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



posted by Joe on Monday, November 30, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Monday, November 30, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

What's on this week:

View more than the next week on the BikingToronto Events Page.


Tues, Dec 1
7pm-10pm
CBN Bike Repair - Brakes and Gears
We are now offering classes in bike repair that build on our introductory (‘Flat-fix and Tune-up’) class. Registrants should be familiar and comfortable with the subject of that class before taking the intermediate class(es).

http://communitybicyclenetwork.org/node/640

Wed, Dec 2
10am-2pm
TBN's Wednesday Wheelie Ride
The nature of the Wednesday day rides known as the "Wednesday Wheelies" might be the best-kept secret in the TBN. Wednesday Wheelies are social, tourist-level rides that cover routes similar to the popular Country Cruises, but which have the glorious advantage of roads, often busy with traffic on a Sunday, being nearly deserted mid-week.

http://www.tbn.ca/cycling/wheelie.htm

Wed, Dec 2
7pm-10pm
CBN - Flat Fix/Intro to Bike Repair
Participants will remove their own rear wheel and tire and go through a tube repair and installation.

http://communitybicyclenetwork.org/node/639


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posted by Joe on Friday, November 27, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Here's a great tongue-in-cheek video from riconroy about how drivers should deal with pedestrians and cyclists in Toronto:


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posted by Joe on Friday, November 27, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark



Happy Friday to you. Here's all the New stuff! :)

  • UPDATE: No sign of Trial for Bike Thief
    Is a deal in the making? Stolen-bike case close to ending in deal, court told Lawyers in the Igor Kenk stolen-bicycles saga are discussing a possible deal to resolve the massive criminal case and head off a trial for the 50-year-old bike repairman, a Toronto court heard yesterday.… (Read More)
  • A Toronto Cyclist's Top 10 Complaints
    AWESOME post by BlogTO: Toronto cyclists have much to complain about and generally aren't shy about airing their discontent. Whether it be the scarcity of bike lanes, the abundance of potholes or simply the fact that our climate makes year-round riding nearly impossible, I think it's only fair to… (Read More)
  • UPDATE: Toronto streets a job hazard, ex-courier says
    Interesting update from the Star, which addresses my concerns about the City not employing cyclists: Law backs cyclist's quest for safe roads A former bike courier's bid to take the city before the Ontario Labour Board – claiming Toronto streets constitute an unsafe workplace for people who bike on… (Read More)
  • UPDATE: Cop nailed for bike lane parking
    Follow-up article from the Sun. Councillor Pam McConnell (vice-chairman of the Police Services Board) says that cops should be held to the same standard as the general public, while surprisingly, Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker and Councillor Adrian Heaps say that maybe there should be exceptions for cops… (Read More)
  • Cyclist dies after being hit by car in Mississauga
    From CP24: A male cyclist has died after being hit by a car in Mississauga on Tuesday evening. The crash happened after 6:30 p.m. at Bloor Street and Runningbrook Drive, between Dixie and Tomken Roads. The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The intersection has been shut down… (Read More)
  • City peddles bikes to its employees
    From the Star: Police do it. EMS workers and bylaw officers do it. But the city wants more of its employees to use sustainable transportation on the job. That's why Toronto's Smart Commute office has set up a bike-sharing program where employees can sign out two wheels instead of… (Read More)
  • Toronto streets a job hazard, ex-courier says
    Cyclist takes city to labour board, claiming roads are unsafe workplace for those who bike for a living. From the Star: Ten years ago, bike courier Wayne Scott won an epic battle against Revenue Canada. His arguments persuaded the Federal Court of Appeal to rule that bike couriers could… (Read More)
  • Toronto Cop Nailed for Bike Lane Parking
    A Toronto Police officer who parked his cruiser in a bike lane to get his lunch is getting no love from his superiors, who are coming down hard on his "stupid" and "unacceptable" actions. On Sunday,the Sun witnessed a city cop sitting inside the Grillway Cafe, at Runnymede Rd.… (Read More)


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posted by Joe on Friday, November 27, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Thursday, November 26, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

This would make a fantastic Christmas gift for so many people I know!

From NOW Magazine:


  • FELT handlebar cup holder

    If you need a jolt of java while you ride, mount FELT’s cup holder ($25, Urbane Cyclist, 180 John, 416-979-9733, ucycle.com) on your handlebars but beware cycling with scalding coffee down speed bump-pocked streets!

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posted by Joe on Thursday, November 26, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Is a deal in the making?


  • Stolen-bike case close to ending in deal, court told

    Lawyers in the Igor Kenk stolen-bicycles saga are discussing a possible deal to resolve the massive criminal case and head off a trial for the 50-year-old bike repairman, a Toronto court heard yesterday.

