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



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

Here's a wrap-up of all the newsy posts that have been up on BikingToronto since last Friday. Enjoy.

  • TCAT News Bulletin - November 27th
    BikingToronto is a TCAT supporter. Here's the latest from TCAT: (To subscribe to TCAT News, go to http://torontocat.ca/main/?q=join)The Toronto Coalition for Active Transport just released their latest e-bulletin. I usually post it on here since it has been in email form, but they now have it on their website, so…
  • Toronto Cyclists Union releases November Newsletter
    BikingToronto is fully behind the upcoming Toronto Cyclists Union. It looks like it'll be a great advocacy organization for cycling in Toronto! They have just released their November Newsletter (PDF): Toronto Cyclists Union - November 2007 Ultrasound * A new magazine for Toronto bicycle riders! *
  • Unicycling Toronto
    The Star has an interesting article about unicyclists in Toronto today: More than two dozen people have defied the lousy weather to show up at the gym. They're practising stunts, shooting basketballs – unicycle hockey is also popular – and, in the case of newcomers, concentrating on staying upright."Until you…
  • Toronto Critical Mass Book Released
    For those of you into the anarchic aspects of cycling advocacy, Darren Stehr of TorontoCranks has just released a collection in book form of 10 years worth of Critical Mass photos. The price may seem a little steep at $40 for a paperback, but this is independently produced. I'm…
  • Bike Winter is hitting Toronto!
    A message from the City of Toronto, via the BikingToronto Inbox: Cold Weather Cycling Seminars are now available for all registered Bicycle User Groups. Get an idea of the topics we cover at http://www.toronto.ca/bug/cold_weather.htm. Also, get set for Toronto's first ever Bike Winter, scheduled to run from Dec.1 - Feb.29th.…
  • Executive Committee of Council can properly fund the Bike Plan
    The Executive Committee of City Council is meeting today, and the Toronto Coalition of Active Transport (TCAT) is trying to get the issue of funding the BikePlan for a 2012 completion back on the table, after the Budget Committee decided that the Bike Plan was important, but not important…
  • Bike Art is Everywhere
    A few artsy-bikesy things you may want to know about: One is Janet "Bike Girl" Attard's Studio will be part of the Holiday Marketplace at 401 Richmond from Thursday, Dec. 6th to Sunday, Dec. 9th. More information on the 401 Richmond website, and you can see a lot of…
  • Eye Weekly: Blowing off bike lanes
    Eye columnist and Spacing contributer Dale Duncan has a nice piece in Eye this week about bikelanes. Specifically, the frustration that comes with seeing some city politicians talk about being "green" but then not supporting funding for the Bike Plan. Adding bikelanes to Toronto's streets is relatively cheap and…

Past Weekly News Posts:

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

Dave Meslin appeared on the CBC program the Current back on November 22nd to talk about the Toronto Cyclists Union and other efforts to give cyclists a larger voice in large cities in North America.

The podcast of the program (mp3) is now available on the Current podcast page.

I think the most important thing to take from this (other than all the good bike-friendly stuff going on in other cities) is the widespread belief amongst non-cyclists of:
"...the stereotype of cyclists as anarchic zealots, hell on two wheels"
The longer we take to change this perception, the longer it will be until cyclists are seen as a valuable and viable user of public roads.

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



Bike Cops at a Protest

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posted by Joe on Friday, November 30, 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.






12-Year-Old Girl Injured In School Bus Accident

A 12-year-old girl has reportedly suffered back injuries in a crash involving a school bus and an oversized cube van.

Charges in hit-and-run accident

Police have charged a Toronto man after a hit-and-run accident that left another man hospitalized in critical condition. The 22-year old victim was hit by a car around 5 p.m. Friday while crossing Lawrence Ave. E. near Pharmacy Ave.

Man Killed After Sports Car Crashes Into Transport Truck

The accident took place just before 8pm on St. Clair near Brimley when a sports car slammed into the back of a transport truck. A man in the car was rushed to hospital but later died.

Alcohol-Related Collision In Scarborough

Police said a car spun out of control and slammed into a tree where Kingston Road meets Danforth. The 30-year-old woman driving the car and her 20-year-old male passenger were both taken to hospital.

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

The Stolen Bike Listing exists to bring more attention to what has been stolen in Toronto so that we can all keep an eye out for our beloved missing bicycles.

Since this began on November 1st, 37 stolen bikes have been added to the Listing.

You can visit the Stolen Bike Listing Page for more details about how to prevent your bike from being stolen, and what you can do if you find it missing one day, as well as a full list of bikes stolen recently.
  • A new as-it-happens Stolen Bike RSS Feed - accessible now through the more popular RSS Readers:
    • Add to Google Reader or Homepage
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • Add to netvibes
    • Subscribe in Bloglines

Here's what has been stolen during the past week:

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

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

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

8:00 - 9:30 AM:
Alternative Grounds' Coffee for Cyclists
Free IN-STORE coffee for anyone with bike helmet - 333 Roncesvalles (at Grenadier) from 8-9:30 AM

6:00 - 8:00 PM:
Critical Mass
Bloor & Spadina - meet at 6:00, ride at 6:30

8:30 - 10:00 PM:
Post-Critical Mass Hot Chocolate and Movie Night
Enjoy Documentaries about Critical Mass in Toronto and Vancouver at 761 Queen West

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

The next South East Toronto Bike User Group (SET BUG) meeting is next week.

When:
Wed Dec. 5th, 7 – 9 pm

Where:
South Riverdale Community Health Centre
955 Queen St. East

Proposed Agenda:

1. Toronto Transportation will review of upcoming projects
a. Leslie, Eastern, Carlaw, Logan and early thinking on Danforth.
b. Reviewing “sharrows” on Dundas bridge – how SET BUG can help.

2. The new bikelane approvals process.

3. Getting the word out about SET BUG and opportunities for cycling / pedestrian improvements in South East Toronto

If you run or are part of a BUG and have an upcoming meeting or event you want to publicize on BikingToronto please email me with the details.

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

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

Cool biking stuff happens in tons of places besides Toronto. I try to link to this "Elsewhere" stuff in the sidebar of this page.

Here's some news, views, and inspirations that I've come across in the past week:




Past "Elsewhere" Posts:

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

BikingToronto is a TCAT supporter. Here's the latest from TCAT:


(To subscribe to TCAT News, go to http://torontocat.ca/main/?q=join)

The Toronto Coalition for Active Transport just released their latest e-bulletin. I usually post it on here since it has been in email form, but they now have it on their website, so here's what it covers - you can decide for yourself if you want to read more:
  1. 2008 Capital Budget Update - Thanks to our supporters & TCAT pushes on
  2. Bike Lane Approval Process - Council approval to report on streamlining
  3. Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration - EA goes to committee on November 29th
  4. Fancy Folding Bike Demonstration & Ride - December 11th
  5. Welcome Toronto Cyclists Union & Bike Train – New groups join TCAT’s growing list of Supporters
  6. York Street Pedestrian Promenade - Report goes to committee
More on the TCAT site.

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

BikingToronto is fully behind the upcoming Toronto Cyclists Union. It looks like it'll be a great advocacy organization for cycling in Toronto!

They have just released their November Newsletter (PDF):
Toronto Cyclists Union - November 2007 Ultrasound

* A new magazine for Toronto bicycle riders!
* Our new home at TEA
* Building bridges with other organisations
* Quote of the month
* November's headlines

Download the newsletter here:
http://www.bikeunion.to/Ultrasound_November.pdf

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

The Star has an interesting article about unicyclists in Toronto today:

More than two dozen people have defied the lousy weather to show up at the gym. They're practising stunts, shooting basketballs – unicycle hockey is also popular – and, in the case of newcomers, concentrating on staying upright.

"Until you get the hang of it, it's the total workout," says Bedford. "Every muscle in your body comes into play."

"I used to balance on my unicycle in the hall," says Ria Carter. "I'd hold on to the walls and watch TV."

There's more to a unicycle than a wheel, pedals and a seat. "There are several different types," says Bedford. "You can buy a commuter unicycle; one for cruising or long-distance riding; speed – up to 30 km/h is possible – mountain ... yeah, absolutely, people go mountain-biking on a one-wheeler. They even come with brakes."

I wonder if unicyclists are a sub-culture of cyclists, or a culture all their own?

I remember trying unicycling way back when, but never had quite the right balancing skills for it.

More at the Star.

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



Hardcore

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



For those of you into the anarchic aspects of cycling advocacy, Darren Stehr of TorontoCranks has just released a collection in book form of 10 years worth of Critical Mass photos.

The price may seem a little steep at $40 for a paperback, but this is independently produced.

I'm not condoning or condemning Critical Mass, as it's a great community event that also happens to be confrontational and anti-car at times.

Confrontation can be useful to garner attention, but harmful when conciliation, co-operation and vast societal change is the goal.

More at Toronto Cranks.

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

There is a lot of posting here on BikingToronto. Here's a weekly digest of everything posted last week (Nov. 12-18), arranged by category:

(you can view these by day, as well)

News:
Events:
Photos:
Weekly:


Past Digest Posts:

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

There is a lot of posting here on BikingToronto. Here's a weekly digest of everything posted last week (Nov. 19-25), arranged by day:

(you can view these by category, as well)

Monday, Nov. 19th:
Tuesday, Nov. 20th:
Wednesday, Nov. 21st:
Thursday, Nov. 22nd:
Friday, Nov. 23rd:
Saturday, Nov. 24th:
Sunday, Nov. 25th:

Past Digest Posts:

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



Exhalted Transportation

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

Keep up do date on all the cycle-tastic stuff happening in and around Toronto with the BikingToronto Calendar Page.

