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



posted by Joe on Friday, August 31, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I missed posting my regular "Morning Crank" round-up of interesting news and links, so here's a nice afternoon edition for you. :)

Toronto mulls tax on 'big box' retailers, gas stations

Toronto city hall is considering an idea of forcing some businesses — including so-called big-box retailers and gas stations — to pay higher property taxes because they encourage car culture.

CityNews: Councillor Wants Ban On Rush Hour Delivery Trucks

Similar restrictions are in place for New York and London and Walker wants City Hall to approve the same ban for a one-year trial period.

The Better Way to School

Did anyone else get the feeling this morning that it's the calm before the storm? This was our final weekday of commuting before the streets are packed with post-Labour Day cars.

A Better TTC Survey

Our reinvented survey has two pages: the first features the same questions as the TTC's own survey, though they have all been tweaked; and the second page features a handful of questions that the TTC left off of its survey altogether. We've assembled it with the help of transit advocates Steve Munro and Joe Clark, as well as Torontoist staffers Chris Tindal, Jonathan Goldsbie, and Val Dodge. The survey is entirely anonymous, and all twenty-seven questions are optional. All told, completing it should take less than five minutes.

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 31, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Island Quadracycle

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 31, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

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.

Seven Year Old Girl on Bike Dies After Being Hit by Car in Scarborough

A seven-year-old girl has been killed after being struck by a van while riding her bicycle in a designated crosswalk.

Single-Vehicle Crash In Mississauga

One person was taken to hospital Wednesday night after a single-vehicle crash on Hurontario just south of Dundas in Mississauga.

A man is dead and a woman seriously injured following a three-vehicle crash on eastbound Highway 403 just west of Ford Dr. near the Ford plant, in Oakville.

Man dies after crash at Yonge, Finch

One man has died following a four-vehicle collision in north Toronto this morning.

Traffic Backed Up On 403 After Big Crash

Authorities say one person died and another was seriously hurt when a car and van collided as they were heading eastbound on Highway 403 at Ford Drive exit at 7:30am.

Man Killed In Five Vehicle Crash

Two vehicles apparently collided in the northbound lanes near Campbellville Road just after 7pm, where two lanes reportedly merge into one. After hitting each other they flew into the opposite lane, striking two cars before bursting into flames in the dit

Man Dies After Accident

The collision happened at Yonge and Bishop near Finch. After the crash the man began having breathing trouble and died on scene.

Two Killed, Three others injured in 2 vehicle crash

Horrified witnesses told The Lindsay Post at the scene that they had seen the car speed through a stop sign without slowing.

Two Men In Hospital After Truck Rollover On QEW

Two men are in hospital after they were thrown from a pickup truck when it rolled over on the QEW in Niagara Falls. One has life-threatening injuries and the other is expected to recover.

Multi-Vehicle Crash Causes Gas Leak On Eastern Ave.

A three-vehicle accident Sunday night in the east end sparked a hurried effort from rescue and cleanup crews and a brief neighbourhood evacuation when a van crashed into a house on Eastern Avenue near Leslie and severed a gas line on the lawn.

Mother and infant killed in crash

A Hamilton mother and her two-month old baby are dead following a crash just south of Brantford. Two other children from the same vehicle are in critical condition at a Hamilton hospital and a man driving their van is in stable condition.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

This is the 1000th post on BikingToronto. Can you believe it?

It took 18 months for me to do, but here it is... 1000 posts later. Wow.

If you've only started reading BikingToronto recently (or this is your first time), you may want to explore the archives a bit... here's some links to make it a little easier for you.

Most of the posts on BikingToronto are categorized into the following:
As well, here are the 10 most popular posts from 2007 (so far):
  1. 8 Secrets to Cycling with Traffic (Complete Series)
  2. You Light Up My Bike
  3. Photo of the Day: Jan. 17th, 2007
  4. Do Helmets Equal Safety?
  5. Cyclist Assault Update - The Driver is a Cop
  6. Dead Cyclists Always at Fault, Says Councillor Rob Ford
  7. The Mission Statement
  8. Students Accidentally Capture Cyclist Assault on Tape
  9. Less Cars on Yonge Street and King Street
  10. Two Cyclists Died in Toronto Yesterday

Happy Reading... I'm sure we'll be at 2000 before we know it. :)

Happy Biking,

Joe.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Yes, it's here again. Here's a quick rundown of what is going on.

BikePools! Commute together for safety and fun:
Complete details on the BikeFriday site.


7:00 AM - Parliament & Carlton
dcurtis@careerfoundation.org

7:30 AM - Yonge & Major Mackenzie
andrew@monkeymartian.com

7:30 AM - Bloor & HighPark (Westbound)
vic@gedris.org

8:00 AM - Bloor & HighPark (Eastbound)
himartino@gmail.com

8:00 AM - Danforth & Woodbine
joe@bikingtoronto.com

8:00 AM - Yonge & Lawrence
dazjenx@gmail.com

8:45 AM - Roncesvalles & Grenadier (Alternative Grounds)
tammy.thorne@utoronto.ca

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


Events:

8 - 9:30 AM: Grassroot's Bikers Breakfast
Free Coffee and Treats for Cyclists at 408 Bloor West

8 - 9:30 AM: Alternative Grounds' Coffee for Cyclists
Free in-store coffee for anyone with a bike helmet at 333 Roncesvalles

6 - 8 PM: Critical Mass
Join hundreds of other cyclists for a fun social ride around downtown Toronto.
Southeast corner of Bloor & Spadina

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Not all people on bikes are nice and friendly and healthy and non-polluting. Keep an eye out for this cyclist and we can help make sure he doesn't violate anyone again:

Cops say that between July and August, four women were approached by a man riding a bike, who then grabbed them inappropriately as he rode by. The assaults happened on side streets branching off Bloor Street West, between Bathurst Street and Lansdowne Avenue.

The alleged cyclist assaulter is described as:

  • White,
  • Spanish accent,
  • 20-30,
  • 5'4" - 5'10",
  • Muscular build,
  • Dark brown hair.

On two occasions, he was accompanied by a second cyclist who didn't take part in any of the assaults. If you know who he is, pedal over to a phone. Call (416) 808-1404 if you have a name they need.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Bicycle Aerobics

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Morning news links for you:


City destroys natural front garden (Spacing Wire)

To me, this bylaw is deeply misguided. In an era in which we are ever more aware of environmental issues, why would we insist on lawns that require intense watering and regular cutting with usually energy-sucking and carbon-dioxide-emitting mowers? This is the kind of bylaw we need to rethink if we are going to change ourselves into a truly green city.

By the numbers — our sustainable city (Spacing Wire)

Thought the big city was all smog and traffic jams and pavement? As it turns out, Toronto is Ontario’s most sustainable municipality, according to a recent study by the Pembina Institute.

Bikers hitting bollards at the Boulevard Club (Toronto Star)

Metal poles installed on either side of a laneway that crosses the Martin Goodman Trail were meant to reduce collisions between vehicles and people on bicycles, but cyclists are now smashing into the poles.

Trashing the bike lane (Dodgeville)

whoever puts the bins out for this apartment building apparently thinks that the solid white line on the road is to keep traffic away from his garbage.

Seven-Year-Old Girl on Bike Dies After Being Hit By Car In Scarborough

Tragedy in Scarborough. It makes me sick with sympathy for her family to write about it, so here's links to a bunch of news articles about it.

Outlawned: City Destroys Wild Garden (Reading Toronto)

By hacking down Deborah Dale's garden because it consists of plants 'out of place' the City has revealed not only its aesthetic distaste for the unkempt but a deeper distrust of anything unruly. In this sense Toronto's 'clean and beautiful city' becomes a prescription not only for appearance but behaviour as well. How far this extends -- to citizens, perhaps, who have a tendency to roil noisily in the streets -- one can only guess.

Biking for breast cancer (DurhamRegion.com)

Stacy Chafe said she just wanted to do something to help others affected by breast cancer when she rode her mountain bike from Scarborough to Whitby to raise money for research recently.

The TTC wants your input (Spacing Wire)

Torontoist commenters have pointed out that when the survey asks what you would do if fares were increased or routes were cut, walking and biking aren’t presented as options.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 30, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Tragedy in Scarborough. It makes me sick with sympathy for her family to write about it, so here's links to a bunch of news articles about it:

Driver who hit 7-year-old was going just 20 km/h
The driver who struck 7-year-old Victoria Jones on a quiet east-end street this week was going half the speed limit and wasn't talking on his cellphone ...
Girl dies after being run down in crosswalk
A seven-year-old girl has been killed after being struck by a van while riding her bicycle in a designated crosswalk. Police say a 41-year-old man allegedly ...
7-year-old girl dies after being struck by a truck
A 7-year-old girl on her bicycle was struck and killed by a construction truck in a quiet east Toronto neighbourhood yesterday afternoon. ...
Cyclist, 7, dead after being struck by van
A seven-year-old girl is dead after she was struck by a van while riding her bike yesterday. Toronto police say a 41-year-old man was driving along Bay ...
Girl, 7, fatally struck by car in northeast end
A girl was killed today after being struck by a vehicle in the city’s north-east end. The 7-year-old was hit around noon while crossing in front of 200 Bay ...
'She died with the family all together'
The cluster of flowers and stuffed animals grew yesterday at the crosswalk where Victoria Anne Hazel Jones died in her mother's arms as her ...
Girl, 7, dies after being struck by vehicle
A seven-year-old girl was killed Tuesday afternoon after being struck by a van while riding her bicycle in the Warden and Sheppard avenues area. ...
Girl, 7, dies after being struck at crosswalk
Toronto police are investigating after a seven-year-old girl was killed at a crosswalk in the city's east end in front of her brother. ...
TO girl, 7, fatally hit by van
A seven-year-old girl has died from her injuries after being struck by a car in Scarborough on Tuesday afternoon. The girl was riding her bike ...
Eight-Year-Old Girl Critical After Being Hit By A Car In Scarborough
An eight-year-old girl was rushed to hospital without any vital signs Tuesday afternoon after being hit by a car on Bay Mills Boulevard, near Warden and ...
'Very tragic end to summer'
The cluster of flowers and stuffed animals grew Wednesday at the crosswalk where Victoria Anne Hazel Jones died in her mother's ...
'Special young lady' killed at crosswalk
Megan Pettit, left, looks on as tributes to her daughter Victoria Jones, 7, are laid at a memorial on Bay Mills Boulevard on Wednesday morning. ...

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Legs and Wheels

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

While I have a personal account on the website-du-jour facebook, I thought it was about time I started a BikingToronto account on there. "Friend" me if you enjoy this website.

Already, a few local politicians have made friends with BikingToronto... you can too.

I also went ahead and started a BikingToronto group on there. It'll be fun. :)

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I won't be posting tomorrow (Wed) as I'll be offline for the day. I'm doing some R&R as it's my birthday. :) Here then is something that's happening tomorrow night you may be interested in.

See you thursday,

Joe.




Flat fix and tune-up course @ CBN

7:00pm- 9:00pm

The Community Bicycle Network introduces mechanic classes for beginners. The classes are taught by experienced mechanics and provide an intimate, focused, learning environment. Learning some basics about your bike saves you money in the long run when you can change your own tube or adjust your brakes.

Dates: Wednesday evenings from 7pm until 9pm, weekly, beginning August 15th
Cost: $30 (including any deposit)

  • Bring your own Bike (encouraged but not absolutely necessary)
  • Two hour class.
  • Maximum 6 people per class.
  • Minimum 3.

Please RSVP by sending an email to toolworks@communitybicyclenetwork.org with the subject "Bike Mechanic Class RSVP", or by phoning 416-504-2918 and leaving a message under "general inquiries" stating that you wish to RSVP for the Bike Mechanic Class with your name and number. Someone will return your email or call to confirm how to RSVP a spot (and how to pay a deposit). Those who provide a $10 non-refundable deposit will be given preference on the list.

The class consists of:

Flat Fix - hands-on segment:
- Participants will remove their own rear wheel and tire and go through a tube repair and installation.

A brief discussion of:
- Bike fit
- General safety issues (loose parts, damage, etc)
- Lubrication

Brakes - instructor demo/description:
- general concepts and adjustment
- safety!

Gears and drive train - instructor demo/description:
- general concepts and adjustment

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Great stuff happening in BikeFriday land :)

We've got all the crazy bikepools / group commutes happening (I'll list them below) all over Toronto (but you can add yours too, if you want), but here's a few events you'll want to check out:

Grassroot's Bikers Breakfast:
8:00 AM -
9:30 AM
Hop on your bike and find some two-wheeled solidarity this Friday among the folks at Grassroots-Annex (408 Bloor Street West, at Brunswick), for our monthly “Biker Breakfast” in support of Toronto's bicycle commuters.

Enjoy a delicious, wholesome breakfast snack donated by our friends at Organics on Bloor (468 Bloor St. W.) and Urban Herbivore (64 Oxford St.).

