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Issue No. 179

cyclometer june 2011 edition
Cyclometer is produced by the City of Toronto - Transportation Services, and reports on cycling infrastructure projects and associated programs.  
Transportation Services
transportation services

Help Shape Your City - Take the Survey

The City of Toronto is reviewing its Official Plan, which sets out the vision for where and how Toronto will grow to the year 2031, and conducting a Municipal Comprehensive Review. You can help shape your city by taking a moment to complete the online survey: tell us what you like about Toronto neighbourhoods and what you like to see in the future. Your participation in this "check-up" will help to ensure that the Official Plan fulfills its vision. The survey is part of the first stage of the Reviews. Take the survey by October 17


 

Spadina Avenue Sharrows

Sharrow markings have been installed on Spadina Avenue from King St. West to College Street.

The roads were prepared for this sharrow installation last year, when the edge-lines were removed from this section of roadway.  The 0.9 m edge lines were originally painted to help keep motor vehicles away from the curb, since the space available was not wide enough to install bike lanes.  The new sharrow markings communicate this  message to motor vehicles as well, while also indicating the ideal position for cyclists in the lane. 

Sharrow symbols are a pavement marking first introduced to Toronto's roads in 2007.  Sharrow markings are now being used in Toronto and in many other municipalities.  


Pottery Road and the Don Valley Trail

The re-construction of Pottery Road is nearing completion.  This re-build includes an improved bike path down into the Don Valley Trail Network.

Learn more about Trail access issues into the Don Valley

  Moore Avenue Sharrows

Last year, as part of Moore Avenue reconstruction project, bike lanes were installed between Bayview Avenue and the Moore Park Ravine.  Transportation Services has now installed sharrows on the east and west ends of these bike lanes to help cyclists transition from/into mixed traffic. 


At the east end, sharrows have been installed on westbound Moore Avenue at the east approach of Bayview Avenue to help cyclists make transition into bike lanes starting just west of Bayview. The westbound curb through/right turn lane has also been replaced with a through lane (with sharrows) and a separate right-turn lane. Sharrows at the west end have been installed between Welland Avenue and west end of bike lanes to provide guidance to the cyclists. 


 

Bloor Street Sharrows

Additional sharrows have been installed on Bloor Street to increase the symbol frequency between Yonge Street and Avenue Road.  The spacing of these sharrows west of Yonge is now more consistent with the sharrows installed between Yonge Street and Church Street.


 

Gerrard Street Bridge Partial Closure

As many Gerrard St. commuters have already noticed, the Gerrard St. bridge over the Don Valley is partially closed while the bridge deck is torn up and new streetcar tracks are installed.  Cyclists may use the bridge to cross the ravine headed westbound, however the bike lane is closed, and so the remaining space must be shared by all vehicles.  The bridge is closed completely in the eastbound direction.


Cycling with Catch Basin Covers

Catch basins are an important part of our streets; they drain rain water and provide access to the Sewer system.  However some types of catch basins can be a hazard to cyclists.  The City of Toronto enacted a policy to install catch basin covers designed with slits that are not parallel to the road.  The purpose of the policy was to decrease the risk of a cyclist's tire getting caught in the catch basin cover. 

It has been reported that some catch basin covers are not being placed correctly, and so their slits are parallel to the road.  You can help.  If you have seen a catch basin cover which is dangerous to cyclists, please report it to the City by calling 311 or emailing 311@toronto.ca


 

College Street Bike Boxes

Volunteers from the Toronto Cyclists Union will be helping the City, by flyering bike box postcards, to coincide with the installation of bike boxes at the intersections of College and Spadina, and College and St. George.  Learn more about bike boxes.


 

Dupont St. Bike Lanes

Council approved modifications to the bike lanes on Dupont Street at the Lansdowne Avenue intersection in order to improve motor vehicle traffic flow and capacity at the intersection.  These modifications have now been installed.


Electric Scooters and Power Assisted Bicycles
 

The City of Toronto has installed signs on Toronto's waterfront Trail, advising cyclists of trail use bylaws.  Although the signs are new, the bylaws to which they refer are not.
  