Here's what's on tap for this week:

Thursday:

BikeChain Movie Night
  • Bikechain Presents the documentaries Ayamye and Still We Ride for free and there'll be snacks!
  • When: Thu, 29 Nov, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
  • Where: Cumberland Room in the International Student Centre, 33 St. George


Friday (BikeFriday!):

Alternative Grounds' Coffee for Cyclists

Critical Mass


Post-Critical Mass Hot Chocolate and Films!
  • Free Film Night and Hot chocolate to be served at 761 Queen Street West after ride.
  • When: Fri, 30 Nov, 8:30pm
  • Where: 761 Queen Street West


Saturday:

Trailblazers 25th Anniversary Party

  • Help celebrate 25 years of helping visually impaired cyclists.
  • For tickets or questions, contact (416) 456-7117 or Rozina at (416) 421-5210 any evening.
  • When: Sat, 1 Dec, 6:00pm
  • Where: York Reception Centre (Millwood & Overlea)


If you know of stuff I've missed, let me know. As I add new stuff you'll find it on the calendar. :)

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

A message from the City of Toronto, via the BikingToronto Inbox:
Cold Weather Cycling Seminars are now available for all registered Bicycle User Groups. Get an idea of the topics we cover at http://www.toronto.ca/bug/cold_weather.htm.
Also, get set for Toronto's first ever Bike Winter, scheduled to run from Dec.1 - Feb.29th. Show off your expert winter riding skills at the Coldest Day of the Year Ride on Wednesday, January 30th, complete with hot chocolate and yummy treats for riders.
Stay tuned to www.toronto.ca/cycling for an on-line Bike Winter Events Calendar and information on hosting your own event.
Finally, a fun bike event this week for all of you to check out:
Community Bicycle Network Free Hot Chocolate & Bike Film Night

Friday, November 30th, 8 PM
761 Queen Street West (West of Bathurst)
Bike Parking provided
8 PM
Premiere of Critical Mass in Toronto documentary
Short Bike Films, by Martin Reis
9 PM
You Never Bike Alone
Documentary of Critical Mass Vancouver by Bob Alstead
Hot chocolate provided by Chocosol - winner of the 2008 Bicycle Friendly Business Award for Best Small Business. For info on ChocoSol visit http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/02/chocosol_the_ul.php. FYI: this article is slightly out of date. ChocoSol has since changed locations.
That's all for now. Feel free to contact us anytime with questions or to requests.
(416) 338-5091
bugs@toronto.ca

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



The Executive Committee of City Council is meeting today, and the Toronto Coalition of Active Transport (TCAT) is trying to get the issue of funding the BikePlan for a 2012 completion back on the table, after the Budget Committee decided that the Bike Plan was important, but not important enough to finish by when Council wants to have it finished by:

TCAT continues to call on City Council to take immediate action to get the Bike Plan implementation back on track by:

  • Committing a minimum of $6.2 million to the 2008 Transportation Services cycling infrastructure budget
  • Ensuring that the $200,000 Parks, Forestry & Recreation 'bikeway network expansion' funding that was cut in 2007 as a cost containment measure be reinstated to that budget
  • Providing a minimum of $4 million in the 2008 Parks, Forestry & Recreation budget for repairing multi-use pathways in Toronto's Parks, to begin addressing the $20 million back-log
  • Moving forward the Parks Forestry & Recreation funding for bikeway network paths from the 2013 to 2017 into the current 5 year plan
  • Establishing a staff position in Parks, Forestry & Recreation that is dedicated to ensuring the integrity and connectivity of the pathway network

To read TCAT's letter to the Executive Committee click here.

Please take a few minutes this weekend to write to Mayor Miller, members of the Executive Committee, and your local councillor, and tell them you support TCAT's budget recommendations for implementing the Toronto Bike Plan by 2012.

Write to:

Executive Committee Members:

Please also copy TCAT (info@torontocat.ca) on any letters or e-mails you write.


More on the TCAT site, as well as on BikeToronto.ca

[photo credit]

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

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

Happy Monday to you!

Just in case you missed one of the extremely popular Photos of the Day, here's a re-cap from last week.

Hope you had a great weekend.

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

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



Glitter

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

Here's a wrap-up of all the newsy posts that have been up on BikingToronto since last Friday. Enjoy.
  • The Greater Toronto Transportation Authority and Bikes
    The new GTTA hasn't completely forgotten about bikes in their plans for Greater Toronto transit organization, co-ordination, and probably a few other "-ation" words: In August, the GTTA approved a first “quick-win” list of projects, including: adding 20 new double-decker…
  • Dave Meslin & the Cyclists Union on the CBC
    This morning, Dave Meslin of the Toronto Cyclists Union appeared on The Current on CBC to discuss efforts to give cyclists a larger voice in the political process. You can listen to the Real Audio File of the program on the Current site.
  • November News from Cyclometer
    If you haven't signed up for email delivery of Cyclometer, the City of Toronto's Cycling Newsletter, well... you should! Here's some November News for you, via the BikingToronto Inbox. 1. Tax Exemption On Bicycles And Bicycle Helmets To Take Effect December 1st Starting on December 1, 2007, the Ontario…
  • Opinions on Streamlining the Bikelane Approval Process
    The Star already has reader-submitted opinions up stemming from the article this morning: Toronto likes to boast that it is a world-class city, but it is absolutely parochial when it comes to its cycling policy. You can go to Tokyo and see full-service parking lots holding thousands of bicycles…
  • The Star wants your comments about bikelane vetos
    The Star has a "Speak Out" feature up about this morning's article about City Council working around local community councils who may oppose bikelane installation. Go and have your say about "Should community councils be allowed to veto new bike paths authorized by the city?" - they post most comments…
  • Toronto planning 50 km of bikelanes for 2008
    The Star has a short article this morning on City Council's plan to eliminate community councils from the Bikelane approval process - meaning that every January, City Council can decide which lanes will go in that year without having anti-cycling councillors…
  • Bikelanes planned for Dufferin Jog
    I almost missed this news, but it looks like that bikelanes are a part of the plan to straighten the "Dufferin Jog" (which, for anyone not familiar, is where Dufferin "jogs" a bit east due to the railway tracks via Peel…
  • Toronto Cyclists Union looking for volunteers
    Launching in the spring of 2008, the Toronto Cyclists Union will be Toronto's first membership-driven bicycle advocacy organisation. They are looking for people to help out with the following...
  • Cycling and the Media Discussion
    Just building on the post from this morning about the Globe article and the Cyclists Union... This article has brought up a lot of interesting discussion about how the "mainstream media" portrays cycling issues and those who care about them. I personally think the Globe article was generally good -…
  • The Globe: Grow Up, Cyclists (Dave Meslin and the Cyclist Union)
    The Globe & Mail had a large article in the "T.O." section on Saturday (you can click the side photo for a larger view of the 1st of 2 pages it was on) about the efforts of Dave Meslin in putting together the upcoming Toronto Cyclists Union for next spring:…
  • The Star: Bike plan misses benchmarks
    The Star is reporting today on the Bike Plan falling behind schedule: Though it's been cited as a key part of the Toronto's transit strategy, the city keeps falling further and further behind on its bike plan.At the outset, there were to be 1,000 kilometres of bikeways – a mix…
  • Spacing: Budget committee backs down from funding bikes
    Tammy Thorne of Spacing just posted about the Budget Committee backing down from increasing the Bike Plan Budget to get it done by 2012. While the original amount budgeted for 2008 was $3 million, the $5.5 million approved (while a substantial increase of 83%) falls short of the $7.7…

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



A few artsy-bikesy things you may want to know about:

One is Janet "Bike Girl" Attard's Studio will be part of the Holiday Marketplace at 401 Richmond from Thursday, Dec. 6th to Sunday, Dec. 9th.

More information on the 401 Richmond website, and you can see a lot of Janet's work on her Flickr page.

There is also a Canada.com column which is an interview of Interaccess curator Dana Samuel about the Laughbike and the Warbike:
Artist Jessica Thompson's bike is a laughing bike, which reinforces the fun in riding. It's a one-speed pedal-brake bike, so it's kind of like what you rode when you were a kid. Once you get to a certain speed the bike starts to laugh, so it's kind of about the feeling you get riding through a city in a nonutilitarian way.

The other soundbike is David McCallum's Warbike. The title comes from the terms "wardriving" or "warchalking," searching for open wireless networks and signalling to people where they exist. McCallum is a composer, and wanted to make audible that which is inaudible-- those wireless signals all around us. So Warbike has technology that chimes in church bell sounds or digital sounds whenever it senses a wireless network.
[photo is one of Janet Attard's pieces]

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



Eye columnist and Spacing contributer Dale Duncan has a nice piece in Eye this week about bikelanes. Specifically, the frustration that comes with seeing some city politicians talk about being "green" but then not supporting funding for the Bike Plan. Adding bikelanes to Toronto's streets is relatively cheap and easy to do, yet for all the plans, the money is still missing:
It’s strange to hear our city councillors claim that they’re going to make Toronto a green leader in one breath, and then treat cycling as an issue that doesn’t really have to be taken seriously in the next. When, on Nov. 14, Councillor Gord Perks moved to add $17.9 million to the cycling infrastructure budget over the next five years so that it would be possible for the city to meet its own goals, the budget committee shot him down. It’s as though there is a disconnect between plans that are approved and the money that is then dedicated to implementing them.

Agreed, Toronto continues to face troubling times financially, but somehow the city has found the money to pay for other, much more expensive projects. Take the Dufferin Street extension, priced at $32 million, or take a $35.6 million loan the budget committee recently agreed to provide for the construction of a new conference centre at the CNE. This isn’t to say that these projects aren’t necessarily worthwhile, but to prove that when council really wants something, it can often find the funds for it.
It should be noted of course, that some politicians are trying to get funding put through - Gord Perks, Glen De Baeremaeker and Joe Mihevc have been particularly noteworthy in trying to talk their colleagues into putting money where their mouths are.

Know of another councillor who should be recognized positively?

[photo credit]

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

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posted by Joe on Friday, November 23, 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.







Accidents close parts of 400

Two sections of Highway 400 have been closed - one southbound, once northbound - after two serious accidents this afternoon.

First winter storm causes hundreds of accidents

Ontario Provincial Police say there were hundreds of accidents -- mostly single-vehicle spinouts -- by mid-morning. At one point, a crash was reported every 90 seconds.

Police Probe Fatal Brampton Collision

The motorist was driving a minivan on northbound Goreway north of Derry at about 7pm Wednesday when he apparently lost control, crossed the centre line, and struck two other vehicles heading southbound before slamming into a tree.

Cab Slams Into Pole

Bad weather may have been a factor in a taxi slamming into a pole downtown Thursday morning. The driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries

Struck by car, woman seriously injured

A woman in her 30s was taken to hospital with serious head injuries after she was struck by a car in Toronto Saturday afternoon.

Man dies after crashing car, running away

The incident began just after 7:30 a.m. when a late-model Honda Accord flipped over on the southbound Don Valley Parkway near Don Mills Road. What began as an ordinary car accident soon turned into something else. When police arrived, the driver of the car ran into a brushy area next to the roadway.

Toddler Hit By Car

The 18-month-old was rushed by ambulance to Sick Kids Hospital but the child is expected to be okay. Police say a family member was behind the wheel of the car and no charges have been laid.

Body Found At The Side Of Highway 401

It appears a body found on the side of Highway 401 was the result of a single-vehicle crash, not a hit-and-run as was previously believed.

15-Car Pileup Near Brantford, Ont.

Icy roads are being blamed for a 15-car pile-up early Friday on the eastbound 403 in the Brantford area.


Related:

War of words led to road rage killing, trial told

Andrew Harris, 26, of Toronto has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in what legal experts say could be Ontario's first road rage murder trial.

