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



posted by Joe on Saturday, March 31, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I'll have a post up later today or this weekend with photos and stuff from the morning BikePools, but here's some to tide you over:

Martino (Bloor West Ride)
Vic (HighPark to Mississauga Ride)

Remember that the UofT BikeChain will be open today from 12-5 PM, handing out free coffee and memberships (regularly $20-$60) to all cyclists!

The BikeChain is located at:
International Student Centre (basement level)
33 St. George St. (just north of College St.)
( map )

Critical Mass is tonight too! Meet at Bloor & Spadina at 6:00 PM, Ride at 6:30. I'll be there for a little bit (look for a bright blue windbreaker on a dirty dirty mountainbike).

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Man killed in Halton crash

Cabbie injured in crash

Man Dies After Four Vehicle Crash On Bloor St.

Heart attack suspected in Bloor W. crash

Driver Collared After Accident


Related:

Police Pledge Huge Crackdown On Distracted Drivers, Pedestrians And Cyclists


About Toronto's Weekly Carnage:
Toronto's Weekly Carnage is inspired by NYC's Streetsblog Weekly Carnage feature. The aim of this series of posts is to bring attention to the death and destruction wrought by automobiles and an auto-centric culture. Pursuing policies promoting walking, cycling and public transit could help reduce the carnage.

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 29, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

You may have heard the news that the City is looking at new "street furniture" (transit shelters, benches, etc) and DON'T want public input (which is a shame because the new "bikeracks" being proposed are not only unnecessary (our post and rings are iconic and do the job) but kind of ugly (in my opinion). Essentially advertising companies design these things for the city because they want to slap advertisements all over them (hopefully legal ones).

But, do you know what "world class" cities like Paris do? They let a company have access to advertise all over the city, but in return they have to make the city a better place by providing 20,000 virtually free rental bicycles for the citizens to use.


On July 15, the day after Bastille Day, Parisians will wake up to discover thousands of low-cost rental bikes at hundreds of high-tech bicycle stations scattered throughout the city, an ambitious program to cut traffic, reduce pollution, improve parking and enhance the city's image as a greener, quieter, more relaxed place. By the end of the year, organizers and city officials say, there should be 20,600 bikes at 1,450 stations -- or about one station every 250 yards across the entire city.

The Socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delano?, has the same aim, said his aide, Jean-Luc Dumesnil: "We think it could change Paris's image -- make it quieter, less polluted, with a nicer atmosphere, a better way of life." But there is a practical side, too, Dumesnil said. A recent study analyzed different trips in the city "with a car, bike, taxi and walking, and the bikes were always the fastest." The Lyon rental bikes, with their distinctive silver frame, red rear-wheel guard, handlebar basket and bell, can also be among the cheapest ways to travel, because the first half-hour is free, and most trips are shorter than that.


If a company wants to slap advertisements all over our public infrastructure, shouldn't we in Toronto make them do more for us? Shouldn't we have them help us become the "greenest city in North America"?

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 29, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


A Daily Dose of Cycling Imagery

(Yes, this is the famous Sam Javanrouh, who bikes a lot through Toronto... taking great photos along the way)

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 29, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

In case you didn't catch it on the Spacing Wire a couple weeks ago, a BikeTrain is coming (and going) between the Niagara region and Toronto!

The Toronto-Niagara Bike Train is a new sustainable tourism and transportation initiative that will introduce bike racks onboard VIA Rail Canada service between Toronto and the Niagara Region. The Pilot Year of the Bike Train service will be launching in June 2007, running on a limited schedule until September 2007. Pending a successful Pilot Year, it is anticipated that the service will be expanded in subsequent years.

Bike Train tickets and getaway packages will be available for purchase beginning April 24, 2007. Approximate cost for travel on the Bike Train between Toronto to Niagara Falls will be $59.00 round-trip including taxes. One-way tickets will also be available.

I've never biked in Niagara, but it seems to be a very popular cycling destination... so with this BikeTrain starting up, my wife and I may plan a trip sometime this summer, and I think the Niagara Region Bike Map may come in very handy.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

From the Toronto Coalition for Active Transport (TCAT):

The City of Toronto’s 2007 Operating budget process will soon get underway. This is another opportunity to ensure that the budget related items from the TCAT Plan for Active Transportation will be approved by City Council (you can see the plan at www.TorontoCAT.ca. The TCAT candidate survey found strong support for the TCAT Plan for Active Transportation among all the members of the Budget Committee and a majority of the Executive Committee. However with some of the members the support was qualified when it came to Operating budget items to hire staff. Now is the time to convince the Councillors that it is important to support the TCAT budget recommendations and ensure they are incorporated into the final 2007 municipal budget.

TCAT supporters can get involved in the budget process by making in person or written deputations to the Budget Committee and by contacting the members of the Budget Committee and the Executive Committee by phone, letter and e-mail letting them know how important it is that they keep their promises to support Active Transportation.

We have prepared a draft letter to send to Councillors on the Budget Committee encouraging them to support the TCAT Platform and the related budget items. You can modify the letter or use it as is, but please take a moment to let Councillors know Active Transportation is important! The letter can be found at the following link along with the e-mail addresses of the Councillors on the Budget Committee. http://www.torontocat.ca/OperatingBudgetLetter.html

The 2007 budget process is very different from past years. One key difference is that the Budget Committee and the Executive Committee will be the only committees having deliberations on the budget - that means these Councillors have a significant influence and need to be reminded that Active Transportation is important. The other key difference is that there will be just one opportunity for the organizations and the general public to make deputations to advocate for programs and services in the Operating budget. The day for deputations will be on March 29th, 2007 starting at 9:30 am. To sign up to make a deputations in person call 416-392-6662 to get on the list. You can also sent written deputations via e-mail to mmcdonna@toronto.ca or by fax to (416) 392-1879. Of course, you can send an e-mail to your Councillor, the Mayor, the Executive and Budget Committees any time before March 29th.

For more information on how to get involved in the 2007 Capital Budget process and for contact information for the Mayor and Councillors go to the following web page. http://www.torontocat.ca/2007OperatingBudget.html

If you or your organization are planning to make a deputation or contact Councillors please let TCAT know with a quick email to info@torontocat.ca - if we know who is deputing we can coordinate efforts!

Thanks for your continued support and help in making Toronto a more cycling and pedestrian friendly City.

Please forward this letter to your members and any others you think would be interested.

TCAT Steering Committee
Politicians pay attention to feedback from their constituents. If people take the time to phone or email them about something, it shows them that people care enough about the issue.

Useful links:
TCAT 2007 Operating Budget Information
TCAT draft letter to your Councillor
The Mayor's email
The emails of the Budget Committee and the Committee Clerk

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

BikeFriday is in 2 days! I bet you're excited. :)

Here's a couple tips to make BikeFriday more meaningful to you:

1. Start a BikePool. Get people going the same way as you to ride as a group. It's fun and cars will drive more carefully around you. I'll publicize your route and time on the BikeFriday site to help your BikePool get exposure.

2. Do you own BikeFriday thing - I work at a smallish company (around 250 people), with 2-12 bike-commuters (2 in the winter, 12 in the summer) - so to encourage my co-workers to bike in to work this Friday, I emailed them all to let them know of what was going on, plus offered my own BikeFriday thing to them:


I’m doing a [workname] BikeFriday thing too – for the cyclists here. If you ride your bike to work on Friday, I’ll buy you a coffee/tea/juice of your choice from Tim Hortons!!