    Mr. Kenk, 50, was charged with more than 80 counts involving 2,865 used bicycles and a large quantity of illegal drugs seized in police raids in the summer of 2008, and has been awaiting trial in the Don Jail for almost a year since his bail was revoked last December.

    Mr. Kenk appeared yesterday at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, where he was to make a bid to have bail restored. Instead, his lawyer, Lon Rose, told Mr. Justice John Hamilton that "a proposed resolution to most if not all" of Mr. Kenk's charges is in the works as a result of pre-trial talks with Crown officials and lower-court Justice Kathleen Caldwell.

    ...

    The sheer size of the case, which involved raids on 12 properties, about 100 police officers and more than 80 charges, created a mountain of evidence to be gathered, sorted, assessed and disclosed to Mr. Kenk's defence before any trial could proceed.

    Court filings obtained by The Globe and Mail, including Mr. Rose's Nov. 12 notice of application for yesterday's bail review, suggest that disclosure has been slow and sporadic. Mr. Rose only recently received, for example, statements from 70 police officers who worked on the case. Dozens more pieces of evidence have also been slow to materialize.

    ...

    Regardless of any deal in the offing, Mr. Kenk still faces a lawsuit brought by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General to seize his bike shop, two pickup trucks and 2,292 bicycles as proceeds of crime. Even though Mr. Kenk has not been convicted criminally, the province can use the Civil Remedies Act to seize and sell off his property if it can prove that it was used for a criminal purpose or obtained by crime.

    Full Article

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posted by Joe on Thursday, November 26, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Twin Towers (of East York) by BruceK.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

hpim3225Edit

Ok, the headline of this post is a little misleading. I have plenty of complaints about cycling in Toronto. And, if you read BlogTO, you know that there's a list and growing discussion of even more gripes going on there.

But... and this is a big BUT... nothing outweighs the benefits of cycling in Toronto...

We have trails through ravines!

We have a growing bike lane network!

We're busting cops for parking in bike lanes!

We have a cyclists union!

We look damn good on our bikes!

We have more than 70 bike shops in Toronto!

However, I do have one big complaint... and boy-oh-boy is it a doosie!

There are simply not enough cyclists in Toronto.

That's it, that's my complaint.

Some days it's just so lonely. I know there are thousands upon thousands of cyclists around. But, I want to see more... don't you?

Join the discussion in the BikingToronto Forum

Photo via the BikingToronto Flickr Pool

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

AWESOME post by BlogTO:

  • Toronto cyclists have much to complain about and generally aren't shy about airing their discontent. Whether it be the scarcity of bike lanes, the abundance of potholes or simply the fact that our climate makes year-round riding nearly impossible, I think it's only fair to provide a little two-wheeled perspective on the heels of Toronto traffic safety officer Tim Burrow's recently compiled Top 10 list of motorist complaints.

    ...

    # 10 - The close pass
    Having seen a friend's elbow shattered by a van "passing" altogether too closely, it gives me the jitters whenever vehicles don't afford myself and other cyclists adequate space. Granted this isn't always their fault -- roads are, after all, only so wide -- but it's still a common threat cyclists face. I'm not asking for the insanely wide berth some drivers give, but it's a little scary when a passing car brushes me with its wind trail.

    # 9 - Lack of bike lanes
    Directly related to #10, the lack of bike lanes on major streets throughout the city is an obvious pet peeve that many cyclists share. But it's not just an issue for cyclists; the scarcity of bike lanes is also a pain for drivers who are forced to share the road with those on two wheels. I know it's not so easy as just snapping one's fingers and putting them in, but it's obvious that we need a more comprehensive vision for encouraging the safe use of bicycles in this city.

    # 8 - Cars parked in bike lanes
    Boneheaded moves like this are getting a little more attention after the Toronto Sun spotted a cop car parked in the bike lane on Annette St. for 20 minutes the other day. The officer's gotten a bunch of flak for his parking job, but the reality is that this happens all the time. Normally it's not a huge deal, but when another vehicle and a cyclist inevitably try to pass the improperly parked car at the same time, the situation can get pretty tricky.

    # 7 - Potholes

    # 6 - Winter

    # 5 - Other cyclists

    # 4 - Car doors

    # 3 - Streetcar tracks

    # 2 - Oblivious pedestrians

    # 1 - Sudden right turns (without signaling)

    Full List at Blog T.O.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Hi everyone,

Every winter, I generally take stock of BikingToronto and update the design of the site and figure out what's working well and what's working not-so-well.