You can even bring your own coffee mug for extra-environmentally-friendly coffee drinking! :)

Alternative Grounds' Coffee for Cyclists:
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Show up at Alternative Grounds (333 Roncesvalles) with your bike helmet and score yourself a free in-store (not take-out) coffee.

Critical Mass
6:00 - 8:00 PM
THE biking event for cyclist who want to show other road users that bikes belong on the streets.

Join hundreds of other Toronto cyclists for a sometimes civil, sometimes hell-raising ride around downtown.

Meet up on the south-east corner of Bloor & Spadina at 6:00, ride at 6:30.

BikePools / Group Commutes
7:00 - 9:00 AM
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.

Drivers are a lot more careful around groups of cyclists. Riding in a group encourages novice cyclists to participate and makes cyclists more visible to motorists. Organized rides also show motorists that cycling is a viable alternative to driving.

If you already ride your bike to work, why not invite others to join you. Email joe@bikingtoronto.com to have your BikeFriday route posted on this website.

Bike-Commute in Mississauga?
Smart Commute Mississauga has Group Rides for you!

7:00 AM - Parliament & Carlton
to Victoria Park & Gordon Baker Road [map]
To join this ride, email David at
dcurtis@careerfoundation.org

7:30 AM - Yonge & Major Mackenzie
to Hwy 7 & Warden [map]
To join this ride, email Andrew at
andrew@monkeymartian.com

7:30 AM - Bloor & HighPark (Westbound)
to Mississauga City Centre [map]
To join this ride, email Vic at
vic@gedris.org

8:00 AM - Bloor & HighPark (Eastbound)
via Bloor to downtown [map]
To join this ride, email Martino at
himartino@gmail.com

8:00 AM - Danforth & Woodbine
via the Danforth & Bloor to downtown [map]
To join this ride, email Joe at
joe@bikingtoronto.com

8:00 AM - Yonge & Lawrence
to Hwy 7 & Leslie [map]
To join this ride, email Darren at
dazjenx@gmail.com

8:45 AM - Roncesvalles & Grenadier
(Alternative Grounds Coffee Shop, 333 Roncy)
to the University of Toronto [map]
To join this ride, email Tammy at
tammy.thorne@utoronto.ca

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

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


The Latest info from the Toronto Coalition for Active Transport:


1. Urban Scrawl: The hazards of cycling in the city – Unsafe drivers or unsafe cyclists debate unfolds in the Post

National Post readers, and especially readers of Spacing’s Wire, I Bike TO, or BikingToronto, will likely know all about the recent series of articles in the National Post (and in their "Posted Toronto" blog) detailing the risks (and risky behaviour) associated with cycling in Toronto.

  • First, a 16 year-old described her bike commute to work this summer, noting poor road quality and hostile motorists as a real hazard to riding in the city. You can find the article here
  • Next, motorists had their turn to respond, calling attention to the fact that many cyclists put themselves in danger by ignoring traffic laws and riding unsafely. You can find that article here
  • Finally, cyclists had their turn to respond, but for the most part agreed with motorists that there are too many riders out there giving cyclists a bad reputation as inconsiderate road users. This article can be found here

While TCAT recognizes that following mutual respect for road rules is essential for both motorists and cyclists, we were disappointed to see the discussion divert attention away from the other key hazards that cyclists (and pedestrians) face - namely from poorly designed and poorly maintained infrastructure, lack of funding to enforce safe driving behaviour and promote driver awareness of cyclists’ rights, and lack of support for education and promotion programs such as CAN-BIKE and the City’s Cycling Ambassadors.

In the coming days, TCAT may choose to respond formally to the Post’s series. If you have any additional ideas or points to make in this response, we would appreciate it if you shared them with us – send them to info@torontocat.ca.

2. Keeping cars out of the bike lane – Post and share Spacing’s poster

In synch with MyBikeLane.com’s anniversary, the Spacing Wire has ‘re-released’ their ‘Don’t park in my bike lane’ poster. TCAT thinks this is a clever way to bring attention to a serious problem in Toronto. It’s difficult enough to get road space dedicated to cyclists, they shouldn’t have to also deal with cars blocking these routes. Parking in bike lanes is dangerous for cyclists because it forces them out into traffic, often unexpectedly. This is an issue that can be at least partially solved through increased enforcement by police and driver education programs. Spacing’s poster helps with this second method. TCAT encourages you to share the poster with others and post it wherever you can – perhaps at your workplace.

Read the Spacing Wire post here

Download the poster here

3. Welcome Ontario Smart Growth Network – New group and over 50 individuals join TCAT’s growing list of supporters

It helps to be able to say how many individuals and groups support the work we do when we speak with City Councillors, City staff, and the media, or put out a publication. As part of our effort to grow the collective voice of TCAT, the Ontario Smart Growth Network has joined our list of supporters. Also, since July 2007, TCAT has added over 50 individuals to its list of supporters receiving TCAT News.

The TCAT Steering Committee welcomes OSGN and the many individuals to TCAT.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



I just found out about a great charity ride called the Ride for Karen, and want you all to know about it to:

Started in 2002, the RIDE FOR KAREN is a yearly cycling event that is held as a tribute to the life and legacy of Karen Tobias and to raise money for charities that help people living with cancer, and those who care for them. In the last five years the Ride for Karen has raised over $425,000, which was used to help build and furnish new cancer care facilities, provide much needed resources for cancer support centres and send kids with cancer to camp.

The 2007 Ride for Karen will feature two course lengths, a 25km course for intermediate cyclists and a 160km course for advanced riders.

The 25km course covers beautiful countryside and guarantees to provide participants great fun, good food and cool prizes, while supporting a very worthwhile cause.

Karen Tobias, a 53 year-old wife, mother, grandmother and registered nurse died on July 4, 2002 after a five-year battle with breast cancer.

During her five-year battle, the essence of Karen never faded away. Her fighting spirit, passion for life, family and concern for the well being of complete strangers never diminished. Karen Would Not Give Cancer an Inch. She spent her time providing hope and joy for all those around her. Her love was her family, especially her grandchildren, and she was blessed with three beautiful grandchildren during the last 2.5 years of her life. Even at the toughest of times, her smile, New York sense of humor and love of life was close to the surface.

The Ride for Karen is a way for Karen’s family and friends to keep her dream alive, to continue her mission of - Building Hope – one cancer patient, and family, at a time.


More details on the Ride for Karen website.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Your Daily Toronto News:


The TTC wants to hear from you (Toronto Star)

The transit authority is asking riders to tell it how they would get to work if their bus service got cut or fares increased between 10 and 25 cents.

There’s a new kind of bike infrastructure in town (Spacing Wire and Eye Weekly)

For those as out of the loop as I am, sharrows are bike symbols painted on streets that are not quite wide enough for bike lanes. They remind drivers that cyclists are part of the road and indicate the part of the road where cyclists can most safely travel. (“Share” + “arrows” = “sharrows”). Sharrows are also a relatively new thing — Vancouver has them on some of its streets, but Toronto doesn’t have any to boast of yet. Check out this website from Portland for a better, more detailed explanation of what sharrows are, exactly.

GTTA gives us somewhere to put our bikes (I Bike TO)

Over the weekend, the GTTA (yes, that's a real link to their website) announced a short term plan to improve transit use in Toronto and the surrounding area. The main features of the plan are additional train coaches, increased track capacity and new buses (including double deckers, which will be good, if not a little strange, to see here).

On the cycling front, the plan includes bike lockers throughout the GTA and racks on buses. The press release indicates the racks will be on municipal buses.

GTTA Board gives green light to seven inter-regional transit projects (Canada News Wire)

- Bicycle promotion initiatives, including 1,000 new safe/secure bike storage spaces and expansion of bike/bus rack programs.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Starbucks on College

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posted by Joe on Monday, August 27, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

How to deal with cars parked in bike lanes (Spacing Wire)

Cars parked in bike lanes is one of my greatest pet peeves in this city and I’m not sure if drivers understand the message it sends to cyclists. It says, “my convenience is much more important than your safety.”

It's time to start counting emissions like calories (Toronto Star)

Recently, protesters at Heathrow airport in England claimed that air travel is the foremost culprit in global warming. It's not. The biggest culprits are single drivers of big SUVs.

And total road transportation accounts for more than 52 per cent of all Canada's greenhouse gas emissions – far more than air travel.

A $100M plan to ease gridlock in 2 years or less (Toronto Star)

Durham Region Chair Roger Anderson noted that none of the recommendations extended into his region, and he disagreed with cycling initiatives.

"I understand the quick-win scenario, but if you've got $1.8 million to spend I think you can find something better to spend it on than bike racks," he said.

ROM plaza will bring Bloor St. new life (Toronto Star)

(No mention of bikelanes)

n fact, the Bloor Yorkville Business Improvement Area has long recognized the need to clean up the neighbourhood. Fully a decade ago, it hired Toronto architectural firm Brown and Storey to prepare a plan for the revitalization of Bloor.

The plan is to widen the sidewalks by 1.2 metres on both sides, which would create a more expansive pedestrian realm.

It also provides more space for trees, street furniture and state-of-the-art lighting.

Reinventing Roncesvalles (SteveMunro.ca)

It seems that Roncesvalles could become the St. Clair debate all over again…there just doesn’t ever seem to be much agreement between the City, the TTC, residents, and/or businesses, on what are the “optimal” cross-section treatments for streets with streetcars on them.

For example, St. Clair ended up giving away a lot of right-of-way space over to traffic, at the expense of sidewalks, in some areas. Is the St. Clair treatment the “best” option?

[Let's hope Roncy doesn't follow St. Clair. While the streetcar right of way is a good thing, bikelanes AND pedestrian space was sacrificed in favour of lanes and parking for cars, which is the worst urban planning imaginable]

When you're saddled with kids bike trip is a great experience (Toronto Star)

We start our journey in St. Catharines at Lock 3 on the Welland Canal, leaving both our cars there. If there's a way to fit two adults, twin 12-year-old boys, their 8-year-old sister, our bicycles and a bike-trailer into one car, we haven't figured it out yet.

We chose this area not because we were anxious to explore the Niagara Region but because it offers a 160-kilometre paved circuit along the shore of Lake Erie, north along the Niagara River to Lake Ontario and Niagara-on-the-Lake and back around to the canal.

We set off into a headwind. Within three kilometres, I'm wondering if we've lost our minds. My husband Edward pants up to me and asks: "Are we insane?"

Touring festival wheels into Toronto (Globe & Mail)

Bike culture is about to erupt this weekend, brought on by the Toronto stopover of the 16-city Bicycle Film Festival. And whom do we have to thank for it? A New York City bus driver. In 2000, the driver hit Brendt Barbur, who had come to New York from San

Oh, those tenacious cyclists: War of the wheels continues (National Post)

Alex Nevitte, 16, wrote in these pages last Friday about the hostility and obstacles she faces trying to commute from North Toronto to her summer job in Rosedale. ‘‘What is the deal,’’ she asked, ‘‘with motorists, specifically car and SUV drivers who think they are entitled to the entire road under all circumstances?’’ Some motorists fired back in Wednesday’s paper. Today, three cyclists have their say.


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posted by Joe on Monday, August 27, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

If you're missing BikeWeek, here's a nice little video:
Christine is the official organizer for Toronto Bike Week. The Toronto Crime Stoppers School Officer caught up to her after the official launch of Bike Week at Nathan Philips Square in Toronto on Monday May 28th. She discusses healthy living, bicycle safety and bicycle theft prevention.

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posted by Joe on Monday, August 27, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



This is pretty cool. Good for those wanting to save space:
Is cycling your main form of transportation? If it is, then you have probably experienced the issue that the Stashkit folding helmet is meant to address, what to do with that bulky helmet once you get to your destination?

Rather than dangle the helmet from your bag or backpack as seems to be the most common option, the Stashkit helmet folds into a flattened U shape in order to make it more packable. The Stashkit helmet conforms to European CEN safety standards but there is no mention of CPSC, Snell or ASTM certification which are the ones that enable the sale of helmets here.

Via Apartment Therapy

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posted by Joe on Monday, August 27, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Cop Talk

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posted by Joe on Sunday, August 26, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Red Sunglasses

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posted by Joe on Saturday, August 25, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Green Tunnel in Cedarvale Park

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 24, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



You've heard of physically seperate bikelanes, right? It's when the bikelane-makers put some kind of barrier on the side of a bikelane to make them nice and safe.

A good example would be the Quay to the City lanes from last summer, which is the photo above (when are these going to be permanently installed, already? Wasn't work supposed to start this summer?!?!)

New York has their own version of them ... they're buffered - with a diagonally striped section of road between the bikelane and carlanes... and New Yorkers LOVE them!
Bike lanes that separate bicyclists from motor vehicle traffic are safer and encourage more bicycling, according to a recent survey by Transportation Alternatives. The survey of 147 cyclists was conducted along the 8th Avenue bike lane in Manhattan, one of the few bike paths to integrate both “buffered” and “unbuffered” segments.