The weather is beautiful now. While people asked me if I was crazy for biking to work in the winter time, now it’s time to ask if you’re crazy because you’re NOT biking to work. :)

Use your own creativity and ideas to help the people you know to adopt cycling as an everyday mode of transportation. Let me know about it, and I'll post about it on an "Idea" section of the site - helping others think of ideas themselves!

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Here's some clarification from the City of Toronto about their advice for cyclists during the Dundas Streetcar Track Reconstruction.

Originally, it sounded like the City was asking that cyclists walk their bike through construction zones, but thanks to the efforts of Pauline Craig, the BUG co-ordinator at the City (who emailed the reconstruction people about it), things have been clarified:

The Dundas streetcar tracks are being reconstructed from Broadview Avenue in the east to Howard Park in the west, including the DVP and Sorauren Bridges. During track work, only a single curb lane in one direction will be maintained. East of Victoria St., one east-bound lane will remain open, while west of Victoria St., one west-bound lane will remain open. Since these lanes will be of a reduced width, "Narrow Lanes" signs will be erected, to advise cyclists and motorists of the need to travel in 'single file.'

On the Sorauren bridge, one lane in each direction will be open until approximately September, when only the west-bound curb lane lane will be available. "Cyclists and motorists use caution" signs will be used wherever a designated bike lane is occupied due to construction activity.

The DVP bridge will be closed to traffic in both directions for about three months, probably starting in May. Only one sidewalk on one side will be kept open, for pedestrian traffic. Cyclists using the bridge will be advised to walk on the sidewalk. As an alternate route, west-bound cyclists may divert to Gerrard St. just west of Broadview via Munro, while east-bound cyclists can reach Dundas from Gerrard via Hamilton. (These one-way streets are just west of Broadview.)
So, basically - in most places there will still be one lane open, which cyclists can ride in. In areas where both lanes are taken up with reconstruction work and cyclists have to be diverted to the sidewalk... THIS is where the City recommends we dismount and walk.

It makes complete sense. Few things are more annoying than cyclists on sidewalks.

Questions about the Dundas Reconstruction can be directed to dundastracks@toronto.ca or 416-392-6900.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Here's a nice Star article I've had bookmarked for awhile called "Green Jitters grow on a blue planet", about the feeling of being overwhelmed by the environmental disaster that is creeping up on us all because of climate change:

"Sometimes I do cry and I don't think I'm the only one," said Jenny Greenop, 23, an environmental studies and biology major at the University of Toronto, when asked about her views on the state of the planet. "I always joke that as soon as we enter into this program we should be given a good dose of Prozac because a lot of the conclusions are kind of depressing and suggest solutions are beyond our control."
Jenny (the wrencher with the great cyclist smile in the photo to the right) is one of the fantastic people who run the UofT Bikechain, the "student run bicycle promotion and repair facility on the Uof T campus. Built on a philosophy that encourages the active involvement of our community to enact positive change, the facility offers a hands-on educational experience to all those who are interested in bicycle repair and maintenance."

I myself have felt at times that it would be nice to be one of those people who can just ignore the looming climate change catastrophe and go on living their lives like the biggest problem in the world was the price of gas in suburbia, but I can't do that. If I did that I'd look back in 20 years and have regrets. While the scale of the problem and the general public indifference intimidates me at times... I prefer to look at what I can perhaps change and focus on that.

Jenny and the BikeChain are taking part in BikeFriday this Friday too! Drop by on your bike during regular Bikechain hours (12-5 PM) and get FREE coffee and a FREE membership! This is good for EVERYONE, not just UofT students. They are opening membership up to the general public, and it's regularly priced at $20-$60, so you can get a SUPER deal this Friday!

The BikeChain
33 St George (at College, across from the UofT bookstore) MAP
International Student Centre (basement)

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

The Mayor and City Council are trying to be good, announcing "Green Plans" and "Bold Ideas" that have the goal of "slashing the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 and a whopping 80 per cent by 2050":

Miller and city council [unveiled a plan] that sets ambitious targets for reducing emissions that lead to climate change, increasing so-called green energy usage and encouraging retrofitting of city homes and businesses to make them more energy efficient. The targets would be for both the city government itself and the community at large.

There isn't a lot of time or space in this plan given to cycling in Toronto, but what it does say is that a "potential action'' is completing the city's bikeway network by 2012. This is "potentially significant" (my quotes) because although the Bikeway Network is notoriously behind schedule, having it completed (495 km of bikelanes, 249 km of off-road paths and 260 km of signed routes, all on a rough 2 km grid to make every Torontonian within a 5 minute ride of it*) in 2012 is only one year behind schedule.


*You can see the entire Bikeway Network chapter of the City's BikePlan, which mentions these km numbers, if you're interested [it's a PDF file].

I'm a little concerned that completing the Bikeway Network is only a "potential action" and not more important. It would be easy for the Mayor and Council to meet their smog reduction goals by promoting cycling more - and since they're very concerned about all this money that the Federal and Provincial governments are NOT giving the City - it's a cheap way to make a significant impact on smog reduction.


(the following bit is my favourite part of this post... I like it even better than the above part where I throw my opinion around...)

Thankfully, the Mayor wants your input. He wants you to contact him and tell him what you're willing to do, and what you want him to do:

...the man some refer to as the "green mayor'' yesterday put forward what he calls some "bold ideas,'' and he wants the public to help him draft an action plan for improving the environment.

Let's take him up on his invitation. Email your Mayor (he works for you!) and tell him that you want the Bikeway Network completed. Tell him you want cycling to be given as much attention as public transit receives from his administration.

Tell him that getting Torontonians to use a bike instead of a car one day a week will immediately reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. Tell him he will be hailed as a visionary if this happens, and it's really easy (and cheap!)

Tell him about BikeFriday, while you're at it. It's this Friday. ;)

(Pollution Illustration is from Eye Magazine)

Labels: , ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 26, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Just in case you aren't on the Cyclometer (the official cycling newsletter of the City of Toronto) mailing list, the March issue is out, with info to all of these great news items:

( I apologize that it took me a bit to post about this - some of the dates mentioned below have passed ... I'll try and do better next time )

1) Toronto Cycling Committee
2) Come Learn About the new Railpath Park! Monday March 19, 2007
3) Bike Week Event Registration Deadline 5pm, Friday March 23, 2007
4) What?! Another Bike Locker Location?
5) The Lines are Open
6) Toronto-Niagara Bike Train Survey
7) NEW! Online Forms on City's Cycling Website!
8) Pass it on
9) Three Million for Traffic Calming Measures and Bicycle Lanes
10) Bike Friendly Design Takes the Cake
11) Government of Ontario Hansard, December 14, 2006 Re: Wearing of helmets

Be sure and sign up, it's a great way to keep updated on what's going on.

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 26, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 26, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Let me know in the comments if I've forgotten stuff (or maybe don't know about it yet?)

Tuesday, Mar 27
Thursday, Mar 29
Friday, Mar 30 (BikeFriday!)