With the success of the forum, I'd like to add more interactivity to the site to make is as useful for Toronto cyclists as possible... but I need your help.

What do you want to see from BikingToronto in 2010? Is there a feature you wish it had? Have you seen another website (cycling-related or otherwise) with a cool feature you love that could be used for cyclists in Toronto?

Feel free to express and and all ideas here.

If 2010 follows the pattern of the past few years, we are going to see another large increase in cycling on the roads of Toronto... so the more useful BikingToronto is for everyone, the better!

Share your ideas in the Biking Toronto Forum

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Interesting update from the Star, which addresses my concerns about the City not employing cyclists:


  • Law backs cyclist's quest for safe roads

    A former bike courier's bid to take the city before the Ontario Labour Board – claiming Toronto streets constitute an unsafe workplace for people who bike on the job – has merit, says a personal injury lawyer.

    Patrick Brown said Wayne Scott's "novel'' legal action is about an individual trying to hold the city responsible for providing safe roads.

    ...

    Scott claims the city has failed to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which requires employers to take reasonable precautions to protect their workers. As many as 500 police officers are on bike patrol on any given day, and about 30 Emergency Medical Services paramedics use bikes.

    Brown, who has acted on behalf of many cyclists injured on city streets, and for the families of those killed, says there is legal precedent in Ontario compelling municipalities to ensure their streets are safe for bikes and pedestrians. The Ontario appeals court ruled in a 2008 case involving a Halton cyclist who was killed that municipalities must ensure roads are in a proper state of repair to provide safe passage.

    Article Link

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Follow-up article from the Sun.

Councillor Pam McConnell (vice-chairman of the Police Services Board) says that cops should be held to the same standard as the general public, while surprisingly, Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker and Councillor Adrian Heaps say that maybe there should be exceptions for cops.


  • No right of cops' way

    They eat and run -- and now they're rapped for blocking city cyclists

    Cops blocking bike lanes to get their coffee and lunch are indicative of a city learning to cope with new bike lanes, according to Toronto Police's political masters.

    But that's no excuse for endangering cyclists, said Councillor Pam McConnell who is vice-chairman of the police services board.

    Officers, she said, are held to a higher standard than other motorists and must follow the rules like everyone else.

    "There are no laws that are for the average citizen that are not for the officers. It is quite the opposite," she said yesterday. "The city is very much growing up in terms of its understanding of different modes of transportation.

    "I think that it is a wake-up call for all of our division commanders to be talking to their officers about this (bike lane) priority of the board ... and the importance of not only enforcing the law, but adhering to the law and modelling the law."

    ...

    "I think police merit special consideration," said Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, who cycles to City Hall from Scarborough most days. "Yes, he (the officer) shouldn't have done that, and if it was a member of the public, I'd say yes, that member of the public should get a ticket, but I would make an exception for the police."

    Councillor Adrian Heaps, who heads up the city's cycling advisory committee, said the issue of cops blocking bike lanes for personal use is, "a fine line."

    "People would be the first to complain that the police didn't answer a call because they're walking down the street to their car," he said.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

From CP24:

A male cyclist has died after being hit by a car in Mississauga on Tuesday evening.

The crash happened after 6:30 p.m. at Bloor Street and Runningbrook Drive, between Dixie and Tomken Roads.

The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The intersection has been shut down for the investigation and will likely remain closed for the rest of the night.

The driver remained at the scene.


Article Link

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

From the Star:

Police do it. EMS workers and bylaw officers do it. But the city wants more of its employees to use sustainable transportation on the job.

That's why Toronto's Smart Commute office has set up a bike-sharing program where employees can sign out two wheels instead of four from Toronto's fleet if they must get to a meeting.

Launched in June, the $10,000 pilot project includes 10 "very funky" Batavus commuter bikes, said Mark Singh, program manager in the Toronto Environment Office.

So far, the bikes have been used only 28 times and only 28 employees have completed the Can-Bike safety training that is a requirement of their use.

But the program will be relaunched in the spring, and there's already a waiting list for the eight Can-Bike courses being scheduled then, Singh said.

City departments such as police and the licensing standards division have their own bike fleets.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Cyclist takes city to labour board, claiming roads are unsafe workplace for those who bike for a living.


From the Star:

Ten years ago, bike courier Wayne Scott won an epic battle against Revenue Canada.

His arguments persuaded the Federal Court of Appeal to rule that bike couriers could claim food as a fuel expense on their tax returns.

Now Scott is taking the city to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, claiming Toronto's streets constitute an unsafe workplace for those who cycle on the job.

Three months after former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant was charged in the death of bike courier Darcy Allan Sheppard, Scott is asking the board to force Toronto to make its streets safer.