Court Appearance For Teen Charged In Deadly Crash

A 14-year-old Ajax boy was due in court Monday following a devastating weekend crash that left two teens dead.

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

The Stolen Bike Listing exists to bring more attention to what has been stolen in Toronto so that we can all keep an eye out for our beloved missing bicycles.

You can visit the Stolen Bike Listing Page for more details about how to prevent your bike from being stolen, and what you can do if you find it missing one day, as well as a full list of bikes stolen recently.
  • A new as-it-happens Stolen Bike RSS Feed - accessible now through the more popular RSS Readers:
    • Add to Google Reader or Homepage
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • Add to netvibes
    • Subscribe in Bloglines

Here's what has been stolen during the past week:


Again, the full list is on the Stolen Bike Listing Page.

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


Living the Viva Loca... um, Wild Transit? [photo credit]

The new GTTA hasn't completely forgotten about bikes in their plans for Greater Toronto transit organization, co-ordination, and probably a few other "-ation" words:
In August, the GTTA approved a first “quick-win” list of projects, including: adding 20 new double-decker passenger coaches to the GO Lakeshore line by 2009 ($60-million); adding 10 new double-decker buses on the Highway 407-403 corridor by 2009 ($9-million); and adding 1,000 new bike racks to transit vehicles.
You can see the full GTTA Report or just a summary chart of all the recommended projects.

From Posted Toronto.

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

Grassroots Environmental Products is having their Bike Commuters Breakfast tomorrow, November 23rd at their Riverdale Store on the Danforth.
Join the folks at Grassroots-Riverdale for our monthly “Biker Breakfast” in support of Toronto’s bicycle commuters.

Grassroots (372 Danforth, at Chester) hosts an early morning bicycle commuter breakfast between 8am-9:30am. Grassroots would like to support and encourage all of those folks that commute to work by bike, and hopefully we will inspire others to try commuting by bike.

On Friday November 23rd, plan to stop by Grassroots-Riverdale for a delicious, wholesome breakfast snack.

Big thanks to our partners: Merchants of Green Coffee, The Big Carrot, and Urban Herbivore.

If you're on Facebook, there's an event page on there for this.

Also, tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day! Good thing the Grassroots Breakfast is free! :)

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

This morning, Dave Meslin of the Toronto Cyclists Union appeared on The Current on CBC to discuss efforts to give cyclists a larger voice in the political process.

You can listen to the Real Audio File of the program on the Current site.

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



Road King

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

Cool biking stuff happens in tons of places besides Toronto. I try to link to this "Elsewhere" stuff in the sidebar of this page.

Here's some news, views, and inspirations that I've come across in the past week:

SF: Bike safety marketing examples



China: 40 Million Electric Bikes Spark Environmental Dilemma

Portland: Donations large and small kick-start bike safety fund

USA: Bicycle Neglect (Sightline Institute)

UK: Cars out as London mayor clears way for Paris-style plage and cycle boulevards



Portland: Concepts for bike boxes, intersection improvements



DC: More people biking to transit

NYC Installing Sleek New Bike Parking Shelters



NYC: The Green Prince Street Bike Lane Has Arrived

NYC: Stolen Bike Rescued by Online Geeks

Pittsburgh: Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge over Monongahela River Opening

Portland: We Are ALL Traffic Rally



Past "Around the World" Weekly Posts:

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 21, 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 some November News for you, via the BikingToronto Inbox.



1. Tax Exemption On Bicycles And Bicycle Helmets To Take Effect December 1st

Starting on December 1, 2007, the Ontario government will exempt bikes costing $1000 or less from retail sales tax (RST). Bike helmets and other safety equipment will also be exempted.

"Increasing the affordability of quality bikes for children, youth and those considering cycle commuting sets the stage for a lifetime of cycling," said Pete Lilly, President of the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada and owner of Sweet Pete's Bike Shop.

2. Don't Hide Inside, Go For a Ride

As November wears on, 'lobster claw' gloves, long underwear and wool socks slowly move their way back into circulation.

This year become part of Toronto's 'Bike Winter', by listing your cycling events with the City of Toronto Online. Calendar will be ongoing between December 1 and February 29th.

3. Monday January 7th-Friday January 11th, 2008

Bike Art show in the Metro Hall Rotunda. Submissions for this show will be judged and finalists will be eligible to be printed as Bike Week posters for the spring. Please submit your photos, or graphics based artworks and spread the word to all bicycle artists you know.

4. Bike Week Meet & Greet

Thursday Jan 10th, 6:00-8:00 pm is the first date for a BikeWeek Event holders meet & greet.

The location is the Metro Hall Rotunda 55 John st. (John & King St. downtown.). Light refreshment will be provided.

5. Wednesday January 30th; Coldest Day of the Year Ride.

Come out to King & John for a lunchtime group ride in the City Centre on the statistically coldest day of the year. Ride starts on Metro Square at the Torch. Warm up with complimentary hot chocolate. If you would like a table on Metro Square for this event, please email bikeweek@toronto.ca


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

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


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



The Star already has reader-submitted opinions up stemming from the article this morning:
Toronto likes to boast that it is a world-class city, but it is absolutely parochial when it comes to its cycling policy. You can go to Tokyo and see full-service parking lots holding thousands of bicycles that are used as primary sources of transportation within the city. You can go to Europe and see thousands of kilometers of bicycle paths that are used as primary transportation routes by millions of bicycles. It's about time that Toronto learns that bicycles are not simply used for recreation, but are a primary all-season sustainable means of transportation that needs to be treated with more respect that it currently is.
[Joe Cooper, East York]
Check it out - they'll probably update the page as more readers submit. Even better - add your own opinion about if community councils should be able to veto bikelane installation.

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

Just in time for Christmas, there is free shipping at the BikingToronto Store.



Know a guy, girl , organic-lover or button/totebag afficionado that loves bikes? How about getting them something with the snazzy I Bike T.O. logo on it?

To take advantage of the offer, just have an order of over $25 and punch in "CADHOLIDAY07" as your Coupon Code when at the check-out.

All Product Categories:

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

The Star has a "Speak Out" feature up about this morning's article about City Council working around local community councils who may oppose bikelane installation.

Go and have your say about "Should community councils be allowed to veto new bike paths authorized by the city?" - they post most comments on their website and a select few in the paper version.


UPDATE: The Star has reader feedback on the website now.

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


The Dundas East Bikelane at Jones [photo credit]


The Star has a short article this morning on City Council's plan to eliminate community councils from the Bikelane approval process - meaning that every January, City Council can decide which lanes will go in that year without having anti-cycling councillors holding up the process in their wards:

Toronto should be able to add 50 kilometres of bike lanes to city streets in 2008 if a bureaucratic speed bump is flattened out, says the chair of the bicycle committee.

City council voted 38-3 yesterday to work toward streamlining the process that bounced approval of new bike lanes back and forth between community councils and the works committee.

A city staff report to come in January will recommend cutting community councils out of the process, said Councillor Adrian Heaps, who chairs the cycling committee. Councillors who oppose bike lanes have often managed to stall approval at that level, he said.

Heaps argues that since new transit routes and road construction don't need blessing from community councils, bike lanes shouldn't need it either.

There are 50 km that have been identified as having "low opposition" on Council, so there are plans to okay them in January for installation in 2008. This should help catch up on the Bike Plan.

More at the Star.

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



Cycling Aperture

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


Looking north on Dufferin towards Queen [photo credit]

I almost missed this news, but it looks like that bikelanes are a part of the plan to straighten the "Dufferin Jog" (which, for anyone not familiar, is where Dufferin "jogs" a bit east due to the railway tracks via Peel Avenue and Gladstone Avenue to meet Queen St. West ).

The plan is to tunnel under the tracks to re-connect Dufferin:
By next spring, workers will begin to build a 72-metre tunnel that will finally rejoin Dufferin St., whose two segments have been split for more than a century, forcing the navigation of the so-called "Dufferin Jog" around adjacent Gladstone and Peel Aves. just to get from one side to the other....

The engineers have designed the tunnel with two car lanes and a bike lane in each direction, in anticipation that Dufferin will someday be getting them as well.There will be areas for three small parks, should the city find money for it.
That's right - bikelanes are being included in the tunnel in anticipation that Dufferin may someday have bikelanes.

Gotta love it!

More at the Star.

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

There is a lot of posting here on BikingToronto. Here's a weekly digest of everything posted last week (Nov. 12-18), arranged by category:

(you can view these by day, as well)

News:
Events:
Photos:
Weekly Posts:


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

There is a lot of posting here on BikingToronto. Here's a weekly digest of everything posted last week (Nov. 12-18), arranged by day:

(you can view these by category, as well)

Monday, November 12th: Tuesday, November 13th:
Wednesday, November 14th:
Thursday, November 15th:
Friday, November 16th:
Saturday, November 17th:
Sunday, November 18th:

Past Digest Posts

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

Launching in the spring of 2008, the Toronto Cyclists Union will be Toronto's first membership-driven bicycle advocacy organisation. They are looking for people to help out with:
  • General volunteering - Physical/Outdoor
  • General volunteering - Administrative
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Event planning/management
  • Web design (Front End)
  • Web backend (Drupal)
  • Photography
  • Fundraising
  • Bike mechanic
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Video
  • Construction, renovations, painting
  • Legal
For more information, visit the site and go to the sign-up page to get your name on the list to get newsletters and/or volunteer, if that's your thing.

You can find past issues of their newsletter there too (PDF files):

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



Bicyclists at Burma Candlelight Vigil

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

Keep up do date on all the cycle-tastic stuff happening in and around Toronto with the BikingToronto Calendar Page.

Only one thing on this week - Grassroots Environmental Products is having their Bike Commuters Breakfast a week early - this friday the 23rd!
Join the folks at Grassroots-Riverdale for our monthly “Biker Breakfast” in support of Toronto’s bicycle commuters.

Grassroots (372 Danforth, at Chester) hosts an early morning bicycle commuter breakfast between 8am-9:30am. Grassroots would like to support and encourage all of those folks that commute to work by bike, and hopefully we will inspire others to try commuting by bike.

On Friday November 23rd, plan to stop by Grassroots-Riverdale for a delicious, wholesome breakfast snack.

Big thanks to our partners: Merchants of Green Coffee, The Big Carrot, and Urban Herbivore.

If you're on Facebook, there's an event page on there for this.

If you know of stuff I've missed, let me know. As I add new stuff you'll find it on the calendar. :)

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

Happy Monday to you!

Just in case you missed one of the extremely popular Photos of the Day, here's a re-cap from last week.

Hope you had a great weekend.

Past Photo of the Week Posts:

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

Just building on the post from this morning about the Globe article and the Cyclists Union...

This article has brought up a lot of interesting discussion about how the "mainstream media" portrays cycling issues and those who care about them.