Municipal Code Chapter 608 is Toronto's Municipal Code chapter for Parks bylaws. It was adopted by Council in 2004. Bylaw 608-30; Motorized recreational vehicles states "No person shall ride, drive, park or be in possession or control of a motorized recreational vehicle in a park except in a designated area."  In this chapter the definition of a bicycle is that it "includes a tricycle and unicycle but does not include a motor-assisted bicycle."


Municipal Code Chapter 886 is Toronto's Municipal Code chapter for Footpaths, Pedestrian Ways, Bicycle Paths and Bicycle Lane bylaws.  It was adopted by Council in 2007.

Bylaw 886-8 states; Bicycle lanes are "Lanes designated for the use of bicycles only".   In this chapter a "bicycle" is defined as "a bicycle, tricycle or other similar vehicle, but does not include any vehicle or bicycle propelled or driven by any power other than muscular power."


These bylaws were passed before the province legalized the use of electric scooters and power assisted bicycles on Ontario's roads (Bill 126) in 2009. Now that e-bikes may be legally used on Ontario's roads they are becoming a popular transportation option, riders do not need and M class license or insurance to drive an e-bike.

The City of Toronto recognizes that the City's current bylaws are not nuanced, and do not reflect the different kinds of vehicles available on the market today.  "E-Bikes" being sold today, according to the Province's definition of an "e-bike", can include both power assisted bicycles (P.A.B.s), which must be pedaled for the rider to get a boost, and low-speed electric scooters.  Although these electric scooters have pedals it is not necessary for the driver to use these pedals to propel their vehicle. Currently, Toronto's bylaws simply prohibit the use of any motor on parks trails and in bike lanes.

Transportation Services is currently reviewing its bylaws to better recognize the differences between P.A.B.s, and electric motor scooters.  As part of this process, we welcome the public to submit their input to bikeplan@toronto.ca


Bike Parking
 

Union Bicycle Station Hours

After a successful move to the east side of York Street, staffed hours for the Union bicycle station have changed.  For September the station's hours are 7 am to 9 am Monday to Friday.   Learn more about Bicycle Parking Stations online or for more information please call 416 389 0365.


Bike Events
Bike Friendly Business Awards

The Bike Friendly Business Awards
are a chance for businesses to be recognized for the investments they are making to encourage cycling.  This year awards will be handed out at the Toronto Bike Awards taking place at the Gladstone Hotel on September 26th, 2011.
Some of the photos received for the BIXI Toronto photo contest will be exposed at the Toronto Bike Awards photo exhibition, at the Gladstone Hotel.  The theme of this photo contest is BIXI usage in the city of Toronto.


 
  The Crothers Woods Trail Maintenance Day

The City of Toronto's Sustainable Trails Initiative works with the International Mountain biking Association (IMBA) to engineer and build trails, which allow for maximum enjoyment of Toronto’s wild spaces without environmental degradation. Crothers Woods Trail Maintenance Day is Saturday October 1, 2011.  Trail building work will also take place October 2, 2011. For more information or to register for the IMBA Trail building School, contact trails@toronto.ca or call 416-392-DIRT (3478).


In the Community
 

Tweed Ride

Tweed Rides are a worldwide phenomenon - a metropolitan ride with style!

Dress up in tweeds and join a bicycle ride through the streets and raise money for a good cause. Similar rides have taken place in locations such as New York, Paris, Sydney and Tokyo. This past year London registration sold out in seven minutes with more than 500 participants and celebrities such as Ewan MacGregor taking part. Visit the facebook page for Toronto's event
Meet up point is Trinity-Bellwoods Park Gate on Queen West
790 Queen St. West
Saturday, October 15 at 3:00pm - October 16 at 1:00am


 

Correction – in the August issue of cyclometer it was reported that the asphalt was down for all 30 km of the Rail and Hydro Corridor Trails which were started last year.  This is incorrect, the CN Leaside Trail, from Bond Park to the rail line north of Eglinton Avenue East, and the section of the Finch Hydro Corridor Trail West of G. Ross Lord Park have not yet been paved.

This newsletter is available on the City's website at http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/cyclometer/index.htm.
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