He wants the city to study the dangers on its roads and address the problems with better street design, enforcement of traffic rules and more bike lanes, within two years.

Scott, a once and future federal Green Party candidate, says the city has failed to apply the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which says employers must take reasonable precautions to protect their workers.

I don't think Scott has a particularly good case... as the city would only be guilty of not providing safe working conditions if they employed bike couriers (which they don't, although they may use their services).

However, I think a case could be made that the City isn't adequately providing safe commuting options for ALL Toronto citizens.

What do you think?

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark



A Toronto Police officer who parked his cruiser in a bike lane to get his lunch is getting no love from his superiors, who are coming down hard on his "stupid" and "unacceptable" actions.

On Sunday,the Sun witnessed a city cop sitting inside the Grillway Cafe, at Runnymede Rd. and Annette St., while his cruiser was blocking a bike lane on Annette.

The officer was parked there for at least 20 minutes before leaving the cafe with a can of pop and a paper lunch bag.

But instead of protecting their own, Toronto Police brass called the officer's parking actions "stupid" and "unacceptable."


[image of copcar in bikelane at Runnymede and Annette taken Fri, Nov. 20 from MyBikeLane.com]

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

5552 40x12 shaw by Xander N'Dante.

View larger sizes (you'll be glad you did) on Flickr.

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posted by Joe on Monday, November 23, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

What's on this week:

View more than the next week on the BikingToronto Events Page.


Nov 23 6:30pm-8:30pm
Complete Streets Update Public Meeting
Streets designed for living? Where all users are not just considered but required in the design and redesign of our streets? That’s what we’re calling for with the Complete Streets Campaign!

http://bikingtoronto.com/forum/topic.php?id=461#post-1641


Nov 24 6:30pm-9pm
Setting the Agenda 2010

In the weeks since the Mayor announced that he would not be running for re-election, there has been ample speculation about potential Mayoral candidates. Missing from the speculation on the "who," however, has been the "what." We need a thorough and thoughtful discussion of the challenges that face Toronto in the next term of Council and the policy agenda and vision for our city. It is time to set the agenda for 2010.


Nov 24 8:30pm-11:30pm
Pedal Power
[Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT)] BIKING FOR A BETTER TORONTO - Movie, Discussion, Action

Students on Seven (SOS) and TorontotheBetter present:

Pedal Power...From bicycle-mad Paris to rush-hour New York and the back alleys of Toronto, take a ride through the changing world of bike culture.

What do bikes and biking mean for Toronto in 2009, and how far are we on the way to becoming a healthier, more sustainable bike-friendly city?

Join co-director Chris Sumpton and Taodgh Burns from Toronto’s Community Bicycle Network for a lively discussion after the screening to see what's happening, figure out what needs to be done and how to do it.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=174703664802 (Google Map)


Nov 25 - Aug 11 10am-2am
TBN's Wednesday Wheelie Ride
The nature of the Wednesday day rides known as the "Wednesday Wheelies" might be the best-kept secret in the TBN. Wednesday Wheelies are social, tourist-level rides that cover routes similar to the popular Country Cruises, but which have the glorious advantage of roads, often busy with traffic on a Sunday, being nearly deserted mid-week.

http://www.tbn.ca/cycling/wheelie.htm


Nov 26 5pm-7pm
Toronto Cyclists Union "Cinq à Sept"
This monthly event is intended to provide a space where bike union board, executive, management team, ward captains, volunteers, and members can come together and converse over a refreshing beverage. This event is not formal and is not a meeting. Rather, it is a space where the union can meet for the sake of meeting.

http://bikeunion.to/news/2008/11/23/cinq-sept


Nov 27 6pm
Critical Mass Toronto - Halloween Edition
Join hundreds of cyclists for a group ride around downtown Toronto.

Be sure and dress up! :)
Bloor & Spadina - meet at 6 pm, ride at 6:30

http://bikingtoronto.com/forum/topic.php?id=437#post-1532


Nov 28 2pm-4pm
George Monbiot Speaks On The Copenhagen Climate Change Negotiations
[.J.R. MacLeod Auditorium, Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, ON] http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=177027626707 Countdown to Copenhagen: Who in Canada is Killing the International Climate Treaty?

Join George Monbiot, Guardian columnist and author of “Heat: How To Save The Planet From Burning," in Toronto next weekend for a special event!

With the international climate treaty summit less than a month away, leading experts on the science, policy and politics of climate change will lead a forum on the role Canada is (and isn't) playing on the international stage.

