Welcome to Cyclometer, a monthly newsletter to keep cyclists informed about cycling issues and programs in the City of Toronto.
1) Let’s Not Get Lost in the Transition: Speak Up For Cycling in the Megacity
If you don’t speak up, we may lose important cycling programs in the transition to the Megacity. During the next few weeks the Metro area municipalities, ward and community organizations and many groups will be holding public meetings to hear your issues, questions and concerns. This is your chance to keep cycling on the agenda for the new city.
Toronto City Council has published a document to clarify the issues entitled Community Consultation: Options for Decision-Making in the Megacity. To obtain a copy of the report or get a schedule of public meetings, please call (416) 392-7833 (24 hr), visit City Hall or visit the City’s internet site: www.toronto.ca
You can write directly to Toronto City Council by:
Fax: (416) 392-1553
Mail: City of Toronto Community Consultation
Toronto City Hall
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
Please try to forward your views to the City by Friday, July 18, 1997 so that they can prepare their submission to the Provincial Transition Team.
The Provincial Transition Team will also be holding public meetings across Metro to hear your views. The City of Toronto meetings were held on July 9 and July 10. To find out about future meetings, call (416) 338-7000.
You can write directly to the Provincial Transition Team by:
Fax: (416) 338-7050
Mail: Toronto TMansitty
4100 Yonge Street, Suite 502
North York, Ontario M2P 2B7
2) Cycling Vision Reworked for Megacity
by Rob Tonus
In 1996, Toronto City Council adopted the City Cycling Committee’s report,
Bicycle City 2001: Creating a Bicycle Transportation Plan for the City of Toronto. It described a vision for cycling in Toronto, identified initiatives already underway, and outlined a process for building upon this solid foundation to produce supportive infrastructures for cycling. The next step was to prepare a five year comprehensive cycling plan, including new cycling programs, policies and projects, to enhance cycling in the City.
The Megacity has delayed the process and forced us to rethink our long term plans. Bicycle City 2001 has been reworked to provide an expanded vision of cycling for the Megacity. We hope that the aims, goals and visions reflected in the document can become part of the public discussions leading up to the November municipal election and the transition to the new City of Toronto. We want to make sure cycling is on the agenda for the new city.
If you want to receive a copy of the revised report, leave a message at
3) New Bicycle Lanes For 1997
Three new bicycle lanes are scheduled to be installed this year. The first section, on Queen’s Quay Ave West between Stadium Rd. and Spadina Ave, was approved by Council on June 2 and will be installed soon. This section connects with the off-street Martin Goodman Trail which ends/starts at Stadium Rd. A priority for next year is to provide bicycle lanes between Spadina and Yonge St. to close the gap in the waterfront trail.
On June 24, Council approved bicycle lanes on Harbord-Hoskin, between Grace St. and Queen’s Park Cr. Originally intended to extend west to Ossington Ave, Councillor Silva requested that the section west of Grace St. be deferred to allow further consultation with the community in this section. The approved section is scheduled to be implemented in July this year. There will be no bicycle lanes in the business district between Spadina Ave. and Borden Ave. All day parking will be permitted on both sides so that only two traffic lanes will operate throughout the day.
The most significant bicycle lane this year could be the proposed Davenport Rd. bicycle lanes which would connect to the existing lanes at the Davenport underpass and extend westerly 5 km to Old Weston Rd. Because the roadway is at least 14 metres wide for most of its length, parking and bicycle lanes can be provided on both sides of the street with two regular traffic lanes all day (one in each direction). In addition to the benefits provided by the bicycle lanes and parking (most of the street is residential) reducing it to two traffic lanes all day will result in slower more predictable traffic flows during the rush hours.
The City Works report on the proposed Davenport Rd. bicycle lanes will be considered by City Services Committee at their meeting on Wednesday, July 16. You can express your support (or lack of) to City Services in writing and/or in person.
Mail or fax your signed comments to:
City Services Committee
Secretariat Division, City Clerk’s
2nd Floor, City Hall
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
or Fax: 392-1879
To get on the speakers list for the July 16 meeting call 392-7030 by 4:00 pm the day before or add your name to the list at the meeting. Your comments will be limited to five minutes so that as many people as possible can speak. Please note that only signed communications will be accepted, whether mailed or faxed. Call City Clerks at 392-7030 to find out at what time this item will be discussed.