Transportation Alternatives found:
  • Buffered bike lanes are are perceived as being safer than conventional lanes.
    52% of respondents feel safe in buffered lanes, versus only 21% in conventional bike lanes. Conventional bike lanes are more dangerous than buffered lanes -- 44% of respondents find the conventional lanes dangerous or intolerable, versus only 19% of respondents surveyed on buffered lanes.
  • Buffered or not, bike lanes encourage more bicycling.
    Seven out of ten cyclists use 8th Avenue more often since the lane was installed.

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 24, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

News:

Happy Birthday MyBikeLane (Spacing Wire)

From the original MyBikeLane New York: By my reckoning, MyBikeLane is 1 year old today! Congratulations to the innovator of this pioneering open-source people’s law enforcement site.

7th Annual Bicycle Film Fest Hits Toronto (BlogTO)

The seventh annual Bicycle Film Festival commenced yesterday with the Art Bike Show (presented by The Winking Circle) at the Gladstone, but don't worry if you missed it- there are still plenty of events happening this weekend that will allow you to show your love of the pedal pushing mode of transpo.

Bikes take centre stage at the Toronto Bicycle Film Festival (Canada.com)


Events:

The Bicycle Film Fest Keeps Rolling!

Here are the schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday... and remember... there is FREE valet parking for cyclists at all the film screenings! Yay!


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posted by Joe on Friday, August 24, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Biking on Ward's Island

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 24, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

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.



Two Cars Roll Over On 404

It was a mess on the 404 early Wednesday after two cars rolled over under the Sheppard Avenue over-pass. One car wound up on its side, the other on its roof. One person was rushed to hospital with minor injuries.

Chain Reaction Crash On 401

Incredibly no one was hurt in a chain reaction crash on Highway 401 near Westney Rd. overnight. Three rigs and two cars were involved in the pileup on the highway's eastbound lanes at about 3am Tuesday.

Pedestrian Killed In Apparent Hit-And-Run On Hwy 401

A tractor trailer was found Sunday evening, wanted in connection with an apparent hit-and-run on Highway 401 near Newcastle left a man dead.

Car Hits House, Neighborhood Evacuated Due To Gas Leak

A rude awakening for residents along Sundial Crescent at around 1:30 am on Saturday as police and neighbours pounded on doors. They were evacuating the neighborhood after a car slammed into the side of a house, shearing off the gas metre and sending the n

Pedestrian In Critical Condition After Being Hit By Car

Witnesses say the unidentified woman, reportedly in her 20s, was crossing Weston Road when she was struck and thrown several metres shortly after 2pm Saturday. It's alleged the driver was speeding.

Man Critical After Being Run Over By Own SUV

A 60-year old-man was left fighting for his life at Sunnybrook hospital Saturday night, after being run over by his own vehicle.

Man killed on Highway 401 in apparent hit-and-run

Ontario Provincial Police closed a stretch of Highway 401 after an unidentified man was struck and killed in an apparent hit-and-run on Sunday morning.

TheStar.com - GTA - Mississauga cyclist struck by bus dies

A Mississauga man is dead after he was hit by a transit bus while riding his bicycle.

The 26-year-old victim was hit at an intersection in Mississauga on Wednesday around 3:30 p.m. He was riding northbound across Derry Rd. from Rexwood Dr. at the same time the bus was eastbound on Derry Rd. passing through the intersection.

Community mourning loss of 'tiny angel'; Bicycle crash claims life of 11-year old

A community is in shock after an 11-year-old Dunsford girl died after being struck by a minivan while riding her bike east of Lindsay late Tuesday afternoon.

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 24, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

From the BikingToronto Inbox:

Feeling the Heat
As we head back to school and the office, many of us will spend more time
behind the wheel. Host Ian Hanomansing considers friendlier modes of
transportation.

Friday at 9:30 a.m. on Radio One.

http://www.cbc.ca/feelingtheheat/

A new program that inspires Canadians to get serious about the environment

Broadcast times
  • Fridays at 9:30 a.m. (10:00 NT) on CBC Radio One (streaming) or 99.1 fm;
  • Fridays at 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. on Sirius Satellite 137


Feeling the Heat believes people are searching for ways to balance practical
and environmental concerns in their everyday lives. We'll help you make
informed choices. And we'll showcase a world of innovation in the fight to
keep our planet healthy and livable.

One person can make a difference—and, each week, Canadians across the
country find out how.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


When less than half the residents of a city own a car, there’s got to be folks looking for another alternative to hoofing it… And that’s precisely what’s happened with the bicycle in Berlin over the last twenty years, as it has become completely common for the average resident to ride a bicycle every day of the week. In fact, they’ve come to dominate the flow of traffic at intersections, as cars now even yield to bikes in that city!

And while it’s true that the city has invested a significant amount of energy in cycling lanes and the like to make it as bike-friendly as possible, the trend toward cycling has also meant there’s now safety in numbers. As filmmaker Ted White and bike designer George Bliss noted while spending time filming in China, at certain unmarked intersections cars just completely ignore cyclists on the side of the road waiting to cross until a certain “critical mass” of them accumulate. That critical number seems to make it safe for all of them to cross, as the motorized vehicles come to a stop and let them all head safely to the other side without a fight.
[via:: CBS News and treehugger, photo credit - zakkaliciousness]

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



A couple weeks ago I posted the job posting from the Toronto Coalition for Active Transport, as they are looking for a Web/IT Developer for their website.

They have extended the deadline for this to August 30th.

If you're into web development, or know someone who is... this may be a good fit with you.



Position: Web/IT Coordinator

Organization: Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT)

Application deadline: August 21, 5:00 pm

Start date: September 3, 2007

Location: Toronto

Maximum project cost: approximately $7,000
(Proponents may propose additions, substitutions or subtractions from the requirements if they feel they are advisable within the budget)



Some of the posting:

The Web/IT Coordinator deliverables should:

  • Include a web site that provides information on TCAT and its platform
  • Have an attractive design/look
  • Be easy to use for visitors to the site
  • Be easy for administrators who do not possess technical knowledge to manage the content and functions of the site, including the ability to add, change and remove content and navigation. The site structure should be flexible and expandable.
  • Be searchable
  • Have a news section, with tagging feature, and an events calendar. Items from both can be designated to appear on the home page.
  • Provide E-mail list registration, email list management (of multiple lists) by administrators, including the ability to send messages directly from the site, and the ability to associate email addresses with additional information (e.g.
  • postal code or ward number) and use this information in email management. As well, administrators should be able to set up the ability for visitors to send emails to designated addresses (e.g. their Councillor, all Councillors).
  • Include an interactive City Ward database, which brings together maps, news items, events, documents, supporters and site visitors associated with specific wards of the city. It should integrate with the email list system.
  • Have an internal web page feature to circulate web page drafts to steering committee members for comment and to store non-public documents
  • Provide e-mail service, including webmail access for TCAT e-mail addresses
Read the full details here.




Toronto Coalition for Active Transport

75 Elizabeth Street,
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 1P4
416-392-0290

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Living in a small place without a secure garage / storage room to keep your trusty two-wheeled steed in? The Leonardo may be the answer to avoid locking your bike up outside where it's vulnerable to theft:
It gets your bike up off the floor with a minimum of material, eschewing an elaborate pulley system in favor of a single hook. The tire tray option helps keeps tire marks off the wall, and the whole thing is sleek enough not to be an eyesore when the bike isn't there. $19.99 gets you both the hook and the tire tray; you can knock five bucks off if you don't care about skid marks on the wall.
[ via ::swissmiss and treehugger]

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Island Quadracycle!

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 23, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

The Bicycle Film Fest kicked off last night at the Gladstone (anyone have photos or a review of the festivities?) and here's the details for today:

AUGUST 23 | THURSDAY

BIKES ROCK | 7:00 PM (See Full Details)

SPIN Gallery
1100 Queen Street West 2nd FL
7-? PWYC

STILL LIFE STILL
SAILBOATS ARE WHITE
SHIT MOUNTAIN
More special guests TBA

Late night DANCE PARTY with
DJ BOOM BOOM



TORONTO FESTIVAL PASSES AVAILABLE ONLINE (LIMITED QUANTITY)!!!

All Film screenings at
The Royal | 608 College Street West

Valet Bicycle Parking at all screenings provided by the City of Toronto and the Community Bicycle Network, hosted by Kryptonite.
Ride your bike!

Wed. August 22 | ART BIKE SHOW AND MUSIC
Thur. August 23 | BIKES ROCK
Fri. August 24 | PROGRAM 1
Sat. August 25 | PROGRAMS 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Sun. August 26 | BMX JAM

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

It's Olivia Chow. The left-leaning federal politician (formerly of Toronto City Council) is a renowned bike-lover, and is often seen toolin' around on a tandem bike she shares with her hubby, Federal NDP leader Jack Layton (also formerly of Toronto City Council).

Here's a good video of Olivia and safety tips for biking Toronto. :)




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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Last week we saw a great "urban scrawl" by Alex Nevitte about her bike commute through the city and the aggressive drivers she faces (and we all face) on a daily basis:

Talk about trial by fire! I’ve encountered several greedy and unreasonable motorists who never hesitate to take far more than their share of the road and who waste no time screaming at any cyclist willing to demand their fair piece of the road as well. Bicycles are vehicles and so are entitled to a lane of their own just as any other vehicle is.

Usually — and generously — cyclists move to the side of the road to allow faster moving vehicles to pass. Why do motorists never show the same respect for cyclists?

The hostility I’ve encountered on the streets of Toronto as a cyclist is astonishing. Once, biking home from the beach a car sped by so closely that its side-view mirror actually brushed my thigh! If this idiot had pulled any closer to me, I would have been knocked off my bike. And for what? So he could be the first to wait at the red light 100 metres away?
This week we see a backlash against Nevitte and all cyclists in the Post by drivers who think that cyclists in Toronto are the selfish ones:
‘‘Ms. Nevitte’s view clearly demonstrates the dangerous sense of entitlement that many of her fellow bicyclists in Toronto share. Why is it that so many bikers seem to proclaim the same rights as motorists, yet are not willing to abide by the same obligations? Approaching a red light, motorists will have to stop. More often than not, bicyclists go right through, creating dangerous situations for themselves and motorists alike.‘‘The other day I had a terrifying experience. While waiting to make a right-hand turn, I did not notice the bicyclist who — at a very high speed — came riding up on my right. Consequently I almost ran him down. Why could the bicyclist not wait to cross, in his/her spot behind a car in the road? Sadly this behaviour is far too common.”
To be (somewhat) fair to the Post, they do precede the letters by saying "The piece prompted a flood of responses, many of them in support of Alex’s position that bicycles are good for Toronto and its environment. Many others disagreed."

So it sounds like supportive letters may have actually outnumbered the negative ones, but the Post only chose to publish the negative ones?

You all know that I support Alex's position. When I can ride to work (only a 20 minute ride) and feel safe doing it, then I won't complain about drivers. When they stop going more than 40 km/h within 3 feet of me (which is the minimum legal clearance we're supposed to get), then I'll quiet down.

Oh, and I'll listen to any breaking the law arguments from a driver who doesn't break the law. Is there anyone that doesn't slowly roll through stop signs or NEVER breaks the speed limit?

I didn't think so.



[photo credits]

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

If you haven't signed up for email delivery of Cyclometer, the City of Toronto's Cycling Newsletter, well... you should!

Here's the August issue for you, if you just can't bear to leave the friendly confines of BikingToronto.com. :) I have added pretty graphics for you.



1. Nominate a Bicycle-Friendly Business Today!


The City of Toronto is now accepting nominations for the 2007 Bicycle Friendly Business Awards (BFBA). The awards are given out every year to businesses and organizations in Toronto who are making an effort to encourage and support cycling in their workplace. Categories include Best Bike Parking, Bike-friendliest Suburban Business, Best Small Business, and Best Large Business.

Previous winners have shown their commitment to cycling by providing clients and employees with secure bicycle parking and shower/change facilities, making deliveries by bike, or making economic incentives for those who bicycle commute to work.
Nomination DEADLINE is 7 September at 5:00pm.

To nominate a business, or to find out more about the BFBA Program, please visit our website at www.toronto.ca/cycling/bfba/index.htm, or contact abowron@toronto.ca.


2. Bike Plan Consultation a Success

Thanks to the over 150 people who attended the Toronto Cycling Consultation Session on Thursday, July 26 at the St. Lawrence Hall.

We are currently working hard to consolidate all of the valuable feedback we received into a report that will be available online by August 17. Comments and data from the session will be further used in:
  • A report to City Council,
  • a record on the City website and,
  • forming the agenda for the next public consultation session.
This month's event was the first of a series of consultation sessions on cycling that the City will continue to host throughout the City. Announcements and developments on future sessions will be posted on the website and advertised widely.
Do you have questions about the consultation session? Still looking to give feedback on future cycling priorities in Toronto? E-mail bikeweek@toronto.ca or call 416-392-7592.