Other Special Guests include:
- Richard Littlemore, co-author of the new book Climate Cover Up: the crusade to deny global warming. <http://www.desmogblog.com/climate-cover-up>

Details of the event are as follows:

Date: Saturday, November 28
Time: 2pm to 4pm (Google Map)


Nov 29 1pm
Bike Polo TO - Monthly Tournament
Monthly Bike Polo tournament to coincide with Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington - last Sunday of the month from May to October at Scadding Court.

http://www.bikepolo.ca/club/toronto-canada



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posted by Joe on Monday, November 23, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Saturday, November 21, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Friday, November 20, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark



Happy Friday to you. Here's all the New stuff! :)

  • Bikelane Parking Action Alert
    The Toronto Cyclists Union has a campaign going now to not only increase the amount of the fine someone gets for parking in a bikelane, but also to get parking enforcement officers to pay attention to bikelane parkers more: Lend your voice in support of added enforcement for parking/stopping
  • Nominations Open for Bike-Friendly Business Awards
    Do you know a business that deserves to be recognized for embracing bikes and cyclists like they deserve to be? Here's news from Cyclometer: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 Bicycle Friendly Business Awards. Consider honouring your local business or organization by nominating them for a 2009…
  • Eglinton LRT includes Bikelanes
    It's good to hear that like other LRT lines, the Eglinton Crosstown plans include bikelanes. :) TTC to talk Eglinton line, critics wary A draft plan of the 35-kilo-metre route -- which runs from Pearson Airport in the west to Kennedy Station in the east -- will be considered…
  • Weekly News Wrap-Up: Public Bike System
    Happy Friday to you. It's been a slow news week... and that's okay! :) The Walrus looks at Toronto's upcoming Public Bike System Interesting post on the Walrus' blog last month on the forthcoming Public Bike System (or Bixi Toronto) planned to launch in 2010: Driving the Lane: Toronto…


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posted by Joe on Friday, November 20, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Into the gold by BruceK.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, November 19, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

A CUPE local in Ottawa has negotiated a bicycling travel allowance:


Members of CUPE 3942 who work as mental health and social services workers at the Ottawa Salus Corporation have bargained what is a first for a CUPE Local: a bicycling travel allowance. A section of the Local’s Collective Agreement that deals with expenses now allows for members to file claims for travelling by bicycle. Specifically, the language states:

An employee who has travelled by bicycle for work purposes in excess of 100 kilometres between April 1st and October 31st may claim an allowance of $0.20/km to a maximum of fifty dollars ($50.00) towards the upkeep of such bicycle and related safety equipment. Such claim itemizing bicycle journeys will be made by November 30th of each year.

While this rate of reimbursement falls short of what is granted for private motor vehicle use, it is still a bold step in legitimizing bicycles for work transportation purposes. Ottawa is one of Canada’s more bike-friendly communities. Members of Local 3942 will certainly benefit from this extension of allowances to a green form of transportation.

CUPE's website has some good pointers on making "green" transportation a priority for workplaces:


Transportation to, from and during work has a huge environmental impact. For example, single-occupancy driving day-in and day-out for work is not a green practice. Likewise, work-related air travel negatively impacts the climate.

There are greener transportation choices available, such as using public transit, bicycling, walking, carpooling, car-sharing, low-emission vehicles and other options. Green collective agreement provisions to support more environmental transportation would cover financial incentives and disincentives and support programs, such as:

* Employer-provided/supported public transit passes.
* Employer-provided/supported shoe allowances for workers who walk to work.
* Employer-provided/supported bicycle lock-up, showering facilities and flexible work schedules for bicycle commuters.
* Grants or loans to employees for bicycle purchases.
* Reimbursement for work-related bicycling kilometrage.
* Car-sharing schemes.
* Financial disincentives, such as employees paying for parking spaces for single-occupancy drivers.
* Employer-purchased legitimate carbon offsets for workers who must travel by air.

UNISON – a British trade union – has been very active in helping to develop Green Staff Travel Plans for its members that build on many of these points.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, November 19, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Have a Nice Day by Toronto Creative.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

The Toronto Cyclists Union has a campaign going now to not only increase the amount of the fine someone gets for parking in a bikelane, but also to get parking enforcement officers to pay attention to bikelane parkers more:


  • Lend your voice in support of added enforcement for parking/stopping in bike lane infractions, and to double this fine from $60 to $120.

    RE: Toronto Police Services Board meeting, Nov 19, 2009

    The Toronto Cyclists Union will be making a written and in-person deputation asking that the fine for parking / stopping in a bike lane be doubled to $120, and that Toronto Police - Parking Enforcement be compelled to have it's officers begin prioritizing the ticketing of all manner of vehicles stopped or parked illegally in bike lanes throughout the city.