I personally think the Globe article was generally good - cycling issues are generally a "marginal" topic as most mainstream media writers and readers can't relate to the issues very well.

What do you think of the article?

What do you think of the Cyclists Union idea?

You can check the Spacing Toronto post where there is a lot of comments about this, or comment here on this post, or add your thoughts to a thread about this in the very new BikingToronto Forum.

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

The Globe & Mail had a large article in the "T.O." section on Saturday (you can click the side photo for a larger view of the 1st of 2 pages it was on) about the efforts of Dave Meslin in putting together the upcoming Toronto Cyclists Union for next spring:

Mr. Meslin is clear and persuasive when he outlines the union idea over hot chocolate and a yogurt - eaten with a metal fork because it is the only reusable item available - in a coffee shop near his advocacy base three blocks away from City Hall, in the office of the Toronto Environment Alliance. As he sees it, the city needs to make cycling safe and practical. To push that agenda, the city needs a representative group that clearly speaks on behalf of cyclists.

"All the elements are in place. It just needs a kick start," Mr. Meslin says. "...We have tens of thousands of voters who ride bicycles."

The Cyclists' Union will have member dues, annual elections, policies and a representative in each of council's 44 wards. There could be membership incentives and discounts, bike-trailer rentals and even a roving cycling-repair team, à la the Canadian Automobile Association.


Personally, I liked the tone of the article... summed up here:
Mr. Meslin says the time has passed for "activisty" models of cycling advocacy, where gimmicks are used to gain attention. "It's time for the bike community to develop a more mature aesthetic." Or, to put it more simply, it's time for cycling to grow up.

More at the Globe & Mail.

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



Off The Wall

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



Two Bikes

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



Watching the Game

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

The Star is reporting today on the Bike Plan falling behind schedule:

Though it's been cited as a key part of the Toronto's transit strategy, the city keeps falling further and further behind on its bike plan.

At the outset, there were to be 1,000 kilometres of bikeways – a mix of lanes, signed routes and park paths – in place by 2011. Six years later, less than a third are built and the deadline's been pushed back to 2012.

"It's sort of like New Year's resolutions," said Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, who bikes to city hall from Scarborough. "It's one thing to write them down, it's another to implement them.

More at the Star, and news about BikePlan funding was in the BikingToronto post from earlier today

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



Tammy Thorne of Spacing just posted about the Budget Committee backing down from increasing the Bike Plan Budget to get it done by 2012.

While the original amount budgeted for 2008 was $3 million, the $5.5 million approved (while a substantial increase of 83%) falls short of the $7.7 million that some people say is needed to get the plan back on track to a 2012 finish.

The city’s chronic shortage of money has killed a move to add almost $18 million to complete an ambitious bike plan by 2012.

City council’s budget committee voted only to support the project in principle, with a report to come later on whether it’s affordable without cancelling other important projects.

The city’s 2008 capital budget allocates $5.5 million next year for bike lanes, but that should be raised to $7.7 million, said Franz Hartmann, executive director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

Councillor Gord Perks’ bid to add $17.9 million to the bike plan between 2009 and 2012 ran into opposition on the budget committee.

“I don’t want to increase the budget by $17 million right now,” said Councillor Shelley Carroll, the budget committee chair.

The Spacing Post also has some good advice for Toronto cyclists who want to get proper funding back on the table, maybe via the Council Executive Committee (email link to Exec. Committee Secretariat):
• contact your local councillor and ask them to support funding for completion of the entire Bike Plan
• contact the Executive Committee if you want them to up the funding for bikes.

More at Spacing Toronto

[
photo credit]

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

Here's a wrap-up of all the newsy posts that have been up on BikingToronto since last Friday. Enjoy.

  • Two New Electric Bike Stores in Town
    Have you seen Electric Bikes in Toronto? They look kind of like scooters, but a bit more bare bones in styling, with big wide pedals sticking out the side: Whether or not you've seen them, or like them, or think they have a right to use bikelanes, you're about to…
  • Excerpts from the Budget Committee Deputations
    Over at Eye Weekly, Dale Duncan has summarized some of the deputations from the public and organizations at Tuesday's Budget Committee Hearings (these are summaries, not verbatim): Smog from cars kills around 440 people a year according to Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. The most effective way to get people…
  • Daylight Savings Time: Do you feel okay?
    A little over a week ago, Spacing Toronto picked up on a story out of Pittsburgh about how changing the clocks in the fall make us all a little screwy: “The change that’s going to occur on Sunday is going to have some…
  • Richard Florida on Bicycling and Cities
    In case you haven't heard of him, economist Richard Florida is often described as an "Urban Guru" as he knows what makes modern cities "tick", and has written about it in books such as Cities and the Creative Class: Richard Florida outlines how…
  • Bike Plan Progress at the Budget Committee Meeting
    Martin Koob has posted a great synopsis of yesterday's Budget Committee hearings - and it sounds like some City Councillors are listening to and interested in the needs of Toronto's cycling community. Here are some excerpts from Martin, but check out his full post for much more info:
  • Nurse Hits and Treats Cyclist on Monday
    Talk about being efficient! A nurse ran a red light at Richmond & Bathurst yesterday, hitting a cyclist. She (or he) got out of the car and treated him, and he'll be okay. From CityNews
  • Spacing: Convincing Councillors to Fund Bike Infrastructure
    Matt Blackett over on Spacing has a nice post up about today's Budget Committee hearings. On a personal note, I’ll be interested to see how much money city council dedicates to cycling infrastructure and operational costs. The recently released report from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health that expresses a serious…
  • Union Station Revitalization Open House
    There's an Open House coming up this Wednesday afternoon, whereby you can see what's in store for Union Station as well as offer your own input. Union Station is about to undergo some major changes, but we want your input…
  • New Bikelanes on the Queensway
    BikeToronto has photos and background info on new Queensway bikelanes that were painted over the weekend. They extend all the way from Claude Ave (just west of Roncesvalles) all the way over to Windermere: This project is an example of road reconstruction done right. The Toronto Bike Plan only had…
  • Recumbents Cruise Toronto
    Recumbent Bikes, or "Bents" always get a lot of attention. A bunch of local recumbent and traditional cyclists got together yesterday for a "Toronto HPV" (Human Powered Vehicle) ride around downtown and out to the Leslie Spit, and good ol' Steeker got some good pics of the group:
  • Speak Out About Toronto's Cycling Budget
    On Tuesday, November 13th, there will be public hearings about the City of Toronto's budget for next year. How does this impact cyclists? It's all about the money for expanding the bikeplan to its full 1000+ km by 2012. Thanks to BikeToronto for analyzing the numbers for Toronto cyclists:
  • Bikes And Helmets PST-Free As Of December 1st
    Back in September, during the Provincial Election, BikingToronto reported on a Liberal promise to cut the PST (8%) on bicycles and related equipment. We can tally this up as a promise McGuinty is keeping - as the tax cut takes place on December 1st, just in time for Christmas shopping…
  • Toronto Public Health: Cutting car emissions saves lives
    Everyone already knows that pollution isn't good for our health, but it's always good to see more and more reports about how cutting vehicle emissions will save lives. The Toronto Star reported on a Toronto Public Health report last weekend: A new study…

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



A Tisket, A Tasket, A Yellow Flowered Basket

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posted by Joe on Friday, November 16, 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.






Girl killed in car crash, but message survives

Among the debris strewn across the highway were three typed, double spaced pages of paper, spotted with blood, that police would later retrieve. Chelsea had been studying all weekend. The seventh grader had been assigned a presentation on the dangers of r

Part Of Hwy 401 Closed After Fatal Overnight Crash

When they arrived they found that a vehicle had apparently lost control and then rolled several times before coming to a stop and catching fire. The motorist was pronounced dead at the scene.

Driver Dies As Car Veers Off Highway And Hits Parked Truck

One man is dead and another is shaken up after a terrible crash on the southbound 400 near Highway 89 Wednesday afternoon. Police are still trying to figure out why a Dodge Caravan suddenly veered off the road and plowed straight into a disabled 5-ton tru

Teen Struck By Van

A teenage girl has been seriously injured after being hit by a van in the city's west end. According to authorities she was crossing near Lake Shore and Long Branch at about 7:30am Thursday when the vehicle struck her.

Train Hits Car

The driver was stuck behind a truck at a rail stop with a train fast approaching when she suddenly tried to cross. Her two kids were in the car at the time.

Nurse Hits and Treats Cyclist on Monday

A nurse ran a red light at Richmond & Bathurst yesterday, hitting a cyclist. She (or he) got out of the car and treated him, and he'll be okay.

Parliament Rollover

Police spent Sunday night trying to reconstruct a crash scene at Parliament and Richmond where a van rolled into the path of an oncoming bus.

Cop Cruiser Gets Rear-Ended In Scarborough

Two police officers were rear-ended by a car around 10:30pm Friday. Police said the officers were stopped in the curb lane outside an address on Kingston Road east of Midland when they were hit.

Girl hurt in hit-and-run accident

The girl was walking across Gerrard St. at Parliament St. with her mother and 8-year-old sister at about 10 p.m. when all three were hit. She was dragged for 45 metres by the vehicle, which is described as a red or maroon minivan.


Related:

Safety Blitz Launched At Dangerous Time Of Year For Pedestrians

It's one of the most dangerous times of the year for pedestrians, which is why Toronto police have launched a week-long safety blitz dubbed Smart Ped.

Pedestrian safety blitz starts

Similar events are often run in November, when pedestrians are faced with dark winter evenings and when police see a "significant" spike in the number of pedestrians struck, Toronto police Det. Paul Lobsinger said.

Canadians Habitual Speeders Despite Knowledge Of Dangers

A new report from Transport Canada reveals that most Canadians are well aware that putting the pedal to the metal while behind the wheel of a car is risky and can even lead to death, but seven out of 10 admitted to being habitual speeders regardless.

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

BikingToronto launched the Stolen Bike Listing a couple weeks ago.

The goal is to bring more attention to what has been stolen in Toronto so that we can all keep an eye out for our beloved missing bicycles.

You can visit the Stolen Bike Listing Page for more details about how to prevent your bike from being stolen, and what you can do if you find it missing one day, as well as a full list of bikes stolen recently.

New stuff this week:
  • Actually, anyone is welcome to start and join discussions in the Forum on bikey stuff in Toronto ... since BikingToronto readers are the best! (that's me buttering you up!)
  • A new as-it-happens Stolen Bike RSS Feed - accessible now through the more popular RSS Readers:

Here's what has been stolen during the past week:


Again, the full list is on the Stolen Bike Listing Page.