7:30-8:30 AM - BIKEPOOLS!
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.
1">
7:00 AM - Parliament & Carlton
(to Victoria Park & Gordon Baker Road, via Parliament, Bloor East, Broadview, Cosburn, Woodbine, O'Connor and VicPark)
map / contact

7:30 AM - Yonge & Major Mackenzie
(to Hwy 7 & Warden)
map / contact

8:00 AM - Bloor & HighPark
(to Mississauga City Centre)
map / contact

8:00 AM - Danforth & Woodbine
(via the Danforth & Bloor to Yonge)
contact

8:00 AM - Bloor & HighPark
(via Bloor to Yonge)
contact

8:00 AM - Yonge & Lawrence
(to Hwy 7 & Leslie)
map / contact

8:30 AM - Queen West!
(meet at Parkdale Library (1303 Queen West) before heading east to Queen & McCaul)
contact

Add YOUR Commute!
Add your bike-to-work route to this page, find others going the same way. Email BikeFriday.



8:00 - 9:30 AM - BIKERS BREAKFAST @ GRASSROOTS!
Don’t let the cool weather keep you indoors --Join the folks at Grassroots-Riverdale, 372 Danforth Avenue at Chester Ave. (map), for our monthly "Biker Breakfast" in support of Toronto's Bicycle commuters. On the last Friday of every month Grassroots hosts an early morning bicycle commuter breakfast between 8:00 - 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 March 30th, plan to stop by Grassroots-Riverdale for a delicious, wholesome breakfast snack.


12:00 - 5:00 PM - FREE STUFF FOR CYCLISTS @ THE BIKECHAIN!

The BikeChain (a project of the University of Toronto Sustainability Office) is open from 12-5 PM. ANY cyclist that comes by during that time can get free coffee as well as a free membership to the BikeChain (regularly $20-$60). The BikeChain provides dedicated space and tools to do repairs and get info about cycling in Toronto.

The BikeChain is located at:
International Student Centre (basement level)
33 St. George St. (just north of College St.)
( map )


6:00 PM - 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.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Sunday, March 25, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Saturday, March 24, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Some interesting car-free ideas for you:

There's been a few items in Toronto news lately about plans to not only narrow Yonge Street between Bloor & Front, but to change part of King West into a transit-oriented street temporarily next summer as a trial.

The Yonge Street idea has the street narrowing from 4 lanes to 3... providing wider sidewalks to encourage pedestrian traffic (which is in turn good for business).

Yonge Street south of Bloor is one of the most vibrant (if not THE most vibrant) streets in Toronto, yet it does not have any parking for this entire section... this is something that should be remembered by merchants on King Street.

The TTC wants to try out a plan on King West (probably somewhere between University and Spadina... so the Entertainment District) where the streetcar lanes become Right-of-Ways, and the sidewalks are widened into the curblanes on alternating blocks, with the other side of the streetcar tracks being where car traffic can go.

This is actually a TTC idea from 2001 (really good background info at that link) - one which James Bow of Transit Toronto calls "one of the most ingeneous suggestions the Toronto Transit Commission has made in a long time".

The point of this is that more people use the King Streetcars than drive on King, yet the streetcars often move slower than pedestrians because of traffic congestion... making King Street for transit and pedestrians will encourage economic activity and help fight traffic congestion.

I really hope that both of these ideas come to fruition - I haven't heard a lot of objection to the Yonge Street plan, but there is some (of course) to the King Street idea. The King Street one is really important, because if the TTC is successful in having a trial-run of this in the summer of 2008, Torontonians and King Street businesses will see that the world will NOT end if you plan for people and not for cars... that MORE people will spend time and MONEY on King Street, because it will be a more pleasant place to be.

I can only hope that it becomes permanent on King and other major shopping streets as well.

(King Street illustrations courtesy of Transit Toronto. You can click on them for larger versions.)

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Saturday, March 24, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

BikeFriday is an initiative to promote bike events happening in Toronto on the last friday of every month.

What's happening on March 30th? Here's a complete list for you:




BikePools!
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. 1">

7:00 AM - Parliament & Carlton
(to Victoria Park & Gordon Baker Road, via Parliament, Bloor East, Broadview, Cosburn, Woodbine, O'Connor and VicPark)
map / contact

7:30 AM - Yonge & Major Mackenzie
(to Hwy 7 & Warden)
map / contact

8:00 AM - Bloor & HighPark
(to Mississauga City Centre)
map / contact

8:00 AM - Danforth & Woodbine
(via the Danforth & Bloor to Yonge)
contact

8:00 AM - Bloor & HighPark
(via Bloor to Yonge)
contact

8:00 AM - Yonge & Lawrence
(to Hwy 7 & Leslie)
map / contact

8:30 AM - Queen West!
(meet at Parkdale Library (1303 Queen West) before heading east to Queen & McCaul)
contact

Add YOUR Commute!
Add your bike-to-work route to BikeFriday, find others going the same way. Email BikeFriday.



Bikers Breakfast @ Grassroots
Don’t let the cool weather keep you indoors --Join the folks at Grassroots-Riverdale, 372 Danforth Avenue at Chester Ave. (map), for our monthly "Biker Breakfast" in support of Toronto's Bicycle commuters. On the last Friday of every month Grassroots hosts an early morning bicycle commuter breakfast between 8:00 - 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 March 30th, plan to stop by Grassroots-Riverdale for a delicious, wholesome breakfast snack.



Free Stuff for Cyclists @ the BikeChain!
The BikeChain (a project of the University of Toronto Sustainability Office) is open from 12-5 PM. ANY cyclist that comes by during that time can get free coffee as well as a free membership to the BikeChain (regularly $20-$60). The BikeChain provides dedicated space and tools to do repairs and get info about cycling in Toronto.

The BikeChain is located at:
International Student Centre (basement level)
33 St. George St. (just north of College St.)
( map )


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.




Please consider running or taking part in a BikeFriday bike event to help promote regular bicycle use in our city. This can include anything at all … as long as it’s bike-related. Some ideas include bike maintenance workshops, a free coffee / breakfast treat location for bike-commuters, group commutes, recreational group rides, discounts for cyclists in stores, etc.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me at joe@bikingtoronto.com

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Accident postpones murder trial

Hundreds of accidents in snow’s wake

Pileup reduces 401 to one lane

2 in hospital after Mississauga crash

Elderly Pedestrian In Critical Condition After Being Hit

2 in hospital after Mississauga crash


Related:

Cops Launch Big Crackdown On Drivers & Pedestrians

You can't blame Toronto drivers if they sometime think police are ganging up on them.

But now those behind the wheel will be happy to hear cops are putting a different foot down - this time on pedestrians.

Toronto's finest have announced a one week campaign called "Operation Safe Journey" which will not only drop the hammer on bad drivers but bad pedestrians as well.

It's easy to blame drivers when people get hit and sometimes they are at fault.


Pedestrians are NEVER at fault. On city roads, other than highways, pedestrians ALWAYS have the right-of-way. If they break the law and jay-walk, drivers are obliged to stop.


About Toronto's Weekly Carnage:
Toronto's Weekly Carnage is inspired by NYC's Streetsblog Weekly Carnage feature. The aim of this series of posts is to bring attention to the death and destruction wrought by automobiles and an auto-centric culture. Pursuing policies promoting walking, cycling and public transit could help reduce the carnage.