    **Please take 5 minutes before 10am on Thursday November 19th to email your support for both of these requests being made on your behalf by the Toronto Cyclists Union.

The Union is also giving people some sample text to email to the Toronto Police Services Board in advance of the meeting... which I have made into an autofilled email link (clicking on this should pre-populate an email in your email client - I've tested it in Outlook, at least):


Subject: Bike Lane Parking Enforcement and Fine Increase

As a cyclist (and occasional driver) in Toronto, I would like to express my support for an increase in the set fine amount for parking / stopping in a bike lane to $120.

Additionally, I believe that Parking Enforcement Officers should prioritize more rigorous enforcement of the no-stopping in bike lanes bylaw.

Cars, delivery trucks and buses parked in bike lanes are a serious threat to the safety of cyclists in Toronto. Cyclists are most vulnerable when they are forced to move out of a bike lane to go around motor vehicles stopped in the lane dedicated to the safe passage of cyclists.

Sincerely,
Your name
Toronto Cyclists Union member / supporter.

Click here to open an auto-filled email, and customize it to your liking. :)

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Great post from The Urban Country about some previously unreleased details about the Bixi public bike system that Toronto is getting next year:

TorontoBIXI2

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country

After a successful launch in Montreal last May, BIXI has served more than 1 million users – an amazing accomplishment for its first year.

The system is however shutting down now as Montreal prepares for the ensuing winter. On November 1st, BIXI started taking down the less frequently used stations and BIXI rentals will no longer be available after November 30th – making its triumphant return in May 2010.

But fear not Torontonians - I have been told the BIXI system in Toronto will have no such restrictions! The city plans to keep Toronto’s BIXI system open all-year-round! A detail that has previously not been released and I had to pry out of City Hall.

A recent article on BIXI in Toronto by Walrus Magazine re-ignited my BIXI nostalgia. You see, I had tested out the BIXI system in Montreal in July for 4 days and although the system isn’t perfect, I was amazed at the possibilities it has for cycling culture in Toronto.

The City of Toronto had indicated it would release more details in Fall 2009 in its May 26th Staff Report – but these details have yet to be released.

The Walrus Magazine article unfortunately left me with more questions than it had answered, so I began my own quest to get more information on a BIXI system for Toronto.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Do you know a business that deserves to be recognized for embracing bikes and cyclists like they deserve to be? Here's news from Cyclometer:

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 Bicycle Friendly Business Awards.

Consider honouring your local business or organization by nominating them for a 2009 Bicycle Friendly Business Award. When you nominate a cycle friendly business, you’re recognizing their efforts to encourage cycling in our city.

Previous award winners have proven their commitment to cycling through a variety of initiatives such as providing secure bike parking, shower and change facilities, and offering economic incentives for employees who cycle to work.

These businesses and organizations demonstrate leadership in encouraging cycling by employees and/or customers. By supporting this cycling friendly mentality, you will help in creating incentive for other businesses to follow suit.

The 2009 Bicycle Friendly Business Awards will be presented at a special ceremony on Tuesday, January 19, 2010, in partnership with the Toronto Cyclists Union.

Nominate a business or organization on-line or receive a paper copy by calling 416-338-5086 or emailing cyclingevents@toronto.ca.

Award categories:

Best Bike Parking
Bicycle-Friendliest Suburban Business
Bicycle Commute
Best Small Business (up to 99 employees)
Best Large Business (100 employees and over)
Best Skills Development
Best Overall
The nomination deadline is Tuesday, December 17, 2009 at 5 p.m.

The City of Toronto would like to thank the generous sponsors of the 2009 Bicycle Friendly Business Awards: Toronto Cyclists Union, Dufflet Pastries, Live Metal Works.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

It's good to hear that like other LRT lines, the Eglinton Crosstown plans include bikelanes. :)


TTC to talk Eglinton line, critics wary

A draft plan of the 35-kilo-metre route -- which runs from Pearson Airport in the west to Kennedy Station in the east -- will be considered by the Toronto Transit Commission today.

While about 10 kilometres of the line would be buried through mid-town Toronto, its path through suburban sections of Etobicoke and Scarborough calls for a prohibition on left-hand turns at many major intersections and the creation of U-turn lanes mid-block so vehicles can change directions to access businesses or north-south corridors.

It would also create bike lanes along much of Eglinton.

Full Article

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

end of the day by Cindy Au Duong.

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posted by Joe on Monday, November 16, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

What's on this week:

View more than the next week on the BikingToronto Events Page.



