of the automobile in this city") that I published in the fall. I don't take Mission Statements lightly... so you can expect a lot more.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



I'm not positive, but I think this is somewhere along the Don River.
Photo by projection.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Over the holidays, the DonWatcher blog (all about everything going on in the Don Valley) posted photos from the newly re-opened section of the Lower Don Trail between Riverdale Park.


First photo is near the stairs to the Riverdale Footbridge, second is of the stairs up to Queen Street.

Also on DonWatcher are photos and details about what is happening south of Queen Street regarding the bike/pedestrian trail, the railway bridge and flood control measures.



Two new cycling/pedestrian underpasses are being constructed under the two sections of railway tracks to better link up the Lower Don Trail with both the mouth of the Don as well as the future Don River Park.

(photos and map are courtesy of the DonWatcher - a great site to keep track of all the things going on in the Don river system - a great place to do some "get-away-from-city-traffic cycling")

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posted by Joe on Monday, January 08, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



I don't know if I've even seen Yonge St. look so not like Yonge St. Photo by photoartbygretchen.

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posted by Joe on Monday, January 08, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Just a bit of catching up from the holidays... in case you missed any of these news items.

Best of 2006: bike lanes

Tammy Thorne of Spacing writes about the best bikelane of 2006. She makes a pretty strong case for the "Quay to the City" bikelane that was a pretty sweet tease for what is in store for cyclists on the Martin Goodman Trail along the waterfront. The other one mentioned was the new one on Sentinel up near York University, which I've personally used (it was nothing special), but when only 10 km of bikelanes are made, and only 3 km of which are on-street, you can't be choosy.

Life in the green lane

Another sign of the apocalypse? A Toronto Sun columnist going car-free and loving it!

Barenaked Ladies vocalist Steven Page lays bare his hopes for a green future

A celebrity endorsement for TaketheTooker!

Bloor Viaduct needs brightening

"The Fixer" column in the Star addresses the poor lighting on the Viaduct that makes things extra dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Considering that coming off the Viaduct going eastbound approaching Broadview is one of those places where you have to essentially merge with fast car traffic to avoid hitting the on-ramp to the DVP, I'd say that lighting here would be very useful.


Toronto aims to lead the environmental pack
The mayor of Toronto wants Canada's largest city to rise above the rest of the country by becoming a global environmental leader.
If that isn't an open invitation for cyclist to push harder for infrastructure, political support, and more bike-commuters, then I don't know what is. :)


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posted by Joe on Sunday, January 07, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Heading westbound at Yonge & College. I particularly like this one because it's part of my commute. Photo by Seeing Is.

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posted by Joe on Saturday, January 06, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I met up with a couple other people who run cycling websites in Toronto today - namely Herb, Tanya and Tino. Darren was going to come too, but he's busy right now impersonating Mike Holmes.

We met up at a small independent cafe/restaurant in the Bloor/Lansdowne Area called Yasi's Place (great coffee, and I loved the friendly, family feel - my coffee was even in a World's Best Mum mug!) and talked about how we could work together to take our own individual promotion of cycling in this city to the "next level".

We've got a great plan in the works (don't worry, I'll tell you about it soon), but in the meantime, know that things are happening. Great things.

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posted by Joe on Saturday, January 06, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Cool bike sculpture in the Atrium on Bay at Bay & Dundas. Photo by Eglantine.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 05, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



A beautiful shot of the bike path at Ashbridges Bay (Coxwell & Lakeshore) by uwajedi.

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posted by Joe on Friday, January 05, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Bus shelter smashed, man struck in accident

Woman dies after being hit by car

Pedestrian killed in East York

Woman critical after east-end crash

Woman hit by car on Steeles Ave. E

Elderly Pedestrian Struck And Killed By Taxi

Three-Car Crash On Yonge

SUV makes wake-up call

Two girls thrown from SUV in Hwy. 401 accident

Dad Charged After Kids Ejected From Car During 401 Crash

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posted by Joe on Thursday, January 04, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Two quick entertaining links for you today.

