March 26, 2022

A Different Kind of Two Wheels

This past week was my first week back to the office under a hybrid model since the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, my employer moved their head office from Dufferin and Lawrence – which was bikeable for me – to Vaughan which definitely is not. The new office is a 20 minute walk from Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station and the TTC prohibits bikes on the subway during rush hour (for good reason given how packed it was on Thursday evening). To address this mobility gap, I did something on Tuesday evening which can make some fellow bike riding people cringe.

March 23, 2022

Mississauga Momentum for Bloor Bike Lanes

Earlier in March, I reported on the fight Mississauga advocates had on their hands regarding getting bike lanes installed on their part of Bloor; most notably the ridiculous complaints over charter rights. There has been a renewed sense of momentum since then with Mississauga’s third community meeting on Wednesday, March 9 and Sunday’s Ride for Bike Lanes on Bloor. Let’s recap these recent developments, as well as introduce the group Mississauga Cycling Now.

March 12, 2022

Let's Make ActiveTO on Yonge Permanent!

Yesterday, Sabrina (Brie) Young posted in the Cycling in Toronto Facebook group a flyer she received calling on residents to e-mail the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Mayor Tory, and City Council to remove the ActiveTO complete street pilot on Yonge Street. To add insult to injury, the “Be Green. Be Rational.” tagline was used along with easily debunked arguments such as bike counts during the winter months, greenhouse gas emissions while idling, and the ability for first responders to get through. Sure, the line about the Yonge bike lanes being narrow may have some merit, but it should be noted Bloor Street from Spadina to Lansdowne Avenues is similarly narrow at less than 13 metres wide and the bike lanes worked fine. A petition was started about six months ago calling for the removal of the Yonge bike lanes which got more than 1200 signatures at the time of writing (which I won't share here for obvious reasons).

Given opponents have been organizing ahead of the March 29 IEC meeting which could see the ActiveTO complete street pilot get debated, it’s time for supporters to flip the script by urging the committee and city council to take the true green and rational action of making the Yonge pilot permanent. In addition, supporters need to call for bike lanes on Yonge to be extended north and south as soon as possible to connect with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and future projects in Downtown and North York Centre.

Below is a sample e-mail you can use for your action, though I would encourage you to personalize it to share your story on why a complete street on Yonge is important to you. Cycle Toronto sent this action alert via e-mail this morning about Yonge, along with a link to their Yonge petition which has more than 3000 signatures.

March 11, 2022

Reviewing Toronto's Annual Cycling Report

For the past few years, Albert Koehl and I had been tracking Toronto’s bike lane installations to hold the City accountable to their 2016 Cycling Network Plan. While I didn’t prepare such a report for 2021 – instead focusing on the 2022-24 Near Term Plan – the City of Toronto recently released their 2021 Cycling Year in Review. This is a welcome development which will help improve accountability on the cycling file. I reviewed the report to see what it has in store and how it can be improved.

Toronto's 2021 Cycling Year in Review cover illustration shows a cargo bike

March 07, 2022

Mississauga’s Bloor Bike Lane Fight

While the City of Toronto’s latest bike plan called for extending the Bloor bike lanes west from Runnymede to Six Points (at Kipling) by 2024, Mississauga has their own Bloor bike lane fight through the Bloor Street Integrated Project. During the January 19, 2022 city council meeting, the City of Mississauga opted to hold a third community meeting on March 9, 2022 given opposition to the project; most notably from the Applewood Hills & Heights Residents’ Association and their petition which got 130 signatures. I heard of many arguments against bike lanes over the years of fighting for bike lanes on Bloor in Toronto, but none were as ridiculous as that about bike lanes violating charter rights brought up by Athinda Tagidou of the AHHRA during the city council meeting. An argument which made the top twelve weird things on Cracked.

Ridicule to the charter right argument was picked up by Cracked