August 19, 2021

Action Alert RE Yesterday’s Avenue and Bloor Tragedy

Yesterday at 6:30 PM, 18-year-old Miguel Joshua Escana was killed by a cement truck driver while biking on Avenue Road immediately north of Bloor Street. While a ghost bike memorial ride will be held on Wednesday, August 25 and my condolences go to the family of the fallen cyclist, I would like to issue an urgent call to action. Especially considering the collision happened on a road which was supposed to get the ActiveTO treatment including protected bike lanes, but was never done.

Collision scene at Avenue and Bloor on August 18, 2021 (Via Toronto Police Operations)

Please e-mail Mayor Tory and the ActiveTO team with all 25 councillors blind copied urging them to not just implement the Avenue Road ActiveTO project from Bloor to Davenport now, but also accelerate bike lane installations across the city and make last year’s ActiveTO projects permanent. Below is the e-mail I sent yesterday, though I encourage you to come up with your own submissions.

August 16, 2021

Active Transportation Asks for the 2021 Election

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed what was long suspected. Canadians will go to the polls on Monday, September 20 at a time when a high number of eligible Canadians have gotten vaccinated, but a fourth COVID-19 wave is emerging thanks to the delta variant. Let’s look at what Canada’s political parties & candidates need to do to win the hearts & minds of those who walk or bike.

You can read Canada's active transportation strategy (cover photo above) at this link

August 10, 2021

First Impressions of the Muli Cargo Bike

Last month, Helen and I rented a Larry vs Harry Bullit e-assist cargo bike to get a feel for cargo bikes in real world conditions. It was overall a solid performer and can be customized to transport all kinds of cargo, but had its shortcomings such as the high top tube not suitable for shorter riders and its length. When trying to find something more compact for urban living, Helen found a German made Muli Muskel which has a collapsible 100L basket and is only 195 cm long (compared to 243 cm for the Bullitt). She ordered it from Montréal-based Âllo Vélo – the only Canadian distributor for Muli cargo bikes – and we went to the Beagle Bicycle Company in Mississauga on Saturday to pick it up.

July 11, 2021

Cargo Bike Rentals with Happy Fiets

During the May long weekend, Helen and I picked up our puppy Mozzie; a miniature poodle. While we have been carrying him around with a Basil bike carrier which got lots of positive comments, we were concerned that Mozzie would eventually outgrow the carrier. With this in mind and the need to transport other goods, Helen was looking at whether to get a bike trailer or a cargo bike. To get a feel for what a real world cargo bike experience would be like – had only done brief test rides before this – I rented a Larry vs Harry Bullitt e-assist from Robin Richardson who launched Happy Fiets back in May.

Robin (centre) showing Helen (right) and I the bike and being affectionately greeted by Mozzie

June 19, 2021

June 2021 Bloor Update

Last summer was a game changer for Bloor-Danforth with the Bloor bike lanes permanently extended west from Shaw to Runnymede, as well as the temporary installation of ActiveTO corridors along Danforth (from Broadview to Dawes) and the Sherbourne to Avenue gap. However, a small gap remains under the West Toronto Railpath while Toronto City Council is expected to decide the fate of the temporary parts of Bloor-Danforth this fall. With this in mind, the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition is already pushing for a further western extension from Runnymede to Six Points and along Dundas to The East Mall.

Martin Reis (left) and volunteers from the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition preparing to deliver postcards calling for the extension of the Bloor bike lanes to Six Points

May 19, 2021

May 2021 Cycling Projects

Right after the Victoria Day long weekend, the City of Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee will be debating several cycling projects which total six centreline kilometres (or 9.47 lane kilometres) of new infrastructure. These include Chesswood Drive in North York, Winona Drive in Midtown, Woodfield Road in the east end, The Esplanade and Mill Street in downtown, and Martin Grove Road in Etobicoke. The Rathburn Road bike lanes from Martin Grove to The East Mall will also be upgraded to cycle tracks. To help encourage people write submissions to the committee, here is a recap of each project.

Rendering of raised cycle tracks on Chesswood Drive (via City of Toronto)

May 17, 2021

It’s Time for a Safer Parkside

Since the Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition was formed last May, one of their primary asks has been to put in a bikeway along Weston Road and Keele Street from Cardell Avenue to Bloor Street. However, Keele continues onto Parkside Drive from Bloor to Lake Shore Boulevard which is a fast moving arterial and unpleaseant for those who walk or bike. Earlier this month, the Sunnyside Community Association held a Zoom meeting in which many of the more than 40 people in attendance were supportive of safety improvements on Parkside including bike lanes. A separate Facebook group called “Safe Parkside” was also organized around this issue.

A pedestrian crossover is needed at Parkside for this trail immediately north of The Queensway