3. Lower Don Trail re-opens!

Waterfront Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation are happy to announce that the Lower Don River Trail between Queen Street East and the Martin Goodman
Trail was officially RE-OPENED during the morning of Saturday August 11, 2007.

When you have the opportunity to use this section of the trail once again, we hope that you will notice:
  • A. Significant widening of the railway crossing over the Don, which has been undertaken to improve the conveyance of flood water through this area;
  • B. Enhancements to the trail crossing underneath the new bridge extension which will improve sight lines and visibility for trail users, reduce the path's gradient as it goes underneath the railway bridge, widen the pathway for increased safety, and elevate the pathway to reduce the frequency of inundation during high river levels; and
  • C. Location of the new trail crossing under the tracks that follow the west bank of the Don River. This new crossing will connect the Don River Trail with the future West Don Lands Community and Don River Park. This new crossing will remain closed to the public until the Don River Park has been completed to the west of the tracks, sometime in late 2008 - early 2009.
Users of the trail during the week of August 13 to 20 will also notice some construction occurring along the west bank of the river on the north side of the new railway bridge.

Construction crews will be using small excavators and bobcats to complete a new outlook in this area which will give trail users a safe
and excellent view of the river. During this period of time, trail users are asked to use CAUTION when travelling down this section of the trail in order to avoid the machinery, and to respect the direction of safety personnel on site.


4. International Bicycle Film Festival comes to Toronto!

From August 22nd to 26th, the 2007 Bicycle Film Festival will be in Toronto for the first time since beginning in New York City seven years ago. Now in 16 cities worldwide including: LA, Paris, Milan, London and Tokyo, the Bicycle Film Festival celebrates all aspects of cycling through film, art and music.

Toronto's five days of bike-related fun kicks off Wednesday, August 22 with an inspiring Art Bike Show at the Gladstone (1214 Queen St.W) at
7:00pm with performances by Polmo Polpo and Lullabye Arkestra, followed on Thursday, August 23 with a huge Bikes Rock party featuring Still Life Still, Sailboats Are White and more at SPIN Gallery (1100 Queen St.W). 6 Programs of Bike Movies from over 10 countries will screen at The Royal Cinema (608 College St.W) beginning Friday August 24 at 7:00pm and on Saturday from 1:30 until 9:00pm.

See website for full program details:
www.bicyclefilmfestival.com.


5. City of Toronto Bicycle Safety Partnership wins award.

The City of Toronto Bicycle Safety Partnership, led by Transportation Planning, has won an award for its Kids CAN-BIKE Camp. The 2006 Road Safety Achievement

The award was presented by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation in the category of Road Safety Partnerships.

The Kids CAN-BIKE Camp not only provides a bike, helmet, lock, backpack and safety sash?to children in financial need - it also provides one week of CAN-BIKE instruction for the kids. 80 children per year attend and we work with over 15 agencies and sponsors. Safety training is a priority, as many of these children live in high traffic neighbourhoods.

The Kids CAN-BIKE Camp is the ultimate bike-camp experience for children between nine and 13 years old who want to develop and increase their cycling skills.

Expert CAN-BIKE instruction teaches steering, signalling, right and left turns, changing gears, braking and avoiding road hazards. The students also learn all about the right equipment and safe cycling techniques: bike handling skills, bike thinking skills, traffic-free handling skills practice, on-road riding, plus a Bike Hike.

Sponsors for the 2007 program include: The Bicycle Safety Partnership: Ontario Cycling Association; Canadian Tire Foundation for Families - Jump Start Program; Canadian Tire Store (Yonge and Davenport); Children?s Aid Foundation; Mountain Equipment Coop; the High Park Bicycle Club; Black?s is Photography;
the Ontario Ministry of Transportation; Dynatex Textiles Inc; Ward?s Island Association, and Velotique.
The Bicycle Safety Partnership strategy is an integral part of the Toronto Bike Plan.

For more information, go to: http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/canbike/camp_2006.htm


6. Season-ender Mtn Bike Race in the Don Valley: ZM MTB ByeBike Summer Race, 2 September

Following the success of his Canada Day race, Sunday September 2, 2007, bikeshop owner Ziggy Martuzalski is having a second mountain bike race in the Don Valley's Crothers Woods trail system.

Registration for all levels of competition will be in the Loblaws parking lot on Redway. For registration details call Ziggy at 416-652-0080.

7. Mtn Bike Trailbuilding Workshop in the Don September 8th and 9th 2007.

Please join the Toronto Off-Road Bicycle Group and the City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Recreation for a free trailbuilding workshop on September 8th and 9th, 2007. Get your hands dirty and learn how to create sustainable and fun singletrack trails in Crothers? Woods located in the Lower Don Valley. The school includes 3 hours of classroom instruction followed by hands-on time in the field learning trail design, construction and maintenance techniques.

Please contact Scott Laver at slaver@toronto.ca or 416-338-DIRT (3478) for more details and to sign up for the event.

8. Post Secondary Students Receive Cycling Maps

It's that time again, back to school for a new academic period. For first year post-secondary students that means new people, places, and frosh kits to help orient new students to Toronto. The City of Toronto is pleased to announce that outreach efforts first established as part of the 'Bicycle Friendly Campuses Project' will continue this year, with the inclusion of cycling maps for new students' orientation packages. Schools participating are; the University of
Toronto, Ryerson University, York University, and OCAD now Canada's largest University for Art and Design. The total number of students receiving maps will total 14,800 individuals, many of whom will have moved to the City from outside the GTA. Cycling is a natural fit for students who are looking for a practical, economical way to get around the city. Information on the Maps includes all city bike lanes and paths, as well as a listing of bus routes with bike racks, bike locker locations and details for other city cycling programs and organizations.

If you would like to receive an updated 2007 bike map, free of charge, please email bikeweek@toronto.ca or call 416-392-7592, or look for one in your local bike shop or rec centre.


Ahead in the Bike Lane:

1. Deadline for BFBA nominations is 7 September
2. Bicycle Film Festival begins 22 August - 26th
3. ZM MTB ByeBike Summer race 2 September in Crothers' Woods
4. Trailbuilding workshop in Crothers' Woods 8-9 September



The City has a vision for cycling in Toronto and wants you involved in making it happen. Cyclometer is a cycling subscription service of the City of Toronto.
The first issue of Cyclometer went out on November 24, 1989. Please take the time to forward this issue of Cyclometer to a fellow cyclist who may be interested.

To subscribe, visit https://secure.toronto.ca/im/cycling_subscription/subscribe.jsp

You can also access Cyclometer on-line by going directly to our website at: http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/cyclometer

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



One more cool tall bike photo :)

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Here's some bike stuff going on in Toronto today. :)


Flat fix and tune-up course @ CBN

7:00pm- 9:00pm

The Community Bicycle Network introduces mechanic classes for beginners. The classes are taught by experienced mechanics and provide an intimate, focused, learning environment. Learning some basics about your bike saves you money in the long run when you can change your own tube or adjust your brakes.

Dates: Wednesday evenings from 7pm until 9pm, weekly, beginning August 15th
Cost: $30 (including any deposit)

  • Bring your own Bike (encouraged but not absolutely necessary)
  • Two hour class.
  • Maximum 6 people per class.
  • Minimum 3.

Please RSVP by sending an email to toolworks@communitybicyclenetwork.org with the subject "Bike Mechanic Class RSVP", or by phoning 416-504-2918 and leaving a message under "general inquiries" stating that you wish to RSVP for the Bike Mechanic Class with your name and number. Someone will return your email or call to confirm how to RSVP a spot (and how to pay a deposit). Those who provide a $10 non-refundable deposit will be given preference on the list.

The class consists of:

Flat Fix - hands-on segment:
- Participants will remove their own rear wheel and tire and go through a tube repair and installation.

A brief discussion of:
- Bike fit
- General safety issues (loose parts, damage, etc)
- Lubrication

Brakes - instructor demo/description:
- general concepts and adjustment
- safety!

Gears and drive train - instructor demo/description:
- general concepts and adjustment




The Bicycle Film Fest Launch!
7:00 pm to 12:00 am

The Bicycle Film fest kicks off tonight at the Gladstone Hotel:

The Gladstone Hotel | See Full Details
1214 Queen Street West

in the ART BAR
OPENING August 22 7pm-12am
August 22-26 Open 12pm-5pm

Bicycle art by The Winking Circle and friends

Performance by: MATT SMITH, POLMO POLPO, LULLABYE ARKESTRA



The Bicycle Film Festival is in it's seventh year since beginning in NYC. Now in 16 cities worldwide including LA, Paris, London, Tokyo, Milano, Sydney... this is the first year in Toronto and we're going to do it right.

The festival runs August 22-26, 2007 and incorporates art, music and film in celebration of the bicycle. Our opening night party is at the Gladstone on August 22nd, with live music (Polmo Polpo, Lullabye Arkestra) and DJs in the Ball Room and the Art Bike Show opening and running through till Sunday in the Art Bar. Admission will be free. Thursday night is the Bikes Rock show at SPIN Gallery. We're screening at The Royal with six programs featuring Canadian and International bike themed films, running Friday and Saturday, with after parties both nights.

Bicycle events are being planned to take place around the city: Friday (Alleycat), Saturday (Bike games), and Sunday (BMX JAM). It's going to be a good time.

Valet bike parking will be at the Royal for each screening (Fri August 24, 7. Sat August 25, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9).

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Cool article from the Guelph Mercury a few weeks ago.

I'm someone who makes someone do the math when it comes to buying a "cheaper" house out in the sprawling suburbs... you have to incorporate the cost of driving to and from everywhere into your calculations. You don't really have the option of walking or biking or taking public transit everywhere. Everything is done in a car:
One hundred and forty-seven thousand dollars. That shocking figure is the amount the average two-car family spends over five years commuting from Guelph to Toronto and back.

At first blush it seems logical to put down roots in Guelph. Why battle for a small home in the Greater Toronto Area's super-hot housing market, when, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation you can save $91,000 by living in Guelph and environs?

But the Mercury decided to dig a little deeper. Using a provincial government cost calculator, we examined how much the daily grind to the GTA really chews up.

We estimated a round trip to downtown Toronto at 250 kilometres per workday. We accounted for three weeks off the road for vacation time. That is 1,250 km a week for 61,250 kilometres a year.

The operating cost per kilometre, including fuel at 75 cents per litre, came to 24 cents per kilometre (see chart). For a 2004 Dodge Caravan the trip works out to $14,700 a year.

That becomes a whopping $73,500 over five years. With both couples commuting in different vehicles, the cost translates into a staggering $147,000.

That's only over 5 years. Extrapolate that over a 30-year working life, and you're looking at $882,000 that you've spent on your cars. I can think of much better uses for $882,000.

Saving a bit of money for a bigger house doesn't make sense now, does it?

Links to online calculator and other scenarios at the Guelph Mercury.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

There was a fantastic comment by Mark Davidson published in the Toronto Star back in late July while I was on vacation, and I want to link to it and excerpt it because it perfectly sums up why our roads seem so dangerous, especially for cyclists:

Statistics suggest that the roads are safer than ever. Twenty years ago there were 2.4 deaths from car collisions per 100,000 people, and today there is 1 per 100,000. In 1982 there were over 4,000 people killed by drivers, but only 3,000 killed in 2003.

What's changed is not actual danger levels, but our experience of the roads. We feel more threatened on the road, and in some sense, we are more threatened. The anger levels among us have increased dramatically, and while anger doesn't necessarily kill, it does create an environment that feels more dangerous.

Why are we so angry? This is where social science can help us.

... our political climate has embraced cutthroat individualism: We are responsible only for ourselves unless we "contract" otherwise. We don't really think of ourselves as having any duty to consider how our actions affect others.

Now, the last time I rode my bike I didn't sign any contracts with drivers. In fact, the only "contract" I'm aware of is our unspoken agreement to obey the law.

... I own a car, and I even drive it sometimes. I know what it feels like to have to accommodate cyclists when you want to get going. It's a pain in the ass.

Sometimes cyclists go through stop signs and ride the wrong way on one-way streets. They violate the social contract to obey road rules. But so do drivers. But neither cyclists nor drivers lose their status as legal persons when they break the law. And this status includes the right not to be harmed.

If you unavoidably run over a pedestrian crossing against the light you may be blameless. But if you run over that pedestrian intentionally or recklessly, then you are using your car as a weapon and you are a killer. Why? Because the right to life trumps the right of way.

If you think that some road users only think about themselves... you're right. The secret is how to get everyone thinking about everyone else.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

While the next BikeFriday is less than two weeks away (Friday, August 31st), the last one saw a new event take place at Alternative Grounds on Roncesvalles... a breakfast with homemade muffins and fairtrade coffee, as well as Alex and Jesse from the City’s BUG program there providing lots of bike literature about City cycling info.