4) Bike Week A Success
by Lesley Wood and Joanna Beyersbergen
Toronto Bike Week got plenty of media attention this year. We had articles and photos in the Toronto Star, NOW Magazine and lots of community papers. There was almost daily coverage of the week on Citytv. CBC Radio promoted many of the events and aired Metro Morning’s The Diamond Lane live from the pancake breakfast, with a guest appearance by John Sewell. There were interviews on Talk 640, CFRB, CIUT and Radio Canada International.
There were 34 events appealing to all tastes. Some of the highlights included breakfast for 600 at Nathan Phillips Square, table hockey at the Parking Meter Party, the Latin American Bike Club Ride, flashing headbands and neon shorts at the Glow in the Dark Ride, checking out graffiti with international theatre activists from the Ripple Effect Conference, the fact that Bike Week raised a bunch of money for CBN and ending the week, the Ride for Heart, with 12,000 men, women and kids chugging their way up and down the hills of the Don Valley Parkway.
‘A Bike for Every Kid’ unexpectedly provided the means for a group of physically challenged children to take part in Bike Week this year. Sunny View Public School students took part in their first wheel-a-thon at the school and raised $431 for the CBN fundraiser. Students aged 4 to 15 counted laps around the school throughout the week, using adapted tricycles, recumbent trikes, bikes with training wheels, arm-propelled tricycles and wheelchairs. A Sunny View teacher participated on a unicycle. Occupational therapist and avid cyclist, Rowena Maclure reports that the event promoted ‘health, fitness and good fun’ for Sunny View students. What better measure of Bike Week’s success?
And it’s not over. You can continue to support the work of the community bike clubs with personal donations or fundraising. ‘A Bike for Every Kid’ launched a partnership between the Toronto City Cycling Committee and Headstart Technologies which will help the clubs provide safe cycling training and CSA-approved helmets to children who earn recycled bikes with their volunteer labour. Tax receipts are available for donations of $10 or more. Cheques made payable to the Community Bicycle Network can be mailed to: The Toronto City Cycling Committee, 20th Floor, East Tower, City Hall, Toronto M5H 2N2.
5) CBN Says Thank You
by Ron Kuipers
The staff, board, and volunteers of CBN want to thank the sponsors and cyclists who raised money for ‘A Bike For Every Kid’. We are encouraged by this wonderful gift of $2,000 and by the community support it shows for CBN’s work. This money will go a long way to diverting under used bikes from the waste stream, and putting them in the hands of kids who may not otherwise be able to afford them.
Why not visit one of our clubs this summer? The Cabbagetown Bike Club at 40 Oak Street in Regent Park is open every Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm., and needs volunteers to help repair bikes. The West End bike club in the lower level of the Dufferin Mall parking garage is open on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. and also requires some volunteer help fixing bikes and organizing the space (there is literally a mountain of bikes waiting to be repaired at West End). Women’s Bike Works will be starting up again this summer. If you are interested in volunteering at one of the clubs or participating in a workshop, please contact us at 504-2918.
6) Indirect Left Turn
by Daniel Egan
We’d like your feedback on the ‘indirect left turn’ design at the Bloor and Sherbourne intersection. As you cycle west on Bloor St. towards Sherbourne St. there are two blue signs with a pictogram describing an ‘indirect left turn’ (below) for westbound cyclists wanting to turn left onto Sherbourne. Cyclists can ride straight through on the westbound green and stop at the far curb in the white painted ‘box’ to wait for the southbound green light. To ensure that waiting cyclists aren’t in conflict with right turning drivers, the southbound ‘right turn on green’ has been prohibited. Also the crosswalk was moved north just enough so that cyclists don’t have to block the crosswalk while waiting for the southbound green. The ‘box’ is large enough to accommodate 2 or 3 cyclists at a time.
Check it out and let us know what you think. You can send in your comments by phone: 392-1143; fax: 392-0071; or e-mail: email@example.com.
7) Cycling Ambassadors Take Safety Message to the Streets
For the next 8 weeks 5 Cycling Ambassadors will be pedalling around Toronto to promote bike safety and responsible cycling, both on and off the road. Their activities will include: on-the-spot bicycle safety and helmet fit checks, providing tips on riding techniques, distributing educational materials, and promoting the CAN-BIKE courses. They will work closely with the Metro Police Bicycle Patrol to host S.P.A.C.E. program roadside events. The S.P.A.C.E. program educates, warns and enforces traffic regulations for the safety of all users of the road.
