April 19, 2016

Time to give Bloor pilot the green light!

It’s hard to believe work on Cycle Toronto’s Bloor Loves Bikes campaign started a little more than a year ago. A lot has happened since my last update in March (I lied about that being the last before the vote). For starters, the vote at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) got delayed by two weeks to April 25 due to the inability to get quorum on April 11. With this delay means more time to collect signatures. Thanks in part to another e-blast done by the David Suzuki Foundation, the Bloor Loves Bikes pledge now has almost 11,000 signatures; exceeding Cycle Toronto’s original 10,000 goal! Cycle Toronto recently encouraged members to thank Mayor John Tory for being supportive of the campaign in January when he took my question on CP24’s Ask The Mayor show.

With the Bloor bike lane pilot project from Shaw Street to Avenue Road finally confirmed on the agenda (Motion PW12.1), now is the time for Toronto’s cyclists to take action! Here are some basic instructions to get you started.

UPDATE (2016/04/19): Cycle Toronto's official action alert is now online, which provides information on where PWIC members currently stand and instructions similar to those found below.

1 – Sign the Bloor Loves Bikes pledge if you have not already!

UPDATE (2016/04/22): Cycle Toronto submitted the Bloor Loves Bikes pledge to PWIC. After removing duplicates, the final signature count was 9,309. Thanks to all of you who signed.

2 – E-mail PWIC expressing support for the Bloor pilot project!

TO: pwic@toronto.ca, councillor_robinson@toronto.ca, councillor_mcmahon@toronto.ca, councillor_perruzza@toronto.ca, councillor_lee@toronto.ca, councillor_holyday@toronto.ca, councillor_moeser@toronto.ca
CC: mayor_tory@toronto.ca, info@cycleto.ca, plus your city councillor

Be sure to reference Motion PW12.1 in the subject line, include your mailing address, and send your submission by Friday, April 22 at 4:30 PM.

When composing your e-mail, throwing in some facts (e.g. only 10% of people arrive in the Annex by car per a 2009 TCAT survey & confirmed by a recent Parkdale survey*) is good, but should be accompanied by explaining why bike lanes on Bloor matter to you personally. Maybe you live, work, or shop near the pilot project area? Maybe you or a loved one had a bad experience on Bloor? Maybe you know a friend who’s scared to bike on Bloor but would with bike lanes? In any case, describing your experiences biking (and driving if you do) on Bloor now would go a long way in proving why bike lanes are needed.
Existing situation on Bloor (west of pilot project area)
For geography specific concerns, those west of the study area (Wards 13, 14, and 18) could argue having a successful pilot project on Bloor is key to extending it into their neighbourhoods, while east end residents (Wards 29, 30, 31, 32, 35, and 36) could use Bloor to justify adding a pilot project on Danforth Avenue. (see Danforth Loves Bikes)

3 – Forward this post (or Cycle Toronto’s official action alert) to other Toronto cyclists!

When Cycle Toronto called on its members to e-mail PWIC to support the initial Richmond-Adelaide cycle track pilot project in 2014 and subsequent extension in 2015, each of those two motions resulted in almost 200 written submissions; the vast majority of which were from cyclists and supporters. With bike lanes on Bloor being called a game changer by groups such as the David Suzuki Foundation, we should aim to get a record number of submissions for this item. Maybe 500? Now wouldn't that be a sweet treat for Toronto's cyclists?
Found this bakery themed bike at "Bake Sale of Bloor West Village"
Take action!
Rob Z (e-mail)

*For full disclosure, that Parkdale survey was done by the Cycle Toronto Ward 14 Advocacy Group, which I am one of their co-captains.

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