Afterwards there was a bike commute with you'll be able to watch on MTV Live on September 6th. Pretty cool, and just in time to get people psyched up for Friday, August 31st. Rock! :)

Rowena Santos, Cheri di Novo and Tammy Thorne

Alex and Jessie, from the City's BUG program

Photo's by Peter Foy, SNAP Bloor West

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Another issue of the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation e-bulletin is out, with cycling and pedestrian advocacy news. BikingToronto is mentioned too, as this site is now an official "supporter" of TCAT. :)



1. Bicycle Friendly Business Awards – Nomination due September 7th

The Bicycle Friendly Business Awards are given out every year to
businesses and organizations across Toronto who are making an effort to encourage their clients and employees to cycle.

Nominations are now underway for the 2007 awards.

Deadline for nominations is Friday, September 7th at 5:00 p.m.

The awards will be presented in the Rotunda of Toronto City Hall on
Thursday, October 4 at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.



2. Welcome BikingToronto, St. Clair West BUG and the Running Room – New groups join TCAT’s growing list of Supporters

It helps to be able to say how many individuals and groups support the
work we do when we speak with City Councillors, City staff, and the media,
or put out a publication. As part of our effort to grow the collective
voice of TCAT, three new groups have joined our list of supporters. They
are:

· BikingToronto (www.bikingtoronto.com)

· St. Clair West BUG

· The Running Room (www.runningroom.com)

The TCAT Steering Committee welcomes these groups to TCAT.



3. Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market – This Sunday, August 26th!

PS Kensington and Streets are for People are leaders in creating car-free
street festivals, and we encourage you to get out and enjoy their next
event in Kensington Market. PS Kensington and Streets are for People are
also one of the over 25 community organizations that support TCAT.

The theme of this month’s PS Kensington is: ‘Air! The Kensington Community
Air Show’
“We'll blow the Toronto International Air Show out of town with the
Kensington Horns Community Band and other home-spun family fun in the
fresh air of our pedestrian streets. A celebration of Peace not war
planes.”

Date: Sunday, August 26th

Time: 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm (10:00 pm on North Augusta)

For more information visit: www.pskensington.ca




TCAT News – Help spread the word!

TCAT is continually looking to increase its list of supporters. It helps
to be able to say how many people and organizations support the work we do
when we speak with City Councillors, City staff, and the media, or put out
a publication. Please send this message to any groups or individuals you
think would be interested in learning more about TCAT, receiving our
weekly e-Bulletin, or volunteering with TCAT.

To learn more about TCAT, visit our web site at www.torontocat.ca

To subscribe to TCAT News, go to
http://lists.torontocat.ca/listinfo.cgi/tcatnews-torontocat.ca



TCATnews mailing list

TCATnews@lists.torontocat.ca
http://lists.torontocat.ca/listinfo.cgi/tcatnews-torontocat.ca
www.torontocat.ca

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Tall Bike at the Eaton Centre

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posted by Joe on Monday, August 20, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

The Toronto edition of the 2007 Bicycle Film Festival is starting this week:

TORONTO FESTIVAL PASSES AVAILABLE ONLINE (LIMITED QUANTITY)!!!

All Film screenings at
The Royal | 608 College Street West

Valet Bicycle Parking at all screenings provided by the City of Toronto and the Community Bicycle Network, hosted by Kryptonite. Ride your bike!



Everything starts on Wednesday:

AUGUST 22 | WEDNESDAY

ART BIKE SHOW | 7:00 PM

The Gladstone Hotel | See Full Details
1214 Queen Street West

in the ART BAR
OPENING August 22 7pm-12am
August 22-26 Open 12pm-5pm

Bicycle art by The Winking Circle and friends

in the BALLROOM
7-2 FREE
Performance by:
MATT SMITH
POLMO POLPO
LULLABYE ARKESTRA


Oh, and there's a contest too! :)

Bike Giveaway


All ticket holders will be eligible for the Batavus 'Old Dutch' bikegiveaway. The winning ticket will be drawn on Saturday night during Program 6.

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posted by Joe on Monday, August 20, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Sad news out of Mississauga over the weekend...

The cyclist that I reported had been hit by a Mississauga Transit bus last week has died from his injuries:
The 26-year-old victim was hit at an intersection in Mississauga on Wednesday around 3:30 p.m. He was riding northbound across Derry Rd. from Rexwood Dr. at the same time the bus was eastbound on Derry Rd. passing through the intersection.

The victim suffered a serious head injury and was transported to hospital, where he later died of his injuries. Police say the reason why the bus struck the cyclist is still under investigation.
It happened near the airport. Not the friendliest place for a cyclist... be careful out there everyone.

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posted by Joe on Monday, August 20, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



While I couldn't make it on friday, by all accounts it was a well attended ride with minimal aggression from car drivers. The route went through the quite streets of the Cabbagetown neighbourhood before heading downtown, eventually to Dundas Square.

The above photo (and the following ones) were taken by Martino, and you can see the complete set on flickr.

If you know of links to more photos from the ride, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!





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posted by Joe on Monday, August 20, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Critical Mass in Toronto, June 2007

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posted by Joe on Sunday, August 19, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Look up... look wayyy up.

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posted by Joe on Saturday, August 18, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Bike Trailer

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 17, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



BikeFriday started a year ago in August 2006. This month it's on the 31st. Are you ready?

Here's what is going on:

BikePools / Group Commutes
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.

Drivers are a lot more careful around groups of cyclists. Riding in a group encourages novice cyclists to participate and makes cyclists more visible to motorists. Organized rides also show motorists that cycling is a viable alternative to driving.

If you already ride your bike to work, why not invite others to join you. Email joe@bikingtoronto.com to have your BikeFriday route posted on this website.

Bike-Commute in Mississauga?
Smart Commute Mississauga has Group Rides for you!

7:00 AM - Parliament & Carlton
to Victoria Park & Gordon Baker Road [map]
To join this ride, email David at
dcurtis@careerfoundation.org


7:30 AM - Yonge & Major Mackenzie
to Hwy 7 & Warden [map]
To join this ride, email Andrew at
andrew@monkeymartian.com


7:30 AM - Bloor & HighPark (Westbound)
to Mississauga City Centre [map]
To join this ride, email Vic at
vic@gedris.org


8:00 AM - Bloor & HighPark (Eastbound)
via Bloor to downtown [map]
To join this ride, email Martino at
himartino@gmail.com


8:00 AM - Danforth & Woodbine
via the Danforth & Bloor to downtown [map]
To join this ride, email Joe at
joe@bikingtoronto.com


8:00 AM - Yonge & Lawrence
to Hwy 7 & Leslie [map]
To join this ride, email Darren at
dazjenx@gmail.com


9:00 AM - Roncy & Garden (just north of Queen)
to the University of Toronto [map]
To join this ride, email Tammy at
tammy.thorne@utoronto.ca


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
Grassroots Bikers Breakfast
408 Bloor West (at Bathurst)
Join the friendly folks at Grassroots for some free breakfast treats!


6:00-8:00 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.

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 17, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

There's a Memorial Bike Ride tonight for Charlie Princep, and now a cyclist has been seriously hurt by a Mississauga Transit Bus:
A cyclist has been rushed to Sunnybrook Hospital with serious injuries after being struck by a Mississauga Transit bus in Malton this afternoon.

The Peel Regional Police's Major Collision Bureau is investigating the accident that occurred just before 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Derry Rd. and Goreway Dr.

Police have yet to release the age or sex of the victim, but have confirmed the injuries are serious.
Everyone be careful out there.

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 17, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Just a reminder that the Memorial Ride for Charlie Princep goes tonight at 6 PM at Jet Fuel Coffee at 519 Parliament (at Winchester, just north of Carlton in Cabbagetown).

The Globe and Mail also has a nice article about Charlie in the paper today:

On Tuesday, about 180 people gathered at St. Paul's Church on Bloor Street to remember the young man, who family friend Stuart Lazier called an independent thinker passionate about cities and the environment. "He was a young man who didn't just talk the story; he lived it," Mr. Lazier told mourners, adding that Mr. Prinsep would ride his bike everywhere - even in the winter - and would show up caked in mud with a grin on his face.

"Charlie, you were an inspiration to us all," Mr. Lazier said, fighting back tears. "You died living your dream. You died happy and fulfilled."

Be sure and go read it before the Globe puts it in the paid subscription area.

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 17, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



A Really Tall Bike

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 17, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


Minivan Collides With Transport Truck On Hwy. 427

Fire crews used the jaws-of-life to free a trapped driver after his minivan collided with a transport truck on the 427 southbound Wednesday afternoon.


Car Crashes Into Home

A car crashed into a house in North York on Tuesday afternoon. It happened on Clansman Boulevard near Leslie and Finch.

Highway Reopens After Truck Explosion Lights Up Night Sky

It was a spectacular and scary sight for motorists on Highway 401 Tuesday night, as a beer truck swerved into a guard rail and then burst into a ball of flames.

Child Dies Following Overnight Crash

An already tragic crash has turned doubly heartbreaking as a two-year-old child succumbed to his injuries hours after his grandmother died in the same chain reaction wreck.

Man Dies After Car Crash

A Brampton man was killed when his car rolled and ended up on its side on Queen Street early Sunday morning.

Man Trapped In Car After Crash

A man is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after a car slammed into into a tree Thursday morning in the city's west end. The man may have been trapped for a half an hour before emergency services were called.

CityNews: StreetBeat - Aug. 10 - Two-Car Crash In East End

A two car crash in the city's east end sent one woman to hospital. Police were called to Greenwood near Gerrard around 4am Friday.



Related:

CityNews: Canadians Worried About Distracted Drivers

Cell phones. Blackberrys. GPS systems. All of these innovations are a boon to people everyday, except perhaps in one area - on the road. While portable technology has served to make work and life easier for many, it's caused a huge danger its creators never dreamed of: hazards behind the wheel.





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.


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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Darren over on I Bike T.O. posted a great post about the tragic circumstances around the cyclist fatality that happened on the bridge on Leslie Street that spans the 401. The road is of course busy (if I remember correctly, the speed limit is 80 km/h), and with no space on the asphalt for cyclists, so many use the sidewalk to stay safe.

Unfortunately for one cyclist on July 18th, his handlebars brushed the bridge, and he fell off his bike, falling to his death to the 407 since the top of the bridge railing is not much higher than a bike (photo above).

Yes, this is very much like what happened on Burnamthorpe last year.

Darren also took a video of the type of traffic that is on Leslie at the 407.



Go to the I Bike T.O. post for an excerpt from the police report.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Matt Blankett posted today about Vancouver's bike infrastructure, a great post that pointed out some easy things Toronto could be doing to make cyclists feel more valuable on our streets:
Vancouver does a number of smart and simple things to prioritize cycling that should the politicians and civil servants of Toronto feel jolts of shame. One of the first things I noticed was that the cyclist symbol was included on the button to trigger an intersection stop light to change ...

Cycling advocates like to use the phrase, “we are traffic!” when drivers accuse them of blocking their flow of traffic. To validate cyclists’ assertion that they are indeed part of road traffic Vancouver uses a bike waiting area at a few major intersections (photo below). It is reminiscent of what happens at intersections of major Asian cities where scooters make their way to the front of the traffic queue.
Great post Matt!

[photo credit: Spacing Wire]

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Really cool article in the Guardian newspaper about the Paris Velib bikesharing program and what it's doing to Paris:
No doubt the Tour de France helped, but when my rather substantial friend Jean, who has never knowingly walked more than 100m without the promise of a four-course meal at the end of it, began to trumpet the joys of cycling, I knew something profound was happening to the Parisian psyche. One month after its launch, Paris's Vélib', or "freedom bike" scheme, has turned the city cycling mad.
...
But the increase in people cycling does seem to be boosting bike awareness and challenging the car mentality. Paris, with its wide streets, is already a better city for cyclists than London. And no, you don't wear shorts, helmet or pollution mask; most people prefer a suit or high heels. Blase cyclists can be seen negotiating the high-speed free-for-all that is the Place de la Concorde while puffing a cigarette and calling a friend.
It's being done in countless other cities, and it can be done here too.

[via Wheels of Justice, photo from Transit Miami]

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

A bit of "blogosphere" news for you today... the excellent weblog TreeHugger picked up on the Charlie Princep tragedy yesterday:
He was hit by a drunk driver that veered onto the paved shoulder in Brooks, Alberta, "Flesh and blood against gasoline, alcohol and two tons of steel." Getting people onto bikes is just about the greenest thing we can do. How can we make it safe for them? How many people do we have to lose before cyclists are given the space they deserve?
There was supposed to be a feature on CBC Radio One (99.1 FM) today at 10 AM... did anyone happen to catch it?

You can read Charlie's blog about his trip, and attend the Charlie Princep Memorial Bike Ride. Everyone is meeting up at Jet Fuel Coffee in Cabbagetown (on Parliament, just north of Carlton) at 6 PM tomorrow, August 17th.

It looks like it'll be well attended ... there's already 53 confirmed attendees on the Facebook Event Page for it.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 16, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Harbord & Jersey

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark


I'm a little late posting this, but I have to catch up on all the cool stuff I missed when I was on vacation.

