June 22, 2015

Turning Cycling Setbacks into Opportunities

While the previous post discussed recent setbacks for Toronto’s cyclists such as the Gardiner East vote and the three deaths in two weeks, advocates also need to turn setbacks into opportunities! Not only through lessons learned from the Netherlands and elsewhere, but by recognizing positive developments close to home and applying them to future challenges. During Bike Month (May 25 – June 25), there are at least five positive developments which deserve recognition.

June 15, 2015

Politically Infused Road Rage

This past week has been one of complete road rage for Toronto’s cycling community. On Thursday, city council voted 24-21 to waste an additional $458 million to save 3% of commuters an average of 52 seconds by rebuilding the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway.[1] This is in spite of overwhelming evidence supporting the cheaper boulevard (remove) option, which was supported by the following:

June 04, 2015

Making Toronto Politics More Accessible

While politics is supposed to be a two way street where both citizens and elected officials need to engage each other, the process can get as stuck as on the Don Valley Parkway at times! I was reminded by this fact while deputing at City Hall this past Thursday about cycling safety in construction zones. Before then, I only made one deputation on the municipal budget and it was because it was an evening session. Unfortunately, most committees at Toronto City Hall are structured so that making live deputations require taking the day off work. It is a shame this activity tends to be catered more towards experts and advocacy group directors because live deputations offer a greater impact than written submissions, allow councillors to ask you questions and get to know you better, and allow you to network with other concerned citizens.
Don Valley Parkway during the July 2013 flood