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

Have you seen Electric Bikes in Toronto? They look kind of like scooters, but a bit more bare bones in styling, with big wide pedals sticking out the side:



Whether or not you've seen them, or like them, or think they have a right to use bikelanes, you're about to see a lot more of them. Electric Bike manufacturer and retailer Daymak has just opened up two new stores in Toronto (at Richmond & Jarvis and Bloor & Dundas).

Whether it's higher gas prices, higher TTC fares, or concern for the environment, this is a sign that we will all be seeing a lot more "E-Bikes" on the road.

Oh, and some of them look like normal bikes too.

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

Over at Eye Weekly, Dale Duncan has summarized some of the deputations from the public and organizations at Tuesday's Budget Committee Hearings (these are summaries, not verbatim):
Smog from cars kills around 440 people a year according to Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. The most effective way to get people to keep their cars at home is to give them alternatives. So how about moving forward with our Bike Plan? Since the plan's approval in 2001, only 20 per cent of the funds needed to complete it have been spent.
(Franz Hartmann, Toronto Environment Alliance)

The CAA doesn’t speak for me. I’d rather drive my SUV — yes I own an SUV — on a bumpy road with a bike lane than a smooth road without one. We need more than just bike lanes, we need promotional programs, ads that say “walk more, pollute less” on the TTC. Health care costs are rising, but we don’t have to go to the gym, we just have to walk. I’m here to urge you to spend more.
(Dr. Judy Adler)

More at Eye Weekly.

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


Queen East after dusk [photo credit]

A little over a week ago, Spacing Toronto picked up on a story out of Pittsburgh about how changing the clocks in the fall make us all a little screwy:

“The change that’s going to occur on Sunday is going to have some pronounced effects on your risks of walking between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.,” Dr. Gerard said last night. “Basically, these are the hours when it’s just getting dark. Next week at this time, it will be pitch black. But people walking and people driving won’t have adjusted. The baseline risk for getting killed is almost tripled.”

Their study of pedestrian fatalities from 1999-2005 shows that there is an average of 37 more U.S. pedestrian deaths around 6 p.m. in November compared to October. That amounts to an increase of 186 percent.

It sounds like there isn't enough research on why everyone is a bit "off" at this time of year, but a quick Google search brings up articles like "Daylight Savings Time Disrupts Human's Natural Circadium Rhythm":
As in other animals, the human circadian clock uses daylight to stay in synchrony with its environment as the seasons change. In fact, Roenneberg said, this "entrainment" is so exact that human behavior adjusts to the east-west progression of dawn within a given time zone.
In every day language, I take this to mean that our brains go a bit awry in the first couple of weeks after the fall time change because our natural clocks expect it to be light when it's dark. Until our clocks sync up with the new time, our brains have difficulty dealing with the early darkness and it makes driving, walking and cycling more dangerous.

Personally, this is the hardest time of year to bike around the city.

I do fine in the winter (as long as I wear extra layers), but early November is the worst. My mind is adapting to the early darkness as I bike home and I have to deal with drivers whose own minds are adapting to the darkness... and who seem to pass me too closely or turn in front of me with more frequency.

Even though I bike to and from work using a set route (as I recommend in my 8 Secrets to Cycling in Traffic to get use to traffic flow and driver behaviour at all parts of a route), I get a little freaked out every November by cars, reminding me of how I felt when I first started biking to work - not used to having cars right beside me and unsure of what they were going to do.

I can now attribute this to the time change and not a driver-wide conspiracy of aiming for cyclists and pedestrians.

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



Queen West

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


Bike Power in Toronto [photo credit]

In case you haven't heard of him, economist Richard Florida is often described as an "Urban Guru" as he knows what makes modern cities "tick", and has written about it in books such as Cities and the Creative Class:
Richard Florida outlines how certain cities succeed in attracting members of the "creative class"--the millions of people who work in information-age economic sectors and in industries driven by innovation and talent. Cities that succeed, Florida argues, are those that are able to attract and retain creative class members. They don't do this through the traditional strategies of tax incentives, suburban housing developments, and loose regulation, though; creative class members don't care about those details. Rather, they care about amenities and tolerance, and are drawn to cities with thriving bohemias and large gay populations.
Florida recently made the move to Toronto (which, yes, he has deemed a "Creative Class City") to work at the Rotman School of Management, and writes a column and blog for the Globe and Mail.

Yesterday, he blogged about Bicycling and Cities, and I think Toronto came out rather well:
I became a cyclist in Boston and loved riding out west of the city. On one of my very first rides on my first serious road bike, some clown in Boston drove by and heaved an orange at me - fortunately his aim was poor and he missed... Even though I haven't gotten out yet, Toronto seems very bike-friendly. It's the only place I've ever lived that people chastise me for driving and tell me to get back on the bike.
Florida was spurred on by the question of "Does bicycle friendliness contribute to a city’s economic development?" and the statement of Dave Atkins of Boston that:
The bike component is a key feature for any city to achieve the kind of living balance that so many of us want these days. We don’t want to commute by car in from the suburbs. We want to be a part of where we live and work. The bike can really help that feeling of connectedness.
Florida asks for our thoughts on the issue of how much cycling is accepted in Toronto. Let him know what you think.

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

Cool biking stuff happens in tons of places besides Toronto (believe it or not!).

I try to link to this "Elsewhere" stuff in the sidebar of this page (scroll down a bit), but in case you missed it, here's a post about it. :)

Here's some news, views, and inspirations that I've come across in the past week:
NYC: Crosstown Bike Lanes Remain in the Crosshairs



NYC: Fort Greene Bike Lanes & Traffic-Calming

When in Rome, Share Bikes

Amsterdam: Cyclists Always Get the Green Light

Washington, DC: Women's Garden Biking Tour



London: 10,000 New Bike Parking Spaces for London Schools



NYC: New Lower Manhattan Crosstown Bike Route



NYC: Gridlocked Streets Are “Not a Law of Nature”



NYC: For the Best in Transportainment, Try a Pedicab

Portland: Family cycling: The next Big Thing?

NYC: Shared Space on the Brooklyn Bridge

You can see last week's version of this post too:
Cycling News from Around the World - Wed. Nov. 7th

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

Martin Koob has posted a great synopsis of yesterday's Budget Committee hearings - and it sounds like some City Councillors are listening to and interested in the needs of Toronto's cycling community.

Here are some excerpts from Martin, but check out his full post for much more info:
...In the morning several people showed up to make deputations to the Budget Committee in support of putting the funding in place to ensure that the Toronto Bike Plan can be completed by 2012. The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT) submitted their deputation which included an analysis of the Capital Budgets of the Parks Forestry and Recreation Division and the Transportation Services Division. It found that the 2008 - 2012 five year capital plan as proposed would not achieve the goal of completing the Bike Plan by 2012. You can read their deputation on the TCAT website: 2008 Capital budget submission.

...

During the day Councillor Gord Perks Ward 14 Parkdale-High Park, a member of the Budget Committee, worked to ensure that the funds to complete the capital projects in the Bike Plan were in the 2008 - 2012 time frame... [including] a request that all the funding for bike plan related Parks Forestry and Recreation trail projects be moved forward from the 2013 - 2017 5 year plan into the 2008 - 2012 time frame. This ... has to be introduced formally as a motion at the budget committee tomorrow, November 14th.

...

Councillor Adrian Heaps Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest, the chair of the Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee (TCAC) approached me at one point during the afternoon as I sat in the gallery and said "We're making progress". I think we actually are. It doesn't mean though that the cycling community can relent in keeping on the pressure to see action on the Bike Plan, but rather feel re-energized to keep pressing on.

More at BikeToronto.

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



Humber Bridge at Night

(yes, that's the light from two bike headlights zooming along there!)

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

There is a lot of posting here on BikingToronto. Here's a weekly digest of everything posted last week (Nov. 5-11), arranged by category:

(you can view these by day, as well)

Carnage:

Elsewhere:

Events:

News:

Photos:
[you can also see little previews of the Photos of the Day in yesterday's Photos of the Week post]

Politics:

TCAT:

Weekly Posts:

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

There is a lot of posting here on BikingToronto. Here's a weekly digest of everything posted last week (Nov. 5-11), arranged by day:

(you can view these by category, as well)

Mon, Nov. 5th:


Tues, Nov. 6th:


Wed, Nov. 7th:


Thurs, Nov. 8th:


Fri, Nov.9th:


Sat. Nov. 10th:

Sun. Nov. 11th:

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



Talk about being efficient! A nurse ran a red light at Richmond & Bathurst yesterday, hitting a cyclist. She (or he) got out of the car and treated him, and he'll be okay.

From CityNews

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

Matt Blackett over on Spacing has a nice post up about today's Budget Committee hearings.

On a personal note, I’ll be interested to see how much money city council dedicates to cycling infrastructure and operational costs. The recently released report from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health that expresses a serious need to reduce vehicle emissions can be used as an effective tool to help convince city councillors on the need invest in bike transit. Cycling was also a component of the City’s “Change Is In The Air” policy.

The City has an ambitious 10-year bike plan that is far behind schedule. Mayor David Miller and Cycling Committee Chair Adrian Heaps have been actively trying to instill confidence in cycling and public space advocates that the City is about to get over the proverbial bump in the road and begin to implement the bike plan in a significant way. The mayor has stated that a portion of the $60-million raised from the newly approved Personal Vehicle Registration Fee would be directed to “road repairs, public transit, cycling and pedestrian improvements.” And in the upcoming issue of Spacing, Mayor Miller and David Suzuki cite the need to ride bikes as a small way to help fight climate change.

They start at 9:30 AM in Committee Room 1 at City Hall. Send them an email (I'm sure they check their email when they get bored during meetings...) to get them to properly fund the Bike Plan so it's done by 2012, as planned.

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



Queen West Graffiti

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


Toronto's Transportation Cathedral [photo credit]

From the BikingToronto Inbox:

There's an Open House coming up this Wednesday afternoon, whereby you can see what's in store for Union Station as well as offer your own input.

Union Station is about to undergo some major changes, but we want your input first.

Be part of the rebirth on November 14: visit Union Station's Great Hall, or come to this site to have your say in the future of Union Station.

The proposed work is within the context of the approved Master Plan.

More information.


As there's always lots of talk about putting a BikeStation-type thing at Union (or atleast a whole ton of BikeLockers) for the commuters, it'll be interesting to see how cyclists and their needs are being addressed.

Open House - Union Station Revitalization


Mayor David Miller and Councillors will host an open house in Union Stations' Great Hall from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 to obtain public input for the revitalization of Union Station.

Details can be found on the following site:

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

BikingToronto is a TCAT supporter. Here's the latest from TCAT:


(To subscribe to TCAT News, go to http://torontocat.ca/main/?q=join)




As mentioned Friday, tomorrow the City of Toronto 2008 Capital Budget goes before public hearings - you have a right to make a "deputation" if you so desire:
    • To find the public presentation and analyst briefing notes visit the City’s web site by clicking here.
    • To sign up to make a deputation on November 13th, contact the committee secretary at mmacdona@toronto.ca or 416-392-7340.
    • You can go there in person too! It's at City Hall at 9:30 am, Committee Room #1.