Val over at Dodgeville has a great post up about riding the BikeTrain to Niagara, if anyone is interested in what it's like:

Risa and I rode the inaugural Bike Train to Niagara Falls yesterday. We joined dozens of passengers in loading our bikes into the baggage car for the regularly-scheduled Saturday morning train from Union Station. Some, like us, were just tootling around town for the day. Others were staying for a night or two, heading into the U.S., or cycling all the way back to Toronto.

Two hours after we got underway, following a relaxing train ride through the Golden Horseshoe, we arrived fresh and ready for an afternoon of cycling around Niagara. We had a picnic lunch, rode along the Niagara Parkway to Queenston Heights, took a tour at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station, and generally lazed about for the day.

The last weekend of the BikeTrain pilot project (Aug. 25-26) is coming soon, so get your tickets... it sounds like the pilot has been popular.

[photo credit: Dodgeville]

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Island Picnic

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Charlie Princep was a local cyclist who was completing a Toronto-Vancouver-San Diego-Vancouver-Toronto cycling trip when a drunk driver swerved off the road and killed Charlie at 23 years old.

Toronto cyclists are having a Memorial Ride for him this friday.

6 PM, Friday, August 17th.
Meet at Jet Fuel Coffee
(519 Parliament Street)

[Memorial Flyer]

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

The new film, KLUNKERZ, will have it's Canadian Premiere in Toronto with The Bicycle Film Festival on Sat. August 25th at 3:00pm at The Royal (608 College Street West)

KLUNKERZ is the history of the modern mountain bike focusing on the years 1968-1983 in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's the DogTown and Z-Boys of mountain biking.

The film has been playing at many major U.S. festivals including Mill Valley, X-Dance, Durango, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, Big Bear, Mount Shasta, and more. KLUNKERZ has been nominated for many awards including Best Documentary and Emerging Filmmaker awards at the X-Dance Action Sports Awards in Sundance, UT. The film won Best Documentary at the Durango, CO film festival.

Please check out www.klunkerz.com for more info, and don't forget to sign the 'guest
book'.

You can also puchase tickets for the screening at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/18925

www.klunkerz.com

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Bloor & Bathurst

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posted by Joe on Monday, August 13, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



I'm so glad that BlogTO did a post about the "old-tyme" bikepolo outings going on in the "bowl" at Trinity Bellwoods Park every Tuesday night. I've been meaning to do some research about when it happens and where (and a recent commenter was asking about it), and they've done it for me:
Yearning for yesteryears gone by is big these days, but not everyone is looking solely to the neon 1980s for cultural inspiration. Once again this year, the Royal Society of Adventurology and Streets are for People! have been organizing Bicycle Polo matches Tuesday evenings (6-9) in the Trinity-Bellwoods bowl since June (their flyer).
Thanks BlogTO!

[photo from a recent BikingToronto Photo of the Day]

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1. Pedestrian Committee Call for Nominations – Applications due August 22nd

Have your say as part of the walking community’s voice to City Council: the Toronto Pedestrian Committee (TPC)

The TPC is a special committee of Toronto City Council. Its mandate is to promote improved pedestrian safety, pedestrian access and initiate programs that enhance walking in Toronto.

Citizen members are appointed for a four-year term or until their successors are appointed or City Council terminates an appointment.

Anyone interested in a position on the committee must complete an application form in order to be considered.

Forms can be downloaded at: http://www.toronto.ca/transportation/pedestrian/ped_commit...
Forms must be completely filled out and returned by Wednesday August 22, 2007 before 4:00 p.m.

For more information, call or e-mail Natalie Bogues at (416) 392-5341 or nbogues@toronto.ca or refer to http://www.toronto.ca/tpc

2. TCAT meets with Bike and Pedestrian-Friendly Councillor Joe Mihevc – More Bike Routes coming to Ward 21!

On August 3rd TCAT met with veteran City Councillor Joe Mihevc, Ward 21 – St. Paul’s. Councillor Mihevc voiced his support for TCAT, and noted that he is inspired by our message. This year, Councillor Mihevc led and received Council approval for three major bike projects in his ward: Christie Street bike lane, Vaughan Road shared lane (“sharrows”), and Benson Avenue signed route. Next on the list for implementation in 2008 are: Glencedar Road signed route and contra-flow bike lane and a signed route connection (still to be determined) between Vaughan Road and Davenport Road.

Councillor Mihevc is also leading some new policies and standards that support pedestrian safety on St. Clair Avenue and on local streets. TCAT applauds Councillor Mihevc on his efforts so far, and will continue to monitor these developments and support him in his efforts to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in Ward 21 and across Toronto.

3. Welcome Go for Green, Grassroots and I Bike TO – New groups join TCAT’s growing list of Supporters

It helps to be able to say how many individuals and groups support the work we do when we speak with City Councillors, City staff, and the media, or put out a publication. As part of our effort to grow the collective voice of TCAT, three new groups have joined our list of supporters. They are:

The TCAT Steering Committee welcomes these groups to TCAT.

4. Official Launch of Quebec’s Route Verte – Celebrations across the province

[with details from www.routeverte.com]

It’s not focused on Toronto. It’s not even focused on Ontario. But TCAT still wants to acknowledge the momentous unveiling of the 4,000-kilometre-long network of cycling paths whose development, led by Vélo Québec (www.velo.qc.ca), has taken over 12 years and involved nearly a thousand organizations and businesses. The official international unveiling of the largest unified system of bikeways in the Americas took place last Friday, August 10th.

The official ceremonies were held at some 20 locations across the province, accompanied by cycling events, community celebrations, tributes to local artists and craftspeople and many other activities. The month-long celebrations included a 26-day Grand Tour of 2,000 cyclists, which crossed the various regions of Québec in order to encourage people across the province to discover the Route Verte on their own.

Though Torontonian’s will require a bit of a trip to be able to visit and ride this exciting piece of active transportation infrastructure, we can still appreciate the Route Verte as a representation of strong community involvement and political support working together. There is also a similar project envisioned for Ontario – the Ontario Bicycling Route (http://www.cycleontario.ca/ontario-bicycling-route.html).

Congratulations Route Verte and Vélo Québec!

5. Pedestrian Sundays on Baldwin – This Sunday, August 19th , 11am to 10pm

PS Kensington and Streets are for People are leaders in creating car-free street festivals, and we encourage you to get out and enjoy their next event, not in Kensington Market but in Baldwin Village (Baldwin Street near McCaul Street). Streets are for People are also one of the over 25 community organizations that support TCAT.

The merchants and residents of Baldwin Village invite visitors to join them this summer as they introduce Toronto's best-kept secret to the city through a series of Pedestrian Sunday celebrations (the final event of the summer is planned for September 16th). Baldwin Village is a hidden treasure nestled in the heart of downtown – a history-rich urban village that represents the culturally diverse heartbeat of Toronto. Composed of a collection of 38 independent restaurants and retailers, this community is amplified by an abundance of international cuisine.

Named after Dr. William Baldwin in the early 1800's, over the years, the neighbourhood has been home to many different groups: Jewish settlers in the 1920's, expatriate American draft dodgers and hippies during the Vietnam War, and the Asian community, already rooted in nearby Chinatown, flourished here in the 1980's.

Time: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

For more information visit: www.pskensington.ca

TCAT News – Help spread the word!

TCAT is continually looking to increase its list of supporters. It helps to be able to say how many people and organizations support the work we do when we speak with City Councillors, City staff, and the media, or put out a publication. Please send this message to any groups or individuals you think would be interested in learning more about TCAT, receiving our weekly e-Bulletin, or volunteering with TCAT.

To learn more about TCAT, visit our web site at www.torontocat.ca

To subscribe to TCAT News, go to http://lists.torontocat.ca/listinfo.cgi/tcatnews-torontocat.ca

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posted by Joe on Monday, August 13, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



There's always hysteria about how streets are dangerous, with many public safety advocates always, well, advocating for things like separating cars from bikes from pedestrians... which results in our streetscapes being overwhelmed by cars and trucks (since they can kill people) while cyclists and pedestrians are relegated to the sidelines to fight over the scraps.

But what anyone who has seen "public safety" features removed can tell you, it actually improves safety because drivers become more freaked out that cyclists and pedestrians could come out in front of them, and so they drive slower, as has recently happened in London:

Accident levels have almost halved in a London street where "safety" equipment such as guard rails, white lines and signposts were stripped out.

The redesign of Kensington High Street has been such a success that the "naked road" concept is set to be rolled out to other cities in Britain and around the world.

Engineers removed railings, scores of signposts and combined traffic lights with lamp posts to reduce clutter.

They cleared the road surface of superfluous white lines, re- aligned the kerb to follow the line of shop frontages and junked the different coloured surface materials used by other councils.

Now Kensington and Chelsea council aims to capitalise on its success by pressing ahead with a major new road scheme near South Kensington Tube station a key stepping stone towards a multi- million-pound redevelopment of Exhibition Road.

In spite of warnings from the Department for Transport that the scheme would worsen safety, figures obtained by the Standard show that the number of accidents in Kensington High Street has fallen from 71 a year to just 40 a drop of nearly 44 per cent.

Give motorists wide roads with barriers separating them from other modes of transport, and it seems they turn into speedfreaks.

Maybe David Engwicht is right about why bikelanes are inherently unsafe?

[story via and photo by: Streetsblog]

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Really neat story from Streetsblog about "minibuses" being used in Paris:
Paris is also building new "microbus" lines that circulate through neighborhood streets delivering commuters to subways, trains and major bus lines. "The toyish vehicles," Nadal says, "are almost as fun as the old street cars." The have low floors and wide sliding doors that allow simultaneous boarding and alighting. The microbuses hold up to 22 passengers, 10 seated, 12 standing and room for one wheelchair.
Great idea for a cheaper way to get auto-free transportation to all those Greater Toronto neighbourhoods of crescents and cul-de-sacs.

[photo credit: Streetsblog]

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The new Velib bikesharing program in Paris has been so successful that Portland OR is putting out a RFP (Request for Proposals) to get a similar thing going there:

The RFP description says Portland wants to,

“Evaluate the possibility of hiring a Contractor to operate a public bicycle rental service…The City is seeking proposals from firms, teams or contractors interested in the delivery and operation of a bicycle fleet for rent to the general public and stationed in the public right of way to further promote the City’s use of a multi-modal public transportation system with a focus on the City’s core area.”

New York is pushing for something similar too.

How about Toronto?

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Smart Living

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posted by Joe on Sunday, August 12, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Getting There

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posted by Joe on Saturday, August 11, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



River Riding

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

The City of Toronto keeps talking about accelerating the Bike Plan, but we'll see what happens. I am thinking positively about it. Other cycling advocates aren't happy with anything that happens, but I don't fall into that camp.

Meanwhile, New York's government is accelerating their plans for an environmentally friendly city. Along with making lanes on city streets bus only, planning on a congestion charge, increasing bike parking, they are also planning on doubling the amount of new bikelanes added in the next two years, from 200 to 400 miles:

As Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing proposal inches its way through Albany gridlock, the city has put on the fast track its Bike Master Plan by moving to double the number of city bike lanes to 400 miles from 200 over the next two years.

About 130,000 cyclists hit the streets every day, and the city is seeing an unprecedented surge in the number of bikers, according to statistics provided by Transportation Alternatives.

The number of daily commuters who ride bikes to work, however, is less than 1% of total commuters, a figure that city officials say they want to increase by making cycling safer and more appealing on the potholed, congested streets.

In case you're wondering, the 200 miles per year works out to 320 km/year.

Toronto has 28 km planned for 2007. Let's step up. :)

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

A Canadian's impressions of Madison, Wisconsin... which seems to be right up there with Davis, California in terms of bike-friendliness:
For someone accustomed to a growing web of bike facilities at home in Victoria, Madison was a revelation. Fifteen years of U.S. federal gas tax funding helped Madison build an impressive network of trails and on-road bike lanes, with more bike racks than the Amsterdam train station.
Madison must be fantastic... the writer is from Victoria, B.C., which is supposed to be one of the most bike-friendly places in Canada.

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I've been away for a couple of weeks, so this may have some but not all of the carnage that happened while I was away:

Jacksoul singer hurt in crash

Canada's premier male R&B vocalist remains in hospital with head injuries after a vehicle collided with his scooter.

Trucker Saves Car Accident Victims

The driver of an SUV is in serious condition after his Land Rover left the road and struck several trees. The accident occured just after 2 am on August 5 in Oakville. When police arrived, they found the driver conscious but non-responsive.

CityNews: Man Killed After Five Vehicle Pile-Up On Highway 400

The accident happened south of Bayfield Street in Barrie when a camaro and a tractor-trailer collided as one attempted to merge into the same lane in front of a cement truck. It caused a massive pile-up, which included two cars, a van, an 18-wheeler and a

Man, 76, struck and killed near Scarborough General

A 76-year-old man was struck by two cars and killed yesterday while crossing the street. He was just metres from an east-end hospital. The man was crossing Lawrence Ave. E. west of the intersection at McCowan Rd. – directly in front of Scarborough Gener

Crash snarls 427 lanes

One person was taken to hospital with minor injuries shortly after the 7:55 a.m. crash, which started under the Rathburn Rd. overpass.