1. Winter Wheeling: Weird thaw takes edge off my pledge to be a fair-weather rider no more.
It's been embarrassingly mild this winter, and I've been feeling increasingly guilty about not using pedal power when the grass is still green and the squirrels are slapping on SPF. Of course, there's nothing wrong, ecologically speaking, with riding the streetcar to work, but there's no glory in it, no sense of accomplishment plus it takes twice as long to get anywhere. (thanks to Tino for the link)
2. "The more you drive, the less intelligent you are"

Quote and photo courtesy of Bricoleurbanism. Thanks for reminding me about the movie that always seemed to be on A&E in the 1990s. :)

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posted by Joe on Thursday, January 04, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

If you're like me, you use your bike as your primary mode of transportation around Toronto, but also use the TTC to get around if it's pouring rain (and you don't feel like getting as wet) or it's one of those bitterly cold winter days (some of you younger readers may not remember these... why, back in MY day... we had snow in Toronto! Real Live Snow!), orif you have to get out to some no-man's suburbia land in outer Scarborough or something.

Or maybe your bike has a flat tire and you're too lazy/busy to fix it (which is my situation right now).

Anyhow, my point is that when you live in Toronto and life a car-free (or car-light) life, the TTC comes in handy.

One of many criticisms of the TTC has been the design of TTC.ca. While it was pretty state-of-the-art in 1996 or so, when it looked pretty much like it does now (although less cluttered), the last 11 years have not been kind to it. The website is pretty ugly, clunky, hard-to-use and not user-friendly.

Marking yet another sea-change at the TTC, Adam Giambrone has invited Torontonians (specifically web-savvy users like bloggers) to make suggestions about what the TTC website needs.

You can do so on the comments sections on Spacing, BlogTO, Torontoist and Reading Toronto.

You can see a few of my ideas here.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Los Angeles, CA:

She's L.A.'s pedal pusher


In the last few years, without really trying, 31-year-old Howe, tall and blond, has become the voice of the emerging urban bicycling culture of Los Angeles.

London, UK:

Holiday Bonus for U.K. Ikea Employees: 9,000 Free Bikes


New Orleans, LA:

New Orleans Bicycles Book

A cool book about bike culture in the big easy, mostly pre-Katrina. Thanks to the Spacing Wire and be sure and check out Rannie's great collection of great Toronto bike pics.


New York, NY:

Physically Separated Bike Lanes in ‘07

In this outstanding Streetfilm New York City cyclists, planning and policy experts and even the former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia make the case that the designers of New York City's bicycling infrastructure need to do more than just paint lines on asphalt. Like all of the world's best bike commuting cities, they argue that New York needs to design and build more and better physically-separated bike lanes.

Perth, AU:

Perth Happy Snaps

Really cool pics of cycling infrastructure in Perth, Australia.


Winnipeg, MB:

Winnipeg's Bike to the Future

I just found this really cool biking news site based in the 'Peg. Love the title graphic.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Happy New Year, everyone!

I logged into my email this morning to see something very cool.

Back in early December, I emailed the mayor, new TTC chair Adam Giambrone and vice-chair Joe Mihevc to offer my congratulations on their re-elections, but also to establish contact in pursuing linking up my efforts with the Sierra Club in setting up the Metropass Affinity Program (which has local businesses offering discounts to any customer who shows a Metropass) with the TTC... after all, it was part of the Mayor's Transit Platform.



The good news is that Joe Mihevc has emailed me back and he and Adam and David are very interested in getting something really constructive done with the Metropass Affinity Program. It looks like we're going to have a meeting with everyone involved to brainstorm and see how we can advance things.

The bad news is that there isn't any. What a great way to start a new year!

I'll keep you updated on any news regarding this. More people on transit equals less people in cars acting selfish and destructive.

I'm getting this really good feeling about cycling and transit in Toronto in 2007.

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