Below are details about what the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation will be asking:



DO YOU WANT THE CITY TO FUND BIKES?

TCAT ASKS THE CITY TO PUT ITS MONEY WHERE ITS MOUTH IS

The 2008 Capital Budget Hearing is this Tuesday, November 13th, 9:30 a.m.


Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health recently released a report expressing the need to cut vehicle emissions, which contribute to an average of 440 deaths each year. The report showed that a 30% reduction in vehicle emissions could save 200 lives and almost $1 billion in healthcare costs. In order to reduce vehicle emissions the City must immediately accelerate its investment in sustainable and active transportation.

Last month, council approved two new tax measures. A portion of the vehicle tax is to fund active transportation. From the Mayor’s Fair Tax Plan web site: “A Personal Vehicle Registration Fee…would raise about $60 million a year, to be directed to road repairs, public transit, cycling and pedestrian improvements….”

In July, council approved its Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan and essentially renewed its commitment to complete the Bike Plan by 2012, and also announced plans to implement a Walking Strategy.

The City has also committed to infrastructure investments for the 13 priority neighbourhoods across the city, many of which were shown to have inadequate cycling and pedestrian facilities in a study by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
released this month. The study showed a positive correlation between bicycle infrastructure that encourages cycling and a lower incidence ofdiabetes.

So, with all these commitments in mind, TCAT has examined the proposed 2008 capital budget and will present its comments and recommendations to the Budget Committee on Tuesday, November 13th.

“The small amount of funding it would take to complete most of the Bike Plan in the immediate future would go a very long way to mitigate congestion, improve air quality and reduce healthcare costs from smog-related illnesses, as well as car-related injuries and deaths,“ says TCAT’s project coordinator, Fred Sztabinski.

Overall, the funds in the 2008 capital budget and the 2009-2012 capital plan are simply insufficient to meet Council’s goal of completing the Bikeway Network by 2012.

(Please read TCAT’s letter to the Budget Committee including tables and figures by clicking here and scroll to bottom of the page to access the PDF)

TCAT recommends that City Council take immediate action to get the Bike Plan implementation back on track by:

  • Committing a minimum of $6.2 million to the 2008 Transportation Services cycling infrastructure budget
  • Commit an additional $300,000 in the capital budget towards Transportation Services staffing to ensure implementation can occur
  • Provide a minimum of $4 million in the Parks, Forestry &
    Recreation budget for repairing and creating new multi-use pathways in
    Toronto's Parks
  • Establish a staff position in Parks, Forestry &
    Recreation that is dedicated to ensuring the integrity and connectivity
    of the pathway network.

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

Keep up do date on all the cycle-tastic stuff happening in and around Toronto with the BikingToronto Calendar Page - or the little one in the sidebar on the right (scroll down a bit).

Here's what's on tap for this week. It's all in Google Calendar (but don't worry, you don't need an account to view stuff), and has links to stuff like event pages on facebook, etc.

If you know of stuff I've missed, let me know. As I add new stuff you'll find it on the calendar. :)


Tuesday, November 13th:
    • To find the public presentation and analyst briefing notes visit the City’s web site by clicking here.
    • To sign up to make a deputation on November 13th, contact the committee secretary at mmacdona@toronto.ca or 416-392-7340.
    • 11:30am - 12:30pm
    • Toronto-Dominion Centre (south west corner of King at Bay) [map]
    • To demonstrate folding bikes, promote cycling, and have a fun ride around the financial district.

Wednesday, November 14th:

Saturday, November 17th:
    • "9am- Sprints at unwin st.please be there early to register.starts exactly at 9am.$500 first place prize!!!!! 6pm- Lacarrera Cycles will be holding a Bull Run starting at 106 Harbord st.it's a long run,for $3000 winner takes all!!!!!! Entry fee- six pack of heinken + $5"

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

BikeToronto has photos and background info on new Queensway bikelanes that were painted over the weekend. They extend all the way from Claude Ave (just west of Roncesvalles) all the way over to Windermere:
This project is an example of road reconstruction done right. The Toronto Bike Plan only had bike lanes proposed for the section of The Queensway east of Colborne Lodge Road and not for the section west of that. When the section of The Queensway came up for reconstruction, staff working on the project saw the opportunity to extend the bicycle lanes right from Claude Ave to Windermere and incorporated them into the plans. [BikeToronto]




More at BikeToronto

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

Recumbent Bikes, or "Bents" always get a lot of attention.

A bunch of local recumbent and traditional cyclists got together yesterday for a "Toronto HPV" (Human Powered Vehicle) ride around downtown and out to the Leslie Spit, and good ol' Steeker got some good pics of the group:






If you want more info on recumbents, Toronto HPV is a great place to get it.

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

Happy Monday to you!

Just in case you missed one of the extremely popular Photos of the Day, here's a re-cap from last week.

Hope you had a great weekend.


Monday: Bicycle Tree

Monday: Bicycle Tree


Tuesday: Transit Message
Wednesday: Riding by Trinity-Bellwoods
Thursday: Sunday Cycling in the Beaches
Friday: The Journey
Saturday: Sharing the Road
Sunday: From the Queen Streetcar

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



Waterfront

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



From the Queen Streetcar

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

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

One story has dominated cycling-type news in Toronto since last friday:

    • Various news outlets are reporting that a cyclist stabbed a motorist 3 times in the neck with a screwdriver near the intersection of College and McCaul.
    • While he was stopped, a cyclist heading east got upset the driver was blocking part of his lane, Det. Searles said. The two men argued briefly, and the driver finished making his left turn. Police say when the driver got to McCaul Street, the cyclist, who had followed him, stopped his bike in front of the Escape and approached the driver's side window.

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

On Tuesday, November 13th, there will be public hearings about the City of Toronto's budget for next year.

How does this impact cyclists? It's all about the money for expanding the bikeplan to its full 1000+ km by 2012.

Thanks to BikeToronto for analyzing the numbers for Toronto cyclists:
Since the budget was just released on the 29th it has taken a bit of time to find out exactly how cycling related budget lines have fared in this proposed budget. The two budgets that have the most impact on the Bike Plan projects are those of the Transportation Services Division and the Parks Forestry and Recreation Division.

The presentation by staff at the budget launch showed that the Transportation Services Cycling infrastructure budget would be $3.0 million in 2008, no increase over 2007. However the analyst notes indicate that this budget will get an increase to 5.5 million in 2008 ($4.55 million to be spent in 2008 and $950,000 to be spent in 2009).

However, this annual rate of funding is still short of the funds that would be needed to complete the bike plan by 2012. The proposed 5 year capital plan 2008 - 2012 shows $30.1 million being spent on cycling infrastructure. That budget pays not only for bike lanes and off-road paths in hydro and rail corridors but also it contains the funds for the other items that are paid for out of the Cycling infrastructure budget such as Bike Parking projects, bridges and crossings, project management or any of the amenities that go with trail projects.


More than half of the funds needed to complete the Bikeway Network and the other parts of the Bike Plan are in the Capital plan for the years beyond 2012. The remaining $38.104 million needed to complete the bike plan are in the 2013 - 2017 Capital plan.

To complete the Bikeway Network by 2012 the budget committee needs to move those funds into the 2008 - 2012 capital plan.

If you believe in the possibilities of a full bikelane network encouraging more Torontonians to bike in our city, consider speaking to the Budget Committee next Tuesday during the public hearing session.

This is the only opportunity to voice your support for political funding of projects that improve the cycling environment in Toronto.

To find the public presentation and analyst briefing notes visit the City’s web site by clicking here.

To sign up to make a deputation on November 13th, contact the committee secretary at mmacdona@toronto.ca or 416-392-7340.

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

Back in September, during the Provincial Election, BikingToronto reported on a Liberal promise to cut the PST (8%) on bicycles and related equipment.

We can tally this up as a promise McGuinty is keeping - as the tax cut takes place on December 1st, just in time for Christmas shopping season:
Beginning December 1st, the provincial sales tax is being removed from all bicycles, bike helmets and bike related safety equipment sold in Ontario, in an effort to encourage people to get more active.


The McGuinty government explains the move as being a proactive idea to get more people out of their cars and onto their bikes, potentially taking a large number of cars off the road.
More on CityNews, The Canadian Press, and Newswire.ca.

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



Spacing Toronto just posted a nice little poll about how long into the winter their readers plan to ride their bikes.

I commented on the post, which I'll cut-and-paste for you here:

I try to do it year round. I may opt for a streetcar when the temp. plunges down past -20 or there’s a lot of snow, but generally, Toronto winters are milder and drier, so I’m on my bike a lot.

My main thing is being a little more careful - ice is slippery (for bikes AND cars), so I am more cautious and take more quiet sideroads than in the summer.

When the temperature is around 0 (like it is now, in the mornings), a couple sweaters and windproof pants seem to do the trick in keeping warm.

It’s all about the layers, just like dressing for winter in general - but having a good “windbreaker” layer is very good - as riding a bike creates it’s own wind.

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


Car traffic in Toronto [photo credit]

Everyone already knows that pollution isn't good for our health, but it's always good to see more and more reports about how cutting vehicle emissions will save lives.

The Toronto Star reported on a Toronto Public Health report last weekend:

A new study on the health effects of air pollution from traffic in Toronto says a 30 per cent reduction in vehicle emissions could save nearly 200 lives a year and $1 billion in health costs.

The Toronto Public Health report, to be released Monday, also estimates that "mortality-related'' costs associated with traffic pollution in the city are about $2.2 billion annually. ...

Authored by Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's medical officer of health, the study claims this pollution contributes to about 440 premature deaths and 1,700 hospitalizations a year in Toronto.

While most cases involve the elderly, the pollution is also significantly affecting children, the report says, adding they experience 1,200 acute bronchitis episodes a year as a result, and 68,000 instances of asthma-related symptoms.

Now, a report in itself won't do much. However, a report plus another report, plus higher gas prices, plus political will... will eventually translate into policies and programs that get more people carpooling, using public transit and cycling in our urban centres.

More from the Toronto Star
, and BlogTO also has good coverage of this, with a list of ways to make alternatives to using a car attractive.

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



The Journey

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posted by Joe on Friday, November 09, 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.



Black Ice And Snow Makes For Tricky Morning Commute

The worst accident occurred on the 401 near Whites Road, after a pick-up navigating on black ice hit the guard rail, blocking a lane. Another car then struck the stopped truck, resulting in a major collision.