The City Cycling Ambassadors are experienced cyclists who have graduated from the CAN-BIKE II course. They are: Thomas Barker, Ray Breuker, Christy Contway, Vanessa Thomas and Sean Wheldrake. You can reach them by calling 392-1560, extension 85824 or 85809.
8) In Front, Behind, Not Beside!
by Barb Wentworth
When I ride in Toronto, there are certain things that really focus my attention. Large vehicles always raise a red flag for me - buses, trucks, cube vans, motor homes. These vehicles are so big that they take up all of the lane. While often you can share a lane with a car - there is no room for a bicycle and a large vehicle to share a lane. Never ride beside a truck. There is not enough space. Trucks and bikes don’t always track a straight line. If your handlebars knock against the side of a large vehicle while you are moving, you could be dragged under its rear wheels.
Almost everyday, I see cyclists putting themselves into danger by riding up on the right side of a truck or bus. Please recognize the danger to yourself and talk to other cyclists about it. Always pass on the left. If you can’t stay ahead, it is safer to stay behind. The few minutes that you wait behind a truck are worth it. Leap frogging with a bus or truck just compounds the problem.
For more information on how to identify potential hazards and collision avoidance techniques, call the CAN-BIKE hotline at 392-1311.
9) CAN-BIKE Courses
No matter what your skill level or experience we have a CAN-BIKE course for you. Our courses fill up quickly, so please enroll early. For more information or to register, please call the CAN-BIKE Hotline at 416-392-1311. We are still accepting students in the following classes:
Adult Learn to Ride 1: $40.00 CAN-BIKE I: $50.00
Adult Learn to Ride 2: $40.00 CAN-BIKE II: $75.00
CAN-BIKE I for Teens
Sat. July 19, 26 10:00-5:00pm North Toronto Community Centre
Adult Learn to Ride 1
Sun. July 20 1:00-4:00pm Pape Recreation Centre
Sun. August 24 1:00-4:00pm North Toronto Community Centre
Sun. Sept. 21 1:00-4:00pm McCormick Recreation Centre
Sat. July 26 10:00-5:00pm Trinity Recreation Centre
Sat. August 23 10:00-5:00pm North Toronto Community Centre
Adult Learn to Ride 2
Sun. August 8 1:00-4:00pm Pape Recreation Centre
Tues. August 12, 19 6:00-9:00pm McCormick Recreation Centre
Sat. August 16, 23 10:00-5:00pm
Sat. Sept. 6, 13, 20 10:00-5:00pm Toronto City Hall
Sun. Sept. 21, 28 10:00-5:00pm Trinity Recreation Centre
10) MapArt Publishes Bicycle Map
by Charles Syrett
MapArt Publishing, Canada’s largest producer of city and street maps, is now selling a bicycle map. The new map, Toronto with Bicycle Routes, covers all of Metro Toronto, showing cycle lanes, signed on-street routes, and off-street trails. It also shows suggested connections on less-travelled streets so that cyclists can navigate around the city on bicycle-friendly routes which cross arterials at traffic signals. This is the first Toronto bike map to include a complete street index.
The map is available for $3.95 at bicycle stores, Canadian Tire, Lichtman’s, Business Depot, Grand and Toy, Daisy Fresh, 7-11, many gas stations and other outlets.
Note: The free Sport Swap bicycle maps are still available at Sport Swap at 2045 Yonge St. (just south of Eglinton).
11) Fast Boat to Niagara
Shaker Cruise Lines offers a great way to get to the Niagara Peninsula without a car. Leaving from the foot of Yonge Street, $29 will buy you and your bike a round-trip ticket to Port Dalhousie - near Niagara-on-the-Lake. Call 364-3938 for schedules and more info.
12) Intersection Gets a New Home
The Intersection, Toronto’s community space dedicated to sustainable transportation has moved again - and this time it’s our own space and bigger and better than ever! As well as serving as the offices of the Community Bicycle Network and Transportation Options, the Intersection is also the home of Detour Publications, Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists (ARC), the Bicycle League of Toronto (BLT), the Skills Development Programme for Sustainable Transportation, and the sustainable transportation resource library.
