Not a lot of details, but it looks like Toronto’s getting it’s own Cargo Bike Brand. Check it out and save $500 by pre-ordering one.
The idea was first proposed in a staff report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in January, but at the time councillors on the committee rejected it.
But when the report came before council late Thursday evening, members reversed the earlier decision, voting 23-17 to approve the report’s original recommendations. Most of council’s right wing, including Mayor Rob Ford, joined with a handful of leftists to pass the motion.
Absolutely nothing about installing more actual bikeposts in the area so the people wouldn’t HAVE to lock to trees. It’s treating the symptom, not the cause.
On Nov. 21 we reported that recently planted street trees on the west side of Yonge, north of Gerrard St., had been co-opted by cyclists to lock up their bikes due to a shortage of locking posts in the area.
The bikes and locks were rubbing a ring of bark off the spindly trunks of the young trees, leaving them even more vulnerable to the ravages of road salt and extreme weather.
We checked back and found that the trees are now wrapped by material that is too wide for a bike lock, which should give them a new lease on life.
The good news is that Toronto’s Bixi system will probably be fine. City hall saw this coming months in advance and laid the groundwork for a takeover. The plan is to transfer responsibility for Bixi Toronto to the Toronto Parking Authority, and use money scrounged from the city’s street-furniture budget to keep the system going until a new private operator can be found.
Good news… the decision about whether to allow electric scooters (some people call them e-bikes) into Toronto’s bikelanes has been deferred:
E-bikes won’t be granted access to Toronto bike lanes just yet, after a recommendation before the City’s public works committee was deferred this afternoon. The report in question makes a distinction between two type of electric bike — smaller pedal-equipped versions vs. larger scooter-like models — and recommends that the former be allowed everywhere that traditional bikes are allowed, including city bike paths and lanes. The latter would be banned from off-road and separated bike lanes/paths, but permitted to operate in lanes painted on-street.
Full Story: E-bikes not allowed in Toronto bike lanes just yet.
Something similar should be done in Toronto on Yonge St. south of Bloor, and perhaps King and Queen between Bathurst and Jarvis. Keep the middle lanes open for streetcars only (or buses on Yonge), and let’s open these streets up for business. Cars are choking us economically.
If the city’s new mayor gets his way, Central Brussels will soon be essentially car-free. Socialist Party mayor Yvan Mayeur, sworn in last month as mayor of the Brussels City district, wants to turn the Belgian capital’s central axis into a pedestrian zone.
The move would transform a handsome but car-snarled four-lane boulevard and a string of squares into a long, café-filled promenade. This new zone will join up with an existing pedestrian zone in the narrow streets around the city’s Grand Place and Rue Neuve, turning Brussels’ core into a spacious, rambling open-air living room.
CycleToronto has a great rundown of what the city’s proposal to allow “e-bikes” in bikelanes will mean for Toronto’s cyclists. Be sure and click through and send an email to the Public Works Committee about why this is a misguided proposal.
This Thursday, members of Public Works & Infrastructure Committee will consider a set of recommendations to change the rules around where e-bikes are permitted in Toronto.
We’re supportive of e-bikes as an alternative to larger, less environmentally friendly motor vehicles, especially for people with impaired mobility.
We welcome Recommendation 1 to allow power-assisted bicycles which weigh less than 40kg and require pedaling for propulsion (“pedelecs”) in multi-use trails, cycle tracks and bicycle lanes.
But we’re concerned about Recommendation 2, which would allow electric scooters in all painted bicycle lanes across the City.
We support the MTO and Transport Canada addressing Recommendation 4, to split the existing power-assisted bicycles vehicle category into e-scooter and pedelec type vehicles, before the City considers the recommendation to allow them to drive in bicycle lanes.
Email details and more info: Electric scooters in bike lanes? Write Public Works now! | Cycle Toronto.
UPDATE: Councillor Ana Bailao has commented with a link about when the Railpath has been salted and/or ploughed.