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Less than an hour after I posted about the progress on the West Toronto Railpath this morning, Tammy Thorne posted onto the Spacing Wire a re-cap of the "unveiling" meeting that took place on Monday night. It doesn't look good, but I'm going to stay optimistic:


The WTR park itself is between 10 and 15 metres wide. The strip of asphalt (the “multi-use” path) will be 3.5 metres wide (1.75 in each direction) with a granulated shoulder. The length of the path is 2.1 kms.... A multi-use trail is designed to permit more than one user group at a time, creating a two-way shared use area. The paved portion of the WTR is simply too narrow to accommodate multiple users safely. There was some discussion about the City’s new way-finding signage (to be used in the Don Valley trails first) that could be used in the Railpath to help direct user etiquette. It was also mentioned that the path will only be plowed in winter if the City deems there is “need.”

The general impression I'm getting from the Spacing post is that it will be useless - due to the first (northern) part of the railpath being for more than cyclists, as well as unconnected to other cycling infrastructure.

As I said above, I'm going to stay optimistic. This is just the first railroad right-of-way in Toronto being converted to a place for "human-powered transportation"... we can all hope it won't be the last. Anything that encourage the use of bikes, rollerblades, walking is okay by me. I'm no bike snob. Okay... maybe a little.

The fact is that this is the first drop in the bucket of potential that exists in this city for a network of seperate-from-auto-traffic pathways for people to use their bikes to get to different parts of the city.

Go check out the Railpath & Hydro Corridor Map I put together a couple months ago, and you'll see what I mean.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I never really knew what a Poker Run was until I saw the flyer for this event...

Cycling Poker Run to help a fellow cyclist:

When: Saturday, March 24th, 2 PM

Where: Cloud Gardens Park (Yonge & Temperance)

What: A Poker Run is not a race. It's a fun ride at your own pace. At each stop you will receive a playing card. At the last stop the person with the highest poker hand wins.

Why: We are trying to get as many people as possible to come out and help raise money for a fellow cyclist named Tom. Tom is here visiting from Australia and on Wednesday March 14th, he was riding his bike when he was run over by a large pickup truck, causing extensive damage to his leg. All money raised will go towards Tom's medical costs and living expenses while here in our city.

Cost: $10

View the Flyer for the Event

(thanks to Martino for the heads-up on this)

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

After years and years of uncertainty, the West Toronto Railpath is finally seeing some movement towards actual construction!



Construction on the first part of the Railpath (which runs alongside Dundas from around Dupont in the north to near Dundas & Lansdowne in the south) is scheduled to get underway this year - with the City and the Railway companies still haggling over the part of the rail corridor that goes from Dundas down to King St. (near Dufferin).

Lots of details are on a Spacing Wire post from last week, and there are renderings and photos from a meeting about it that took place on Monday, March 19th are on Flickr.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Just in case you missed it in the hubbub about the Nathan Phillips Square re-design contest a week or so ago. It was big news about a $40 million dollar renovation that has the purpose of updating this important public space while also staying true to City Hall architect Viljo Revell's original vision.

There were lots of pretty renderings and important opinions about the whole thing, but what I missed until I stumbled across it while catching up on my BikeToronto reading was that there are signicant facilities planned involving bicycles:


The design features a Glass Entry Pavilion just off the corner of Queen and Bay. The pictures of the pavilion on the displays at city hall show a tall glass structure with three oversize bikes hanging from the ceiling and visible from the street. This structure would serve as an entrance to the square but also as the entrance to a full featured bike station as well as to the underground parking. The text on the display board explained there would be underground parking for 110 bikes along with bike rental services, a repair shop and change rooms. Putting the bike station near the street would make it easily accessible for cyclists.

A bikestation!? Can my eyes be trusted? I can only hope that it captures the spirit and functionality of the
BikeStations south of the border.



PHOTO: Revell's Model 1958 City of Toronto Archives,
Series 843, File 134, Ref # 581084-9 (Photographer Panda Associates);
photo from the City of Toronto website.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Dear Politicians,

Want to get the most bang for your political dollar? Here's a simple math lesson for you:

Cost of Infrastructure:
One km of Subway: ~$250,000,000
One km of "Light Rail Transit : ~25,000,000
One km of Bikelanes: ~$100,000

Cost of Vehicles:
Subway Train (6 cars): ~$18,000,000
Streetcar: ~$7,500,000
Bike: ~FREE

Everyone who wants to bike buys a bike.

They will buy bikes... as soon as they feel safe enough on the streets. Build cycling infrastructure and watch the number of cyclists in Toronto explode. It's the easiest way of becoming your oft-mentioned "Greenest City in North America".

Labels: , ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 19, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 19, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Hello bike-friendly folks,

Take the Tooker will be meeting to discuss various projects relevant to developing the Bloor-Danforth bikeway!

Wednesday, March 21, 6:30 - 8:30pm
OISE, 252 Bloor St. W.
2nd Floor
(look for signs)

See you there!


The Mission
Create a continous bicycle expressway along Bloor St. and Danforth Ave , connecting Mississauga to Scarborough through the city core, helping to shape a bike-friendly and green Toronto as a living legacy to environmental activist Tooker Gomberg (greenspiration.org ) Gomberg was runner-up Toronto mayoral candidate in 2000; he passed away in March 2004.


Spokesperson
Hamish Wilson
(Community activist and former City Councillor candidate, Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth)
416-531-3746 ext.1, hamishw2@hotmail.com

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 19, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

From the Bike to York people:


To all you fine and fit cyclists and allies,
On Wednesday the 14th, about seven of us met for the second Bike to York meeting at 4:30 in the Faculty of Env. Studies lounge, and determined the details of our planned "Free Bicycle Tune Up" event.
The idea was that on Tuesday March 27, or Wednesday March 28th as a rain-check, at noon to 4:00pm for either day, we will have some awesome volunteers bring stands and tools up to campus to offer free bicycle tune ups - simple jobs of course. Many ideas for location floated around, but the two most dominant ones were "In front of Vari Hall by the fountain," or "In front of HNES under the roofed bike parking area" as an alternative for crummy weather.
It appears according to the 14-day forecast that both the 27th and 28th call for potential rain - - as well, I recall that Tuesday would work better for our mechanics. (Geoff or Rob, inform me otherwise if I am wrong).
Considering it is my duty to make and photocopy flyers as well as tell you all about this event, I will suggest (autocratically) that the "Free Bicycle Tune Up" take place on Tuesday the 27th regardless of weather, in front of Vari Hall if skies are clear, in front of HNES (only a 20 second bike ride away) if skies are menacing.
This Tuesday the 20th, we shall have a breif meeting - - more of a drop-in really - - if you want to volunteer for this event, if you are willing to take some flyers and distribute them for us, and in general just to network with eachother and share ideas on cycling adocacy. That is, this Tuesday March 20th at 5:30 pm in the FES lounge - - first floor of the Health, Nursing, and Environmental Studies building.
Come one come all - on Tuesday March 27th from noon to four o'clock - - if your bike is rideable and you haven't been on in a while, bike anyways with the knowledge it will be a smoother ride on the way home.
If your chain is rusted, your brakes mal-adjusted, your tire flat, your wheel a little out of true - - bring your bike with you on the subway, and we'll try and get you back on the road.
Come for the chance to meet other cyclists - to get a free bike map - to share tips and stories and antics with other cyclists, to say hi - - drop by even if you are without a bike.
For more information, contact Bike to York at bike2yorku@gmail.com

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Sunday, March 18, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Saturday, March 17, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I've been posting BikeFriday news over on that site, and in case you've been too busy to catch it all... here's a quick round up of all the cool stuff going on:

The BikeChain joins BikeFriday!
On Friday, March 30th, the BikeChain will be offering free coffee and memberships (usually $20-$60) to ANY cyclist between 12-5 PM (their regular office hours). You do not have to be a UofT student to take part in this great deal!

