February 24, 2020

Dawdling Along on Danforth

The last week in January saw two public meetings for the Bloor bike lane extension to Runnymede and one for the Danforth Study. The feeling I got after pulling a double header on Monday, January 27 was the two meetings couldn’t have felt more different though turnout was high at both. The Bloor meeting felt very optimistic with many participants feeling the proposed design was very good, though the intersection at Bloor and Keele needs a rethink. Fellow Toronto bike blogger Jun provided an excellent breakdown of what is proposed for the Bloor extension.
Hundreds of people attended the second Danforth Study meeting
The Danforth Study meeting – the second in the process – was more respectful without the shouting from a few bike lane opponents and the lack of a presentation, though there was still more opposition to bike lanes compared to the Bloor meeting. Instead, a bunch of panels from the three different studies – planning, retail, and complete streets – were put up including the feedback collected from the first meeting held in November. The feedback cited strong support for complete streets and pilot bike lanes, but that’s where the good news stops.

February 22, 2020

BIKE MINDS 2020 - Using Data to Effect Change

On January 30, 2020, I was honoured to join five other presenters at BIKE MINDS; a bicycle storytelling series co-founded by Matt Pinder and Michelle Kearns. The theme of the event was "Bikes and Growth" and featured the following:
  • Julia Huys - A lawyer who shared her experiences cycling from London (Ontario) to St. John's (Newfoundland) with her father
  • Kevin Dunal - A corporate executive who shared his story about how he and his wife became carfree
  • Ryan Shissler - Cycle Toronto's Communications Lead who shared how the bicycle helped deal with his mental (and financial) health
  • David Shellnut - The Biking Lawyer who reflected on his recent assault by a motorist and shared information on what to do in the event of a crash
  • Agata Rudd - An environmental entrepreneur who talked about biking 5000 km in southeast asia with her partner
My story about about using data to effect change in Toronto's cycling community. I encourage you to read the recap of all speakers on Dandyhorse and view all videos here (except for Kevin Dunal's due to technical difficulties). This post includes the video of my presentation as well as the transcript.

February 17, 2020

WTF is up with the Railpath?

On Wednesday, February 26, the City of Toronto will be hosting a public meeting at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to reveal the final design of the West Toronto Railpath extension to Abell Street. (pre-register here) Ahead of this meeting, I felt it was worth highlighting some good, bad, and ugly recent developments.
West Toronto Railpath extension rendering (via City of Toronto)

February 10, 2020

Turkey and Spain - Part 5 (Seville)

Whereas Granada is hilly and has lots of Islamic influence, Seville is flat and home to flamenco dancing and bull fighting. While we didn’t watch either, the Andalusian capital of Seville still has lots to offer. The Catedral de Sevilla and Real Alcazar are impressive, while foodies will fall in love with the tapas and churros con chocolate. Most importantly for this blog, we were impressed with the cycling in Seville to a point where I could almost say, “Watch out Amsterdam and Copenhagen!” Seriously! 😊
The Catedral de Sevilla's Giralda is Seville's most easily recognized landmark

February 06, 2020

Turkey and Spain - Part 4 (Granada)

After fifteen days exploring Turkey, we endured an early wake up in Izmir and a full day’s worth of travelling including two flights to Madrid and a high speed train ride to Granada where we stayed for three days. It was nice to be on a high speed train again since my last trip to Europe in 2014. Our Airbnb was a short walk away from the train station and a couple of grocery stores were nearby to grab some food. Aside from the lack of bathroom privacy with the glass walls and no locks, the room was clean and we were relieved to get some laundry done.
Passing by the Alhambra during our walk around Granada