Woman hit by car is critical

While she crossed, a car making a left turn on the same green light hit her and dragged her for about 30 meters, said Toronto Police Traffic Services Det. Paul Lobsinger.

Female Pedestrian Struck, Seriously Hurt

A woman was rushed to hospital without vital signs after she was reportedly struck and dragged by a vehicle at about 7:30am.

Civilians pull man trapped in fiery crash to safety

Several Torontonians are being praised by police after they pulled a man from a fiery crash scene on Lakeshore Boulevard West early Saturday morning.

Crash Victim In Critical Condition

A woman was taken to hospital with life-threatening head injuries after she was hit by a vehicle early Saturday on the edge of York University campus at Steeles and Northwest Gate.

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



BikingToronto
launched the Stolen Bike Listing last week.

The goal is to bring more attention to what has been stolen in Toronto so that we can all keep an eye out for our beloved missing bicycles.

You can visit the Stolen Bike Listing Page for more details about how to prevent your bike from being stolen, and what you can do if you find it missing one day, as well as a full list of bikes stolen recently.

New features this week!

Here's what has been stolen during the past week:


Again, the full list is on the Stolen Bike Listing Page.

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

A little bit of last minute notice, but if you live in North York and want to have a say in the whole Cycling and Pedestrian Planning stuff, try and get to a meeting tonight at the North York Civic Centre:

North York Cycling & Pedestrian Committee

Thursday, November 8th, 2008 7pm

North York Civic Centre Committee Rm 5

Agenda:

  • 1. Budget
  • a. Recent spending
  • b. New ideas
  • 2. Proposed 2008 bike lanes for North York
  • 3. New Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee
  • 4. Correspondence
  • 5. New Business

    Light refreshments will be served.


[via BikeToronto.ca]

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



On Monday, the Photo of the Day was of a Bicycle Tree.

BikingToronto got a lot of emails about where it was located (Centre Island) and what the story was behind it.

Thanks to a BikingToronto reader named "Miguel, the visiting biking guy", we now know that the Bicycle Tree is an art installation that starts in the summer and progresses through the autumn... with bikes "falling" to the ground just like the leaves do.

Miguel sent some photos too! Thanks Miguel!




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



Sunday Cycling in the Beaches

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

BikingToronto is a TCAT supporter. Here's the latest from TCAT:


(To subscribe to TCAT News, go to http://torontocat.ca/main/?q=join)



1. TTC Station Improvements – Public open house, November 7th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Apologies for the short notice, but the TTC is holding a public open house this evening to provide information and receive comments regarding the plans for a 3-year construction project that will result in a wide range of improvements for Kipling and Islington stations.

Date: Wednesday, November 7

Time: Open House, 6:00 pm; Presentation, 7:30 pm

Location: Islington United Church, 25 Burnhamthorpe Road (Burnhamthorpe and Dundas)

You can view the flyer by clicking here

For information on the entire station modernization project, including Pape and Victoria Park stations, click here


2. Toronto's Walking Strategy - Public consultation, November 8th, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

As reported in October, the City has released a report titled Steps Towards a Walkable City: Proposed Framework for a Toronto Walking Strategy. This report builds on the public consultation the City has already undertaken and was put together by City staff in the Transportation Services division, along with input from an inter-divisional working group.

The next public meeting to learn more and provide comments on the development of the Walking Strategy is this Thursday.

Date: Thursday November 8

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Toronto Reference Library - Beeton Auditorium, 789 Yonge St. (north of Bloor on Yonge)

For more information about the event call 416-392-7200 or email pedplan@toronto.ca


3. 2008 Capital Budget Process – Public Hearings, November 13th

Last week the City released its draft 2008 Capital Budget. TCAT is still pouring over the many documents to see where the City is directing funds that invest in active transportation, and we will be releasing our public comments and recommendations later this week – STAY TUNED!

TCAT encourages all our supporters to come speak to the Budget Committee next Tuesday during the public hearing session. This is the only opportunity to voice your support for funding of projects that improve the walking and cycling environment in Toronto.

To find the public presentation and analyst briefing notes visit the City’s web site by clicking here

To sign up to make a deputation on November 13th, contact the committee secretary at mmacdona@toronto.ca or 416-392-7340.


4. Neighbourhood Design linked to Diabetes – Toronto study released

As reported in all the major news outlets last week, The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and St. Michael’s Hospital released a report titled Neighbourhood Environments and Resources for Healthy Living: A Focus on Diabetes in Toronto – ICES Atlas.

[note: the ICES Bicycle User Group is a TCAT supporter]

This report links various neighbourhood factors with the incidence of diabetes in Toronto. Many of the findings relate to neighbourhood design, accessibility and mobility. In this regard, the report might not tell us a lot active transportation supporters don’t already believe – but it provides science and data to back it up.

Areas with high rates of diabetes tend to be found outside of Toronto’s downtown core, in suburban areas, where there is reduced access to healthy resources such as fruit and vegetable stores and where “activity friendliness” is lower (e.g. fewer amenities within walking distance, poorer access to public transit, greater car dependency).

Among the many recommendations made in the report, the researchers suggest the City

Change planning, development and zoning practices to reduce urban sprawl, increase residential density and promote mixed land use.

To read the news release click here

To read the full report click here


5. Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) – TCAT comments on early projects

Recently, TCAT wrote to the GTTA to express our opinion regarding the authority’s ‘early wins’. These are the projects the GTTA thinks it can implement easily, fast, and which will provide returns on the investment early on. To see a list of these projects, see the GTTA’s report by clicking here

The major intent of TCAT’s letter was to highlight the importance of the relationship between transportation and land use. The GTTA should invest in areas that will be able to support transit use – neighbourhoods where you can walk or cycle to transit without relying on the car for certain trips.

TCAT applauds the GTTA and the Province of Ontario in pursuing early actions that will invest in Ontario’s transit network, prior to full development of the GTTA’s Regional Transportation Plan. As an organization that works to promote walking and cycling, we consider transit an important piece of the sustainable transportation equation. Walking to and from a transit stop or station is always a component of a transit trip and cycling is a component of an increasing number of transit trips. However, the ability to walk or cycle to transit is highly reliant on supportive land use and urban design policies and practice. Sidewalks, safe crosswalks and bike routes are necessary for commuters to choose active transportation instead of cars to access transit.

The Province now looks to the GTTA for expertise and guidance for where best to invest in public transit. In choosing ‘early win’ projects, the GTTA should ensure that the areas it invests in also consider the needs of cyclists and pedestrians, in addition to those of transit users and drivers, so that the full sustainable multi-modal vision can be realized. This priority is stated clearly in the Province’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Rather than focusing its early investments on projects located in greenfield areas where land-use decisions regarding density may not be determined, and where transit ridership levels are likely to be low for the immediate and short term, TCAT would prefer to see the GTTA invest in transit projects that could serve existing urban areas, where traffic congestion is creating smog detrimental to all. To choose greenfield areas as ‘early win’ recipients is to fail to recognize the vital link between urban form and high modal shares for walking, biking and transit.

To see the entire letter, please e-mail info@torontocat.ca


6. World Town Planning Day – TCAT participates in South Riverdale tour

This past Saturday The Ontario Professional Planners Institute, along with the South Riverdale Community Health Centre hosted a walking tour and discussion focused on healthy communities, in celebration of World Town Planning Day, which is this Thursday, November 8th.

The walking tour of the South Riverdale Community was led by the local city planner, and described recent and planned developments. The tour was followed by an overview and discussion by planning professionals from different disciplines on what was learned. An architect and urban designer commented on some of the aesthetic and livability aspects of the recent developments, and a health planner covered the social and health aspects of the neighbourhood, as well as the role of the community health centre. TCAT’s project coordinator, Fred Sztabinski, participated on the panel, commenting on the needs and accommodation of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. Of note was how bike- and pedestrian-friendly this particular area is compared to many other areas in the city.

TCAT looks forward to more opportunities to engage with the planning profession, as well as members of the public, in communities across the city at events such as this one.


7. Province-Wide Bicycle Advocacy – TCAT attends Kitchener-Waterloo conference

Last week, TCAT was part of a conference hosted by Cycle Chatham-Kent, the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC) and the Region of Waterloo. This was an opportunity for bicycle advocates from across the province – cycling committee members, municipal staff, and non-profits – to meet, share experiences, and strategize.

The result of the day’s discussion and debate was the formation of an informal working group to explore the possibility of a province-wide coalition that will address provincial issues and priorities that would improve conditions for cyclists. A follow-up meeting is tentatively planned for the spring, and TCAT will continue to track the progress of this group and participate in their work.


8. Greenwood bike lanes installed! Pond Road getting close

As reported on BikeToronto and BikingToronto last week, the bicycle lane on Greenwood Avenue between Queen and Danforth has been painted. This is about the fourth bike lane to be installed in Ward 30 this year.

There are also initial reports that the bike lane planned for Pond Road near Shorham Drive on the York University campus has also been painted.

To see the BikeToronto post click here

To see the BikingToronto post click here


9. Welcome A Stroll in the Park, Bloor Improvement Group, Green Here and Walk Here – 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.

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


New Yorkers are getting sharrows, bikeboxes and "buffered" bikelanes!
[photo from Streetsblog]

Cool biking stuff happens in tons of places besides Toronto (believe it or not!).

I try to link to this "Elsewhere" stuff in the sidebar of this page, but in case you missed it, here's a post about it. :)

Here's some news, views, and inspirations that I've come across in the past week:

Copenhagen: Bicycles Outnumber Cars During Morning Rush Hour

Proposed "Cycle Tunnel" in Norway

NYC: An Interview with Jan Gehl

Portland: The "Bikes vs. Cars" Debate

London: Did the Congestion Charge Drive us to Cycling?

Portland: New York Times notices Portland's bike culture

Netherlands: The Amazing Bike Dispensing Machine

NYC: Half of Manhattan Trips Could be Done by Bike

Bike Pittsburgh puts out new map for two-wheelers

NYC: New Bike Lanes and Sharrows Lead to the Brooklyn Bridge
NYC: Bicyclists Suing City Over Critical Mass Arrests

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


Have a Folding Bike? You may be interested in a "Folding Bike Rally" happening downtown during the lunch hour, next tuesday:
The next Folding Bike demonstration and ride event will be held next week!
When: Tuesday, November 13 @ 11:30am-12:30pm
Where: Toronto-Dominion Centre (south west corner of King at Bay)
What to Wear: Business dressy or your Sunday best!
Why: To demontrate folding bikes, promote cycling, and have a fun ride around the financial district.
I've added this event to the Calendar too.

