January 15, 2018

Budget Balancing Blues

This year’s Toronto budget is an opportunity for Mayor John Tory and City Council to set the stage for this fall’s election with $11 billion in operating expenditures and $25.7 billion in capital projects at stake. Unfortunately, the current plan fails to account for various council-approved initiatives such as low income passes and two-hour transfers for the TTC, as well as the TransformTO climate action plan. All this disappointment to satisfy the Mayor’s desire to limit property tax hikes to inflation. Social Planning Toronto has a good write up on some of the other unfunded priorities, though I will elaborate on the budget’s impact on cycling.

January 05, 2018

Ring the Post on Bike Parking

The first thing that comes to mind for many people regarding cycling advocacy is bike lanes. But what use would a connected bike lane network have if you don’t have a safe place near your work, school, or errands to lock your bike? The lack of bike parking is a challenge many Torontonians face, as do cities around the world. Let’s look at where Toronto stands with bike parking and what lessons can be learned from elsewhere.
Toronto's iconic ring-and-post bike parking

January 01, 2018

2017 … The Calm Before the Storm

A new year has started which will become pivotal for Toronto’s cycling community. Not only is there October’s municipal election with three new council seats up for grabs and a mayoral rematch between John Tory and Doug Ford, there is the June Ontario election which may see the end of fifteen years of Liberal rule. Before worrying about the coming political storm, let’s take a moment to reflect on 2017.

November 27, 2017

Bring on the Eglinton East LRT!

Map of Eglinton East LRT (via City of Toronto)
As with many city builders in the Greater Toronto Area, I am furious at the political games with the one-stop subway extension in Scarborough. City councillors – mostly suburban – repeatedly denied conducting cost-and-benefit comparisons with the original seven stop LRT, while a recent Toronto Star article indicated staff will not reveal the updated subway costs until after the 2018 election. The recent article raises suspicions the Mayor’s office is trying to bury the subway as an election issue with both John Tory and Doug Ford supporting the subway. However, it will only delay the inevitable truth the subway – currently expected to cost $3.35 billion – will exceed the $3.56 billion in available funding and leave nothing for the Eglinton East LRT. Especially if the controversies surrounding the Lawrence Avenue SmartTrack stop prompt the addition of a second subway station.

November 13, 2017

Not Just Bloor in November

Last week saw Toronto city council vote in favour of making the Bloor bike lanes permanent. While that decision grabbed the bulk of the cycling headlines, several other good developments have happened for Toronto’s cycling community. Let’s find out what they are.

November 08, 2017

Addressing Pickering's Transportation Plan Challenges

For the first time in twenty years, the City of Pickering is updating their Integrated Transportation Master Plan. If there is one thing which badly needs to be addressed in the plan update, it’s their lack of cycling infrastructure. Per this image from Google Maps, Pickering is a cyclist’s black hole except for parts of the Waterfront Trail and a few disconnected bike lanes in the rest of the city; some of which don’t even qualify as bike lanes. Henceforth, I provided this submission to highlight some of the challenges I experienced and suggest some improvements.
Google Maps bicycling layer of Pickering and the rest of Durham Region

October 20, 2017

Streetfight on Bloor - Round 2

A year and a half after the Bloor bike lane pilot project was debated at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, the committee endured a six-hour session to determine whether to make those bike lanes permanent. Almost sixty people registered to speak on this item – leading to deputation times to be cut from five minutes to three – while hundreds more gave written submissions and over 6600 supporters signed Cycle Toronto’s Bloor Loves Bikes pledge. The meeting carried an extra sense of urgency with the death of Parkdale cyclist David Delos Santos that same morning.