New BikePool on Queen West!
The Queen West BikePool will be leaving the Parkdale Library (1303 Queen West) at 8:30 AM on March 30th and heading east to Queen & McCaul.

BikeFriday is on MySpace.com!
BikeFriday is branching out! We now have a MySpace page, for all of you nice people out there into the social networking website stuff. It's been up for only a week and we've already got 121 "friends" on there. I don't know if that's good or not, but I'm just going to think positively and say that yes, that *is* good.

Another New BikeFriday BikePool!
BikeFriday BikePooler David leaves Cabbagetown (specifically Parliament & Gerrard) at 7 AM and heads to North York (specifically Victoria Park and Gordon Baker Rd., near Steeles) via Parliament, Bloor East, Broadview, Cosburn, Woodbine, O'Connor and Parliament.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Councillor Fletcher invited comments about the possibility of bikelanes on Leslie Street (a good north-south connector to the Martin-Goodman Trail on the Waterfront) and on Eastern (a fantastic route for a east-west downtown connector, while at the same time humanizing the street design), and the South East Toronto Bicycle User Group (formerly the Dundas East Bicycle User Group, the driving force behind the Dundas East BikeLanes) delivered, courtesy of Paul Young, the health promoter, South Riverdale Community Health Centre:

Dear Councillor Fletcher,

Regarding Eastern Avenue Bike Lanes:

As a health promoter at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre I work to support community efforts to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. In this capacity I chaired two recent meetings to discuss the proposed bike lanes for Eastern Avenue. Your assistant Pablo was present for the first one. We had 9 people at the first meeting and 7 at the second. About half are from the immediate area (Eastern and Leslie) the rest are from this or neighbouring wards. Most of these people attended the public meeting you hosted with the planners. I was asked to summarize the two meetings held at the Health Centre.

In general, any support for the Eastern Avenue bike lanes was heavily qualified. There was unanimous support for a study of Leslie Street bike lanes. Safety is the overriding concern.

Eastern Avenue:

The group feels that Eastern would make a good commuter route from the east into downtown - connecting over the Don and into either Adelaide/Richmond or the Esplanade to Union Station (as proposed by West Don Lands groups). Coming from the west it should connect over Leslie Street at least to the proposed Knox Avenue connection.

Without these connections cyclists are unlikely to use the proposed bike lanes. If they do, cyclists should not be dumped at Leslie without any further protection. This is the dangerous intersection where Isaac Morkel was killed recently by a truck making an illegal left-turn. Routing cyclists through Price Chopper parking is dangerous. Without some commitments to the bigger picture connections, support for Eastern bike lanes is divided at best.

Toronto Transportation studies indicate that congestion is growing and that most downtown roads will, by 2011 become “grid-locked” regardless of future uses on Eastern Ave. At present there appears to be road capacity for bike lanes on Leslie. There is some concern that Eastern Avenue bike lanes will push peak hour car commuters onto Leslie making Leslie bike lanes more of a challenge. So measures will need to be put in place to encourage cars to re-route prior to hitting Leslie.

Leslie Street:

Leslie between Eastern and Lakeshore has become a destination. Loblaws, Price Chopper, Tim Hortons and Canadian Tire form a big-box format retail area oriented solely to cars. However over 40% of Toronto households don’t have access to a car and South Riverdale is no exception. Over time, smaller greengrocers on Queen St. have disappeared forcing non-drivers to walk or bike to this new retail destination. In addition, Leslie south of Lakeshore Blvd. is now a major attraction for walkers and cyclists including children who are seeking out the Martin Goodman Recreation trail and the Leslie Spit.

Unfortunately walking or cycling to these destinations is extremely unpleasant and dangerous. At least one person has died attempting to bike to Loblaws and many others have come forward to report injuries and “near misses” while traveling by bike or on foot along Leslie especially south of Eastern ave. Leslie has become a car-dominated “waste land” hostile to cyclists and pedestrians. “Intersections” have been artificially created at driveway entries with inconsistent paving, missing curb cuts and no safe pedestrian route to the existing stores.

On behalf of the group, we look forward to working with you, Deputy Mayor Bussin, staff and the wider community to re-integrate Leslie into the surrounding neighbourhood with bike lanes, wheel-chair accessible entrances and other “off-the-shelf” solutions familiar to urban design and transportation staff.

Other issues:

The group was pleased to learn of the bike lanes proposed for the Dundas E. bridge over the Don River and look forward to their installation.

We thank you for supporting cyclists and pedestrians with transportation infrastructure and look forward to a meeting to discuss next steps.

Yours truly,
Paul Young, health promoter, South Riverdale Community Health Centre
(416) 461-1925 ext. 241

I am very excited about all of this information, but especially the last bit about extending the Dundas East Bikelanes over the Don... that bridge needs them desperately, and would make a great connection to the River St. Bikelanes (of which the Shuter lanes start at a little bit south). It would be cool to see them extended all the way to link up with the Sherbourne north-south lane too. Maybe that's just dreaming...

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

From the City of Toronto:
Councillor Fletcher's office has requested that the Toronto cyclist community be kept informed of upcoming construction work on Dundas Street. The Dundas streetcar tracks are being reconstructed from Broadview Avenue in the east to Howard Park in the west, including the DVP and Sorauren Bridges. For safety reasons, cyclists are encouraged to dismount and walk on the sidewalks within each of the construction zones.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to write (dundastracks@toronto.ca) or call 416-392-6900.

There's a couple places on the City/TTC website that outline some of the construction schedules for you:
The 2nd PDF shows a couple stages of streetcar diversion - so it's my favourite.

They re-did my streetcar line of choice (the 506 College) a couple years ago, and the streetcar diversions were making my commute to work so lengthy that I tried cycling... and the rest, as they say, is history. :)

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Seniors Killed At Crosswalk

Elderly couple killed by pickup

Woman Critically Hurt In 2-Car Crash

Woman injured in downtown crash

Pole felled in crash kills pedestrian

Senior Seriously Hurt In Bus Accident

Senior Hit By Bus Succumbs To Injuries

Woman Killed In Brampton Accident

One dead and four injured after two crashes on 401


Related:

Drivers beware: Blitzes give way to non-stop traffic watch

"Last year, 444 people were killed in collisions on OPP-patrolled roads..." said OPP commissioner Julian Fantino... "Traffic accidents on Ontario roads are responsible for six times the number of deaths as homicides in the province."

About Toronto's Weekly Carnage:
Toronto's Weekly Carnage is inspired by NYC's Streetsblog Weekly Carnage feature. The aim of this series of posts is to bring attention to the death and destruction wrought by automobiles and an auto-centric culture. Pursuing policies promoting walking, cycling and public transit could help reduce the carnage.