For those of you who are in the west end, the Railpath remains unplowed by the city… and not since yesterday’s snowfall, but the one BEFORE it. Please take care if you’re going to be biking on it. It sounds like the bridges (especially the one over Bloor) get extra slippery.
Photo by Geoffrey Bercarich
via City of Toronto Cycling Facebook page
In a move that is entirely consistent with Toronto giving higher priority to those who choose to get around our city with help of a motor, there are reports that City Staff are going to recommend that E-Bikes be allowed in bikelanes.
If you’re not moving under your own power, get out of the bikelanes. I don’t care if there is some by-law about it… I’m still going to yell at you to get out of it.
I’m not against E-bikes at all… I’d rather see people on E-bikes that in cars, and fullly expect that when I’m a senior I’ll use one if I have mobility problems. BUT, they should NOT be in bikelanes. Because they are NOT bikes.
In a move that seems guaranteed to invite backlash from cyclists, a newly released city staff report recommends that the city make it legal for owners of so-called e-bikes—those electric scooters with tiny, vestigial pedals—to ride in most bike lanes.
E-bikes have always suffered from a kind of identity problem. They’re heavier and faster than conventional bicycles, but they’re slightly too slow to keep pace with normal auto traffic. They’re street legal in Ontario, but city by-laws currently ban them from paths and bike lanes.
A good piece from NOW Magazine about the woefully inadequate implementation of Toronto’s Bike Plan.
Here’s an idea – put in bikelanes for a 3 month pilot, THEN do consultations to see how everyone likes them (instead of before, when you’re asking people how they THINK they will like them), and then make a decision about putting them in or not.
“You have to consult then do the design then take the design back out and do more consultation, then do a pilot project. As an advocate of some of these lanes its generally frustrating that we cant move faster,” he says. “In cities like New York they dont ask, they just put in. Same with Chicago. But we have a certain culture here.”
Indeed, compared to Toronto other jurisdictions seem to move at lightning speed. A month after Rahm Emanuel was sworn in as mayor of Chicago in 2011 he showed up to dedicate a new protected bike lane on Kinzie Avenue, plans for which had only been announced four days before. By the end of 2013 the city hopes to have completed 104 km of new bike lanes since Emanuel took office.
Full Article: City way behind on bike lane target | NOW Magazine.
Great piece in the Grid about the Sherbourne separated bikelanes. I’ve heard that there will soon be more bollards separating car traffic.
Eric Krumins, a technical writer for an east-end software company, is in a somewhat unique position to comment on the issue. A vehicle owner, he has experienced Sherbourne over the dashboard of his car, but also over a pair of handlebars during his daily commute as a 10 km-per-day cyclist.
“The benefits of the separated lanes [for cyclists] are that you are generally buffered from high-speed traffic,” he says. But there’s a caveat. “This only applies on straight sections and not near intersections.” To Krumins, there are more drawbacks than benefits to the infrastructure of separated bike lanes—specifically referred to as “cycle tracks,” as per their design. “To pedestrians,” he says, “it feels like the sidewalk has been extended. The bike lane also passes through bus stops where people stand to wait for a bus. Whenever I’m biking on Sherbourne, I have to be more alert to the threat of pedestrians walking into the bike lane.”
Full Article: Are the Sherbourne bike lanes working? | The Grid TO.
This is fantastic and needed EVERYWHERE. Can we bring something like this to Toronto? I’ll help.
Recently, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association partnered with Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) in the District to give cyclists a safe place to vent and discuss harassment prevention and empowerment strategies, said Nelle Pierson, WABA’s coordinator of outreach programs.
“A lot of women start biking because it is empowering, but also because they can just get away from a situation,” said Zosia Sztykowski, 28, of Columbia Heights, the lead outreach coordinator for CASS, a grassroots organization dedicated to building awareness and ending sexual assault and harassment on the streets. The organization produces a blog that curates women’s experiences with street harassment. “A lot of people think street harassment happens just to them and that they’re alone,” she said.
Yay! The official City of Toronto press release about the saving (and future expansion) of Bixi (or whatever it will be called going forward).