Cyclist Deliberately Hit

Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of a 35-year old Hamilton man after what they call a targeted attack in the east end. They say the driver deliberately took aim at a cyclist on Saturday afternoon on Cavell Avenue.

Two-Car Crash On Danforth

A cab collided with a Mercedes on the Danforth west of Woodbine around 8am Wednesday. Police still don't know what triggered the crash. Toronto ambulance officials said only one person was taken to hospital suffering from minor injuries.

Cyclist run over by tractor-trailer

A woman injured when her bicycle was run over by a tractor-trailer yesterday afternoon at George and Sherbrooke streets is calling for bicycle-only lanes on major roads in the city.

SUV Rollover On Highway 401

At around 6:50pm Monday emergency crews responded to the 401 Eastbound Collectors west of Brimley for an SUV rollover. The two left lanes were closed slowing rush hour traffic to a crawl.

Rig Carrying Hot Tar Crashes On 401 West Near Keele

Westbound Highway 401 near Keele is the scene of another major accident after a big rig carrying hot tar crashed and spilled its sticky load all over the roadway Monday.

Deadly Two-Car Crash In West End

The accident took place around 10pm at Goreway Drive and Steeles Avenue. One woman is dead and a second passenger is in critical condition. Everyone in the second car is doing okay. Officers said charges may be pending.

Teen Cylist hurt at Bathurst and 407

A 16-year-old Vaughan boy and a 43-year-old Bradford man were both injured in a collision on Bathurst Street on Thursday. York Regional Police say the teen was riding his bike southbound on the sidewalk approaching the Highway 407 ramp.

Family, friends mourn truck crash victim

Before he could reach out to grab his wife, a tractor-trailer came barrelling onto the sidewalk at Warden and Lawrence Aves. on Wednesday afternoon. It smashed a bus shelter, crushing Suheir Ahmed, 28.


Related:

Streetsblog » What if Terrorists Killed as Many as Die in U.S. Car Crashes?

In an op/ed for the Los Angeles Times, Gregg Easterbrook suggests that if 245,000 Americans had died in terrorist attacks since Septmber 11th, the country would be "utterly gripped by a sense of national emergency." Well, 245,000 Americans have died since 9/11, all of them on our nation's roadways.

TheStar.com - GTA - Driver in crash that killed boy had undetected brain tumour

The school bus driver involved in a crash that killed a 10-year-old Mississauga student in April won't face charges because she was suffering from an undiagnosed brain tumour at the time, the Star has learned.

Take the Lane: Driver convicted for killing cyclist

The driver who clipped and killed OPP Sgt. Gregory Stobbart last year outside Milton has been convicted of careless driving. The Hamilton Spectator reports that Michael Dougan, 31, of Grimsby was found guilty of not giving Stobbart his share of the road.





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.

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 10, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Family Vehicle

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FINAL CALL:
Sunday, August 12 is your last chance to buy Bike Train tickets for August 18-20 departures. (Just two weekends left!)

Explore Niagara by Bike... Get There by Train!


Space is limited.
Book your Bike Train tickets and weekend packages today!

Whether you choose to spend an afternoon or weekend in Niagara, you will have the unforgettable experience exploring its diverse landscapes, towns, cities and attractions by bike.


The Bike Train will introduce bike racks onboard select VIA Rail departures between Toronto and Niagara Falls this summer. Price per person for a round-trip on the BikeTrain is $59 including taxes. One-way is $35 including taxes.

Reservations:
>>> PHONE: 1-888-619-5987
>>> ONLINE:
www.niagaraonthelake.com

The existing departure/arrival schedule allows for short day trips. You will enjoy more time cycling and exploring Niagara if you choose to stay overnight. There are many accommodation and camping options available, please inquire upon booking.

For more information and to view the Pilot Year schedule, visit www.biketrain.ca. (To find out what Bike Train passengers are saying about their trips, click on the "News" section of the website for links to several web blogs.)

This summer, take the train - bring your bike!

PLEASE NOTE:
*VIA Rail will not be taking any Bike Train reservations directly.

[photo credit: BikeLaneDiary]

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 09, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Bike City (at the Eaton Centre)

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Torontoist is reporting on the completion of the Lower Don Trail (between the Martin-Goodman Trail and Queen Street) and the scheduled re-opening of the trail this weekend!

Although the path may continue to look like a bit of a moonscape until landscaping is completed later this year or next, it's already a huge improvement over what was there when construction began. The most visible upgrade for pedestrians and cyclists will be the elimination of the dingy, dangerous metal-grate underpass that seemed barely a couple of centimetres above the river most days. The ominous steel trap with bike-eating gates at both ends has been replaced by an at-grade underpass that can only feel palatial by comparison.

The bike path improvements are part of a much larger project that includes flood protection for downtown, access to a new park, and improved habitat for the three-headed fish that make their homes in the Don. You can get an appreciation for the size of the project from some of the pictures posted on Don Watcher. Many cyclists weren't happy to lose this important path for over a year, but the improvements may be worth the wait.

Thank goodness. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has been missing this connection between the Don Trail and the waterfront.

[photo credit: DonWatcher]

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TCAT has an employment opportunity up. If you're good at Web/IT stuff... this may be good for you:

TCAT Logo


Position:
Web/IT Coordinator

Organization: Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT)

Application deadline: August 21, 5:00 pm

Start date: September 3, 2007

Location: Toronto

Maximum project cost: approximately $7,000
(Proponents may propose additions, substitutions or subtractions from the requirements if they feel they are advisable within the budget)

SECTION I – REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL

The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT) is requesting proposals from qualified firms or individuals for Web/IT Development Services.

SECTION II – PURPOSE OF THE RFP

1. Background Information

Formed in 2006, TCAT provides a unified voice for more than 25 community organizations working for a better cycling and pedestrian environment in the City of Toronto. For more information about TCAT, visit our web site at www.torontocat.ca

The purpose of this project is to create information technology infrastructure (website/database) with the capability for information delivery, e-mail communications; and sufficient ease of use to enable on-going maintenance and updates of the site without the need for specialized technical skills.

2. Project Purpose and Expectations

TCAT’s web presence will play an important role in achieving our platform goals. The purpose of this RFP is to select an approved IT/Web developer who will provide consistent and functional deliverables that adhere to the needs, standards and specifications of TCAT.

The Web/IT Coordinator deliverables should:

  • Include a web site that provides information on TCAT and its platform
  • Have an attractive design/look
  • Be easy to use for visitors to the site
  • Be easy for administrators who do not possess technical knowledge to manage the content and functions of the site, including the ability to add, change and remove content and navigation. The site structure should be flexible and expandable.
  • Be searchable
  • Have a news section, with tagging feature, and an events calendar. Items from both can be designated to appear on the home page.
  • Provide E-mail list registration, email list management (of multiple lists) by administrators, including the ability to send messages directly from the site, and the ability to associate email addresses with additional information (e.g.
  • postal code or ward number) and use this information in email management. As well, administrators should be able to set up the ability for visitors to send emails to designated addresses (e.g. their Councillor, all Councillors).
  • Include an interactive City Ward database, which brings together maps, news items, events, documents, supporters and site visitors associated with specific wards of the city. It should integrate with the email list system.
  • Have an internal web page feature to circulate web page drafts to steering committee members for comment and to store non-public documents
  • Provide e-mail service, including webmail access for TCAT e-mail addresses

Proponents may propose additions, substitutions or subtractions from the requirements if they feel they are advisable within the budget

3. Term of Contract

The term will run no later than March 31st, 2008 with the expectation that functionality of phase 1 of the web site design will be ready by September 26th, 2007 and phase 2 by October 31st, 2007, and that all expenditures will occur prior to March 31st, 2008.


SECTION III – INSTRUCTIONS TO PROPONENTS

1. You must submit your proposal electronically to info@torontocat.ca.
2. Proposals received after the time and date for closing may not be reviewed.
3. Proposals should be submitted as one complete electronic document only (PDF preferred).
4. TCAT reserves the right to conduct discussions with proponents, and to accept revisions of proposals, and to negotiate price changes.
5. Proponents submitting proposals which meet the selection criteria and which are deemed to be the most advantageous to TCAT will be invited for an interview, which may include an oral presentation of the proposal to the selection committee.
6. The award shall be made to the responsible proponent whose proposal is determined to be the most advantageous to TCAT based on the evaluation factors set forth in this RFP.
7. Your proposal should be submitted in the format shown in Section VIII.
8. All responses and accompanying documentation will become the property of TCAT at the time the proposals are received.

SECTION IV – SPECIFICATIONS/ SCOPE OF WORK

TCAT is looking for website/database design and integration services and components that meet the following requirements.

Phase 1 (Sept. 26)

  • Content Management System
  • Attractive Design
  • External web site
  • Hosting (or recommended host)

Phase 2 (Oct. 31)

  • Internal web site
  • News feed
  • Events calendar
  • E-mail service, with webmail
  • E-mail list management
  • Interactive Ward database

TCAT expects regular communication with the developer, with ongoing opportunities to comment on and test the design and functionality of the website before the final product is delivered by the deadline.

TCAT is looking for website/database design and integration services that meet the specifications listed below. The final website design product must:

  • Be consistent in its technological framework
  • Be browser and platform independent
  • Be able to scale to all screen resolutions
  • Meet accessibility requirements
  • Be usable on slow speed and broadband connections
  • Be integrated with an effective search engine such as Enterprise Level Google Search Appliance
  • Adhere to Web Standards
  • Integrate web site, news feed, calendar, data, communication and contact management
  • Provide accessible on-site content management
  • Be delivered by due date

Other specifications include:

  • Bug-fixing and technical support for the period ending December 31, 2007
  • Training and documentation

All deliverables produced on contract with TCAT become the property of TCAT.

The proponents must state if they have on-site design capability (or subcontract/ partner with another individual or firm). Please present key designers/developers résumés, computer equipment and application software list and a list of similar projects (with screenshots and/or web addresses of sample web sites), which you have successfully completed.

SECTION V – PROPONENT QUALIFICATIONS

TCAT is soliciting proposals from individuals or firms, which are in the business of providing services as listed in this RFP. Your proposal shall include, at a minimum, the following information. Failure to include these items may be grounds for rejection of your proposal.

1. The proponents shall present evidence that the individuals or firm have sufficient recent experience in providing services as listed in this RFP.
2. The proponents shall present three client or customer references. References should include the name, position, telephone number, and e-mail address of a contact person.

SECTION VI – EVALUATION CRITERIA

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria, listed in order of their relative priority with most important listed first:

  1. Proponent qualifications, experience and references
  2. Ability to provide a wide range of website design services; response to all requirements and desired specifications in Section IV
  3. Pricing schedule
  4. Samples of work
  5. Additional resources or benefits to TCAT

SECTION VII – PRICING SCHEDULE

Please provide a proposal quote for the work and deliverables described in this RFP.

Please break down this pricing in terms of the individual services provided (e.g. design, programming, testing, and training).

SECTION VIII – FORM OF PROPOSAL / SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

To facilitate direct comparisons, your proposal shall be submitted in the following format and include the following information, listed in order. If the proponent fails to provide any of the following information, TCAT may, at its sole discretion, ask the proponent to provide the missing information or evaluate the proposal without the missing information.

1. Complete Proponent contact information
2. Management summary and qualifications (and/or résumé), to include references per Section V
3. Pricing Schedule, Section VII
4. Specific proposal for how vendor will address the requirements (e.g. languages and programs used).
5. Samples of work product as requested in Section IV
6. A description of special skills, services or resources that the firm possesses that are not addressed in this RFP that would be made available as part of the contract

Include any additional information or benefit to be realized by TCAT as a result of contracting with you

Please also include a short description of the following:

  • How you work with clients
  • A description of your project development and project management approach
  • A description of your development process, your milestones schedule, your asset delivery methods and review process
  • Your testing methodology

Toronto Coalition for Active Transport

75 Elizabeth Street,
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 1P4
416-392-0290

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 09, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

News from the Toronto Coalition for Active Transport:

1. Waterfront Sidewalks in Danger – courtesy of the Port Authority

[with excerpts from Councillor Adam Vaughan’s, Ward 20, newsletter]

Earlier this year, Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC) voted unanimously to build a sidewalk and narrow what used to be Bathurst Street south of Queens Quay Boulevard under its new name Eireann Quay. The redesign was a huge victory for the local community. Residents had demanded control over their neighbourhood street since commercial flights resumed, under protest, on the island. The new design and regulations (taxi queuing lanes were eliminated) provide a safer intersection and safer pedestrian access to Ireland Park.