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 15, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Inside Toronto put out a great little article last week about the City's budget, and put a lot of focus on the $3 million (rather than the $6 million promised) in the 2007 budget for bicycle infrastructure.

There has been a lot of hue and cry about the misguided and uneducated comments by Rob Ford about cyclists always being at fault in car-bike accidents, and this has perhaps overshadowed comments about bikelanes made by other councillors. Thankfully, Inside Toronto included some of these, starting with Ford's:

"Roads are built for buses, cars and trucks, not for people on bikes. It's their own fault at the end of the day if they get hit. You shouldn't be in the middle of traffic riding your bike. If you want to ride your bike you've got beautiful parks. That's where you should ride your bike."

Rob Ford

(Ford's comments drew fire from several of his colleagues... Giorgio Mammoliti pointed out that Ford had previously opposed spending any money on a bike path linking the northwest of the city with the downtown.)


"Instead of my car being in front of Councillor Ford's car at a stoplight, or me turning left to pick up something at the variety store, my bike zooms along the side of the road and he can zoom past me," he said. "If we can get 50 to 60,000 people onto bikes, not only does it protect themselves and their families to have a cleaner, softer option to get to work, they help every single person who's in a car."
Glenn De Baeremaeker



"If I thought for one minute, hundreds of thousands of people would start using their bicycles, I would be supportive, because people would be encouraged to get out of their cars," he said. "But that hasn't happened along Cosburn. So we're in a situation where there's an impression that as far as the public is concerned we're doing something for the greening of Toronto when in fact the experience has been that along Cosburn all we're doing is creating greater waiting times at major intersections. So it's fundamentally dishonest."
Case Ootes


Labels: , ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 15, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Great news from the UofT Bikechain:

They received enough "yes" votes on the student referendum so the 25-cent tuition surcharge will go through and provide the BikeChain with some stable funding. That is the good news.

The bad news is that this funding does not include this summer... the current funding ends at the end of the school year (late April), not to start up again until September.

BikeChain staff are frantically trying to figure out a way to stay open this summer (even on limited hours) with little success... they need ideas and/or help and/or a rich benefactor.

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated ... you can leave your ideas in the comments to this post, or email me or Jenny Greenop directly at the BikeChain.

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

A great article appeared last week in the Star about UofT's BikeChain, and more specifically about the 25-cent referendum for UofT students. The purpose of the referendum was to establish some sort of stable funding for the BikeChain - so that it would transcend from being just a student service (which usually lasts about 4 years) to something more long-term.

"BikeChain began two years ago as an idea from the sustainability office, which deals with environmental concerns. It has been well-received on campus and offers a number of services, including seminars and hands-on bike maintenance and repairs. The service was initially funded from the sustainability office, but that funding has run out."
There is also plans to open up BikeChain Membership to the General Public, for annual fees of between $20 and $60.

"I think biking around the city is good for the environment," said Katherine Lei, a 20-year-old who is studying the environment and resource management. "BikeChain provides all these services and it will encourage students to bike more and pursue a more sustainable way of living ... We're borrowing our planet from our children."

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Late notice on this, but if you can make it to York this afternoon, it should prove to be an interesting discussion about promoting cycling around the Keele & Steeles campus... that part of the city definitely needs cycling advocates to speak up!

"
Bike to York will be meeting at 4:30 pm on Wednesday March 14th in Room 105, HNES (Health, Nursing and Environmental Studies Building).

On the agenda wil be: info on what is going on already; planning for a bike tune-up event before the end of this winter term; and long term goals, such as gaining club status."

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

This week at BikeChain...

Don't miss the episode you have all been waiting for...
Bottom Brackets, and the flat fix of doom!
Show opener: We're going to teach you how to fix a flat yourself, because people will respect you more.
On the main stage: The bottom bracket overhaul. Drop some sweet shop terminology at your next box social, or sock-hop!
With special guest, Robin "You might remember me from single speed conversion, wheel building and headsets" Hamill.
There will be laughs, tears, and if you are good you might even learn something about the central mechanism of the modern bicycle.
This Thursday March 15 from 6-8, ONLY @ Bike Chain!
Be there or have a good excuse, sucka!
Bikechain
33 St George (at College, across from the UofT bookstore)
[ MAP ]
International Student Centre
Thursday March 15
6-8pm

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 12, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Rob Ford is getting another 15 minutes of infamy.

After making more stupid comments (it's a habit of his) about how he thinks that a cyclist is at fault if they get hit by a car, he's been featured in very widely read blogs such as BoingBoing and TreeHugger, as well as countless cycling blogs around the internet.

A lot of people have posted links to his contact information, so I will too... he's an elected official, after all.

I'm personally demanding an apology and for him to announce that bikes are legal vehicles and deserve respect and space on our roadways.


Rob Ford
Phone: 416-397-9255
Fax: 416-397-9238
Constituency Office: 416-233-6934
councillor_ford@toronto.ca
Ward map

Executive Assistant
Andrew Pask
416-397-9255
apask@toronto.ca
Administrative Assistant
Amanda Maternicki
416-397-9255
amatern@toronto.ca

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 12, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 12, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

It seems as though drivers (not) sharing Gerrard Street with me this morning have taken Rob Ford's hate speech seriously.

I lost count of the number of cars who sped by me with a couple inches to spare, scaring the hell out of me and resolving me to work even harder on the "mission statement" I've posted.

The buzzing is bad enough (especially since the other lane was clear for them to have moved over)... but I also went through two occasions on a 20-minute ride where a pickup truck changed lanes into me, forcing me to almost hit the curb and brake hard.

The only way that these pickup-driving rednecks could've missed the fact that I was on the road was if they had their eyes closed. The only other explanation is that they were dropped on their heads (repeatedly) as children, and were under the impression that it was okay to kill a cyclist. They pulled up beside me, straddling the two lanes of Gerrard, and moved quickly to the right.

People wonder why some cyclists always seem to be full of rage and indignation at car drivers. It's because some of them actively try to kill us.

My serenity wrecked, I rode the middle of the curb lane the rest of the way to work, a symbolic "come on, I dare ya!" to the drivers behind me.

The behaviour of the drivers in this city is only going to make me work harder to make this city as difficult to drive in as possible. You can't expect to keep on destroying a city I love and repeatedly try to kill me and expect me to lay down and take it.

Want to help? Take part, add to, and spread the word about BikeFriday.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 12, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I'm posting an email (with his permission) here from Adam Mohammed, an Environmental Studies student at YorkU who is helping co-ordinate the new "Bike to York" initiative - to be a "group representing students, faculty, and staff who consider bicycles to be viable forms of transport around the city, and to/around campus."

There is a meeting tentatively planned for this Wednesday, the 14th - I'll post more info about this as soon as I know if the meeting is going ahead.




