July 22, 2019

What's Next, Bike Share Toronto?

Back in 2013, Toronto held the “Feeling Congested” consultation series to reduce gridlock and included a recommendation to expand Toronto’s bike share to 5,000 bikes. Earlier this month, this goal has been fulfilled with the newest of the 465 stations being installed in the Junction, Bloor West Village, the Beaches, East York, and Midtown. With this goal achieved, where should Bike Share Toronto go next?

July 10, 2019

Crossing Toronto’s Rubicon (a.k.a. The Humber)

Last month, Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee approved the bike plan update which would give city staff several actions related to the Bloor-Danforth corridor:
  1. Initiate planning, design, and consultation to extend the Bloor Street bike lanes west from Shaw Street to High Park Avenue with implementation as early as Summer 2020.
  2. Report back in Spring 2020 on a detailed design for pilot bike lanes on Danforth Avenue from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road.
  3. Study the feasibility of protected bike lanes on Bloor from Church Street to Avenue Road as part of the bike lane construction from Sherbourne to Church Streets (now expected in 2022).

June 24, 2019

Back to the Bike Plan Drawing Board

This Thursday, Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee will review an update to the bike plan along with this year’s proposed cycling projects. The update effectively throws the bike plan approved in 2016 out the window; instead opting for more flexible three-year plans and a city-wide cycling network to be developed over the long term. What a slap in the face! Especially when you consider Toronto had a $16 million annual cycling budget (excluding federal and provincial funding) and five cycling fatalities in 2018, yet they built only 25 kilometres of on-street cycling infrastructure since 2016?!?!
The Bloor bike lanes need to be extended west from Shaw Street (pictured) to High Park

June 10, 2019

What's The Holdup, Danforth Bike Lanes?

With much of the cycling community’s focus on extending the Bloor bike lanes west to High Park, we cannot forget the need to extend the bike lanes east along Danforth Avenue. A complete streets study was announced at last year’s Bells on Danforth ride, but WTF has happened since then? Turns out there’s a lot going on with the east end’s main street.
Bells on Danforth 2018

May 21, 2019

Road Safety and the Green New Deal

Aside from Toronto’s snail pace of bike lane and public transit installation, one thing that has become incredibly frustrating for me is the lack of global climate action despite the Kyoto (1997) and Paris (2015) agreements. At a time the world’s leading scientists urged people to reduce greenhouse emissions in half by 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate change, they elect folks such as Donald Trump in the United States and Doug Ford in Ontario who are doing the opposite. Something that has gotten me worried about this fall’s federal election. The good news is millions of youth – inspired by Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg – have had enough and held school strikes urging world leaders to treat climate change as an emergency. American politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared a need for a Green New Deal; something recently introduced in Canada as the next step to the Leap Manifesto.

May 10, 2019

The Pedestrianized Folly of yongeTOmorrow

Thursday, May 9 marked the first yongeTOmorrow open house, which aims to reconstruct Yonge Street from College to Queen Streets with a second phase extending north to Davenport Road. With pedestrian volumes making up between 50 and 75% of mode share there and low traffic volumes compared to nearby streets, the focus has been more on improving the pedestrian realm while public consultation documents mused about “installing cycling facilities on Yonge Street or a nearby north-south street”. Ryerson University’s City Building Institute posted an article citing their preference for bike lanes on adjacent streets; claiming bike lanes on Yonge would lead to pedestrian-conflicts and a reduced ability to host special events. While I am normally supportive of Ryerson CBI’s initiatives and acknowledge their support for Transform Yonge in North York, this is one of the few cases where we have to disagree.

April 26, 2019

My Longitudinal Frustration

Early last year, I switched jobs to near Dufferin and Lawrence and slashed three quarters of my commute distance. During the winter months, I took the TTC but aimed to commute by bike as often as possible (of course). This bike commuting experience made me aware of not only how few bike lanes North York has, but also the lack of dedicated north-south routes in Toronto. Especially north of Davenport. Since I opted to take a different route yesterday morning, I will reflect on that experience, my original route, and a project the City of Toronto is looking to implement late this year.
The West Toronto Railpath was part of my original bike commute