Want to get involved or just check out the new space? The Intersection is located at 761 Queen St. W, Suite 101 (just west of Bathurst in a former church). This summer, we will be open Mondays 3-6pm, Tuesdays to Fridays noon-6pm and Saturdays noon-5pm. We can be reached at (416) 504-2918 or 504-3934; or by fax at 504-0068.
Volunteers are needed for staffing the space for a few hours, helping out with Detour Publications, working on our web site (http://www.web.net/~detour), updating the resource library or database, fundraising or community outreach? The next Intersection general meeting will be Monday, July 14, from 6-9pm - all welcome.
13) BLT Hits The Street
by Nick Gamble
After a long winter of planning, the Bicycle League of Toronto (BLT) was finally launched with a bang during Bike Week. BLT will lobby on behalf of the ordinary city cyclist and provide a growing range of services for members.
Member benefits include a quarterly newsletter, and a discount card to slash dollars at an expanding list of bike stores and bike-friendly
businesses. As a member, you’ll be able to attend meetings and affect policy as much as you like. Or you can be a silent partner and simply enjoy the benefits of membership. Just by joining BLT, you’ll be adding your voice to our advocacy efforts and helping increase cyclists’ ability to make ourselves heard.
For more info, call BLT at 504-2918, e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>, or pick up a flyer/membership form at Bikes on Wheels, Dukes Cycle or Urbane Cyclist. To join today, send a cheque for $20 (household: $40, low income: $10, two years: $35) to BLT, 761 Queen St. W. Suite 101, Toronto, Ont. M6J 1G1.
14) ARC Summer Events
by Nancy Smith Lea
Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists (ARC) is planning two events. The first is a legal workshop for cyclists, which will, among other things, explain the implications for cyclists of no fault insurance. A special thanks from ARC to those lawyers who have offered to volunteer their time to this workshop. The second event is an art exhibition at the new Intersection (761 Queen St.W.) of the winning photos from the Ultimate Big Game Hunt. Both of these events are being planned for later this summer or early fall. Call 504-2918 for info.
15) Detour Volunteers Wanted
Detour Publications, a distribution and publishing cooperative dedicated to providing to the public the best books, magazines and videos on sustainable transportation, needs volunteers to help run its mail-order activities. A 3-hour-a-week commitment. Intrigued? Please leave a message for Lesley at 504-2918.
16) Request a Post-and-Ring Rack
The City of Toronto City Works Services will be installing about 500 new post-and-ring racks on City sidewalks and boulevards this summer. If you know of a location in need of bike parking call them at 392-7711 and ask for a bike rack request form. Get your request in early.
17) Send Us Your Hazard Report Card
While considerable effort is being directed towards expanding the bicycle route network, most bicycle trips will continue to be made on regular streets. There are many existing problem areas for cyclists which are not being improved because they are not on a designated bicycle route. In an effort to develop a systematic approach for identifying problem areas and improving them for cyclists, the Cycling Committee asks you to fill out this Hazard Report Card. This is your chance to help us identify unsafe intersections and other locations. We will also identify high frequency bicycle collision locations using police accident data. List as many locations as you like.
18) Ahead in the Bike Lane
Jul. 15, TCCC Bike Planning Subcommittee, 7:00 pm, Committee Room 1, City Hall
Jul. 15, TCCC Education and Enforcement Subcommittee, 7:00 pm, Committee Room 5, City Hall
Jul. 16, Metro Network Planning Subcommittee, 7:00 pm, Room 313, Metro Hall
Aug. 6, Metro Cycling and Pedestrian Committee, 7:00 pm, Room 310, Metro Hall
Aug. 6, Metro Pedestrian Issues Sub-committee, 4:30 pm, Room B, Metro Hall
Aug. 19, TCCC Education and Enforcement Subcommittee, 7:00 pm, Committee Room 5, City Hall
Aug. 20, Metro Network Planning Subcommittee, 7:00 pm, Room 313, Metro Hall
Sept. 9, Toronto City Cycling Committee, 7:00 pm, Committee Room 5, City Hall
Sept. 17, Metro Cycling and Pedestrian Committee, 7:00 pm, Committee Room 309, Metro Hall
The City has a vision for cycling in Toronto and wants you involved in making it happen. Cyclometer is a subscription service of the City of Toronto.
The first issue of Cyclometer went out on November 24, 1989. Now, as then, we hope that, like its namesake, Cyclometer will show you how far we’ve come, how fast we’re going, and maybe how much pedalling we have yet to do. So get on board and get involved. Your support is important.
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