Mon, Nov 16 6pm-7:30pm
Help Shape TCAT's Platform
TCAT welcomes all supporters and friends to attend a short evening of discussion and consultation to join us in shaping TCAT's Platform for 2010.

http://bikingtoronto.com/forum/topic.php?id=460&replies=1#post-1640


Wed, Nov 18 10am
TBN's Wednesday Wheelie Ride
The nature of the Wednesday day rides known as the "Wednesday Wheelies" might be the best-kept secret in the TBN. Wednesday Wheelies are social, tourist-level rides that cover routes similar to the popular Country Cruises, but which have the glorious advantage of roads, often busy with traffic on a Sunday, being nearly deserted mid-week.

http://www.tbn.ca/cycling/wheelie.htm


Wed, Nov 18 6pm-9pm
Green Drinks Toronto @ Grace O'Malley's
[Grace O'Malley's, 14 Duncan Street (just north of King Street - 2 Blocks west of St Andrew Subway, Toronto, ON] (Google Map)

Every month people who work or have an interest in the environmental field meet up for a beer at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.

We have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, students, government and business . Come along and you'll be made welcome. Just say, "are you green?" and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It's a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network.
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=171544544484

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posted by Joe on Monday, November 16, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Sunday, November 15, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark


Congratulations!

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posted by Joe on Friday, November 13, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark



Happy Friday to you. It's been a slow news week... and that's okay! :)

  • The Walrus looks at Toronto's upcoming Public Bike System
    Interesting post on the Walrus' blog last month on the forthcoming Public Bike System (or Bixi Toronto) planned to launch in 2010: Driving the Lane: Toronto Prepares for Public Bicycling Toronto’s updated plan, modeled after Montreal’s two-year old BIXI and the 20,000–strong Vélib “shared bicycle” program in Paris, proposes…



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posted by Joe on Friday, November 13, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

There's one day of the year when the setting sun aligns with the Toronto street grid creating a stonehenge solstice effect. We're almost there. King Street on Sunday, Oct. 18th.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Monday, November 09, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Interesting post on the Walrus' blog last month on the forthcoming Public Bike System (or Bixi Toronto) planned to launch in 2010:


Driving the Lane: Toronto Prepares for Public Bicycling

Toronto’s updated plan, modeled after Montreal’s two-year old BIXI and the 20,000–strong Vélib “shared bicycle” program in Paris, proposes a start-up service area bounded by High Park in the west, Broadview Avenue in the east, Bloor Street in the north and Lake Ontario to the south. The projected system — roughly 300 rental stations with an initial capacity of 1,000 bicycles, to be increased to 10,000 over the next decade — will inevitably place a greater number of commuters on some of the city’s busiest roads. As a public transportation venture, a bicycle system presents a unique safety imperative. But are bike lanes the solution? Beyond their formidable logistic and financial considerations, would separate lanes ease the competing interests of cyclists and motorists?

I call city councillor Adrian Heaps, chair of the Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee. Beyond novelty users at the program’s inception, he expects that a public bicycle system will appeal to three distinct categories of riders: those who typically use taxis to travel short distances, those who currently use car-share services for shopping trips, and, in non-winter months, tourists. Ultimately, the councillor says, the TCAC’s goal is to reduce car traffic in the downtown core, not to convert drivers outright. Ideally, cyclists and drivers would learn to share without incident. Heaps, though, is skeptical about the partitioning of bike lanes on existing roads as an easy remedy. “Putting a bucket of paint on the road doesn’t make a safer bike corridor,” he says. “It comes down to mutual respect.”

Full Article

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posted by Joe on Monday, November 09, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

What's on this week:

View more than the next week on the BikingToronto Events Page.


Tues, Nov 10 10am
Bloor Corridor Visioning Study Public Meeting
The City of Toronto is proposing an amendment to the Official Plan to introduce area-specific policies for properties on Bloor Street West, between Avenue Road and Bathurst Street.

http://bikingtoronto.com/forum/topic.php?id=462&replies=1#post-1642


Wed, Nov 11 10am
TBN's Wednesday Wheelie Ride
The nature of the Wednesday day rides known as the "Wednesday Wheelies" might be the best-kept secret in the TBN. Wednesday Wheelies are social, tourist-level rides that cover routes similar to the popular Country Cruises, but which have the glorious advantage of roads, often busy with traffic on a Sunday, being nearly deserted mid-week.

http://www.tbn.ca/cycling/wheelie.htm


Thurs, Nov 12 7pm
VeloSocial Bike Party
This group is dedicated to the monthly VeloSocial party in Toronto. The first Monday of every month we all get together and hang out and watch bike videos, drink some pints of Amsterdam Blonde, dance & listen to DJs, rock the open mic, yamn some spicy pad-thai, and grab some goodies at the info and merch table.

http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=36270116494


Fri, Nov 13 9:30am
2010 Capital Budget Committee Public Hearings
Each November the City's Budget Committee decides which divisions and what projects to allocate its capital budget for the next year. The committee sets aside one day to get feedback from the general public on these decisions.

http://bikingtoronto.com/forum/topic.php?id=463&replies=1#post-1643


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posted by Joe on Monday, November 09, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Friday, November 06, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark



Happy Friday to you. Here's all your news from the past week!