”We are pleased to announce that the City of Toronto will be keeping the bike share program operating for our customers,” said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the City’s Public works and Infrastructure Committee. “In less than three years, the bike share program has proven to very successful and has become an important part of Toronto’s transportation system with more than 4,400 paid subscribers and more than 1.8 million trips taken during this time. The City’s actions will preserve bike share for Toronto, place the system on firm financial footing and provide it with a solid business plan under the management of the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA).”
Something that was known, but the official announcement is nice. Long live Bixi (or whatever it’ll be called)!!
The city will take over the Bixi bike sharing program, councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong said at Toronto city hall on Wednesday.
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride,” he told reporters, quoting John F. Kennedy.
“As of spring 2014, Toronto’s bike share program will be owned and operated by the Toronto Parking Authority.”
By the time the takeover is complete, the program will no longer be called Bixi. A new name has not been decided. Minnan-Wong said the TPA is looking for a “generous” sponsor who would receive naming rights.
The above photo makes me so happy. That green looks fantastic!
The City has been busy upgrading the bikelane on Bloor East between Sherbourne and the Bloor Viaduct.
The latest thing they’ve done is add some green colouring to the bikelane as it goes through the Bloor and Parliament intersection. Photo from Hayley Easto above, and tweet (and photo) from the City below:
— City of Toronto (@CityofToronto1) December 3, 2013
Great write-up by Spacing on the saving and future expansion on Bixi Toronto:
Bixi has been granted a reprieve by council, after a motion passed unanimously to save the program. The vote united councillors of every political stripe, with representation from every geographical corner of the city. The plan is not only to save Bixi, but to look seriously at ways to expand it.
“What you’ve seen today is city council demonstrating its political will to try to do the best that we can to preserve the Bixi program,” Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam told Spacing.
Great stuff. We need more politicians taking bike tours of the areas they reprsent – hopefully municipal, provincial and federal politicians all at once!
With the caveat that local cycling issues are not within the federal representative’s jurisdiction, the pair pointed out safety issues and concerns for cyclists along the way.
The pair took Nash on a bike tour of Parkdale–High Park, from Bloor Street West, down Roncesvalles to Queen Street West and up Sorauren Avenue, along the West Toronto Railpath and down Lansdowne Avenue.
“According to the 2006 census data, Ward 14 actually has the second highest proportion of cyclists and pedestrian commuters in the city with 26 per cent who either cycle or walk to work,” Pin said. “There are so many cyclists, yet very little infrastructure.”
A large and enthusiastic crowd came out to the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom on the evening of November 26 for the 2013 Toronto Bike Awards.
The awards honoured individuals and organizations from both business and the community who have shown leadership in making Toronto a better place for cycling.
The ceremony was co-hosted by Jared Kolb, Executive Director of Cycle Toronto, and Tonya Surman, CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation. It is originally an initiative of the City of Toronto.
Full article: Winners from Toronto Bike Awards 2013 | dandyhorse magazine.
Bixi Toronto will be administratively under the Toronto Parking Authority, but managed by Portland’s Alta Bicycle Share.
Toronto’s plan to save Bixi transfers the bike-sharing program to the Toronto Parking Authority, turns over management to a Portland-based firm and uses money from Astral Media that was going to be spent on public toilets, the National Post has learned.
The deal, approved at a closed-door meeting of city council 10 days ago, will also see Toronto “eat” the $3.9-million in loan guarantees that the city gave to Bixi, owned by the City of Montreal, according to a source.
(if you hit the Post’s paywall, you need to learn about incognito browsing)
One of Canada’s top squash players has died after being hit by a car while cycling in Toronto.
Squash Canada confirmed in a release that Ottawa’s Adrian Dudzicki died from injuries sustained in an accident on Wednesday when a vehicle struck him as he rode his bicycle to the National Squash Academy.
Dudzicki, 23, was born in Latina, Italy, and raised in the Ottawa area. He reached a career high ranking of No. 9 in Canada and No. 136 in the world in 2012.