To prime everyone on what is going on - this group has been initiated as a class project by four Environmental Studies students. We are taking a lobby-based action against the City of Toronto asking for more funding for bicycle infrastructure. The city in 2001 created a "Master Bike Plan," aiming to build more than 400 km of lanes and paths in Toronto over a 10-year period at an cost of $72-million. In the 6 years since, Toronto has had only about 60 km of those lanes built, and city councillors have repeatedly vowed to approve more spending, yet have not followed through. The "Budget Committee" is formed by 7 council members who propose spending for the city every year - - each of the seven current members made an election promise in November to increase this year's spending for bike lanes to $6.2 million, from $3-million in 2006. Their suggestion in November amounted, however, to only $3-million - - and city council the other day finalized the budget spending at $3.7. See http://biketoronto.ca/ and http://www.torontocat.ca/ for more information.

One barrier for the city deciding not to spend money is a lack of public demand. While there are many cyclists in Toronto and many advocacy groups, there is always room for more action: hence Bike to York can be another voice with it's own niche - - York U being a place on the urban periphery where cycling is not seen by most people as a viable form of transport. Yet, we each know that biking is a great way of getting around, and plenty of people do bike to York (just how many do is something worth trying to find out - a potential initiative to undertake). If there is an organized voice calling for more municipal infrastructure, then we may see bike routes approaching York U in the near future.

As for on campus - it would be productive if there existed a group representing students, faculty, and staff who consider bicycles to be viable forms of transport around the city, and to/around campus.

An organization can fill roles of education (hosting workshops on on-road safety, winter cycling, bike repair, public policy, and so on), outreach (educating the public by handing out maps, speaking with people), networking (introducing cyclists and allies to each other), lobbying (influencing municipal politics and the campus administration).

The preliminary members of Bike to York as a class project have already allied with North Toronto-Vaughn Smart Commute, an organization working for transit solutions including cycling, with the Toronto Coalition of Active Transportation and other bicycle advocacy groups, and with the newly initiated "York Environmental Sustainability Council," made up of executives including the the Campus Planner, looking for suggestions on campus sustainability.

So there are already routes we can take for influencing administrative decisions. If "Bike to York" could establish itself as a registered student club [which requires 15 students; and which would not preclude faculty from joining in any meaningful sense], we could have request a space for a permanent bike repair workshop, could try and get better/safer parking facilities, and could commit to educating the wider public about the benefits of cycling.


At the March 2nd meeting, it was suggested Bike to York plan and commit to running a Bicycle Spring Tune-Up at the end of March - and event to get people on their bikes by offering minor repairs, and to have bikes be a visible part of campus.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Sunday, March 11, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Two wheels good, Four legs also good. Horse poop bad.


Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Saturday, March 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

There was a great article in NOW magazine last week about the seemingly gemini-esque features of the Mayor and City Council.

Despite professions of wanting to be a "green" city, cycling in Toronto has been virtually ignored, despite being by far the cheapest mode of transportation to promote (the infrastructure is cheap, no vehicles to buy, etc.) and promotes health among Torontonians:

The city's bike plan calls for 484 kilometres of bike lanes in a 2,074K overall network, including parks and shared lanes. Currently, there are 68.6K of bike lanes. Last year, 5.6K were "installed".

A staff report last year made clear the reasons for delay: no funding, no planning staff, no political support. It called for the bike lane budget to be doubled, to $6 million.

Last week, the budget committee recommended and the executive committee signed off on the status quo: $3 million in capital funding. Enough for just over 25 kilometres.

Makes you wonder why the members of the budget committee and the mayor publicly supported a $6 million budget in last year's election survey by the Toronto Coalition for Active Transport (TCAT).



Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Saturday, March 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Winter Bike


Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Saturday, March 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Join fellow cyclists tomorrow (Sunday, March 11th) along Bloor-Danforth for a group ride in support of the TaketheTooker bikelane.
We will be meeting at Bloor and Bay at 11:45 AM and riding our bikes down to city hall. Everyone is welcome to join. We will also be having a Take The Tooker group ride in to meet at Bloor and Bay. For all who are interested, here is the schedule:
Kennedy Station 10:30
Pharmacy 10:55
Greenwood 11:15
Chester@Grassroots 11:30
Sherbourne St 11:40
Kipling Station 10:30
Durie 10:55
Dufferin 11:20
Spadina 11:30
ROM 11:40

Anyone who is on the group ride should meet up at Bay at the appropriate time, if the schedules work out as planned.


After the ride, cyclists will head down to City Hall for the Toronto Rally of Canadians for Kyoto:
On Sunday March 11, 2007 at 12pm people across the country will unite and rally for Canada's recommitment to the Kyoto Protocol. The rally will feature a wide range of speakers from environmental organizations, green businesses, and the government. Musicians, entertainers, writers, and journalists will share their thoughts and concerns regarding Canada's failing environmental record and inspire Canada to be a world leader in environmental policy.

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Saturday, March 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Just a quick post about the site:

1) It seems that Internet Explorer users were getting an error message when trying to click a link on this page - specifically, one that said "overflow at stack 54". I did some research and apparently it's something to do with the "backlinks" that Blogger uses. Anyways, I tweaked the code, and it doesn't happen on my computer using Internet Explorer anymore. Please let me know in the comments if it's still happening to you. I'll also recommend the Mozilla Firefox browser to you as well - after using it for a couple years, I can't use IE at all anymore. Everything is better with it, and no annoying "stack overflow" bugs.

2) You may notice some changes to the design of this page soon too... I'm constantly trying to make this site very information rich without making it look too cluttered (yeah, it's pretty cluttery... and yeah, "cluttery" is a word...), so I'll be trying some stuff out to make it easier to access older BikingToronto posts and such.

Hope you are all having a great weekend,

Joe.

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 09, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Dedication


Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 09, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Ah, I kind of pity Rob Ford. He's way out in Etobicoke-land... his braincells always under assault by carcinogen-laced car and truck exhaust...

From the Star, and picked up by BlogTO:
"I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day."

-Rob Ford, Toronto City Councilor

I'd like to invite Rob to check out archive of Toronto's Weekly Carnage - it's not just cyclists in there... most of it is other people in cars dying, and pedestrians dying. Using your logic it's their fault they were killed because they were in a car, or going for a walk.

And for the record, roads have been around for FAR longer than cars have been. Thousands of years longer... the Roman Empire had a fantastic road system, and not one car! Not even a moped!

Even here in Toronto, roads pre-date cars.

Labels: , , ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 09, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Pedestrian struck by car in midtown

SUV driver killed in head-on crash

Hwy. 404 reopened after crash

Rollover On QEW

Two dead in tragic roadside accident

Short-lived reopening for Highway 400 south

One Killed In Gardiner Crash

One killed, three hurt at accident scene

Whiteouts trigger 75-vehicle pileup

Highway to reopen after pileup chaos near Barrie

Accidents close Highway 400

30-car pileup north of Toronto: 'Absolute carnage'

2 officers injured in car crash

Man in downtown crash last week dies

Woman struck by car after leaving bingo hall


About Toronto's Weekly Carnage:
Toronto's Weekly Carnage is inspired by NYC's Streetsblog Weekly Carnage feature. The aim of this series of posts is to bring attention to the death and destruction wrought by automobiles and an auto-centric culture. Pursuing policies promoting walking, cycling and public transit could help reduce the carnage


Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 08, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Just following up from my post from yesterday...

I wondered if the 320 new low-floor accessible buses the TTC was scheduled to receive delivery of in 2007 would have bikeracks installed on the front, making it much more practical for Torontonians to combine cycling and the TTC on a trip through the city. When the Rack it and Rocket program was saved back in September 2006, it was expanded so that bikeracks would be standard equipment on all new TTC buses.