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


Police investigate at the scene [photo credit]

All the media outlets are reporting today that there's been an arrest in the incident friday where an irate cyclist stabbed a motorist in the neck with a screwdriver in retaliation for blocking the bikelane:
Police have made an arrest in an investigation into a stabbing which occurred on Friday, November 2, 2007, at the intersection of McCaul Street and College Street. Yonan Inwia, 34, of Toronto, was arrested ... and has been charged with:
  • 1- Aggravated Assault,
  • 2- Carry a Concealed Weapon,
  • 3- Assault with a Weapon,
  • 4- Weapons Dangerous,
  • 5- Assault Causing Bodily Harm.

More details at the CBC, the Star, the Globe and the Post.

There's also a discussion in the comments of Monday's post about if cyclists should retaliate against aggressive drivers.

Is it justified, or is it just becoming as jerky as they are (although only a very small percentage of drivers are actually jerks)?

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



Riding by Trinity-Bellwoods

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

There is a lot of posting here on BikingToronto. Here's a weekly digest of everything posted last week:

Monday, Oct. 29th:

Tuesday, Oct. 30th:
Wednesday, Oct. 31st:
Thursday, Nov. 1st:
Friday, Nov. 2nd:
Saturday, Nov. 3rd:
Sunday, Nov. 4th:

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



Transit Message

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

I try to keep up do date on all the cycle-tastic stuff happening in and around Toronto. You can keep up to date with the calendar page - or the little one in the sidebar on the right (scroll down a bit).

Here's what's on tap for this week. It's all in Google Calendar (but don't worry, you don't need an account to view stuff), and has links to stuff like event pages on facebook, etc.

If you know of stuff I've missed, let me know. As I add new stuff you'll find it on the calendar. :)


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



Last Friday morning, a cyclist assaulted a driver with a screwdriver, stabbing him in the neck.

Over the weekend, a bit more detail about the assault was published in the Globe and the National Post:

Police say the incident began about 9:45 a.m., when the driver of a Ford Escape was making a left turn onto College Street from La Plante Avenue. An eastbound car stopped to let him go, but the turning driver had to wait for westbound traffic to ease up, Detective Trevor Searles said.

While he was stopped, a cyclist heading east got upset the driver was blocking part of his lane, Det. Searles said. The two men argued briefly, and the driver finished making his left turn.

Police say when the driver got to McCaul Street, the cyclist, who had followed him, stopped his bike in front of the Escape and approached the driver's side window.

"Words are exchanged, a bit of an argument, and basically the victim says, 'We'll let the police settle it. I'll call 911.' So when he reaches for his phone to call 911, that's when he's stabbed by the suspect," Det. Searles said. "It seems like our weapon was possibly an Allen key or a screwdriver."
There have been posts and comments on other websites about this assault that make reference to the fact that drivers put cyclists at risk all the time on Toronto's roads, and the tone of the writing sounds like they are partially justifying what the cyclist (whether it was a courier or a homeless person, or whomever) did.

It is NEVER okay to assault another person. Not with a weapon, not with a car, and not with words. I find it sickening that any cyclist who wants more peace and respect on the roads for all road users would ever even partially justify any kind of violence - whether it is stabbing someone with a screwdriver, slashing car tires, or "keying" a car.


[photo credit: National Post]

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



Bicycle Tree

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



Rattan Bike

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



Youth at Risk

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

Here's a wrap-up of all the newsy posts I've done since last Friday. Enjoy.

    • A message from the still developing fetus of the Cyclist Union. Fathered by Dave Meslin, the bouncing baby is due in Spring 2008.
    • "The Toronto Cyclists Union is 8 months away from delivery and appears to be developing in a healthy manner. Your support has been very influential and has ensured an enjoyable beginning to our first trimester. Your cards, presents and warm wishes are greatly appreciated."
    • Two years ago, cyclist Ryan Carriere was hit by a truck turning from Queen Street West onto Gladstone Avenue. He was on his way home to go trick-or-treating with his kids.
    • In addition to this extremely tragic accident, I am seeing more and more alarming accidents caused to cyclist by motorists on the streets of Toronto, and in particular Queen Street. These accidents to cyclists will leave some with life long disabilities. As well, the present law in Ontario restricts and limits compensation to many of these individuals.
    • These are really good in that they connect the Danforth (part of the proposed bikelane or sharrows scheme for Bloor-Danforth) with Queen (always popular with cyclists), but also intersect with the Dundas East bikelane which runs from Broadview to Kingston Road.
    • Cyclists register by logging on to torontopolice.on.ca and clicking "bicycle registration." Along with their I.D., they provide their bicycle's make and model, year and serial number. But they're never asked to provide proof of purchase.
    • “A Personal Vehicle Registration Fee would cost car drivers an additional $60 a year and motorcycle riders $30 a year. It would raise about $60 million a year, to be directed to road repairs, public transit, cycling and pedestrian improvements and othertransportation projects.”
    • Sharrows, or "share arrows" are two chevrons with a bike symbol, often painted on roads where it may be too narrow for a full bikelane. It is meant to be a reminder to car drivers that they should be prepared to share the road with cyclists.

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

Various news outlets are reporting that a cyclist stabbed a motorist 3 times in the neck with a screwdriver near the intersection of College and McCaul.

The cyclist has been described both as a courier and a homeless man.

Links to story:

Toronto Star: Cyclist stabs driver in road-rage attack
National Post: Cyclist stabs motorist on College Street
City News: Man Allegedly Stabbed Three Times With Screwdriver in "Bike Rage" Incident

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



Red Shoes on College

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posted by Joe on Friday, November 02, 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.




TTC Bus Collides With Car

Police were forced to close Oakwood Ave. south of St. Clair Ave. after a TTC bus collided with a car, injuring five people.

Five People Hurt In Separate Road Incidents

Two men were injured in separate incidents on the roads early Sunday and one of them was a cop.

Men thrown from car on QEW

A Toronto-bound Honda lost control and struck the guardrail around 3 a.m., just west of Erin Mills Parkway, OPP Sgt. Rob Michaud said. The car then swerved back into traffic, side-swiping another car. Two people were thrown from the swerving car.

Police Officer Suffers Minor Injuries In Cruiser Crash

The two cars collided at the intersection of Finch and Driftwood Ave. at about 10:30pm Thursday. The cruiser proceeded to take out a hydro pole and a traffic light. The impact sent power lines tumbling down onto a TTC bus.

Tow Truck Driver Helps Trapped Woman Escape Flames

A tow-truck driver's quick thinking is being credited with saving a female motorist who was trapped inside her car after being hit by an alleged drunk driver on Thursday in Richmond Hill.

Woman Struck On Queensway

A woman suffered neck and back injuries after being struck by a car at The Queensway and Glendale Ave., west of Roncesvalles Ave.

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


A bike painted with InvisiblePaint...
they can't steal it if they can't see it!



BikingToronto
is going to try to do something it has been wanting to do for a while now - help get the word out about stolen bikes.

There may be nothing more infuriating as having your bike stolen and knowing that the thief is riding it around the city or maybe even selling it to an unsuspecting buyer or bikeshop.

The new Stolen Bike Listing will attempt to bring more attention to what has been stolen so that we can all keep an eye out for our beloved missing bicycles.

You can visit the Stolen Bike Listing Page for more details about how to prevent your bike from being stolen, and what you can do if you find it missing one day (including getting a post about the theft here on BikingToronto), as well as a full list of bikes stolen recently.

Here's what has been stolen during the past week:


I'll be posting an updated list every Thursday - so let's hope none get stolen, and then I won't have to do these posts.

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

Here are the 10 posts that saw the most action in October. Enjoy.


1. BikingToronto and Facebook

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

3. The Aftermath of a Cyclist-Taxi Collision, in Photos

4. Toronto's First Coloured Bike Lane

5. The New Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee

6. Toronto Police Take Bike Registration Online

7. New sticker program will help prevent bicycle theft

8. Mississauga Cyclist Dies From Crash Injuries

9. The October 2007 Issue of Cyclometer is here

10. Bicycle Friendly Business Award Winners!


Wondering what was popular in September?

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


Cycling Advocates learn about parenthood in September 2007
(photo by
Himy Syed)


Via the BikingToronto Inbox, a message from the still developing fetus of the Cyclist Union. Fathered by Dave Meslin, the bouncing baby is due in Spring 2008.




Dear friends,

The Toronto Cyclists Union is 8 months away from delivery and appears
to be developing in a healthy manner. Your support has been very
influential and has ensured an enjoyable beginning to our first
trimester. Your cards, presents and warm wishes are greatly
appreciated.

The overwheming amount of support we have received is also an
indication of the future success of the Cyclists Union. This project
will only work if we have the support and active involvement of
thousands of cyclists, beginning in June 2008. Early indications of
support are positive and we are proud to announce that the Ultrasound
Facebook group
has attracted close to 800 members in just a few weeks
making it the largest bicycle-related Facebook group in Toronto.

In this newsletter we'd like to share with you our primary goal as an
organization: advocacy. Although we will serve as a "service club"
for cyclists, we will also be working every day to improve riding
conditions in our city to make sure that your ride is safer and more
enjoyable. We are modeling our organisation after the Canadian
Automobile Association (CAA) which promotes itself as a service club
but actually spends a significant amount of resources on advocacy,
pushing governments to build more highways, wider streets, etc. It
seems that no one has informed them about global warming or basic
congestion theories which explain that more roads simply increase the
number of cars leading to increased congestion. Just two weeks ago,
the CAA was in the media speaking out against the proposed east-west
bikeway in Toronto. No problem. We can play the same game. The
Cyclists Union will be a loud voice, supported by our members,
countering the message of the automobile lobby groups. Lucky for us,
we have both public opinion and science on our side.

The Toronto Cyclists Union will work hand-in-hand with other
organizations and individual cyclists to ensure that bicycles are
taken seriously by City Hall politicians and planners, as well as the
media. We'll focus our attention on the installation of new bike
lanes, improved signage, maintenance of existing infrastructure and
enforcement of bikelanes. Think how much money the City could make
if they actually ticketed every car found parked in a bikelane!

Most importantly, we want to promote Toronto as a Bicycle City.
There is a misconception that cycling is only a "downtown" issue.
The truth is that people ride bicycles in every neighbourhood in
Toronto and it is the non-downtown riders who are most in need of new
infrastructure. The Cyclists Union will be a city-wide project, with
44 Ward Captains acting as a liaison between the bike union, local
bikers, the local Councillor, city planners and local media. If you
live in North York, Scarborough, York or Etobicoke and you're
interested in being a Ward Captain, please get in touch with us soon.

Over the winter we will be developing a comprehensive political
mandate that clearly describes our vision and goals for Toronto. If
you wish to submit ideas for this document, please send us your
thoughts in an e-mail.

Thanks again for your continued support! Stay tuned for the November
Newsletter which will contain an exciting announcement.

Bikelovers can subscribe to this newsletter by sending an e-mail to
ultrasound@monkeycycle.org.

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

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