  • Mountain Equipment Co-op raises ire of bicycle industry
    Apparently a large sports retailer getting into the bike business is somehow a no-no? Mountain Equipment Co-op, which has built its retailing reputation on a feel-good image of environmental and social responsibility, has ignited anger in an unlikely place – the bicycle industry. Its foray this month into bike…
  • HUGE Cycling Budget Increase for 2010?
    Now, I'm not an expert in how the city allocates funds for cycling... I do know that of the whole cycling budget, some goes to the Parks & Rec department for trail upkeep, and some goes to the roads department for bikelanes... and some goes other places, but all…


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posted by Joe on Friday, November 06, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Apparently a large sports retailer getting into the bike business is somehow a no-no?


  • Mountain Equipment Co-op, which has built its retailing reputation on a feel-good image of environmental and social responsibility, has ignited anger in an unlikely place – the bicycle industry.

    Its foray this month into bike selling has been criticized by rival specialty retailers for everything from unfair competition because of its tax-exempt status, to a Wal-Mart-style money grab, to unethical sourcing.

    Bike enthusiasts' ire toward MEC intensified when an executive at the non-profit chain slammed the bike industry in a blog on the company's website, calling it “grey, dusty and dirty.” The blog entry was later removed.

    Some bike-parts suppliers have even refused to ship to MEC, while one Quebec distributor last month dropped a major Canadian parts manufacturer from its roster because the supplier is selling to MEC.

    “It's no different to me than somebody buying a product at Wal-Mart that they could buy at their local mom-and-pop store,” says Pete Lilly, owner of Sweet Pete's Bike Shop in Toronto and former president of the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada, which represents suppliers and retailers in the estimated $1-billion industry.

    “Independent bicycle retail offers something very different than Mountain Equipment Co-op can,” Mr. Lilly says.

    Full Article

No disrespect to Pete Lilly, but different types of people shop at different kinds of stores. Does he have the same objection to Canadian Tire selling bikes?

Should only independent retailers sell bikes? Why?

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Now, I'm not an expert in how the city allocates funds for cycling... I do know that of the whole cycling budget, some goes to the Parks & Rec department for trail upkeep, and some goes to the roads department for bikelanes... and some goes other places, but all the news stories about the 2010 budget has great news for cycling infrastructure:


  • - Next year Toronto will spend $217.6 million on new subway cars that will hold more passengers - the beginning of a 10-year program to buy a total of 360 new subway cars;

    - The city will spend $72 million on new buses, part of a 10-year program to buy 390 new buses.

    - Construction of the Sheppard East light rail line will gather speed, with spending of $163 million.

    - Plans call for $22.6 million of spending next year on new bike lanes and paths.

Looking back at old blog posts about the subject, I dredged up some old cycling budget numbers:

2010 - 22.6 million
2009 - 8.6 million
2008 - 5.5 million
2007 - 3.0 million

I hope I'm not wrong about this being a HUGE increase, but maybe someone better versed in municipal budgets could shed some more light on this?

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Sure, we're world-famous for our post and ring bike racks... but where else is there to park your bicycle in Toronto? Turns out, you've got plenty of options...

There's the "Classic":

Toronto bike rack


At BMO Field there are arches:

cne-bike-rack_0085

In Parkdale you get glasses:

Bike Rack - Toronto 1

Much, much more on Duncan's City Ride

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

Ride the Hippo by geowelch.

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posted by Joe on Monday, November 02, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

20090930-IMGP5931 by eMadman.

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posted by Joe on Monday, November 02, 2009 Share/Save/Bookmark

What's on this week:

View more than the next week on the BikingToronto Events Page.

Wed, Nov 4
10am

TBN's Wednesday Wheelie Ride
The nature of the Wednesday day rides known as the "Wednesday Wheelies" might be the best-kept secret in the TBN. Wednesday Wheelies are social, tourist-level rides that cover routes similar to the popular Country Cruises, but which have the glorious advantage of roads, often busy with traffic on a Sunday, being nearly deserted mid-week.

http://www.tbn.ca/cycling/wheelie.htm





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