However, shortly after the TEYCC’s decision, the Toronto Port Authority and Porter Airlines commenced court action seeking an injunction against the city to stop the construction of the sidewalks and open up access for waiting taxi cabs. The City has decided to defend its position and rights to build the sidewalks in court this fall. TCAT will monitor this process and keep our supporters informed of any developments or opportunities to voice your support.


2. Issues and Decisions Across the City – Let us know what’s going on, especially in your ward

As an organization focused on the entire city it is sometimes difficult for TCAT to hear about local projects until very near the end of the planning or consultation process. In some cases it is too late to mobilize our networks of cyclists and pedestrians to voice their opposition or support for a particular City plan. Other competing interests are often quicker to organize (they may have been the ones to persuade the local Councillor or City staff to initiate the project in the first place), and so their voice is heard the loudest.

That is why TCAT is asking for your help. If you hear about something going on in your community – be it a sidewalk narrowing, a new bike lane, a change to a local speed limit, or any other project that affects the quality of your walking or cycling experience, we’d like you to share that with us. We will let others in your area, and across the city, know what the City is doing. If support is needed, we will encourage our supporters to write letters and attend meetings, so that you know you are not alone.

No matter how early in the process, please send this information to info@torontocat.ca. Tell us a little bit about the project and how others can help. Expect a response and most likely a posting in the next TCAT News e-Bulletin.


3. Call for Submissions: The Environmental Story to be Remembered in 10 Years

The Sustainability Network is collecting short stories from environmental leaders across Canada to highlight our country's environmental movement, our commitment to future growth and the significant role ENGOs have as champions of the cause.

This is a core project of the Sustainability Network's 10th Anniversary celebrations and they will be promoting this in a variety of ways. The Top Ten Selections will be highlighted in their October edition of Nexus, their website, media releases and in partnership with Corporate Knights magazine. They will also include "honourable mentions" wherever possible. Here are the guidelines:

· Submissions are due September 7, 2007
· Maximum 300 words in length, and a headline for your short story
· Include your name, title, and name of your environmental organization
· Highlight the environmental cause/issue, and why it's important to be remembered in 10 years
· Print-quality photos are encouraged with your emailed submission, but not essential in the selection process.
· Email your Environmental Story to be Remembered in 10 Years to: info@sustain.web.ca


4. TCAT News – Help spread the word!

TCAT is continually looking to increase its list of supporters. It helps to be able to say how many people and organizations support the work we do when we speak with City Councillors, City staff, and the media, or put out a publication. Please send this message to any groups or individuals you think would be interested in learning more about TCAT, receiving our weekly e-Bulletin, or volunteering with TCAT.

To learn more about TCAT, visit our web site at www.torontocat.ca

To subscribe to TCAT News, go to http://lists.torontocat.ca/listinfo.cgi/tcatnews-torontocat.ca

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 09, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I last mentioned BikeStations back in June (about an article about Toronto emulating Chicago), and I see they are now looking to open a BikeStation in Portland, OR:
White is especially excited by the recent interest of private developers.


She says the end result of all the discussions could range from a full-service, fully staffed facility to a partially or unstaffed and completely automated underground parking system.

White says BikeStation doesn’t push a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, they will work with Portland to come up with whatever bike-parking solution serves the city’s needs most effectively.

For instance, she wonders if it might make more sense to have a “hub and satellite system that all users can access,” instead of just one main facility.


No telling when the Nathan Phillips Square one will open.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Dr. Anne Lusk of Harvard's School of Public Health is so enamoured with what she calls "Cycle Tracks" that the Washington Post is writing about it:
She'd like to equip [American cities] with cycle tracks.

Cycle tracks? Does she mean the painted buffer lane for bikes you see on some streets? No! Those lanes are easily blocked by vehicles attempting to park. And they leave cyclists within inches of fast cars and monster trucks; if there's any error, you know who get hurts, often badly.

Cycle tracks, notes Lusk, are actually a separated part of the roadway yet distinct from the roadway, distinct from the sidewalk. In their purest form -- Odense, Denmark, where 50 percent of all city journeys are by bicycle -- the paths even have their own traffic signals.

What actually separates the cycle track? It can be a long, narrow curb. Or a line of cones or concrete barriers. Or metal stanchions. Or a line of trees and other vegetation (an on-street greenway).
The above photo is from Copenhagen, but similar things exist in Montreal too.

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David Engwicht has been called the father of traffic calming. This is the guy who set up his living room in the middle of the street. He has a ton of great ideas about making streets safer.

It may be surprising to you that he is not the biggest fan bikelanes, arguing that they don't make roads safer, but rather, more dangerous:

At first glance it seems self-evident that bike lanes automatically make streets safer for cyclists. It is common knowledge that the wider the traffic lane, the faster a motorist will tend to go…The narrower a passage way the slower we tend to go because there is not the same margin for error…

But there is a contradictory psychological impact of bike lanes. They deliver greater certainty to the driver. The driver knows exactly which is the cyclists’ space and which is their space. This increased certainty about where the cyclist will be in the roadway encourages the motorist to speed up…

But there is another interesting set of contradictory factors when it comes to bike lanes. Bike lanes change the perceptions of the cyclist. Cyclists feel safer because they no longer have to share a space with motorists. But…this is to some extent a false sense of security…when bike lanes are present, motorists impose greater risks on the cyclists, for example, driving closer to the cyclist when passing. Does this mean that accident rates go up after the bike lane goes in? Not necessarily. Because the cyclists feel safer, more of them cycle on that street.

It makes sense right up until the very last sentence. Although bikelanes may in fact be initially more dangerous for the false sense of security they give both drivers and cyclists, the fact that bikelanes increase cyclist numbers makes them safer. More cyclists on bikelaned streets means more cyclists on non-bikelaned streets. This forces drivers to be careful and more mindful of cyclists.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

I've been sort of following the whole congestion charge issue that's being discussed in New York via Streetsblog. Basically, it boils down to New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and a lot of community groups arguing for a congestion charge (to alleviate traffic congestion, spur economic activity, raise money for the transit system and help the environment) against politicians and community groups who whined about parking problems outside the congestion zone and the "taxing of the poor" (although if you know anything about New York, you know that the poor are not driving cars in Manhatten).

>Anyways, after the Congestion Charge seemed to be dead in the New York State Assembly in Albany, the Mayor and his opponents came to a kind of deal, which basically allows for New York to install a congestion charge, given that they get lots of "okays" from the State Assembly at various points in the process.

Toronto desperately needs a congestion charge to alleviate congestion, spur economic activity, raise money for public transit and help the environment. It would be so easy to do downtown, within a 10 minute walk of all the downtown subways stations... $2, say, to drive your car into the congestion zone.

That $2 gets put into running and expanding the TTC. What a concept.

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ReadingToronto is one of my favourite Toronto websites. Not only for the quality of writing about Toronto-centric issues, but for the variety of information it covers. Still one of my favourite blog posts ever is Escape Velocity... about the feeling of escaping gravity as one rides through a city.

Back in July, Robert Oulette of ReadingToronto visited Denmark and Sweden and has an excellent post about the bike-friendly infrastructure there:

In Sweden and Denmark civic authorities have done something exceptional: they designed cities for walking and cycling. This image is of a biking and walking path down a boulevard in Gothenberg. Cyclists have their own lanes on roads - real lanes with real stop lights of their own. Imagine.



I'm jealous.

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Ahh, Portland. The city government there co-ordinated a bunch of "Share the Path" events to educate cyclists, rollerbladers and pedestrians about sharing pathways with other road users:

Near the intersection with SE Grand Ave., Janis McDonald, Margaret Weddell, Stephanie Routh and Thomas Rousculp held up signs with messages like, “Don’t be a silent passer,” and “Bell free? Free bells ahead.”


On the west end of the bridge, employees of the Bike Gallery gave cyclists free tune-ups, installed “I love my bike” bike bells, and offered hot Peets coffee and muffins.

The Bike Gallery crew worked with the precision of a NASCAR pit crew; pumping up tires, adjusting brakes, and screwing on new bike bells.

What a great idea. Multi-use paths in Toronto can be disasters (try the Beaches on a holiday weekend!), between spandex cyclists doing time trails (which is totally inappropriate on park paths) and adults, kids and dogs all over the place (especially when there are sometimes seperate pedestrian-only paths).

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Ever wonder what was beyond the mist and haze of Niagara Falls?

It's Buffalo, and it's a great cycling city, according to the Buffalo News:
As I was heading home on my 10- speed, looking out at a gorgeous sun setting over the Niagara River, I grumbled at how Buffalo never makes those magazine lists of perfect cycling towns. It’s their loss.

It’s true we don’t have a lot of bicycle commuters. Our winters are too long, our springs too short – summer and fall are just right – and while we have a growing number of bike paths, far too many are strewn with broken glass.

But from my house near Delaware Park, it’s a short trip to ride along the mighty Niagara, extend it to take in breathtaking views of the rapids and the falls themselves or do a loop around Grand Island.

[The original article seems to have been taken down, so thankfully the BikeBlog from Buffalo copied the article]

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Biking the DykeMarch

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The Community Bicycle Network introduces mechanic classes for
beginners. The classes are taught by experienced mechanics and provide
an intimate, focused, learning environment. Learning some basics about
your bike saves you money in the long run when you can change your own
tube or adjust your brakes.
Dates: Wednesday evenings from 7pm until 9pm, weekly, beginning August 15th
Cost: $30 (including any deposit)
* Bring your own Bike (encouraged but not absolutely necessary)
* Two hour class.
* Maximum 6 people per class.
* Minimum 3.
Please RSVP by sending an email to
toolworks@communitybicyclenetwork.org with the subject "Bike Mechanic
Class RSVP", or by phoning 416-504-2918 and leaving a message under
"general inquiries" stating that you wish to RSVP for the Bike
Mechanic Class with your name and number. Someone will return your
email or call to confirm how to RSVP a spot (and how to pay a
deposit). Those who provide a $10 non-refundable deposit will be given
preference on the list.
The class consists of:
Flat Fix - hands-on segment:
- Participants will remove their own rear wheel and tire and go
through a tube repair and installation.
A brief discussion of:
- Bike fit
- General safety issues (loose parts, damage, etc)
- Lubrication
Brakes - instructor demo/description:
- general concepts and adjustment
- safety!
Gears and drive train - instructor demo/description:
- general concepts and adjustment
Bearing adjustment - instructor demo/description (time permitting):
- if time is tight, we'll try to at least discuss how to identify problems
Extra time? Depending on participant feedback, some possible subjects:
- components not already covered above
- basic wheel structure and truing


Note:
Due to the huge variety of bicycle components available, we may not
have time to cover the specifics of every participant's bike, but
we'll do our best. Suspension maintenance will not be covered.
This is a basic class, if there are topics you wish to explore in
greater detail please let us know to get on a waiting list and we'll
organize a class once we've got enough registrants.
If you are a woman you can also sign up for the Wenches with Wrenches
bike mechanic course, taking place in September. Read more on our
website.
The Community Bicycle Network is a non-profit involved in providing
cycling education and increasing access to bicycles in our community.
Check us out at: www.communitybicyclenetwork.org, 416-504-2918, 761
Queen Street West.
We look forward to seeing you!
Alex Bowron
BUG Network Facilitator
Bicycle User Group Network
850 Coxwell Ave., 1st Floor
Toronto, ON
M4C 5R1
(416) 338-5091
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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Good looking new movie about surviving (and thriving?) in Los Angeles without a car is on it's way. Hopefully it'll get a big distribution deal so it'll be seen by lots of people.
Katie’s eighty days finished on January 1, 2007…No carbon was emitted into the atmosphere during the production of this film – not by Katie, not by the cast, crew, or producer. Everyone involved rode the bus, carpooled, walked or biked, gear in hand, or in backpack!
[via Treadly and Me]

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 08, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark

Jonathon Maus over on BikePortland.org has a great forum on the site, and there's a pretty active thread about wearing / not wearing helmets while biking:

from “wsbob”:

“…cyclists chances of coming out of a fall or crash in better condition while wearing a helmet seem likely to be far better than without one…”

from “tfahrner”:

“…I don’t wear a helmet often because I don’t believe that non-sport-oriented bicycling on quiet routes about town is sufficiently dangerous to warrant such precautionary measures. I am particularly averse to instilling or reinforcing in the minds of others the ideas that (a) bicycling thus conceived is dangerous enough to require body armor and (b) any dangers that exist in public space are the responsibility of the potential victims to compensate for…”

from “aaron”:

“..if there is going to be a helmet law, then the helmets should be made better and car drivers and passengers should also be required to wear them too…”

Go and check it out for lots of pro and anti arguments about helmet use.


[photo credit: BikePortland.org]

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Cherry Beach Denizen

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posted by Joe on Monday, August 06, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Skydome Bikers

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posted by Joe on Sunday, August 05, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



To the Lighthouse

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posted by Joe on Saturday, August 04, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Crossing the Credit

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posted by Joe on Friday, August 03, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant

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posted by Joe on Thursday, August 02, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



From the Leslie Street Spit

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 Share/Save/Bookmark



Glowing

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