Councillor Joe Mihevc, who I cc'd on the email to Adam Giambrone, got back to me first thing this morning with the good news... there will be 320 new buses on Toronto streets this year, and ALL of them will have bikeracks!

Thanks for the quick reply Joe. Cyclists around Toronto will love this news.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 08, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Snowy Street in the "South Annex"


Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 08, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

If you're a University of Toronto student the Bikechain needs your help.

They are holding a referendum right now to try and get a 25-cent student tuition surcharge approved so that the program can keep going.

Please get out and vote, and get your friends out to vote too. The referendum is being held March 7-9 (that’s yesterday, today and tomorrow) as part of the U of T student union elections. Students can vote at the following locations: Sydney Smith, Old Victoria College, Gerstein Library, Woodsworth College, Bahen Centre, and University of Toronto at Missassauga North and South Buildings.

I'd gladly donate a quarter to the cause... multiple quarters even!

(via the Spacing Wire)

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

So, this afternoon I got curious about if there were indeed going to be bikeracks on all the new buses the TTC is getting, as I posted on BikingToronto back in September 2006:
The great news is that the following three proposals were passed:
1) Adopt as a policy principle that bike racks be included on all buses
and a report be made for putting them on street-cars.
2) All new buses have bike racks.
3) Staff report back on retro-fitting existing buses.
Since I hadn't heard "boo" (as the kids say) about it, but see that the TTC's employee newsletter, the Coupler is reporting that the TTC is getting 320 brand-new "low-floor" buses in 2007. These in theory should all have bikeracks... I couldn't figure out who to contact about it, so I emailed Adam Giambrone, former head of the Toronto Cycling Committee, and now head of the TTC.

I'll let you know if I hear anything - 320 extra buses with bikeracks will do wonders for "intermodal" transportation in Toronto. Let's hope it happens.

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Relaxing at the Don Valley Brickworks

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Bikers on Bloor during Nuit Blanche


Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Tuesday, March 06, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Some days, there is nothing more infuriating than a car or truck parked in your bikelane. You have to get around it somehow, and often have to merge into potentially dangerous car traffic when you're supposed to have a safe route in the bikelane.

MyBikeLane.com is a website that started in New York City, and it allows for the anonymous (if you want) submission of photos of cars parked in the bikelane (viewing the NYC pages, it's cool to see how the most frequent offending license plates are tracked...) to bring attention to the fact that bikelanes are for bikes, not for parking.

The site has proven so popular that they've expanded it to include lots of other American cities, plus now it has Toronto!! ( along with Montreal and Vancouver)

I think the Toronto section just got started, only two people have officially signed up as Toronto members so far (myself and Vic)... but I'm sure that number will grow.

I'm going to have to start carrying around my camera more again. :)


(thanks to TakeTheTooker for the heads-up on this)

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 05, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Red Jacket (at the Don Valley Brickworks)


Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 05, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, March 7:

UofT BikeChain Movie - PEDAL

"Best-selling author Peter Sutherland’s newest title, Pedal, is a wild ride alongside a band of New York City’s most feared and respected inhabitants: bike messengers. In a book of photographs and a documentary on DVD, Sutherland follows the frenetic trips and lives of the cyclists who live by their own rules of the road." [link]
Creating a bike lane on Leslie Street
...this is a crucial–and missing–linkage in the city’s bikeplan, connectiing the Jones Ave and Dundas E. bike lanes, and the residential neighbourhoods north of the lake, with the Leslie St spit, the martin goodman, and the lakeshore bikepath. the situation on Leslie is going to get worse with the impending opening of a big box Canadian Tire store on Lakeshore blvd and the recent sale of property at eastern and Leslie to Walmart...

Thursday, March 8:

BikeChain Workshop - Headset Overhauls



Have I missed something, let me know in the comments. :)

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Monday, March 05, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

(Cross-posted to the BikeFriday Blog)

The cool SmartCommute organization is getting in on the BikeFriday fun!



While SmartCommute NorthToronto-Vaughan is working with student groups at YorkU to create some great BikeFriday events, SmartCommute Missaussaga is promoting BikeFriday on their site (scroll down a little), encouraging people to Bike Commute to work together:
"Smart Commute Mississauga is encouraging all cyclists to participate in the Bike Friday campaign by riding to work on the last Friday of each month. Interested in organizing a group ride or event? Contact Smart Commute Mississauga and we will post the details of your event on this page."

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Sunday, March 04, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Swift

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Saturday, March 03, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Bearded Biker

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 02, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

(cross-posted to the BikeFriday page... and if you guys knew how many people I've sent this message to via email over the last couple of days, you'd think I was crazy... and you'd be right. haha.)

BikeFriday is an initiative to promote bike events happening in Toronto on the last friday of every month, with the aim of turning that day into a de facto “Bike Day” that happens once a month.

Citizens, politicians and businesses in Toronto all want our air to be cleaner, or streets to be less congested, and our kids to be healthier… and a good way to help achieve these goals is to promote the bicycle as a way of making short trips around the city.

Please consider running or taking part in a BikeFriday bike event to help promote regular and every bicycle use in our city. This can include anything at all … as long as it’s bike-related. Some ideas include bike maintenance workshops, a free coffee / breakfast treat location for bike-commuters, group commutes, recreational group rides, discounts for cyclists in stores, etc.

f you have any questions or comments, of just want to let us know about an event so we can promote it, please don’t hesitate to contact me at joe@bikingtoronto.com

Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 02, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Rain in Toronto

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Friday, March 02, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


EMS Worker Killed In Crash

Man in downtown crash last week dies

Woman struck by car after leaving bingo hall

Bus driver hailed as hero

Whitby man succumbs to accident injuries

Driver survives 401 rollover

Slow-moving train crash puzzles police

TTC Hero Helps Rescue Women From Overturned Car In Creek


Related:

Over In An Emergency

Ontario drivers told to 'move over' at sound of sirens


About Toronto's Weekly Carnage:
Toronto's Weekly Carnage is inspired by NYC's Streetsblog Weekly Carnage feature. The aim of this series of posts is to bring attention to the death and destruction wrought by automobiles and an auto-centric culture. Pursuing policies promoting walking, cycling and public transit could help reduce the carnage


Labels:



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 01, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Another Day

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


posted by Joe on Thursday, March 01, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Eco-Art Groups at York University is putting up a Ghost bike at the
corner of Keele and Finch, in honour of Bianca Gogel, the 16 year-old that
was killed by a turning truck.

We ask you to come on out this Friday, March 2nd, HNES building at York at 11:00 AM.

The aim is to avdocate clean air and bike safety up at Keele and Finch
and Toronto in general.

For more information, contact:

Geoffrey Bercarich
York Environmental Studies
(416) 546-8612

(Thanks to Matt Blackett of Spacing for the heads-up on this)

Labels: ,



Discuss this topic and a lot more on the BikingToronto Forum


On The Blog




  • Every friday, BikingToronto takes all the bike news and sends it to your inbox.






    Advertise on the GreenLiving Network
    Advertise on BikingToronto

    Get a Weekly Events Email every Monday


    Advertise on BikingToronto



    Advertise on BikingToronto



    Advertise on BikingToronto